Whether you are working in a recording studio, a live venue or a bedroom you need the best tools to get the job done right. With the right audio editing software, you can perfect the mix for your own content or for your client.
Using what the professionals use is a surefire way to not only boost your confidence but also boost the quality of your work. Get started with our list of the best professional audio editing software.
What to Look For in a Professional Audio Editing Software?
Audio editing software plays a bigger role in producing creative content than most people think. An audio editing software or DAW (which stands for Digital Audio Workstation) is used to record audio, add effects, cut audio, correct pitch and timing and so much more. DAWs are used for creating any medium of entertainment that includes sound even beyond music.
Here are some of the ways that professional audio editing software can improve your sound, as well as some features to consider when purchasing your own.
Professional audio editing software will come with its own array of effects and even work with effects from 3rd-party companies. These effects can manipulate the sound of your tracks in a large variety of ways such as with compression, equalization, reverbs, delays, saturation, distortion and much more. You can use these effects all in a variety of ways to create a great final product.
If you are working with musicians that need some help getting the correct timing, you can use a click track that plays the tempo for the song they are playing. This helps them keep in time with each other.
If you are not able to be a part of the initial recording, you have other ways to try to time-align the musicians. Every professional DAW has some form of timing control. For example, Pro Tools has TCE, which stands for Time Compression Expansion. You can use this tool to shorten or lengthen audio to match the timing you need.
Professional editing software will sometimes require above-average RAM and overall CPU power. The DAW is not always the part that requires that much power but the plugins you use.
Whenever you are looking through choices for each audio editing software look into the computer requirements to make sure what you have can handle it. The common requirement is a minimum of 8GB of RAM.
How you plan to use your professional audio editing software will determine which DAW is best for you. If you are wanting to work with more electronic music, a DAW like Reason or FL Studio will be better suited to what you need while a DAW like Pro Tools or Logic would be better working with real instruments.
If you want to have a studio built around recordings for audiobooks or commercials, you can get by with the minimum equipment because you never will have crazy large sessions.
The Best Professional Audio Editing Software
Now that you have an idea of ways to utilize professional audio editing software, read through these top choices to determine which fits your goals.
1. Best for Industry Standard: Pro Tools
Anywhere you look for professional audio editing software you will find Pro Tools mentioned. Ever since its initial debut in 1991 Pro Tools has steadily risen in popularity and abilities. So much so that it has become a standard choice for professional studios all over the world.
- Pro Tools First: Free
- Pro Tools Standard
- Perpetual License :$599
- Subscription: $29.99 to $34.99 per month
- Pro Tools Ultimate
- Subscription: $79.99 to $89.99 per month
Either through Avid or a resellers, you can find discounts for students and teachers for the newest version of Pro Tools.
2. Best for Visual Instruments: Logic Pro
When Logic first came on the production scene, many people were skeptical of its abilities. Since then Logic Pro has been used to record and produce hit songs from Demi Lovato, Billie Eilish and many other popular artists.
Apple also has included thousands of samples as loops and one-shots that are royalty-free for all of its users.
One of the best deals available through Apple is its Bundle for Education. In this bundle you get Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor and Mainstage all for $199.99. That is less than half the price of purchasing all of these programs separately.
3. Best for Songwriting: Cubase
Cubase is extremely helpful to creative minds when they hit a roadblock. Their system is easy to navigate as well as having tools in place to help you come up with the best chord progressions and harmonies.
Beyond the writing and recording phase, Cubase is great for mixing and mastering tracks to put out quality recordings.
Pricing: $99 to $552
4. Best for Electronic and Synth Based Music: Reason
Reason is one of the most creative DAWs when it comes to music production and creativity. Reason has a special patch bay system where you can route all of your plugins and virtual instruments to create a more in-depth mix.
It’s so revolutionary that other DAWs have worked with Propellerhead to create a plugin version of this patch bay for themselves.
5. Best for Updates and Electronic Music: FL Studio
Right up there next to Reason for the best electronic music DAW is FL Studio. FL Studio is helpful to its users for multiple reasons but the biggest way that FL Studio looks out for its users is through its updates.
When you purchase FL Studio, you never have to worry about paying for updates and upgrades because you get free updates for life.
Best for: Updates and Electronic Music
6. Best for Budgets: Reaper
Beyond its low price, Reaper has a lot to offer as a professional workstation. It offers endless tools and amazing plugins right off the bat to help you get a professional sound from your mixes quickly. Some of the biggest users primarily mix Metal and Rock music through it.
- Discounted license: $60
- Commercial license: $225
Find Professional Audio Editing Software Now
When you take a professional audio editing software and put it into your workspace, you can hear the difference in your mixes. There will be a slight learning curve if you have not used the new DAW before, but once you have familiarized yourself there is no limit to how great your mixes can sound.