AudacityComparisons

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Other audio editing programs and how Audacity compares.

See also Other Programs and http://audacity.sourceforge.net/links.php.

Note: Some programs listed here are much more than just audio editors and the comparison isn't really valid.

  • Adobe Audition $299 USD
    http://www.adobe.com/products/audition/main.html
    OS: Windows 98, 2000, XP
    Comments: Similar capabilities to Audacity with these also available:
    Batch processing, Truncate Silence, Click Removal.
    Audition is Adobe's renamed version of the famous "CoolEdit" program which they bought from Syntrillium in 2004. (?) Audition has very good quality noise removal compared to Audacity. It also has a clips list feature.
  • Cubase SX (Steinberg) $799.99 USD
    http://cubase.com/
    OS: MacOS X; Windows 2000, XP
    Comments: Steinberg's music sequencing program.

Comments from another user: Cubase is a different product line and so does not compare to Audacity, rather does Steinberg's Wavelab.

  • GarageBand
    OS: MacOS X
    Comments: Easy for beginners; limited. Only available in the the iLife digital media package.
  • Logic Express (eMagic) $299.00 USD
    http://www.emagic.de/
    OS: MacOS X, 9
    Comments: Limited to 12 input channels. Uses a USB dongle.
  • Logic PRO (eMagic) $999.00 USD
    http://www.emagic.de/
    OS: MacOS X, 9; Windows (Logic Platinum 5.5.1)
    Comments: Uses a USB dongle.
  • Microsound (Micro Technology Unlimited, Raleigh NC ) Comment from a longtime user: No longer available or supported, this was one of the earliest audio editing suites and some of its

features are still unsurpassed. For example: 1) Non-sequential Undo -- marking and cutting created a "skip zone" or "amp zone" you could go back and undo, change or open at will. 2) Virtual Mixing - saves a lot of screen space compared to multitrack. 3) Ability to switch from wave view to Segment View. In the segment view, you could add or read segment labels, line segments up, or drag them under one another for virtual mixing. 4) Segment stretching: in segment view, the ends of the segments could also be dragged to expand to include more audio from the original file before or after what had been cut for the segment (this was possible because of non-destructive editing). 5) Positioning Window. Double-clicking (or copying) any segment from the segment view would move it up into a top portion of the screen that functioned as a kind of attic for storage of labeled segments - which could later be double-clicked down to any chosen point in the project.

  • Nuendo (Steinberg) $1499.99
    http://www.steinberg.net/
    OS: MacOS X; Windows 2000, XP
    Comments: Steinberg's multi-track recording program. Audacity has all the basic functions of Nuendo.
  • ProTools (Digidesign) ?
    http://digidesign.com/
    OS: Windows 2000/XP; Mac OS 9.x/X
    Comments: The de facto standard of the pro audio industry for tracking and mixing. Higher-priced versions require additional hardware, except ProTools LE. Cumbersome at times, but the basic functions of Audacity closely emulate those of ProTools .

Comments from another user: I think the last statement misrepresents the situation. Pro Tools is a high level professional audio production environment with many features well beyond those offered by Audacity. On a very basic level, region/clip based editing is possible in Pro Tools and not in Audacity. Pro Tools (along with the other major sequencers/editors) also offers real time effects processing with automation, cross fade editing and so on... Pro Tools Free (which due to its price is a more relevant example for this Wiki page) is quite a lot more advanced than Audacity at this point, but unfortunately it has not been updated to work under modern operating systems (XP, OSX).

Comments from a third user: Comparing Audacity to Pro-Tools is not a fair fight, it's like comparing Notepad (or TextEdit) to Microsoft Word. Pro-Tools can do everything that Audacity does, it does it better, and does a whole lot more, but it costs a lot more money and it is more than most users will need.


  • Rezound (?) GPL
    http://rezound.sourceforge.net/
    OS: Primarily Linux, but eventually hoped for others.
    Comments: No multitrack ability. More of a wave editor than multitrack recording/editing solution. Better for wave editing than Audacity.
  • SoundForge 7.0 (Sony) ?
    http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.com/
    OS: Windows 2000/XP
    Comments: Multi-track recording and editing program originally owned by Sonic Foundry. Super-easy editing platform with lots of built-in effects and processing. Comment from user: The features I would like Audacity to learn from SoundForge: 1) Large, clear, high-resolution, black on white wave image. This should be do-able for Audacity, no? Those of us with older eyes who like to do very precise editing need this feature. 2) The ability to click M during recording or playback and have a mark put over the track at that location. These marks are draggable, they can be used to define a zone for operations, and they have label flags. They also don't disappear until purposely deleted, unlike the "split" command that can be used to define operation regions in Audacity.
  • Wavelab (Steinberg) $699.00
    http://www.steinberg.net/
    OS: Windows 2000/XP
    Comments: Steinberg's audio editing and CD mastering platform. Although Audacity provides no CD mastering (i.e., track marks) or burning capability, it provides true non-destructive editing just like Wavelab's AudioMontage , where all the assembly takes place. Just click-and-drag a waveform, and move it wherever you want! True VST support.
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