Best Free Audio Editing Software
As ordinary computer users, we rarely need to edit audio files (usually in mp3 format), so those products that are often seen in movies with the "waveform" interface usually have little to do with us. But sometimes we do need to make a little modification to an audio file at hand, such as trying to capture a little bit of the sound, or need to boost the volume, and then you will find that a free and easy-to-use audio processing software is not so easy to find.
For a long time in the past, I have been using a free version of a product with limited functions. I don't want to mention its name. After all, it still relies on the prompt box that keeps popping up to attract users to buy the "Pro version". Actually, I didn't mind the annoying prompt box, mainly because the product didn't seem so reliable, until one day, I saw again the real free and easy-to-use product Audacity that I want to recommend to you today.
I knew about the existence of this product for many years, but there was no need for similar audio editing at that time, so when I saw its name again, I was sure that it was a good product for free and professional.
If you want to explore for yourself, click here to go directly to Audacity's download page, which offers downloads for Windows, iOS and even Linux. If you keep reading, I'll show you a few of the most basic usages.
Usage 1: How to remove a part of a sound, such as the beginning
This is the most common use of audio editing software, just like we use word processing software, you can copy, cut, paste or delete selected content. In Audacity, all you have to do is hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse so that the obvious black line crosses the part you want to edit.
The biggest problem is that the sound is not as intuitive as text, you can't be sure if you selected it accurately, you can click the play button to repeatedly confirm that you have selected the correct start and end. In the toolbar, there is a magnifying glass button (you can also press Ctrl + 1), which enlarges the current waveform so that a shorter sound is displayed per unit length, which allows you to position the selected position more accurately. Once you've selected the location you want to edit, you can copy, cut, or delete that part directly.
When a sound is deleted, the part before or after it will appear very stiff, then you can set the Fade in or Fade out effect for them (via the "Effect" menu -> Fading).
Usage 2: How to merge two audio tracks
Sometimes we need to add a background music to a wonderful speech, now suppose you have prepared two files "speech.mp3" and "background music.mp3". First you open one casually, like a speech .mp3, and now let's add background sound to it.
First click Tracks in the menu, then click Add New -> Stereo Track, this will add two new audio tracks below our speech waveform file, in fact, as you should have guessed, these are the left and right channels. Having said that, I have a new and interesting idea. Sometimes we have the effect of a person speaking on the left side in a movie theater. I guess it is his voice alone on the upper track.
So how do we put the "background music.mp3" into the newly added track? We just have to click on the File menu, select Import->Audio, and select our file. In fact, we can skip the step of adding a new audio track, just through the Import operation, Audiocity will automatically add a new audio track for us. Sometimes our new audio track comes from the clipboard (for example, you copied a part from the original audio track), and adding a new audio track is a necessary operation at this time.
When merging two audio tracks, you will inevitably encounter a problem, that is, the volume of the two sounds does not meet your needs. You may want the background sound to be lower. In this case, just click the Gain slider on the far left of the audio track. You can handle the volume of the left and right channels separately via the slider.
After editing, we need the Export function under the File menu to save the merged audio track into the desired file format.
Usage 3: Noise cancellation and vocal removal
I've used Audiocity to remove audio noise, and frankly, I didn't expect much from this kind of thing, in fact it did pretty much what I expected. You need to adjust the parameters until you achieve a satisfactory result. As for removing vocals, it depends on your luck. Both of these features are in a menu called "Effects".