Audio production is one of the most important parts of media production. Most professionals are already used to a certain set of software that they feel comfortable with – but knowing your options is critical for anyone who wants to improve by time.
This list will cover both types of users – those who want something more advanced, and those who want something very basic and barebone; while highlighting some of the best audio recording and editing software for Windows 10, some of them you might already know of but some might make your horizons bigger.
Audio recording software for Windows 10 desktop
WavePad Audio (recommended)
WavePad Audio is a professional audio recording and editing software that offers more features than you’ll possibly have the time to test. You can record, cut, copy and paste sounds, and then add effects like echo, amplification and noise reduction. WavePad supports almost all audio files which means you can always rely on this tool to edit even the most obscure file types – WavePad can handle it.
Key features include:
- Separated and multichannel recording
- Integrated VST plugin support for access to thousands of additional tools and effects
- Batch processing allows you to apply effects and/or convert thousands of files as a single function
- Scrub, search and bookmark audio for precise editing
- Create bookmarks and regions to find, recall and assemble segments of long audio files
- Spectral analysis (FFT), speech synthesis (text-to-speech), and voice changer.
Presonus Studio One Free
Presonus Studio One comes in various versions, the best one costing you about 450$, but we are going to look at the free version. The free version does not let you import or export MP3 – for obvious reasons – it also won’t let you export directly to SoundCloud, a feature that is liked very much in its paid versions.
While this sounds very limiting in terms of features, the free version will not alter your projects or reduce their quality because you are on the free version, and while it might lack certain obvious features – it still continues to include other advanced features such as time stretching, latency compensation, etc. that can help you create the track as you like. The free version acts more like a demo rather than a full software, ideally, you should purchase one of the paid versions after trying out the free one.
- Buy now on Amazon Presonus Studio One Pro version
Wavosaur might not have as many features as the complicated software like Studio One do, but it has one thing going for it that others do not have: portability.
There are two versions of Wavosaur, one that you can install and another that is portable – which is also only 3.18 MB. You can quite literally simply keep a portable version on your USB stick and use it on any PC you like anytime. Wavosaur also supports a huge range of audio formats, including VST files. It might lack the fancy features that other more complicated software have, but it is a good piece of software you simply want to get something done quick and easy.
Audacity is quite possibly the most famous software on this list. Audacity started up as a small time project in 1997, soon enough it became the go-to application for anything remotely to do with audio editing, recording and mixing.
Audacity is widely used all around the world for various tasks, you can do proper audio mixing for your podcasts, convert that old tape into a digital recording – or even try that with a vinyl. Audacity can also handle extensible plugins, it supports multi-track recordings, and include various advanced effects that you normally wouldn’t find in a free software like this.
You can even use it to remove noise and correct the pitch of a track. If you can’t find some functionality that you like, you can install a plugin and extend Audacity’s functionality – if you can’t find a plugin for what you want, with the right skillset you can make your own and make it exactly as you like. All for free.
Podium is something more complicated and feature-rich than anything else on this list – it is a complete 64-bit DAW with MIDI capabilities and it also supports VST files as well as third party plugins for extensibility.
While there is a paid version for Podium, the free version only has a few limitations such as limitations on how it handles multiprocessing, so the free version might be slower than the paid version. Besides that though, the free version is almost identical to the paid version and includes almost all the features that are present in the paid version. It might not be the easiest program to get used to, but once mastered you can customize everything in the interface and make it as you like.
Leapic Audio Editor is a one of the more simpler ones – you don’t get a lot of fancy features, what you get though is – if compared with other options on this list – a very simple interface that won’t take you long to grasp.
It might not be the prettiest option, but it is the simplest – this also means it doesn’t pack all the features that some of the softwares on this list offer, but that is for the good if you are looking for something simple. It features a very simple voice recording tool, and can also apply various effects and filters to the audio tracks. You can also add or remove noise, and insert silence in your tracks.
Audio recording software from the Windows Store
Packed by default with Windows 10, the Windows Voice Recorder features a super simple UI – one big button to start recording, a timer that shows you how long you have recorded and a stop button. One thing that makes it unique is the feature that lets you mark important moments while recording – so you can mark an important point in your recording, for reference at a later point.
Voice Record lets you record any audio from your microphone, and conveniently save it to a local folder. The interface is simple, just like the Windows Voice Recorder, but offers more functionality in terms of flexibility. You can also upload your voice recordings straight to Microsoft’s OneDrive directly from the app, however, it does have ads, but you can remove them by buying the Pro version.
Pocket Recorder is one of the more feature-packed Windows Store audio recorders. It includes some really unique features such as geo-encoded recordings, so you can see exactly where you made a recording on a map. You can also pause while making a recording and resume it at a later time, without having to edit the audio file. It also lets you trim and combine different recordings and all of it can be uploaded straight to Microsoft OneDrive.
Easy Sound Recorder, like some of the other Windows Store apps featured here, also has a very simple UI – one button to stop, and stop recording. It supports different formats such as MP3, M3A and WMA and you can also select the quality of audio you want from the recording. Once recorded, you can share the recording directly from the app via Email, OneDrive etc.
Audio Record is once again a very simple app – all it can do is record your voice, however there is one thing unique about it. It can save your recordings as an AVI file; besides that it supports MP3, MP4 and WMA. It doesn’t have features like uploading to OneDrive etc but it does let you directly save your file in any format and quality you like.
These were some of the best audio recording software available for Windows 10. Some are complicated and suited for an extremely professional environment while the others are simpler and can be used for simpler things like your weekly podcast. Some don’t even do anything except record your voice and save it in a file. Audio production can be hard work if you don’t have the right tools, but with the right tools it becomes a breeze, so make your choice wisely.