Once you have your music recorded the job has just begun. Very rarely is a recording perfect the first time, and even when it may seem to be a good one there are always things that can be tweaked a bit in a music editor app. Luckily there are dozens of different audio editing programs to choose from, but here we are going to focus on what most people in the industry consider to be the best free music editor apps for the PC. Read on to find out more.
The Top Three Best Free Music Editor Apps of 2016
Be aware that just because an app has the words "Music Editor" in its name does not mean that it is going to do what you think. In fact, some of the most widely used and respected of the free editing apps don't even have the word editor in their name at all as you'll see in this article. In truth the most common way to refer to these kinds of software programs is to call them audio editors or in a more advanced context, Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). This list includes a little bit of both, with the most highly regarded free options for your PC running Windows. With that said here are my personal top three best free music editor apps.
When it comes to finding a decent audio editor, free is a pretty good price point, and of all the free music editor programs out there Audacity is still the king. If you look at any list of recommended audio file editing software this one almost always tops the list. The free, open source program packs almost everything you could need for basic single track editing of an audio file. It's not a DAW, and as such it can't do real time effects while recording, but that isn't it's real purpose anyway. Audacity's strengths show in the way it let's you take almost any mono or stereo audio track and quickly and efficiently improve the quality of what was recorded. It even comes with a decent set of included effects that you can use to add reverb, normalize, adjust pitch, and almost every other common audio editing task you might have. Just don't expect to be able to create music by stacking loops as Audacity is not the right tool for that scenario. If you want something more like GarageBand then you have to move on to a higher end music editor like Reaper or Studio One Prime.
Studio One Prime
Made by PreSonus, Studio One Prime includes many of the same features of their Studio One Artist and Pro music editor software products. It functions as a full blown digital audio workstation in it's own right but has somewhat limited extended functionality. Still, it lets you do most of the stuff you might want to do, with unlimited audio tracks, unlimited virtual instrument tracks, real time effects processing, and a whole lot more. It even comes with several free "Native" effects as well as a 1.5gig content library of loops and sounds to help you ramp up your compositions to the next level. You can download it for free so why not give it a try?
Pro Tools First
If you are not just wanting to edit a sound file but also wanting to truly create new music within the software you need to move up to something like entry level Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). When it comes to DAWs though one name stands out as the defacto standard, Pro Tools. Pro Tools First is the free version of Pro Tools and is an excellect way to get started and comfortable with the techniques of doing multitrack recording and editing. It allows you to set up and use up to 16 audio tracks and a maximum of 4 audio inputs. For most basic recording needs this is more than adequate as if you need more than that you probably aren't going to be happy with anything but a paid commercial product. First also works with most Pro Tools compatible hardware devices as well so it's a great place to get started if you need more than Audacity provides. If you aren't sure be sure to check out their comparison chart.
As I said before, when it comes to finding decent audio editor software, free is always a good thing. Considering that Pro Tools Professional costs about $700 dollars to get their starter edition free of charge is a really good deal if the features it provides are relevant to the tasks you are going to be doing. Just be sure to consider whether you need a full blown DAW program or if your audio editing needs can be fulfilled with a simpler product like Audacity. If you are still not sure check out some videos to see the different programs in action and then go ahead give one a try to help with your next project.