Best Alternatives to Adobe Audition in 2023 (Free & Paid)


Adobe audition is an excellent piece of software for editing and remixing audio.

However, not everyone wants another subscription to pay.

Thankfully, there are several Adobe Audition alternatives which offer comparable professional audio recording features.

Some of them are even free alternatives to Audition – perfect for starting a podcast with no budget!

I’ve been a happy Audition user for a while now, but in researching this guide, I’m tempted to switch to the best Adobe Audition alternative since it’s cheaper in the long run.

Take a closer look at the options below to see if they fit your needs for the perfect audio editor app.

What are the Best Alternatives to Adobe Audition in 2023?

1. Audacity | Best Free Digital Audio Workstation

Pros

  • Absolutely free 
  • Open source and community supported 
  • Expansive library of plug-ins and tools 
  • Very capable audio editing program 
Cons

  • Dated interface 
  • Not as powerful as Audition 

Audacity is an entirely free and open source audio editor program. It won’t cost you a dime to start producing music or editing your podcast with this program.

Audacity first got its start in the early 2000s, but the interface hasn’t changed much since. This means it’s going to look a little dated and perhaps even feel a bit too old school for some users.

One of the best things about being an open source piece of software is that Audacity is constantly getting new tools and add-ons.

The Audacity community is very active which also means that you’ve got a great source of support when it comes to fixing bugs and other problems.

This functional audio editor does its best work for cleaning up vocals and voice over. That’s great for photographers who want to clean up audio files before posting a completed video to social media. 

Audacity might not have all of the power as some of the premium and pay it options on this list, but it’s more than effective enough to handle anything a beginner needs to get done.

Even professionals might find themselves returning to Audacity when they want something simple and reliable. 

2. Ableton Live | Best For Live Music And Performances 

Pros

  • One-time purchase with no subscription fees
  • Purpose-built for working with live music 
  • Impressive collection of instruments 
  • UI is easy to navigate 
Cons

  • Pricing options can get very high depending on your needs 
  • Infamous for its steep learning curve 

Ableton Live is an incredibly powerful Digital Audio Workstation that can easily challenge what Adobe Audition has to offer.

Ableton Live can handle most of what Audition can do, but it also excels at composing music and recording live audio. This might make it better than Adobe Audition for musicians. 

Price is a noticeable trade-off when you look at Ableton Live compared to Adobe Audition. However, it really all depends on how you plan on using your audio editing software.

If you’re looking to make audio editing more of a mainstay or you don’t want to pay for the comprehensive Creative Cloud subscription, a one-time Ableton purchase might be right for you.

Ableton Live is largely focused on music production which might limit the mileage you can get out of it if you’re only interested in audio and video work. 

Ableton Live is a powerful audio editor that handles jobs Audition might struggle with. This comparison comes down to whether or not you’re planning on making use of the other apps that come with your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription

3. FL Studio | Best For Creating Music 

Pros

  • Life-time purchase complete with all future updates 
  • Very affordable as far as pro DAWs go
  • Used by famous musicians 
  • Ideal for getting creative and making digital music 
  • Massive plugin library 
Cons

  • Vital Audio Recording feature only available at higher price points 
  • Interface will take some getting used to 

Fruity Loops Studio is an all-in-one music production and audio recording app. It can handle mixing, mastering, and creating music.

FL Studio is used by professional musicians with international followings. There’s no question that this is a pro-level piece of software.

Digital Audio Workstations have to balance their tool set for both voice work as well as music. FL Studio is definitely one of the programs that leans more heavily towards the music side of the equation. 

An interesting aspect about FL Studio is that it’s also one of the most affordable professional options on today’s list. Even the most expensive version of FL Studio is still going to be more affordable than around one year’s Creative Cloud subscription.

However, if you’re just looking to record some voice over or a podcast, FL Studio might be overkill for your needs. 

4. LMMS | Best Free Music Production Software 

Pros

  • 100% free
  • Easily create music
  • Plenty of plugins, instruments, and effects
  • Can handle professional level work 
  • LMMS supports Windows, Mac, and Linux 
Cons

  • More of a music composition tool than a true DAW
  • Can’t edit audio files 
  • Features can be slow to update 

LMMS, or Linux MultiMedia Studio if you’ve been around for a while, is open-source—that means free—music production tool. 

LMMS is packed with advanced features and has a thriving community. It’s definitely not as popular as Adobe Audition or even Audacity, but it has a dedicated user base that is constantly working on new features.

LMMS is definitely a program that is focused on the musicians out there. It’s got a great set of tools whether you’re working with just your voice and an acoustic guitar or you’re looking to headline the next EDM festival.

A notable downside to LMMS is that you need external tools to help you with recording live audio. You’ll also be better off with a program like Audacity if you’re just interested in mastering vocals. 

LMMS also noticeably lacks the ability to edit audio. This is strictly a composition tool which makes it one of the more specialized, and consequently limited, options on today’s list. 

If you want to make music on your computer, you can pick up LMMS for free before switching over to other paid Adobe Audition alternatives. 

5. Garage Band | Best Free Audio Editor For Mac

Pros

  • Free on Apple devices 
  • Grammy winning artists have used this free software in their songs 
  • GarageBand also works on iOS and iPad
  • Virtual drummer is timesaving and effective 
Cons

  • GarageBand is an Apple exclusive 
  • The features are a bit basic 

GarageBand is a sleeper hit on this list. If you have an Apple device and you don’t feel like spending any money for your Digital Audio Workstation, just use GarageBand.

I want to be upfront about what GarageBand can and cannot do. GarageBand definitely doesn’t have the toolset and capability of paid programs like Adobe Audition or Fruity Loops Studio.

However, Grammy winning artists like Rihanna have used GarageBand on some of their tracks. This audio editing app is an outstanding free alternative to Adobe Audition whether you’re a beginner or you’re one of the world’s most successful artists.

GarageBand has built-in tools that make recording audio easy. It also works on your iPhone and iPad which makes recording on the go even easier.

This can be a great option for adventure photographers who just want to take an iPad on their next whistlestop tour of exciting destinations.

I’ve been on the go doing photography and videography using GarageBand to record some voice over for videos. I’ve even put together a podcast or two while I’m on the road using this program. 

This makes it a great choice for working photographers who want to be able to give their clients short video clips with quick turnaround times. 

GarageBand even features built-in piano and guitar lessons if you’re looking to pick up an instrument when you’re not out there taking pictures. 

The single biggest limitation of GarageBand is that this is an Apple exclusive app. There is no Windows version of GarageBand and they’re likely never will be. 

6. Logic Pro | Best Overall Audio Editing On Mac

Image Credit: Rezli

Pros

  • One-time purchase cheaper than Audition in the long run 
  • Jam-packed with features for musicians 
  • Apple’s sleek design philosophy 
Cons

  • Another Mac exclusive 
  • A bit too much if you just need to clean up voice over work 

After a while, you’re going to find the simplistic layout and limited features of GarageBand a bit constricting. Many GarageBand users wind up upgrading to its more feature-rich sibling, Logic Pro.

Logic Pro is another Mac exclusive program. This means Windows users are going to be stuck using one of the other options on this list.

Logic Pro also has the advantage of a relatively affordable one-time purchase to unlock all of its features. It’s easily cheaper than even the most affordable yearly Creative Cloud subscription.

Photographers who are looking to create music on the side are going to love the instruments, loops, and even vintage synths that come packed with Logic Pro.

If you love Apple’s design philosophy, you’re also going to enjoy the user interface for Logic Pro. It’s very clean and intuitive without too much of a steep learning curve. 

Yes, this program is totally capable of editing voice over work and podcasts. However, like many of the other music focused Digital Audio Workstations on this list, you might be better off with Audition or Audacity just for cleaning up audio. 

7. Avid Pro Tools | Best For Serious Audiophiles And Professionals 

Pros

  • The true industry standard for audio and music production 
  • Ideal for basically every job
  • Surprisingly relaxed learning curve  
  • Easy to use interface 
  • Countless add-ons, tools, and advanced features 
Cons

  • No option for a one-time purchase 
  • Easily more expensive than even the full Adobe CC subscription 

Avid Pro Tools is the true industry standard for audio editing and mixing. There’s no other Adobe Audition alternatives quite like Avid Pro Tools. 

You don’t need to take my word for it. Every single 2022 Record of the Year nomination for the Grammys was edited using Avid Pro Tools. If that’s not enough, every single 2022 Academy Award nomination for Best Editing and Best Picture were also created using Avid.

That’s a star-studded resume backed by some serious talent for this audio editor. 

However, you’re going to have to pay industry prices to use industry tools which might lock out anyone looking for a more affordable alternative to Adobe Audition.

This also isn’t a very portable program since it lacks any mobile or iPad versions. That’s not too surprising given that this is a heavy weight, industry standard program. However, it would still be nice to see something that allows for more streamlined operation. 

You also might have guessed by now that there’s pretty much nothing Avid Pro Tools can’t handle. It’s got everything from features that let you put together audio clips for simple video to tools that let you do final audio mixing and mastering for a Hollywood movie. 

This is the ideal Adobe Audition alternative if you can handle the price. 

Adobe Audition Alternatives FAQ

Is there a free version of Audition?

There is no free version of Adobe Audition, but you can get a free trial of this program from the Adobe website. There are also free audio editor alternatives like Audacity or LMMS depending on whether you’re looking to mix and master audio files or record music. 

What’s the difference between Audition vs Audacity?

Adobe Audition and Audacity are both digital audio workstations that offer a powerful library of audio editing tools.

The biggest difference between these two programs is that audacity is an open source program that is free to download and use. At the same time, Audition is supported and maintained by Adobe and can only be accessed with a monthly subscription fee. 

Is GarageBand better than Audition?

GarageBand and Audition are similar audio editor programs with a few key differences. GarageBand is free on Apple devices, while Audition needs to be purchased from Adobe. GarageBand has fewer editing tools, but it is more focused on recording and creating music than Audition. 

Final Thoughts On Adobe Audition Alternatives 

Adobe Audition is still going to be my go-to audio editor. However, these 7 programs give you viable alternatives.

Whether you’re looking to save money or you’re more interested in making music, there’s an Adobe Audition alternative that’s right for you.

I want to hear from you about your favorite alternatives to Adobe Audition. Did I miss your top pick program or maybe left out a key feature in Audacity that you use every day?

Let me know in the comments and make sure to check out my other guides on Audition and other Adobe programs. 

Also, if you’re looking for other ways to replace Adobe software, don’t miss these guides:

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