Audio post-processing doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. But if you’re thinking of starting or accelerating your career as a musician, you’ll need audio editing tools that enable you to bring your vision to life. In this review, we’ll dive into the Adobe Audition vs Audacity debate. These two are the most widely known and most commonly used audio editing software.
Which Is Better, Adobe Audition or Audacity?
In five rounds, we’ll determine which audio editing software is better for you. Keep in mind, this review is intended for a beginner level musician with limited audio editing experience but with a burning desire to self-release music. Disclaimer out of the way, let’s begin.
Ease of Use
Unless you have some sound engineering experience, there will always be a learning curve when you’re beginning to record or edit music. Because you aren’t familiar with the tools, there uses, and how to correctly use each to ensure you receive your desired effect. Unless you don’t mind spending more time learning to use your software than actually using it, you’ll want software that’s easy to navigate but flexible enough to produce your music.
In this regard, an easy to navigate dashboard and a plethora of advice on how to use your software will prove vital.
While Adobe Audition’s dashboard is daily easy to navigate, Audacity has everything you need laying out simplistically.
It can take you an hour of trying and testing for you to understand how Audacity works. Besides, when you experience difficulties you have a dedicated forum as well as help from the manual or wiki.
Audacity decreases the learning curve substantially. Not only do you have instructions and advice from their forums and technical support, but the interface is clean and ridiculously simple to navigate.
Mixing & Effects
When it comes to the overall sound of your music, mixing and effects are going to have the most impact. It is possible to make good music using any software, however, whether or not that is realistic is debatable.
Audacity and Adobe Audition have nearly identical functions that do very similar things. However, Adobe has nine more effects than Audacity and world-class audio restoration tools. Therefore, while you can accomplish many of the same effects in Audacity as you could in Adobe, Adobe will be the overall winner. Because, the sound quality of your final mixes and the visualization tools are what give your music that professional finish and sound.
Additionally, the visualization tools – something Audacity doesn’t have – give you better insight into what you’re doing wrong and right, giving you a greater understanding of what makes a song good.
Winner: Adobe Audition
The combination of visualization tools and sound quality makes it easy to create that your audience will enjoy listening to.
Mastering is undeniably the most crucial part of editing audio. Because it’s during the mastering process that your music comes to life.
However, where Adobe Audition differs from Audacity is that it meets international broadcast loudness standards. This feature enables you to compete with artists who all meet this standard. In the process, this loudness standard increases the appeal of your music to listeners. Because, as you probably know, there’s nothing worse than having to turn the volume up and down while listening to your music.
Also, Adobe has a variety of presets which you can use to master your recording, each with a specific function and outcome.
Winner: Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is going to be the closest you get to professional sounding quality with this sort of software.
Depending on the complexity of your song, you have a plethora of different tracks, dedicated to various effects, instruments, left and right side audio, and vocals. As an artist, it’s best to keep these elements separate. This way you’re able to control their sound separately, giving greater control over how they sound. If your songs aren’t complex – and don’t require that many tracks – Adobe Audition is a fine contender because they have a 128 track limit. However, if you know you need more than the 128 tracks offered by Adobe Audition, you’ll need Audacity.
Winner: It’s A Tie.
While it’s possible to need more than the 128 tracks you’re allowed on Adobe Audition, it’s unlikely that as a beginner, you’ll make use of that many. If you need more tracks, use Audacity. However, you could also get unlimited tracks when using a pro tool.
What makes Audacity more beginner-friendly than Adobe Audition is the pricing. When you calculate the cost of making music, adding another $239 a year or $20.99 a month to your budget gives an entirely new meaning to struggling artists. These fees are Adobe’s exact fees. In contrast, Audacity is free forever and entirely open source. Given that Adobe Audition and Audacity have very similar limitations and features, the pricing makes Audacity the better contender for the overall prize in the Adobe Audition vs Audacity debate.
It’s impossible to beat free.
In certain aspects, both Adobe Audition and Audacity lack the pro tools you need to require a studio-quality sound. While Adobe Audition has greater pro-quality features, if you want to be able to use – for example – MIDI processing neither of these two would be ideal. There are also other features that Adobe Audition and Audacity lack that for some artists may feel is non-negotiable. If this is the case, get professional software at the beginning of your journey and learn to use it for optimal results.
Adobe Audition is lightyears ahead of Audacity, making it difficult to compare the two. That said, I would recommend that if you’re thinking of using Adobe Audition, you consider using a one-time fee pro tools. Tools like Magix Samplitude ProX 5 spring and Renoise 3.0 come to mind. Because professional editing software gives you expert-level audio editing. And it does this for the same price as a two-year basic subscription of Adobe Audition.
But if you only have a choice between Adobe Audition or Audacity, Adobe Audition should be your choice. Although Audacity is beginner-friendly, many of the tools will be far too basic for an aspiring musician.