Audacity & Audio Editors

long post

I’m migrating from Mavericks over to Mojave and a few things are still outstanding …

DAW and Audio Editor and Max8

I’ve been holding back on installing anything and everything in preference to running lean

All I can say is that is is night and day waaaaaay faster on Mojave in every regard, so I don’t want to bog it down with stuff nor install/uninstall etc

Ideally I’m wanting to run a minimal install - so there’s no email set up and it’s strictly audio

My first roadblock was the apparent incompatibility of Live9Suite on Mojave, though a base demo install seems stable enough - I haven’t sorted my licence situation yet

Same applies with Max, I have machines of various ages usually with 2 or more Max installs, it’s a mess - so I’m hanging out for possibilities of Max8 only on Mojave but the chance that Live 10 caters for Max8 needs has clouded the issue

Anyway - biggest headache was finding that the audio editor I’m happy with is hard to source - the developer went on to new ventures (transferred IP or something) and doesn’t reply to contact emails (audiofile engineering)

Their products were very Mac centric and good for automation etc - nice clean UI and customisable

I’m unsure if installing an older .dmg is going to get me anywhere, but I’m reluctant to try that as the versions I can locate on my audio soft external drive are a bit older than the version I’m running on Mavericks

If anyone has Audiofile Engineering’s Audio Editor or Sample Manager in their respective last versions (before the disappeared) then I am all ears

The issue may simply be that the install won’t play ball in any case although I’m a registered owner of both

So not wanting to fork out for something (as I do own working versions, albeit on a sluggish Mavericks disc) I’m looking at Audacity

Sorry about preamble


What’s the deal - is it solid - I’m not sure I can deal with the horrid UI tbh, but if there’s substance there and it’s hard to knock then maybe I’ll just run with it - I don’t want to put it on and take it off

Are there technically areas where it’s differentiable from paid software in terms of delivering the basics -maybe sample/bit rate conversion etc - iirc Audiofile were using Isotope algorithms (an option) - comparative reviews links welcome

or to flip the question - what’s great about audacity - easy key commands to zoom in/out and navigate are always welcome - zero point snaps etc - I’d probably stick to making sample chains in Max, but

Just don’t want to regret installing, looking for positive/negative feedback - especially if you’ve used paid editors - the Audacity dark mode certainly helps, but it’s all a bit 2000

Which other cheap editors are worth a punt (excluding aurchitect, because i basically own this already on Mavericks - I might buckle though, reluctantly) ?

PM me if you kept your .dmg installers from Audiofile, I’ve got scores of older incremental updates but inexplicably/annoyingly not the last - also if you’ve good insight on the extent of Max8’s true immersion in Live coming from the perspective of a MAX user (not a M4L user, which I wasn’t bothered about ) Ableton deets on this are ropey

Not sure if I follow the whole post, but for a simple audio editor that’s better than Audacity I really like Sound Forge. Not sure about pricing or anything, I’m still using an ancient version I got years ago and it works great.

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I see from the site this isn’t easy to get to - because, it’s spendy

I’m really looking for something between Audacity and $100 - I’m also needing to replace the sample manager aspect so if this is something an editor provides then the ceiling can be higher - to be fair - relearning key shortcuts etc isn’t high on my list of life goals, so anything more $ than migrating to the aurchitect versions of my programs is pretty much a non starter

I have to cost the price of simply pulling it into Mavericks in all this - not a workflow I am remotely keen on - thanks for pointer though

Audiofinder seemed ok , there’s a demo , it can edit , process and tag

Or the adobe thing , which I quite liked as you could enter a tempo and edit on the grid for accurate loops.

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I’ll look further into that as it’s a hybrid of the functionality I’ve lost and also tightly integrated with osx - can’t complain on the price front

Have a look at Resonic (Pro) really cool initiative for this purpose.
Quick audio browser (scrolling samples e.g.)
VST support
I switched from Audacity to this product.


Might want to ask @Ess what he used when he was creating the DT factory content. I imagine he needed some serious automation and other functions when he embarked on that project, so he might have some ideas for you.

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I noticed when searching before posting this topic that Simon had been using Audacity back in 2015 whilst possibly on duty with Elektron, can’t be too bad as one assumes they could pick up some licences for a paid editor if deemed necessary.

I think it’s probably the dated awkward screen design that’s putting me off a bit

seems to be Windows only afaict - looked good though

I didn’t do that much automation actually, just one little bash script with ffmpeg or SoX (can’t remember which…) that would trim the samples of silence. However, none of the tools I found that were readily available could trim as close as I wanted for some reason. I had to trim them manually afterwards anyway, but it did help the process a lot.

I actually work very manually, and haven’t found a much better way of cutting samples when I want it done right.

For sample work, e.g a soundpack or similar (or even when preparing my own stuff) I use the built-in audio editor in Renoise. For me it’s a very quick workflow. I drop in 24 samples, they are auto-mapped to each key of my keyboard and then I just press a key, trim and repeat. It has great shortcuts and snaps to zero crossings very nicely. When all is done, just right click the sample list and select save all. Neat.

For post-processing and some batch duties (sr/bit conversion etc) I use Adobe Audition.
I mostly use it to scrub away noise with the spectrum editor. It’s a laborious process and I’ve heard that iZotope RX is much better/faster these days, but I tend to be dumb and stick to what I know for too long.

Audacity - it’s good for being free, but it’s not something I use regularly, or would recommend using as your go to editor.

Resonic is good for previewing many samples in Windows, but on Mac I think Finder is good enough, albeit very slow at times.

(One thing I can say - please stop cutting samples in your DAW, it comes out a mess and I see it so often in samplepacks today.)


Same here, it really is the best way.

I use wavosaur which is windows only, but there is this might be worth a look @avantronica it is way better than audacity but still looks a little dated, a bit more pleasant than the look of audacity, slightly.

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It’s solid, but it’s not really a Mac app in terms of UI/UX. It works, but it’s not really nice to work with. :slight_smile:

Not really, I think. What’s implemented has been done well.

The nice thing about Audacity is that it behaves like a real Mac app when it comes to installing/uninstaling. You can just delete the app when you don’t want it anymore and it won’t leave any traces.

It’s very basic, but offers a decent UI for quick edits and can do it lossless which migh be nice.


that’s good to know - I’ll possibly just put it on Mojave soon for one off edits for my convenience and switch over to Mavericks if I have a few things that need the benefit of the programs I’m familiar with

otoh - Fission may be a better stop gap - will definitely see if that’s a better way to fill a gap for basic processing, cheers

I’m making the switch from Windows (c25 years of use) to Mac (about 2 hours of use…) later today if the post comes as expected. Going to take some amount of getting used to but I did read a story of someone in similar shoes who actually took his MacBook into an Apple shop to ask staff to demonstrate how to uninstall a program. Cue baffled looks then a light bulb moment of “ah, you’re a Windows user aren’t you?”!

on the topic of migrating to the latest macOS, i’ve had some minor speed issues with mojave, though to be fair it’s not an audio only system and probably a bit bloated these days

gotta say i’m pretty concerned about mojave being the last 32 bit OS from Apple. seems like whatever they drop next is the OS to be concerned about, you’d really need to make sure everything you have is 64bit before jumping. i know i use a lot of old school utils and stuff like that, stuff i really like. might actually keep me on mojave for the foreseeable future

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I think that makes sense. Muscle memory and familiarity will often win over a new “something” that promises faster results.

Especially when you’re old. :smiley:

As always, thanks for responding.

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Still pondering this :

I do like the immediacy, nice touches and OSX friendliness of Fission - I may well explore this in the way I’d resort to Text Edit rather than a word processor e.g.

However, it seems Garage Band is listed as a viable editor, but perhaps with less support for users who are keen to work quickly with keyboard shortcuts - if it’s on Mojave I’ve certainly never opened it, doesn’t strike me as a lean way to edit. Any feedback welcome here

Also : ProTools First seems to be a possibility, but it’s woefully short of details (and then there’s AAX etc) in terms of what it does for general editing - only the top tier offering is listed as having advanced audio editing, whereas First and whatever the regular ProTools is share the same less advanced feature set … any thoughts welcome here too

Reaper appeared in the same article and I wonder if it is actually that useful for an Audio Editor - but there’d be bonus points if it’s an interface that lends itself to quick workflow - although it looks a bit dated

I’m not too keen on bloating the Mojave drive out - so don’t want to find out by trying all this to see - googling and YouTube only take you so far - thoughts appreciated, I think I’ll pass on Audacity for now