Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Editing Audio: Hindenburg vs WaveLab vs Audacity

A very quick comparison of three leading audio editors.


My version came with a Xoom microphone; the latest version costs about 550 euros. For Mac (and Windows), not Linux.

WaveLab LE 7.1

WaveLab is nice, stable and conservative. Clearly packed with features to explore and enjoy. Also quite expensive and not made for Linux.


Running a trial (required for a journalism class). Basic version costs about 100 euros, "pro" version about 340 euros. For Mac (and Windows), not Linux.
Hindenburg 1.22
While skeptical, I was genuinely impressed. When working in Hindenburg, think of the user interface as a kind of storyboard; you're not cutting and pasting and deleting in the actual imported file itself. Rather, Hindenburg is centered around the clip boxes in the right hand menu. Sort and organize the bits and pieces of your recording there. Then drag the clips onto the output editing area (middle). And enjoy always being able to extend and concract the beginnings and ends of those clips as you edit! (For video editing, Apple's iMovie introduced the same concept in version 10.) Also has built-in auto-settings for major radio stations (BBC etc.). Not for Linux either.


Free, open source, cross platform (for Mac, Linux, Windows and more). Export of MP3-files requires separate installation of LAME codec which is also free and easy.
Audacity 2.0.3
I'm sorry WaveLab and Hindenburg, I'm going to stick with good old Audacity. Ultra basic menu layout; keep in mind you'll need to change the tool (mouse cursor look; like in Gimp/Photoshop) regularly. Have edited multi-track productions (interviews with various background sounds and music; not symphonic concerts), without ever missing out a feature. Also has very efficient background noise removal feature! Obviously destroys competition when price is a factor.

Each screenshot above shows the unmodified software having just imported an mp3-file of A Hero Comes Home from the Beowulf soundtrack.


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