Audacity vs. GarageBand

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Audacity
Score 8.6 out of 10
N/A
Audacity is a free and open source audio recording and editing software.N/A
GarageBand
Score 8.9 out of 10
N/A
Apple offers GarageBand, a digital audio workstation packaged with its operating system.
$199.99
Pricing
AudacityGarageBand
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
Logic Pro (GarageBand Premium)
$199.99
Garageband for Mac
Free
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AudacityGarageBand
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AudacityGarageBand
Considered Both Products
Audacity
Chose Audacity
Depending on the task being accomplished, we utilize different audio editing software for each purpose. Audition and AVID ProTools are our go-to software for advanced audio editing projects. GarageBand is great for mid-level difficulty multi-track productions (1-3 day basic …
Chose Audacity
Using Apple's GarageBand for audio editing felt like fighting someone else's highly opinionated ideas of how we should be working. Simple tasks (like keeping audio in sync while making edits across multiple tracks) felt like more work than they should've been, while other tasks …
Chose Audacity
GarageBand has a vast library of sounds to select from, and this is the only advantage that Audacity doesn't have over GarageBand. But in terms of usability, Audacity shines. Audacity is far more intuitive than GarageBand, and thus, it's a no-brainer that I use it.
Chose Audacity
Audacity doesn't have nearly all the functionality of GarageBand, but for a free program (and one that can be used on PC as well) it is incredibly well-designed for basic audio editing. You can't beat free, and it has excellent functionality for what it does. Even now I …
Chose Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Chose Audacity
Adobe Audition is also a recording and audio editing software, as a user of both software [programs] I can say that Adobe Audition has way more features and tools than Audacity, but the catch is that it is not free, in fact, the complete opposite, it is very expensive. …
GarageBand
Chose GarageBand
Way more user friendly. Audacity was clunky in the editing part and Garage Band is not. I love that everything is laid out in an eye friendly fashion. Audacity had too many tools laid out in a busy way where it's actually hard to find things. Also, since Garage Band is free to …
Chose GarageBand
GarageBand isn't the most powerful audio editing tool on the market, but for a free tool to Apple users... you can't go wrong.

This tool has all the features a beginning user would ever need... and more! It's no Adobe platform, but if you're testing an idea or trying something …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
AudacityGarageBand
Small Businesses
Descript
Descript
Score 9.2 out of 10
Descript
Descript
Score 9.2 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
AudacityGarageBand
Likelihood to Recommend
8.7
(25 ratings)
10.0
(8 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
5.0
(11 ratings)
9.4
(3 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Configurability
7.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
AudacityGarageBand
Likelihood to Recommend
Audacity
For just a quick down and dirty audio recording from computer source, Audacity is a no-frills solution that any user can get up and running with quickly without the intimidating functions seen in most standard DAWs. This would be a great tool to start with to record church services, or basic live performances where someone wouldn't want to use a full DAW like Ableton Live or Studio One.
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Apple
Honestly, switching to Garage Band from Audacity for my podcast was a game-changer in the editing. I can do it so much faster with the tools that are available in editing--especially when you are dealing with more than one track to edit. I also think Garage Band could be fantastic for recording a whole album initially before sending it to be mastered elsewhere. And I think Garage Band could be perfect for sync music licensing because it's still relatively easy to use!
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Pros
Audacity
  • Audacity has a wide variety of controls and capabilities for editing, making it a very robust tool for audio editing.
  • Even though it's a robust tool, it is very easy to use to get many basic things done in audio editing. The learning curve is small.
  • Love that audacity is free! What else could you ask for? There really is no reason not to use it.
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Apple
  • Easy and simple interface that can be used by anyone.
  • The visual audio levels are great and help to clean out all the impurities in an audio.
  • Comes freely built in with all Mac computers, which are widely used.
  • Very user-friendly and intuitive at the same time.
  • GarageBand can be self-taught with no experience.
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Cons
Audacity
  • Although the UI is very simple, it's not great to look at. Making the program more exciting visually would be a great plus.
  • The functionality has never been lacking for what it is, but has also not seen major additions in a long time.
  • The support base of the community is truly impressive, but is also very intimidating to wade through. Having better standardized help avenues would be a benefit to new users.
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Apple
  • Can't save the preferences for the tracks such as turning off reverb etc.
  • Project files are large, a 30-minute podcast episode with only 4 tracks is typically around 1 GB
  • Auto feature to silence guest not talking
  • Optimize for podcasters (I use the old version 6 as new versions hasn't had podcast options)
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Likelihood to Renew
Audacity
With no subscription fees unlike other products on the market, I am very confident I will continue using Audacity for my simple audio editing needs. I'm not an expert in audio editing, I'm sure what works for me as a more general user in a public institution would not suit someone more experienced, but I'm very happy with the quality of work I'm able to produce.
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Apple
No answers on this topic
Usability
Audacity
Audacity is decently user friendly, while any questions generally have to be answered by externally searching for tutorials or other users encountering the same issue, it is still straightforward, simple, and easily resolved. It's installable on any type of computer, compact, and easy to install. Beginners may have a harder time, but once you know what you're doing, it's very easy to use.
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Apple
No answers on this topic
Reliability and Availability
Audacity
Audacity is great for this, it doesn't require a network connection once downloaded, and previous versions of the software are still functional in my experience. I have never experienced the program crashing, lost work, corrupted files, anything of the sort.
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Apple
No answers on this topic
Performance
Audacity
I have never had issues with speed in Audacity, I don't integrate it with other software but the program runs smoothly even with larger jobs. I haven't measured the CPU while using Audacity, but I imagine it's not high compared to other, more professional or specialized programs in the same category.
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Apple
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Audacity
We have not used direct support for Audacity, other than using the information available on their website, which resolved the issues we were experiencing so we had a good experience in that regard. As this is Open Source FREE software, I don't believe there is direct support available. In saying that, it has the following great support options:
  • Online documentation and FAQ
  • Online tutorials covering all functions
  • Online user forums where questions are asked and answered by other users
  • Online wiki with more information
With these options most issues should be able to be resolved to get full use from Audacity.
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Apple
I have never tried it. It's just simple, and you should be able to navigate most of it via self-exploration and Apple Help.
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Implementation Rating
Audacity
Again I found it helpful to write up a step-by-step tutorial for coworkers based on our institution's standard practices. This combined with support from coworkers to answer questions is very effective for simple everyday use of Audacity. The support in-program is minimal but troubleshooting in the internet age is straightforward.
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Apple
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Read full review
Apple
I have used Adobe Audition before but found it to be hard to learn. Some of the features were very nice but too much for what I needed to justify the price. GarageBand is perfect for my needs and it came free with my Mac laptop. That is the best deal in town!
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Scalability
Audacity
I feel that Audacity is useful, simple, and suited both to casual users and more advanced use cases. There are options for expanding functionality in complex situations, but the option to not mess with it as a beginner is perfectly fine and suited to most everyday uses in my institution.
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Apple
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Audacity
  • Audacity is completely free, so it has helped us to eliminate the expense of paying for recording software.
  • It is fast and efficient, which helps us save time and generate a great workflow.
  • Even though we have what we need there are some features that cannot be found on Audacity, this affects the quality of our audio in a way.
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Apple
  • Amazing value
  • Very easy to get started
  • For novices and professionals alike
  • Loops library is simply awesome
  • Export capabilities very effective to share tracks
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ScreenShots