What’s the easiest way to record and trim audio? From journalists to interns tasked with recording meeting minutes, many professionals record audio on a regular basis. However, it’s rare that we want to send the entirety of a file. Oftentimes, we only need a portion of the audio for editorial purposes or transcription. The question then becomes, are there devices out there that allow you to both record and trim audio files? Two birds with one app? The answer is, yes.

Here are some tips for recording and trimming audio on whatever device you choose to use.

Record and Trim Audio on Mac or PC

Regardless of your OS preferences, there’s one software that does it all — and there’s a free version. WavePad allows user to record directly to their computers and easily, trim, edit, and save files. WavePad also has a free version for desktops, iPhone and Android.

WavPad Record Control

In WavePad, intuitive buttons record, play, and stop your audio. On the right you can see that WavPad’s editor is also very user-friendly.

Although the free version of the software is for non-commercial use only, it includes many of the same features as their master version. Sound editing tools like cut, copy, and paste are as easy as drag, drop and the press of a button.

WavePad also makes it simple to:

  • Delete portions of audio
  • Insert new audio
  • Silence sections
  • Auto-trim
  • Compress files
  • And shift pitch

Additionally, WavePad supports a variety of file formats, including MP3, WAV, VOX, GSM, and more.

WavPad sound editor

Pros of WavPad: Clearly marked tools, select and zoom on audio, file storage/sending features, along with editing and effects on one easy to understand toolbar. It’s also possible to edit multiple tracks at one time.

Record and Trim Audio on iPhone

1. GarageBand — If you want melody along with your sound, GarageBand by Apple is a free, mobile tool to make it happen. The recorder even offers effects and distortions, as captured in the screenshot below:

GarageBand audio recorder

You’ll see in the bottom image that the recorder gives you a four-second countdown before starting, a valuable feature that can save you time in editing.

GarageBand editor

Pros of GarageBand: Simple, user-friendly interface with standard buttons like pause, play, and skip. Edit multiple tracks at once.

2. Hokusai — Another great audio recording and editing application for iPhone is Hokusai. Hokusai’s uncluttered user interface allows you to focus directly on the track or tracks you want to edit. You can use a finger to drag and select audio which can then be played with scrubbing for more detailed editing. Easily cut, copy and paste, delete or trim selections, and apply FX and filters to your file. If needed, you can also use mini keyboards included in the app to set standard pitch and frequencies for your recordings. Lastly, everything is backed up for undo and redo, even if you should close the application.

Editing app Hokusai

Pros of Hokusai: Separate track features, right click for editing tools, sharp focus on the file allows for enhancement of details.

Record and Trim Audio on Android

1. Lexis Audio Editor — For Android devices, there’s the Lexis Audio Editor. Although this app offers a free trial with many of the same features, the full version of the application includes trimming, scrubbing, and silencing tools, as well as a 10 band equalizer and compressor. This application supports several different file formats as well, including: MP3 (-320kb/s), WAV (16 Bit PCM), FLAC, M4A, AAC, WMA, MP4, 3GP, and 3G2.

Lexis audio editor

Pros of Lexis: Standard buttons like record, pause, and play are big enough to be easy to tap on mobile. File details are prominently displayed, and you can edit two tracks at once.

2. WavePad for Android — WavPad also offers an app for Android with many of the same features addressed above for their PC and Mac software. You can easily record, trim, and edit files all in one place and then send them to yourself and others.


Choosing the right recording and trimming tools helps you get the best use out of your audio files. It’s always good to have clear audio, especially if you plan to transcribe the file. Being able to scrub audio for background noise, trim it into relevant clips, and download it in the format you need is essential. Use the tools recommended above to save time and energy editing files.

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