If you are looking for an easy, inexpensive way to record audio in your studio, check out the FlexiMusic Wave Editor.
While the fact that this software was designed by an India-based company is sometimes reflected in the fragmented use of English, the design and features are well thought out and fairly intuitive.
You can download a trial version of the shareware and use it for seven days fully functional. After the seventh day, the save feature is disabled and you will need to pay $20 to receive the license code in order to register the software for continued use.
Once you complete the installation, you will be asked to select your preferred color scheme from nine varieties (a nice touch!). You can change this at any time through the Tools>Options menu in the program. Here are some features I really liked:
*There are icons for every feature and action that is listed in the menu options, allowing the user to quickly navigate his way around the software.
* When you mouse over any icon, a little text message in the bottom left hand corner of the screen identifies the purpose of the icon (especially valuable for those who are afraid the computer might self-destruct if they accidentally push the wrong button. 🙂 ).
* There are 3 play buttons, giving the user three options when playing back the audio.
1. Play selected.
2. Play all.
3. Play viewing range.
* There are 11 view buttons, giving the user a wide variety of viewing options when working on editing audio files.
* When you select the record button, a window pops up with a number of options and adjustments that can be made. I really like the fact that you can set the recording to begin at a specified time and continue for a specified duration, indicating things like how much silence should be allowed before the recording automatically stops or pauses or begins a new file.
* Adjustments and selections can be made to the audio file even during playback (other programs I have used put a freeze on all operations during playback).
* When performing more time intensive operations (high level reverb, etc.) a progress bar in the bottom right hand corner of the screen gives you an idea of how much time is left to complete the operation.
* The quality of recording was quite good, with minimal feedback. Here are two sample recordings that I made:
1. With direct line input from Clavinova into the recording software.
2. With an external computer mic set up by my acoustic piano.
Here are some things I didn’t care for about the software:
* A separate mp3 encoding program was required in order to import and save or convert audio to mp3. However, this is typical of audio recording freeware and shareware and the process was very easy to follow and was done in less than a minute. When you attempt to convert an audio file to mp3 for the first time, a message will appear indicating that you must select the mp3 encoder to use. Just follow the on-screen instructions and links and it should work fine. You only have to do this once to set it up and then it automatically finds the encoder for future use.
* The commonly used keyboard shortcuts and keys are not programmed into the software. For instance, in order to delete a highlighted area of the audio file, you can’t just hit the delete key on the keyboard. You have to go up to the Edit menu and select Delete. You also can’t use ctrl S to save or ctrl N to open a new window. Little things like that that are customary in other programs. Makes routine operations a little bit more cumbersome.
* I couldn’t find any way to do multi-track recording. The closest I came was opening a second window with the FlexiMusic software and starting the recording, then playing the first window with the recorded file while recording into the second file. Then I had to copy the newly recorded file and paste it into the first one using the Edit>Paste>Mix option. It would be nice if there was at least a way to specify when recording an additional selection that the new recording should be mixed rather than just inserted or replace the first.
Although there are a few desirable features that make FlexiMusic Wave Editor a handy, inexpensive audio recording software, you can get almost the same, plus the addition of a little bit more user-friendly multi-track recording, with the free Audacity audio recording software.