If you've ever dubbed LP records to your PC, you have already figured out that it's a whole lot easier to record each side as one big WAV, cut them out into singles, and convert them with audio editing software. The same goes for editing MP3s, movie sound clips, ringtones, and other digital audio files. NGWave is a shareware audio editor with plenty to recommend it to music lovers and others who need something more than they can find in freeware, such as 32-bit processing for fast editing, unlimited undo and redo, filters and effects, and a sound recorder with integrated metronome, tuner, and mixer features. NGWave claims to work with any installed sound card, too. NGWave is free to try, but Save is disabled. The latest release, version 4.5, is compatible with all versions of Windows from 98 to 8. It's free to try, but file-saving is disabled.
We clicked Evaluate (actually, "Try It!") to start NGWave's Evaluation and open the Getting Started/Help feature. The program's user interface follows the typical audio editor style, with identical Right and Left Channel displays (for stereo recordings) one above the other in the main window. But we've seen a lot of these tools, and NGWave's layout is one of best, both in efficiency and looks (especially its spectral display). Like similar tools, NGWave displays the waveform of a digital audio file such as a WAV or MP3 in a scrolling, expandable graph. You simply place markers at your desired start and end points, extract your clip, and save (or convert) it in your desired file format. Since we couldn't save the clips we extracted, we can't comment on NGWave's conversions -- at least, not with the results, though the process is smooth. NGWave has lots of effects and filters, too, including echo and reverb, compression, distortion, and others; plus wide customizability.
As previously noted, we've been using tools like NGWave for many years, and this is one of the best we've encountered. The freeware competition is stiff these days, but NGWave delivers on the features and extras that many users need and are willing to pay for.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of NGWave 4.5.
NGWave is a fast Audio Editor for Windows. Features include unmatched wave display technology, full crash recovery, 32-bit internal processing, lightning fast editing, unlimited Undo/Redo, and many processing functions. Record sound using any installed sound card. NGWave's recording dialog features an integrated Tuner, Metronome, and input/output mixer.
What's new in this version:
Version 4.6 adds better Windows 7 and 8 compatibility and improved help file.