What is a WAV Editor?

G. Wiesen

A WAV editor is a type of computer software program that allows a user to edit and manipulate WAV files. These can be standalone programs specifically aimed at editing and altering WAV files or larger audio editing suites that enable WAV file types to be edited. Depending on the needs of the user and the tools built into such editors, these types of programs can be available for commercial purchase or as downloadable freeware. A WAV editor will often allow a user to copy, cut, paste, and otherwise manipulate audio information contained within a WAV file.

Modern film makers use computer programs to create visual and audio effects on a section of video.
Modern film makers use computer programs to create visual and audio effects on a section of video.

WAV files are a type of audio file used for music, voice, and other types of recording for use in other programs or for play through a media player. Short for waveform audio file format, WAVs are typically uncompressed audio and so are not as popular as they once were, since the files are typically larger than compressed audio file types. A WAV editor is a program that can be used to open and edit these types of audio files, and can often be used to convert them into other file types as well. WAVs are often associated with Microsoft® Windows® and may even be occasionally referred to as “audio for Windows®.”

A WAV editor allows a user to open and access WAV files to edit or manipulate them in a number of ways. This can include taking separate files and compiling them together into a larger track, altering single tracks, or breaking down longer tracks into smaller individual files. The audio information is typically displayed in a wave pattern through a graphical interface, allowing a user to precisely locate aspects of the audio data and make changes. A WAV editor will also usually allow audio playback during editing, so different parts of an audio track can be heard in real time while making changes.

These types of programs may also allow a user to alter the file type of a WAV file. Though WAVs can be compressed, there are other file types typically considered preferable for compressed audio information. A WAV editor can sometimes be used to open a WAV file and resave the file as another format, often compressing the audio information as it does so. Some larger editor software programs can also allow various file types to be edited simultaneously, allowing a user to alter audio information in a WAV before using that WAV to import audio into a video file that can then be edited to synchronize that audio with the video.

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