Hokusai Audio Editor

Last modified
Thursday, February 11, 2021

Description of App

from the app page from the app store: "Beautiful clutter-free interface" — TouchProducer.com "Hokusai will convince you that audio was meant to be edited with a touch screen — it's just so natural within this app that you’ll find yourself consistently coming back to it." — iOS Music And You Hokusai is a multitrack audio editor for iPhone or iPad. Record or import a track, and make it sound the way you want it to: not just trimming the ends, but full cut, copy, paste and delete, and a suite of filters and special effects available. Edit many tracks side-by-side, mix them together, and export to wave or mp4 format — then transfer them to your computer via USB or Dropbox, or send them to another app on your device. User description: In version: 1.0.8, Accessibility features have been greatly enhanced: controls have been modified to read correctly. An accessible audio selection method/interface has been added.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support

Not Known

iOS Version


Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPod Touch

Accessibility Comments

In version: 1.0.8, Accessibility features have been greatly enhanced: controls have been modified to read correctly. An accessible audio selection method/interface has been added. Voiceover does not read the music library pannel, this has been found to be an Apple pannel accessibility issue rather than an in-app issue. All other parts of the app interface read, and interact correctly, with Voiceover

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads most page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.


8 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Reginald George 6 months ago



Submitted by kieran l on Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm surprised this app is free, for all it does. I haven't checked it out yet because I haven't felt the need too, but I probably will in the future if it's free.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Friday, April 12, 2013

In reply to by kieran l

I'd strongly recommend this app to anyone who needs to edit audio on their iDevice. The developers cared so much about accessibility that they actually programmed alternative controls (with their own paragraph in the very useful Help section) specifically for VoiceOver users which automatically become available if VoiceOver is enabled. I've found that if I double-tap and hold on the track, then drag, I can select audio manually easily enough. But the fact that the developers recognized that this might be a challenge and created an alternative control scheme that kicks in automatically for VO users demonstrates a level of commitment to accessibility that you just don't find very often. I haven't purchased the effects yet (it's bound to happen, though) so I can't comment on their actual quality. But the app itself, in terms of overall functionality, ease of use, and accessibility-mindedness gets a whole-hearted recommendation from me!

Submitted by Danny on Thursday, April 25, 2013

In reply to by Joseph Westhouse

I've only had a quick look at this but I'm very glad to here how well it works. I'm going to have a good play with this very soon. Now I can pipe through AudioBus this app seems that much more desirable to get in and learn.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I notice that when using this app if you want to add another track at the end sort of as a resume you need to cut that track's audio and paste it at the end after jumping to the end of the first track then reselecting the second track. Is there a better way of doing this? Over all the app is quite good.

Submitted by Reginald George on Friday, August 2, 2013

I really hope they haven't given up on this app. I haven't had an update since 1.8 over a year ago. I am just now learning how to really use it, and the help doesn't explain well enough for me how to pan, mute, and solo individual tracks in a project and adjust the volumes on the fly. All that being said, Hokusai absolutely rocks. Audio Bus support would be incredible. I would pay real money to see this app continue to develop and grow. There's nothing like it that I have found anyway. And thanks for the podcast Roosterloop Drew.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In reply to by Joseph Westhouse

Hi. In one of the comments for this app, it says `Voiceover does not read the music library panel, this has been found to be an Apple panel accessibility issue rather than an in-app issue.` My questions are: 1. What is the music library panel? 2. Has Apple fixed this music library panel problem in iOS 7? Thank you.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Saturday, September 28, 2013

In reply to by kieran l

I have Hokusai and I have read the whole in-app user guide. I have some questions that were not answered in the guide. What do they mean by words like frequency and reverb and resonance in the effects menu? What do those options do? What is the difference between pitch and frequency? There is also some kind of keyboard with notes on it. What are those notes for? If I pick a note, will my whole file be set to the pitch of the note I picked? For example if I picked c would the whole file only play in c? Speed up and speed down and pitch up and pitch down make sense to me, but I could not find anything like that in Hokusai. I am not saying it's a bad app, I am just saying I need to learn how to use it better. It is a good app, I just wish I knew how to use it better. I have read the whole guide and am still stuck on some things. So if there is a way to increase and decrease speed and pitch of audio files using Hokusai, how do I do it? I do not see any simple controls or sliders labeled with Speed up and speed down and pitch up and pitch down, but maybe they are just worded differently and that is why I can not find them. When I make a Speed up or speed down or pitch up or pitch down change, I want it applied to the whole audio file, not just a part of it. I also tried the pitch bender in Hokusai, but it did not seem to change the pitch even though I tried different strengths. So what am I doing wrong? Also the time stretch features in Hokusai did not seem to change the speed of the audio file. Sometimes some settings I tried would change the speed, but only for part of the file then it would go back to normal playing speed. I have to be doing something wrong there as well. What is it? Also, there is a way to make sliders like the time sliders in the effects menu when adding silencing have finer control. In the guide it says how to do this without VoiceOver on, but how do you do it with it on? I have tried double tapping and then holding the slider and got it to work a bit, but not consistently. It would always eventually go back to the default setting. Also, do you have any other tips for me getting started with Hokusai? lastly, is there a more extensive and detailed guide then the one found in Hokusai I could use? Thank you.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Saturday, September 28, 2013

In reply to by Joseph Westhouse

I know this site has a few podcasts on this app, but does anyone know where I can find more podcasts or written guides covering the more advanced features? The podcasts I found on this site are quite basic.

Submitted by Victor Tsaran on Sunday, February 9, 2014

I purchased the effects pack on the iPhone, but after installing the app on the iPad, I do not see a way to restore those effects there, even though the manual says there should be a "restore" button to do so. Anybody knows by any chance? Thanks.

Submitted by Jesse Tregarthen on Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hello Jessica, if you happen to see this, I will try and answer your many questions as best as I can if you haven't already figured out the answers. The podcast says that the music library is not accessible from the app but I got it in 2013 and find it to be perfectly fine. Maybe the problem was fixed. In regards to pitch and speed and all that fun stuff, You have to select a part of the file to edit it. If you want to make a change to the whole file, you need to select it from start to end using the jump to start and end button next to the selection buttons so you can make a change to the whole file. It talks about a keyboard in the guide. To my understanding, this is only if you apply a synthesiser to your project. You can set the note of the synthesiser using this keyboard but it all sounds confusing to me. I am not 100 percent sure about your other questions but remember that if you want to make a change to the whole project, you need to select all of it or only select part of it if you don't want your change to effect the whole project. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment here and I will check this post over the next few days to see if you have any and I will answer them if I know the answers. Hope this helps even if it comes so late. Best, Jesse

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hi. Yes. I know that you have to select the part of the project you want to change. What I do not know is after you select it, how do you change the speed and pitch. I looked in the menu and all I found were effects I could use as well as copy paste options. I bought the complete pro pack.

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hi AppleVis, I don't post much but just wanted to add my comment to this thread. Re speed and pitch I have the pro pack as well, and if you mean just changing the play back speed of a track, I found that double tapping will bring up the forward/back modes at the bottom of the screen, next to the selection start point button; hope that helps. If you mean editing so that you can add pitch shift or time stretch the amount that is applied would depend on the length of audio between the start and end selection points. Hope that helps if the previous comment author didn't find an answer. Anyway just to add, I love this app. I want to publically thank the developers for making this accessible, love it.

Submitted by Lily M on Monday, January 19, 2015

Arre you able to overlap recordings? You know, while one recording is playing,have another start while the first is still playing? I know you can edit each individual recording but my understanding is that they only flow into one another successively... Hope I'm making sense.

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hi Lily M,
Sorry for the delay in responding. My understanding is that if you have track A playing, and if I am understanding you correctly want track B to start after (say 10 seconds for example,) the only way you could do this is to insert some silence in to track B and then after your set time of silence; have track B’s audio play along side track A. Once it’s been exported it will have the effect you describe if I am understanding you correctly?
If not feel free to put me right and will try to help again.

Submitted by Lily M on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

So first, it is possible for me to play two tracks at once? (I forgot to ask that but I hoped it would be explained with the answer to my question.) And second, I could stagger one of the tracks by adding however many seconds of silence, right?
I think we're understanding each other although I do have one more question. How do I go about putting the recordings side-by-side. I stated in my other comment, that I had not done too much exploring with the app. But if the answer to this question is relatively easy to discover, you don't have to respond and I'll continue to play with it.
Thank you for the help so far, Mike

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hi again,
Yep you can play tracks together, normally all items in the same project will start at the same time if no editing has been applied. So if we use the track A and B examples I used, tracks A and B will play all at once if no edits have been done, (if no silence) or other effect was added as mentioned in the previous example.) So in short yep you can stagger them or play together. When you mean side-by-side, can you give me an example? Not sure if you mean one track after another? Or if you mean like a stereo track once exported.
Thanks, hope that helps.

Submitted by Sean Terry on Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hi, I read downloaded this app and have been all through it but I am unable to find how to purchase the in app purchases. But I think I already did purchase them. And I cannot seem to find a restore purchases button either. Thanks a lot for any help!

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I managed to get the pro features a few weeks ago by scrolling past all the projects that are saved (if you have any currently,) and in my case at the end of this list was a button which is now called 'pro pack installed'. So if you open the app you should be able to in theory scroll to the last menu item, which should announce what your upgraded feature is. If not you should get the 'restore' purchase option. I hope that helps in some way, but if not I can only suggest contacting the developers who are very helpful and easy to get hold of.

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Friday, January 23, 2015

No worries, happy to help if I can. I would think that once edited you can mix down all tracks and export as stereo, I haven't tried this one though so it might be worth playing round with the app a little, unless any one has already done this and can add info. Sorry on that one; hope it helps all the same.

Submitted by Lysette Chaproniere on Thursday, August 18, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I'm surprised nobody's posted about last month's major update to this app. It just got even more accessible!

App store release notes for Hokusai 2:

Thanks for your patience while Hokusai 2 was created — the biggest ever update to Hokusai. Hokusai 2 has been completely rewritten, using Swift and other new technologies to bring you an app which is faster, more reliable and easier to use!

Don’t worry — your favourite features are still there — you’ll feel right at home. And, if you purchased any upgrades for Hokusai 1, they’re still valid for Hokusai 2!


• Completely rewritten for speed, reliability and ease of use
• Clean, modern design
• Redesigned Time Bar includes a new “scrubbable” play head for easy fast forward/rewind, adding audio anywhere in a project, and more
• Many effects can now be previewed live, instead of having to wait for them to apply first
• New Play/Pause & Preview bar right inside the effects panel makes previews easier to use too
• Hokusai’s “zooming sliders” have been redesigned so precise adjustments are a breeze — just “pinch to zoom”
• Many more FX parameters can be varied automatically
• Your project is always saved, not just when you remember to
• Undo/Redo works even after you close the project (or app!) and re-open it
• Hokusai always supported Dropbox, now you can also easily import/export from a variety of other cloud services — iCloud, Google Drive and more are just a tap away inside the Import panel(1)
• Bluetooth compatibility(2)
• Quickly search/filter your projects list
• Re-order the tracks in your project
• Mini-keyboards can now be scrolled to access the full 88-key piano range
• New to the iPhone: Use in Portrait as well as Landscape. And the Undo/Redo buttons from the iPad are now available on iPhone too.
• New to the iPad: Use in split-screen(3). And in full-screen, a new spacious layout for applying effects.
• It’s now quicker to set FX parameter start/end points with dual slider handles
• New curve editor makes it easier than ever to apply complex changes
• Many effects have been upgraded with either better sound quality, more features, or both
• Keyboard shortcut commands


As well as all the upgrades from Hokusai 1, all of the following can be unlocked with a single purchase:

• Select and apply edits & effects across multiple tracks at once
• Non-destructively pan tracks to the left or right
• Volume controls always available, not just when vertically zoomed
• Found the perfect settings for an effect? Save them out as a new preset to re-use whenever you need it
• Many effects now include handy factory presets too
• Mark effects and presets as favourites for fast access
• Export projects as an archive of separate tracks, for easy importing into desktop DAW software
• Create zip files containing complete archived projects (including Undo/Redo history) so you can restore them later and continue editing
• New effects including Noise Reduction, Autopan, and Mid-Side Decoding for converting audio made using high-end field recorders

(1) Requires the appropriate app to be installed on your device
(2) Playback only, due to technical limitations of Bluetooth audio
(3) On devices compatible with split-screen mode

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Saturday, May 6, 2017

I just searched on here for the word multitrack and found this app on AppleVis. It is incredible. No latency or anything. This has replaced windows audacity by far, even though I no longer have a laptop. I have recorded two acapelas and two songs in three harmonies. And the app was updated in march this year so it is still going. It is awesome!

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Saturday, September 15, 2018

The developers have done a fantastic job with this and Ferrite. Here is the latest update info from the app store.
Version 2.2.6.
• Compatibility and user-experience improvements.

Submitted by Judith Pelaez on Friday, March 22, 2019

Hey guys, I just started using the pro version of this app and I was wondering if anyone to help me mark up a part of the audio track so I could select it and then add an affect to it. I’m not sure how to do this exactly but if you guys could help me I would really appreciate it. Thank you very much!

Submitted by Fenrir on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

how can I select a part of a file?
Thanks in advance

Submitted by Judith Pelaez on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

In reply to by Fenrir


When you were trying to select a part of a track, all you have to do is:
Swipe until you hear the word selection, no track selected. Then, go to the track that you want to select and select it all. Afterwards, go to the part where you want to begin the selection and go back to where it says the word selection and swipe down to hear the options until you hear: start selection at x minutes and x seconds of track X.

Hope that helps!

Have a great evening.
If that doesn’t help however, I will be covering this on my YouTube channel if you want to check it out.