When it comes to podcasting, audio quality is an important piece of the podcast puzzle. Your listeners don’t want to tolerate bad audio since sound is the first way that listeners will get to know you. Unlike videos on YouTube, consumers can still manage to watch episodes with poor audio quality. However, with podcasting, it’s only your voice.
By subscribing to your podcast, it means that your audience is expressing interest in what you do. You’ll want to keep them entertained and wanting to hear more of your thoughts and creativity. So you’ll want to make sure you provide them with the best audio quality you can.
There’re two parts to providing good audio quality. The first part comes with the podcast equipment you get and the other part comes in the post-production of your audio files. There are a number of digital audio workstation (DAW) software that you can choose from, Free and Paid.
If you’re looking for a free option, the Top 2 Best Free Podcast Audio Software options are Audacity (Windows, macOS, and Linux) and GarageBand (macOS only).
To get started with this post, we’ll take a brief look at 9 of the best software for podcast recording and editing. After the look at podcast software, we’ll get into the guide of what you should be looking for to get the best podcast recording and editing software for your needs.
The Top 9 Best Podcast Audio Software for
- Adobe Audition
- Hindenburg Journalist
- Logic Pro X
- Pro Tools
Podcast Audio Recording and Editing Software
Adobe Audition falls in the ranks of professional software that is widely used for music and sound production by professional audio companies. It is great for mixing, editing, and producing podcasts to your liking. It does come at a steep price, but you would be surprised to find out how effective it can improve your sound quality. Given its reputation, the app proves that it can scale for podcast beginners that want to pursue a professional career out of it.
Alitu is a good audio editing option for beginners in podcasting. It guides you through the process in the simplest way possible so that you can easily build your episode with good audio quality. The main reason behind Alitu development was because consumers had been trying to find a simple solution for podcast editing. There’s no steep learning curve with Alitu. Whether you’re just starting or already a seasoned podcaster, you can use the software with a paid subscription plan. They also offer a free trial if you want to test it out.
Audacity is free, open-source podcast editing software that’s compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s completely free to use and should provide the basic features to allow you to record your podcast, edit audio tracks, add effects, and turn to tons of online tutorials for support. Although there’s a little bit of a learning curve to use their user interface, it still provides the best bang for your buck as it’s Free. All with no need to enter an email address either, it’s free to download.
Auphonic is automatic podcast recording software that uses subscription-based plans. They have a free version but there are limitations to it. Specifically, only 2 hours of audio can be edited every month. With Auphonic, you can get professional podcast files as output since the app has special, AI-based algorithms to adjust audio levels, cancel out background noise, and more. You can even have your audio transcribed in more than 80 languages. The app is relatively affordable compared to other apps. So, it does indeed provide good value for money.
GarageBand is a free software solution that is only compatible with macOS computers. You can set up your digital audio workstation to work on your podcast. With GarageBand’s features, you’ll be able to easily create music tracks, add intros and outros, place ad markers, fade transitions, adjust your audio levels, and much more. The app is free to download and use. There’re many free online resources to learn how to record a podcast on mac.
Hindenburg Journalist is a paid option software made for podcasting recording and podcast editing. It’s designed to work with Windows and macOS with a great user interface to go with it. This app gives you the tools to record, edit, adjust sound levels, and publish to podcast hosting sites. This way, your content publishing workflow won’t be as complicated. To start though, Hindenburg has a paid subscription that you can choose to upgrade to the Pro version at a higher cost. You’ll want to see if their features are worth the extra cost.
Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is the next generation of GarageBand by Apple, but Logic Pro X is not a free option. It’s also compatible with macOS only and requires a one-time purchase to use. The app is recording software, editing, and a full music production software all-in-one. It’s a full suite of advanced tools. You can expect nothing less of professional-quality output when you mix and master with Logic Pro X. Lastly, it can be synced with other iOS devices such as your iPhone or iPad if you need additional screens for editing and production.
Pro Tools, as its name implies, is widely used by professional music producers, not just podcast recording software. It has many great plugins that let you have more features to utilize. Although it has a free version, not all podcasting tools will be available for you. However, thanks to the free version, you can experiment around before you decide to upgrade and establish a more permanent setup.
SquadCast is a podcast recording software made for collaboration. It’s made for long-distance podcasting where you can involve a group of people to discuss a topic despite not being in the same physical space. This is paid software that lets you connect through Skype calls, with the option to also record video. And consequently, it records an audio file that can be uploaded in real-time to your preferred backup storage location in the cloud or on local folders. After the podcast, you can feed the audio files to editing.
Aside from the above 9 audio editing and recording software options, there are still more audio editing software options available. A few special mentions are: Music Radio Creative, Scribie, Zencastr, Reaper, Cleanfeed, TwistedWave, and FL Studio 20.
What To Look For in a DAW
As you may already encounter, there is a lot of audio editing software available online. Each has its pros and cons. One thing you want to think about is how you record and what type of podcasts you’re looking to record.
Some podcasters like to broadcast live, while some prefer to record and upload periodically. Recording live, audiences can experience live interactions with the podcast host as natural as can be. It feels more realistic but may not be fitting if you want to be able to a good story. It depends on the podcast host and their abilities.
Non-live recordings allow the audio editor to play with the editing, add sound effects, music, and inject more creativity and entertainment overall.
There’s no right or wrong podcast approach, just what works best for you and your podcast. At the end of the day, your audience would value good quality audio and that started with good audio production.
Here are five tips to guide you on what you should be looking for in good audio recording and editing software, free and paid options:
In choosing software, features should be the first thing that you should look for. Providers will offer a catalog of features. Some have many features, while others may only seem like it’s a handful of features. Some would even claim that they have available features, only to find out that it is accessible if you upgrade to their pro versions.
And for that, we suggest for you not to get caught up in this confusion. Even when those software applications that claim to have lots of features – it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the better option.
A good indicator to filter through the options is to first understand what your needs are. Many companies will throw any tool at you with analytics, advanced compression, multiple overlays, and more. But if you don’t even understand what these are for and wouldn’t use them, then why pay for something that you won’t use?
A good software application is one that fits your needs. No matter how basic the features are, if you think that you don’t need more than simple recording, editing, trimming, and saving, then by all means – go for that application.
You can choose to switch later on when you think that you have more advanced needs. For example, maybe you’re looking to get free music and sound effects that you can use for your podcast? Then you’ll probably be paying for it with a paid option, but it might be worth it because you won’t need to go searching for free sites that provide free music you can use.
I have a post of the 11 Best Royalty-Free Music Sites for podcasts.
2. Ease of Use
Nobody wants to use editing software that’s hard to navigate. If you happen to find free software, but you can’t even figure out where the audio track starts and ends, we suggest that you drop that tool. Audio software should be intuitive and easy to use. We agree that there could be a learning curve, but that curve should not take long for you to adapt. At the very least, software applications should have online tutorials that you can read or watch.
The main purpose of acquiring software is to be able to help you get the job done faster, not slower. You can immediately tell that software is easy to use by its user interface. Some components may be new to you, but in general, it should be quick and easy to interpret.
Whether the task is as basic as laying a soundtrack or doing a playback, it should be recognizable how and where this can be done. For example, waveforms are should not be drastically different from one program to another.
3. Compatible with Current Setup
When we say compatibility, this means that the software should be able to run on the computer that you have. If you own a Windows or Mac machine, then make sure that the app is compatible. Normally, the minimum requirements can be seen directly on the website. You would just need some time to read them. Don’t get into a situation where you need to buy specific products for the software.
Ideally, audio recording and editing are best done on a computer, rather than a mobile device simply because of the screen size. You’ll also be more accurate when placing markers with a touchpad or mouse, rather than using your fingers on a small screen. Computer pointers are more precise than your fingerprints. But of course, those that can allow mobile device editing is certainly a plus in a pinch.
Some software providers offer web-based applications. This means that you can immediately edit your content using a browser with an internet connection. There’s no need to install anything else, so it reduces minimum system requirements dramatically.
This is good when you think about the capability to edit your content anywhere, anytime. You can even save your files online and edit them by logging in to a different computer. However, this can also mean that offline editing is off the table. You’re going to always need to get online in order to edit your podcast on the platform.
4. Has a Free Trial
This tip doesn’t apply to audio software that’s already free to use obviously. As much as possible, we encourage beginners to seek free podcasting software for Windows or Mac. This helps you save extra money that would be worth investing somewhere, later on.
For intermediate and professional users, you may already be familiar with how software apps work and are looking for a more powerful toolset of features. In this case, free trials are worth taking before actually buying any products you’ve never used before. This lets you explore and play around with the tool’s features so that you can gain more confidence around it. The good thing about this is that if you’re not satisfied, you can always step back and try other apps without wasting any money.
And if you do decide to purchase a subscription plan, make sure that you also check out the tiers that they offer. Most upgrades or premium plans have a tendency to be offered with many more features for a small price jump providing more value for the money. So if you think that by going to a higher subscription plan, you’d still be within budget, then consider doing so since the additional features should be equally beneficial as well.
5. Good Reputation
If you noticed, we mentioned product reputation and not just brand reputation. This is a new perspective because we usually associate good brands to have good products. Although this is generally true, it’s not always guaranteed for all situations.
Nowadays, there are startup companies who have managed to deliver high-quality products, despite being new in the market. The backgrounds of the team members could have been from the market leaders and they teamed up to provide the best option for people. If you on rely on the brand, then you won’t be able to ever find products like these at a good bargain.
So, don’t pass up the opportunity to discover products despite lacking name value. A good way to identify these is through research and product reviews. The more users, the more feedback we can get about the product, the better. Somewhere along the way, you might even be able to help fellow readers about it when you provide an honest review yourself.
Whether you’re just getting started with your podcast or you’ve been at the podcast game for a while, this list of audio software should get you to a good starting place.
Most of the options are free or have free trials, so there’s no excuse to at least give them a try one at a time until you find the one that’ll get you editing your podcast episodes the fastest. The time that you spend in trying each one, will be made up for in multiples in the time you’ve saved editing your podcasts quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What’s the Best Software for Podcasting Overall?
Audacity is the best one as it’s free audio software and has all the features that the majority of podcasters will need starting out. There’s no reason not to use Audacity.
If you do need professional tools, then you can go with Pro Tools. That’s the one that’s the standard for audio, so you can’t go wrong with that one, but it’s not cheap. So unless you’re also doing professional music, I don’t see the value in it for a podcast.
- What’s the Best Free Software for Podcasting?
It's not just one, it's actually two depending on your platform. On Windows and Linux, go with Audacity. On macOS, go with GarageBand.
Audacity has a macOS app, but I like GarageBand more as it's made natively by Apple for Mac users. There's also a lot of free music loops that you can use too.