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Best Podcast Recording Software

Written by: Stefan Medovarski  | September 20, 2021

Starting and hosting podcasts requires a lot of work. It's not as simple as getting all the hardware, recording, and editing. It would help if you had the know-how to create a successful and inviting podcast where users will tune in for what you (or a guest) have to say.

The spine and core of each podcast is the recording software used in podcast production. The audio recording software that you use will determine how well you'll be able to churn through the process of podcast recording and editing, with some tools being seemingly easier or richer in characteristics.

The best podcast recording software doesn't have to be expensive; in fact, a couple of entries in our list are completely free, albeit somewhat lacking in the user interface department or without some extra features that paid audio editing programs have.

In the end, you should go for what you feel will be most comfortable to use. For beginners, the editing tools you use don't have to be complicated or filled to the brim with features. It also depends on what you're looking for in the editing software and what your podcast needs in the long run.

Our Top Picks For Podcast Recording Software

  • Best overall (features, price, ease-of-use) - Audacity
  • Best if you need plenty of storage - Restream
  • Best for live music recordings (if your podcast would feature live music) - Adobe Audition
  • Best for professional podcast hosts and audio editors - Pro Tools
  • Best free podcast software - GarageBand
  • Best for the most seasoned and experienced podcasters - Logic Pro X

Reviews Of The Best Podcast Recording Software From Our Research

Audacity

Audacity is one of the best audio editing software out there. It isn't extraordinary in any sound recording and editing category, but it makes up for its simplicity. Using Audacity is a breeze compared to some other podcast recording software; all of the basic features are easily accessible when working.

It's free to download and use whilst also being open-source. Any open-source software is a plus in our book since other developers can access and contribute to its growth. Most people that use Windows or Linux start off their podcast careers with Audacity since it's a great stepping stone towards greatness.

This software also features plugin support so if you need something that isn't in Audacity itself, you can install it on a whim. The only issue you may find is the UI; it looks outdated and old, albeit fully functional. Unfortunately, you also won't be able to do multi-track recordings.

Features

  • Free
  • Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Multi-track editing
  • Open-source software
  • Plugin support

Pros

  • Doesn't cost anything to use
  • Contains all the basic features for podcast audio file recording
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Widely used/loads of available tutorials

Cons

  • UI is very basic and outdated
  • No Multi-track recording ability
Snag your quote for Audacity.

Restream

Restream doubles as a podcast hosting platform and a recording one. By using Restream, you wouldn't have to use anything else since everything is in one place. This is perfect for hosting live podcasts on the go.

The service is also web-based, meaning, as long as you have an internet connection, you'll be able to use it on virtually any device. In addition, 100GB of storage ensures plenty of space for all kinds of recordings and files.

You can also get paid plans, although we would advise against it since they don't offer any new meaningful features that you'd need for a podcast.

The choice to place a strict limit on characters in the title of each podcast plus there being no description box is somewhat questionable. So don't bank on having descriptive information about your podcast with Restream. Still, this is a great choice and one that will thoroughly give you everything you need.

Features

  • Free/Paid
  • Web-based
  • 100GB cloud storage
  • Split-track recording

Pros

  • The free plan comes with sufficient podcast features
  • Loads of free cloud storage for your podcast recording needs
  • Split-track recording offers efficient podcast hosting abilities
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Nice-looking UI

Cons

  • A limited number of characters for the title & no description box
  • Unstable internet connection can cause hosting issues due to Restream being web-based
Snag your quote for Restream.

Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a feature-rich recording and editing software with plenty of opportunities to create exactly what you like. The only issue with this is that the software is a bit too rich.

Beginners will have a tough time getting to grips with Adobe Audition as it can cause confusion due to its complexity. Even so, as soon as you start developing the necessary skills to reach the next level of podcast hosting and audio editing, Adobe Audition will come in very handy.

It features some of the best noise reduction abilities, which means your audio recording will always come out crisp. The batch processing feature is a great one as well; set up an audio track however you like and you'll be able to use those settings on other projects.

Unfortunately, Adobe Audition is somewhat pricey without the possibility to buy the software; you'll have to pay $21 per month for the license which is steep for beginner podcasters.

Features

  • Free Trial; otherwise paid
  • Windows, Mac
  • Sound panel for professional audio editing
  • Single + Multitrack recording
  • Advanced tools for noise reduction and compression
  • Batch processing

Pros

  • The essential sound panel provides insane capabilities for audio editing
  • Noise reduction capabilities are unparalleled
  • The batch processing feature allows settings you created to be applied to other projects.
  • Great support if you need any help with the software

Cons

  • Pricey ($21/month)
  • Difficult to learn
  • It has features that most podcasters won't use.
Snag your quote for Adobe Audition.

Pro Tools

Pro Tools has been around for a long time. As such, it has kept growing throughout the years, expanding and getting new features. Most highly professional sound engineers and podcasters use Pro Tools precisely for this reason.

Using it, you have many activities at your disposal - creating, editing, mixing, mastering, and exporting high-quality audio tracks whenever you want. The free version is excellent. If you want to edit podcasts or record live audio, then edit it immediately.

Each version of Pro Tools is oriented towards a specific group - the free version is great for podcasters, the regular version (podcasting and advanced audio editing features) costs $30/month whilst the Ultimate one costs a staggering $80/month. Still, our advice is to get the free version of Pro Tools since it has more than enough features for an aspiring beginner podcaster.

Features

  • Free/Paid
  • Windows, Mac
  • Extensive audio recording and editing abilities
  • One of the oldest DAW's in the market
  • Three different versions for three different skill levels

Pros

  • Amazing features come in the free version (best for beginners)
  • Well-known and reliable DAW for various mixing and editing
  • Integrated hardware options
  • Perfect for intermediate and professional podcasters and audio editors

Cons

  • Subscription to use the software is required
  • The full package costs $80/month which is very expensive.
Snag your quote for Pro Tools.

GarageBand

If you own a Mac or iOS device, this should be your go-to podcast software of choice. It's also suitable for music production, albeit not as powerful as some other recording software. Still, this software is simple to use; you'll be able to record and edit without any hassle or research necessary.

You can enable advanced tools but these aren't truly advanced enough for professionals. Nonetheless, the software provides easy access to all GarageBand files, as well as sharing those on multiple platforms (one of which is SoundCloud).

Unfortunately, there's no split-track recording ability, so multiple tracks are not something you can expect from GarageBand. Still, it is free and comes free with every iOS and Mac device and it doesn't have a steep learning curve like some others. Owners of Mac computers - GarageBand is perfect if you're just starting out!

Features

  • Free
  • Mac, iOS
  • iCloud backup
  • Visual EQ with 8 different colors for bass, treble, and other sound types
  • Direct podcast recording and sharing on SoundCloud

Pros

  • Exceptionally easy to use
  • Great for vocal and instrumental recordings
  • Wide range of file-sharing options
  • Comes with some advanced features

Cons

  • Available only on Mac and iOS devices
  • No split-track recording
  • Fairly basic features
Snag your quote for GarageBand.

Logic Pro X

The Logic Pro X is somewhat expensive but still cheaper than other subscription-based podcasting tools. With it, you'll produce podcasts with rich content, given the huge libraries of extra stuff that Logic Pro X offers.

Additionally, the sound recorded through Logic Pro X is amazing; you wouldn't have to worry about it even when conducting live or remote interviews. The learning curve is somewhat difficult to assess; some people get the hang of it quicker than others, but it's generally not too complicated to use. Still, it might be a bit too much for beginner podcasters.

Mac users can get this software for $200 which isn't exorbitant in the long run; if you plan on doing podcasts for a long time, then Logic Pro X is perfect. In any case, podcast editing or music production - you'll have a lot of fun just playing around with the audio itself.

Features

  • Paid ($200 for the whole thing, no subscription necessary)
  • Mac
  • Plugin support
  • Support for additional effects and sounds
  • 10,000+ premade loops
  • 90-day trial before paying is available

Pros

  • Professional audio tools for recording
  • Huge selection of loops, plugins, effects, and more
  • 24-bit/192kHZ support
  • More than a thousand surround or stereo tracks can be added to the audio timeline.
  • Straightforward to use

Cons

  • Only available on Mac
  • Somewhat expensive
  • High technical requirements
Snag your quote for Logic Pro X.

Buyer's Guide For Podcast Recording Software

There are a couple of things you need to look out for when choosing podcast software. This is important because you'll quickly realize what software you want.

Price

Although the 'you get what you pay for' proverb applies to podcast recording software as well, it doesn't mean that free variations of said software are bad or worse than paid versions. On the contrary, some of the best podcast software is free!

The main difference between paid and free software is the number of features you can use; the free versions are generally more oriented towards beginners or even mid-range podcasters. Paid versions are perfect for people who want to take the next step.

Operating System

Some podcast production software will work only on macOS, others on Windows, whilst some are purely web-based. Always look at the requirements first before choosing the software you want to ensure it is working properly on your setup.

Recording Choices

Is the software you want able to record audio clips from external devices? Does it support multitrack recording?

If you can't easily create separate tracks, then you need to figure out a way around this issue (if you like everything else about the software). Otherwise, it might be best to look for another one that fulfills your record and edit needs.

Editing Ability

An interesting tidbit of information about podcast recording software is that not all of them have the ability to edit recorded audio. If this is the case, you'll need to save files locally and import them into another piece of software that allows editing.

For example, if you're doing a live podcast, there's no need to edit anything since everything is recorded live. So keep that in mind when making your choice!

Exporting Options

If the software you want to use can only export audio files in .mp3, you're in for a bad time. Ideally, you'd want something with more substance than a highly compressed .mp3 file that won't sound good on better speakers.

The best software offers the ability to export recorded files as high-quality audio (ie. FLAC, WAV, or AIFF files).

Add-Ons and Plug-Ins

Some recording software offers the possibility of adding and installing additional features. Some add-ons are free, others cost money. Again, this all depends on what type of add-on you want to install.

Add-ons allow the podcaster some extra flexibility and control over an audio file; instead of searching for different recording software, you can find an add-on (if the software you're currently using allows it).

Frequently Asked Questions For Podcast Recording Software

How much does podcast recording software usually cost?

Podcast recording software prices range from free to a thousand dollars. The price generally depends on accessibility, modernity (specifically talking about interfaces here), features, sound quality, editing capabilities, etc.

There are plenty of factors that contribute to the price. What's important is what you can achieve with the recording studio. Some free ones (like Audacity) are widely considered some of the best podcast recording software on the market - even if they aren't as powerful as some paid ones.

Since you've decided to start a podcast (or are looking to take it up a notch), make sure to keep your budget in mind when selecting which recording software you want. It might be best to start with a free (or cheap) one rather than a fully-fledged DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that costs upwards of a few hundred dollars.

Do you need a strong hardware setup for podcast hosting?

Not at all. Podcast hosting can include remote interviews, live interviews, you talking by yourself... For all of these podcast types, you will need a fair microphone (none of those cheap brand imitations) for good sound, and a decent camera. That's about it.

Even your computer doesn't need to be too powerful. The highest hardware requirements are needed only for large and precise audio editing.

Is audio editing difficult for beginners?

It can get overwhelming if you're going in blindly, but there are plenty of resources online that can aid you in becoming a capable audio editor. You might want to add some sound effects to your podcast, or apply noise reduction - all of this is fairly simple stuff.

Don't fret, though! Most software is beginner-friendly which makes the whole editing process somewhat easier if you're not familiar with sound design. The ability to record a podcast is not determined by the software one uses either; if you're a great host, you shouldn't worry too much.

The learning curve is fairly nice when starting out but can quickly take a sharp turn once you get into the more complex sides of editing audio files. However, editing podcasts generally doesn't require too much skill and knowledge to do properly.

Do you need an internet connection to edit audio?

Most of these audio editing tools do not require an internet connection since they're standalone software programs you install on your device. However, some are available only through phone apps or are web-based. These most likely will not work without an internet connection.

Also, don't forget that to host a live podcast, you will need an internet connection. Alternatively, you can record a podcast offline, edit the audio files, improve audio quality, and then upload it. People have done this many times over so it's nothing unusual or weird.

Final Thoughts

Podcast recording software is a necessity if you want your podcast to be as professional as possible. Shoddy podcasts have few viewers, even if the content itself is good. Podcast editing software comes in all shapes and with all kinds of features. Some don't even have the ability to record audio but they offer the ability to edit raw recordings with a slew of useful features.

You can make your own podcast shine even with the free version of an audio editing program, although these are often limiting in terms of what you can do. It comes down to either free audio editing software (like Audacity or GarageBand) or a licensed/paid version (like the Logic Pro X). Trial versions are great for a short amount of time but generally don't offer enough functionality to test out the full deal.

As a podcast host, you should carefully examine what you want for your podcast, what your editing abilities are, and how much you're willing to spend. Also, as a final word of advice - even if you have a high budget, don't go for the most expensive ones. They're often too complicated for beginners and you'll just grow frustrated trying to work out what to do.

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