Best 11 Podcast Recording Software Options in 2023

After having chosen your podcast hardware, you will need to choose the right recording software for your podcast project. There are several types on the market. Some are free, others are not. And some offer you the possibility to record your episodes remotely while others are made to manage live and multi-track audio.

Podcast recording software is the backbone of a high-quality production.

In this blog post, we are going to review the basics of what this kind of software does. Then we are going to highlight some of the best examples out there.

On your mark… ready… go! 🏃

What is the purpose of a podcast recording software?

Creating digital files 📁

The number one job of an audio recording recording software is to create digital files of the audio inputs. Your microphone captures the sound waves of your voice and turns them into electrical signals, then recording software organizes and transforms those signals into a readable and editable file of high quality audio.

Transforming and exporting file types 🤖

Podcast recording software should be able to adjust the file format, at least to the most common audio types like Mp3s and Wavs. That way you can export the files however you need to in order for them to be compatible with certain audio players.

Safely saving your audio files 😅

Once a podcast recording software creates the audio files, it can also easily save them to multiple, different locations. This is important because sometimes files get destroyed or lost. You always need to have at least one back-up copy, preferably two back-ups. It is good to have a physical back-up (hard drive, thumb drive, SD card), a cloud back-up (online), and a back-up on a computer.

Editing your audio files on the same software 💻

Most of the recording softwares used by podcasters also come with an audio editing software. So you can record, edit, and mix your episode almost at the same time!

Local podcast recording software

If you are hosting all your co-hosts and guests are in the same room, you have more options for high-quality podcast recording software. Each speaker can speak into different microphones and their voice is recorded on separate tracks which are then stored by the recording software.

This type of organization allows for better control of the sound and the audio file since you only have to make sure that your environment is quiet and isolated enough to record your podcast. Multitracking allows you to cut out distracting noises when editing.

To give you a concrete example: if one of your guests coughs or sneezes into the microphone at the same time as you speak 🤧, you won’t be able to isolate his or her track and cut only the disturbing noise.

1️⃣ Audacity

Audacity is widely used by the podcasting community. 🎙️ While it is often just a first step towards another software, it does have many assets.

audacity
  • 💲Price: Free
  • 🕵 Where to download it: audacity.fr
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

Audacity is part of the family of free, open source software whose philosophy is to make all its features available, without financial compensation. When it comes to “basic” editing (cutting, merging, managing transitions), Audacity fully meets its mission. The selection, cut and zoom tools are well thought out. They are accessible from a small shortcut bar just above your track.

auacity-interface

Moreover, to manage the fluidity of your transitions between two connections, the “fade in” and “fade out” effects work wonders.

There is no feature to automatically clean and mix the audio like you might find on other software. In fact, to use Audacity in any meaningful capacity, users need to do a few tutorials first. It allows users to do a lot of technical things, but that means they have to be a bit of a audio engineering pro first.

The advantages of Audacity : 

– Removing noise: The “remove noise” function will consist of taking the profile of the background noise of your podcast (to take from a part of your track where you are not speaking) and then processing the whole podcast by removing this background noise. Be careful not to overuse it or you will risk ending up with a slightly metallic sound.

– Equalizer: The equalizer will give more clarity to your voice. You can manually adjust this or use some presets.

– Compression & normalization: The software provides you with a compression tool and a normalization tool that will allow you to optimize respectively the amplification and the amplitude of your track.

Sound effects: By playing around with Audacity adjusters, you can create really cool sound effects for your show.

– Multitrack management: Audacity allows you to manage multitracks, especially when you are podcasting tapes, or when you integrate your beds, credits and sound files in post-production. The software has some shortcomings in this area like not being able to group certain tracks together. 

– Formats: Regarding formats, the software supports most popular formats (.wav, .mp3, etc.) but there is a little operation to do to manage the .mp3 export of your podcast.

Audacity being free, you’re not risking anything giving it a try. It can be scary at first, but after focusing on the basic editing functions, you’ll realize that it is actually very functional.

Although it is not optimized for multi-track management, the software will meet your expectations if your project does not include more than 2 or 3 tracks. As for sound processing, you’ll need to have the patience to train yourself with the help of tutorials to master the beast. 🧘‍♀️

Garageband

If you’re a Mac user, you may be tempted to use GarageBand for recording your podcast since it comes automatically with your Mac. It is more calibrated for music composition 🎵 (hence its name!), but it is possible to manage the editing of your podcast from this tool.

Garage Band
  • 💲Price: Free
  • 🕵 Where to download it: itunes.apple.com/en/app/garageband
  • 💻 Availability: Mac OS and iPhone app
  • 🔔 Slight warning: Before launching Garageband, select the “Podcast” mode

As mentioned above, Garageband was designed primarily for musicians, not podcast hosting. In order for the software to offer you the most suitable interface for creating a podcast, here’s what you need to do

  • Click on 👉 File / New / Open an empty project.
  • In the next window click on “Choose a track type”.
  • Then select the microphone logo.
  • Once your project is started, you can deactivate the “metronome” button and the “count” button (they are in purple in the top bar) and switch the fake digital screen in the middle of the top bar from “time and project” mode to “duration” mode.
  • Start your recording! 💪
mini-hero-garageband

The advantages of Garageband: 

– Templates: In general, a podcast is made of several episodes. These episodes contain recurring parts (credits, beds, intro, outro…). With Garageband you can create a template so that these elements are already present in your project every time you start editing or recording a new episode.

– Tracks: Each track has its own shortcut buttons: the mute button to make the track silent, the solo button to hear only the selected track and the left/right potentiometer to make its stereo balance. Classic, but still efficient!

– Junctions: Garageband trims the track on which you put your new audio element. FYI, this cropping does not remove the end of the track which is always recoverable by moving the junction point. Rather practical in an editing phase with many audio files.

– Tutorial: One of the strong points of Garageband is its ultra educational side: A small explanation is offered when the mouse passes over the button of each function. Pretty reassuring during the whole discovery phase of the software and very practical to learn about new functions!

– Equalization: Another great feature of Garage Band is the small control panel that allows you to manage your equalization, compression and reverb. You’ll be able to do your sound processing tests and use the “Compare” button to fine-tune these settings.

– Metadata : A small drawback is that when you extract your file, the software does not offer you to fill in your metadata directly. You will have to do it later.

Garageband can be a good software to edit or record your podcasts, you will just have to remember to put the software in “podcast mode”. 

Overall, this is a decent podcast recording software for Macs. It has appeal for podcasters who want to work on edits with many sound clips or even sound effects. It also appeals to editors who want to process sound manually but easily thanks to the simple and efficient control panel.

Reaper

Like all podcasting software, it will take some time to get used to it, especially since it is a customizable solution that can be adapted to your needs.

cockos-reaper
  • 💲Price: Personal license: $60. Commercial license: $225.
  • 🕵 Where to download it: www.reaper.fm
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

While it is very oriented towards music recording/editing, this software proves to be a formidable work tool for podcasters. Master Yoda would say “come to the tool you must, and to you the tool will come”. Because to optimize your use of Reaper, it is initially necessary to configure the interface so that it corresponds perfectly to your use.

Once this obstacle is passed, you will realize that the tool has many qualities. 🚀

The advantages of Reaper: 

– Subtracks: One of the strong points of Reaper is the management of multitracks, in particular with the concept of sub-track. For example, you can gather all the voices in a group of tracks that you can mute at the same time (a recurring action in a multitrack editing phase). The same applies to beds and credits.

– Grouped tracks: To be able to manage movements, fades and cuts of several tracks at the same time without risking to create a mismatch of sounds, Reaper has the “grouped tracks” function.

– Automatic fade: When you cross two pieces of tracks together, a crossfade is automatically created. While other programs require additional handling, the fact that Reaper has made this automatic is particularly appreciable.

With Reaper, we are looking at a workstation that has the taste of a professional DAW, with the added bonus of being lightweight.

However, its interface can confuse the beginners. Users need to take time to learn how to use it. It does give you sixty days free to try it out first.

Adobe Audition

This software is a little more premium option compared to the other software I just presented. However, like Audacity, Garageband, or Reaper, Adobe Audition is a software for both recording and editing. The platform is well done, especially the predefined settings.

With Adobe Audition, you can record your episodes in one or more tracks depending on your setup.

Adobe Audition
  • 💲Price: $20.99 per month
  • 🕵 Where to find it: www.adobe.com
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

The advantages of Adobe Audition:

– UX/UI: Overall a very pleasant experience, especially in the long run when you are familiar with the tool.

– Two modes of multitrack recording: “Wave editor” and “multitrack editor”. The latter is extremely powerful whether for recording several microphones simultaneously or for the post production editing of the podcast.

– Destructive mode and non-destructive modes available: “Destructive” means that when you edit an audio clip (cut it, speed it up, delete a part of it…) you alter the source recorded file and “damage” it (making it impossible to recover the deleted piece 2 days later when you open your project again). So it is much, much better to edit an audio file with the “non-destructive” mode.

– Effects: Audition has extremely useful effects like Adaptive Noise.

– Reduction: This feature that automatically finds the audio profile to remove from the recording to clean up the track (calculated in real time).

Adobe Audition

Quicktime

Quicktime is probably the most basic podcast recording software that exists.

Quicktime

The main advantage of Quicktime is also its biggest disadvantage: its simplicity.

It’s so simple and so basic to use that you don’t really have any options or settings to activate or modify to improve the audio of your recording.

It does not allow multitrack recording so it is more difficult to edit your episodes in post-production.

But if your podcast just you, not hosting anyone, this can be a great, easy little option.

  • 💲Price: free
  • 🕵 Where to download: Installed automatically on Apple devices
  • 💻 Availability: Mac OS. No mobile app.

Remote podcast recording software

With the pandemic of the last few years, podcast production has increasingly involved remote recording. The software in this section have pushed the boundaries of interviewing and changed the podcasting game. 💥

Today, you can easily co-host a show with someone who is on the other side of the United States or do remote interviews people who live on the other side of the planet without any problem.

Zoom

This software has seen its fame soar with the increase of video meetings due to COVID-19. This software is mostly used in the professional context to make remote meetings, but its “record” feature allows podcasters to record audio and video episodes with guests in remote interviews. 

Logo Zoom
  • 💲Price: freemium
  • 🕵 Where to download it: zoom.us
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

The undeniable advantage of Zoom is that today, in 2022, everyone knows this software. So you don’t need to explain to your guests how to download and use this tool before recording your podcast. Very practical!

Zoom Ausha Équipe

The advantages of Zoom: 

– Good network quality: It would be a real shame if your connection dropped in the middle of the recording of an episode and you ended up with a truncated audio file. With Zoom, you’ll have the best chance to get a good quality recording.

– Recording the screen at the same time: This can be a very helpful feature if you are doing video podcasts or even just making clips for YouTube or social media. Little bonus: you can share your screen with others on the call. This can come in handy if you need everyone on the recording to be on the same page.

– Multi-tracking: Zoom allows you to record the audio of each participant on a different track. This is really important because having separate tracks for each person means you can better edit the quality and content of each voice.

Skype

Before the coming of Zoom, there was Skype! Skype was certainly the most famous video conferencing software on the market. It is so widely used that, suffering from its own success, it sometimes experiences a bad connection. 

Skype-Logo
  • 💲Price: freemium
  • 🕵 Where to download it: skype.com
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

The biggest disadvantage of Skype for recording your podcast is that in the end, you will end up with only one audio file… Unlike Zoom or the other recording software we saw earlier in the article, Skype does not offer a multitrack feature. So it can complicate things during the video and audio editing process.

If you want to use Skype and have separate tracks, it is still possible, provided that you install external recording software.

The advantages of Skype: 

Easy to use: It doesn’t take a rocket science degree to use Skype. In a few minutes, you quickly understand how the software works and you can easily invite your guests on the platform.

– Local recording: If your connection fails, you always have the recording on your computer. Phew!

– Safe bet: Everyone knows Skype and how to use it. No need to add “training guests on Skype” to your podcasting hosting to-do list.

Zencastr

Less well known than Zoom and Skype, Zencastr is nevertheless a perfect recording software for podcast. It’s an online tool that doesn’t require any download and has a free basic version with paid features. So you can test it at first to see if the software fits your podcast needs.

(Be careful to write Zencastr without the “e”, otherwise you will run into another software that has nothing to do with podcasting!)

Zencastr Logo
  • 💲Price: freemium
  • 🕵 Where to find it: zencastr.com
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

The advantages of Zencastr : 

– Comfort of use: The platform is very visual and ergonomic, so it offers a quick familiarization (handy for the interviewees you will invite on the software).

– Multi-tracking: In the free version, you can invite up to 2 people and in the paying one, there is no limit.

Riverside.fm

Riverside is a great remote podcast recording software. It takes control of the user’s computers to record locally, straight from their microphones and cameras.

This allows for a much higher-quality recording than other software that records the audio and video over the internet.

It also allows for excellent multi-track recording. Because it is recording from the users’ own computer, each user track only has audio from them. There is no bleed over from other users’ audio.

Also, the call host can manually adjust user’s video cameras to capture the perfect image: color temperature and light exposure (this feature is only available in the Enterprise version, though).

Once the call is done, Riverside automatically uploads the recording to its website so you can access it or download it at any time.

  • 💲Price: $15 per month or $24 per month
  • 🕵 Where to download it: riverside.fm
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. No mobile app.

The biggest downside to this podcast recording software is that if the users’ computers do not have high-quality microphones, the audio recordings are not high quality.

Also, if you are not interested in creating video episodes, this platform may not be worth the money to you.

Anchor

Anchor is Spotfiy’s free podcasting platform.

Its recording tools capture audio straight from users’ phone, tablet, or computer. Any remote host or guest can participate this way, even if there are multiple on one call.

It also allows users to import existing audio.

There are really no editing tools, just a feature where you can trim and then arrange segments of audio.

  • 💲Price: Free
  • 🕵 Where to find it: anchor.fm
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS; Linux. Mobile app.

One of its advantages is provides free music beds that you can add to your recordings easily and Anchor will automatically adjust the volume of the bed so it does not drown out the voices from the recording.

It allows you to use any full tracks on Spotify for your own podcast. But you have to use the full track, not edit it down for intro, interlude, or outro music.

The major disadvantage is that you cannot control audio quality while you are recording or even monitor it live.

Hindenburg Pro

Hindenburg offers a few different audio recording and editing options, but its Pro version podcast recording software is probably its best podcasting software.

  • 💲Price: $10 per month
  • 🕵 Where to find it: hindenburg.com
  • 💻 Availability: Microsoft Windows; Mac OS. No mobile app.

The advantages is that it allows multi-track recording, including inputting audio from a remote call. It also has a “record, re-record” feature where you can correct your mistakes as you record. This podcast recording software also has a editing suite.

The only disadvantage is that it does not provide all editing bells and whistles that you would find in a software meant for more sound design.

And that’s it for us today, folks!

Now that you have the concept, the material to record, and your podcast recording software, you can move on to the editing stage of your episode. If you feel ready for this adventure but would like some tips on how to edit your podcast and what audio editing software to use, then we’ll meet again for the next lesson.

3D podcast microphone

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