You’ve got a golden idea for a podcast. Perhaps you’ve even lined up your first guest. Only now you’re wondering, how on earth am I going to record this? And, once you’ve figured that out, you’ve got hours of uncut conversation, blips, bloopers and unrelated tangents to deal with.
Luckily, there’s a whole selection of podcast editing and recording programs, software and apps to help you get both of these jobs done.
Podcast recording and editing software comes in all shapes, sizes and prices, but fundamentally they all do similar things — so the right one for you just depends on your experience, budget, and ultimately your preference.
If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely want to try free podcast editing software — you can launch a podcast for pretty much zero up-front investment, especially in combination with Acast’s free, feature-packed hosting and distribution services.
As you progress in your podcast career, you might want to upgrade your audio editing capabilities, so in this article we’ve outlined some of the best, most popular options for every budget and every level of experience.
Where we mention ‘DAWs’, this stands for Digital Audio Workstation — another name for the software you’ll use to record and edit your podcast.
Podcast recording and editing software for beginners
If you’re looking to give podcasting a try, you can get started with free recording and editing software. Here’s a few we recommend:
Podcastle: Podcastle is an all-in-one solution for podcast production, with all the tools creators need to record and edit their show in studio-grade quality. And the best part? All podcasters who host with Acast get free access to Podcastle’s main features, including; multi-track recording, conduct studio-quality remote interviews, unlimited editing and mixing, and advanced audio processing to automatically enhance content and give it that professional touch. Once you’ve perfected your recording on Podcastle, you can seamlessly upload it to Acast for instant distribution to listeners worldwide.
Audacity: Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, open-source audio recording and editing software that has been a staple in the podcasting community for years. There are no paid versions for Audacity, so everything on offer is available to you for free, forever. It’s a multi-track audio editor and recorder, with a few basic effects. This is no-frills, get-the-job-done podcast recording at its best. Audacity can be used on both Windows and Mac computers.
Descript: Descript is a fairly new player in the podcast editing game, but they’re not pulling any punches. Descript bills itself as “all-in-one audio and video editing, as easy as a doc”, and they’re not wrong. Using artificial intelligence, when you upload your podcast recording to Descript it transcribes the audio to text, allowing you to make quick edits to the audio by simply deleting the text — so removing those umms and ahhs becomes a walk in the park. It also boasts a whole suite of features including a fully powered, professional multi-track recorder and even video editing. The core product is available for free, with paid upgrades for additional features.
GarageBand: If you’re planning to record and edit your podcast on an Apple device like a Mac, then your decision for software just got a lot easier. GarageBand is usually pre-installed, or available to download for free from the App Store, on all macOS and iOS devices. It’s a fully equipped DAW with multi-track recording and editing mostly aimed at music creation, but also makes for a great starter software for podcasters.
Podcast recording and editing software for enthusiasts
If you’ve outgrown the free software or are coming into podcasting with a little audio editing experience under your belt, you may be interested in a more sophisticated podcasting recording and editing software.
Adobe Audition: Adobe Audition is one of the most popular platforms for recording and editing podcasts, and those in the creative industries know they’re in safe hands with Adobe. Audition comes with podcast-specific features, like podcast templates, and easy-to-use audio fixing and repairing for when the recording environment was less than ideal. Audition starts at $20/month, with discounts for students and options to bundle with Adobe’s other software.
Hindenburg Pro: Hindenburg Pro is the audio editor made specifically with voice recording in mind, setting it apart from many of the others on this list. Perfect for podcasters, Hindenburg Pro has all the tools you’ll need to easily record, edit and publish professional audio without getting too deep into the technical side. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows, and there’s a free trial available for you to get a flavor. If you decide it’s for you, it can be licensed as a subscription for as little as $120/year or $12/month, or lifetime access purchased for $399.
Podcast recording and editing software for professionals
If you’re after the most powerful audio editing and recording capabilities to elevate your podcast, it may be time to explore a professional-grade DAW. While they do come with a hefty price tag, keep in mind that most of these softwares will at least have a free trial period.
Pro Tools: Pro Tools offers a plethora of advanced tools but is known for having a steep learning curve, so it’s not intended for podcasters who are just getting started. However, if you’re planning a career in podcasting, it could still be worth the investment. While it may not be the most accessible program, once you’ve mastered it, the sky's the limit. Pro Tools starts at $299 a year. Want to learn more? Watch our Aclass: Pro Tools First session.
Ableton: Ableton is a unique DAW for music creation and audio editing, providing deep, comprehensive — and sometimes a little complex — audio production capabilities. Although it’s primarily aimed at musicians, it’s found its way into podcasters hands as it has all the tools a podcaster needs to record and edit professional sounding audio. You can see if Ableton is for you with a free trial, after which prices start from $99 for the entry-level edition.
Logic Pro: This is another professional DAW, again aimed at music producers with powerful creative tools for songwriting, editing and mixing. However, it also has all the ingredients you need to make a chart-topping podcast packed with all sorts of sound-designed treats. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem and GarageBand isn’t cutting it, Logic Pro is the bigger, badder sibling that will get the job done. The standard edition will set you back $199.99.