10 Best Podcast Recoding & Editing Software 2021 (Free & Paid)

Podcasting has exploded in recent years, with Joe Rogan’s monumental $100 million Spotify podcast deal solidifying podcasting as both a fun and potentially extremely profitable pastime. Millions now rely on regular doses of their favorite shows to get through commutes, work, lazy evenings, or even to help get to sleep.

True crime podcasts have captivated audiences since Making a Murderer found itself climbing the ladders of popularity, and many TV shows and movies now have tie-in podcasts that offer behind-the-scenes insights.

The reasons for the explosive popularity of podcasting are clear to see. Since anyone with an idea and a mic can get started easily, podcasting has become a popular and inexpensive hobby or even job for thousands of people worldwide.

Podcast Software Microphone

And each person who wants to start up their own needs to consider which is the best podcast software and equipment for the job. But it takes more than a mic and a plan, as good podcasts require good podcasting software to get the most out of every episode.

Audio quality, editing possibilities, and a host of other options are more varied and complicated than many would think.

Here we’re going to look at some of the best podcast software available for those who want to start their own series but may not be sure how to best go about planning, scheduling, editing, and post-production. Our recommendations include free podcasting software for those who don’t want to break the bank.

Podcast Recording Software

Even video creators will tell you that sound is as, if not more, important than visuals. Even with the best microphone available, it won’t mean much if you don’t have good software to back it up.

Mouth noises and background static are two of the most common reasons people stop listening to podcasts, so you’re going to want to find recording software with features like built-in noise cancellation to prevent these irritating sounds.

Cleanfeed — best free podcast software for beginners

  • Compatibility: Browser-based
  • Price: Free basic version, then $32 per month for all features

Since many podcasts have more than one host, or at least contain interviews and guests, finding recording software for multiple people at once is imperative.

Cleanfeed is a browser-based recording program with which invitations to begin a call and recording sessions can be sent over e-mail. The connections are instant and all calls can be recorded. This not only eliminates the need for clunky screen recording software as well as allowing for remote recordings.

Even the free version of Cleanfeed lets an unlimited number of people join in a high-quality recording. While multiple, simultaneous recordings are only possible in the pro version, but that shouldn’t hinder recording for podcasts as one person can still record a multi-person call.

Cleanfeed podcast recording

This is all done without losing audio quality, as everything is recorded from within the software itself, rather than simply recording PC audio from one person over others. This makes recorded sessions feel natural and cleaner.

Recording with friends and guests – no matter where they are – opens a lot more doors for podcasters. And each participants’ audio is stored in separate files, making editing simpler as it removes the need to isolate separate audio inputs for cleaning.

Audacity — great podcast software for free

  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac
  • Price: Free

While fairly basic as far as recording software goes, Audacity allows for the live combining of tracks for additional audio to be added and played during production to make timing music and sound effects easy.

Audacity podcast recording software mixing multiple voice tracks

Audacity also acts as editing software, though only via destructive methods. This means that the audio can’t be ‘cleaned’, only remixed and distorted. While this may make it ideal podcast software for shows that would benefit from alterations like auto-tuning, these features are useless for shows that require undisrupted audio only.

GarageBand

  • Compatibility: Mac and iOS only
  • Price: Free with Mac, Pro options available

GarageBand was designed for independent music recording and mixing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an ideal choice for podcast recording software. GarageBand’s mixing system allows for separate tracks to be blended together easily, making it simple to include music, pre-recorded segment introductions, and advertisements as necessary.

GarageBand podcast editing

Because it was designed for music, GarageBand is a useful podcast software as it records crisp and clear sounds that don’t lose quality when they’re exported. The EQ manipulation available in GarageBand can be used to great effect, making recorded audio feel cleaner and more professional.

Logic Pro X — professional podcast software

  • Compatibility: Mac only
  • Price: $200

Logic Pro is commonly seen as an upgrade to GarageBand because of its very similar UI and full compatibility with the latter’s exported files.

Like GarageBand, Logic Pro is mainly designed for music production, and so saves recordings in high-quality formats that stay crisp even after exporting.

The price tag comes with fully professional-grade mixing features not found on most free podcast software, though it may still be a steep price for hobbyists or non-profit podcasters.

Logic Pro professional podcast software

Logic Pro being, as the name implies, suitable for professional use also means that newcomers to recording and editing software may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. Those looking for a simple ‘press button to record’ interface will likely be turned away by the clutter.

However, those with good microphones and an eye on top-quality podcast productions will find Logic Pro to be a worthwhile purchase in the long term. Recent updates have also included tutorials to make learning to use the various tools much easier.

Adobe Audition

  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac
  • Price: $20 per month, annual subscription available

Unlike many other recording programs, Adobe Audition wasn’t designed with music in mind. Instead, its focus is on voice recording and preparation, making it ideal as podcast software.

However, incorporating musical features in your episodes isn’t easy with Adobe Audition due to the relatively lacking options for music production.

In order to get the best results, however, it’s recommended that you use Adobe Audition alongside external music software for high-quality, multi-format episodes.

Adobe Audition podcast software

One of the top podcast software options available in terms of popularity, Adobe Audition has found its audience via its low price (at least compared to most professional adobe software) and its post-production options.

After recording, Adobe Audition has audio cleaning features to let you isolate and remove background noises and edit with ease.

For podcasters, recording software doesn’t get much better than Adobe Audition, though those used to more complicated editing features and music incorporation may need to shop around a little more.

Podcast Editing Software

No matter how good your mic or how well-rehearsed your script, every podcast episode needs some good post-production to get to the high standards today’s podcast fans expect.

The better the quality of your podcast, the more likely your listeners are to keep coming back. This is also good news for those who want to take podcasting beyond a hobby, as advertisers are keener to approach those who can provide excellent quality advertising to a proven audience.

While all the recording software we’ve discussed do offer some editing features, the best podcast editing software will have a main focus on ensuring raw audio files can be cleaned and mixed for the best performance.

Pro Tools

  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac
  • Price: $599, with optional additional charges

Beginning with something of a legend in podcast software, Pro Tools lives up to its name by being the most professional standard audio editing software available.

Many podcasts are collaborative efforts, and Pro Tools’ Cloud integration allows for up to ten people to work on one project so post-production is achievable as a team project. The audio mastering can be used to remove background noise and unwanted sounds.

As podcast software, Pro Tools’ most notable feature is its ability to master separate files simultaneously. Many podcasts involve multiple people using different microphones, and some interviews are carried out over the phone or with someone who may not have a high-quality mic.

Pro Tools podcast editing software

The only thing more of a turn-off for listeners than bad audio quality is inconsistent audio quality. By actively comparing separate files in the already comprehensive mixing tools, they can all be made to match in both pitch and volume. This not only makes for a better experience for listeners but also displays a level of radio-quality professionalism for potential advertisers.

This is good news for podcasters who need software to get their episodes to a professional level. But for hobbyists, the price is a steep price to pay. While a one-off licensing fee is a plus, at $500 it is quite steep.

The annual updates also come with an extra optional charge of $99. So Pro Tools’ industry-quality software is really only recommended for the most professional of users. However, those wanting to check it out will be happy to know that they do offer a 30-day free trial.

Descript Podcast Transcription Software

  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac
  • Price: $10 – $15 per month

A truly unique addition to this list, Descript is automatic transcription software that has since grown into a usable and even fun audio editing program.

Audio files either imported or recorded within Descript itself are automatically transcribed into editable word documents. The audio is then manipulatable by editing the text file. If you don’t like a segment or want to get rid of a sentence, simply delete it in the text file and the recording will change automatically.

Descript for transcribing podcasts

The text file also keeps track of disfluencies like ‘um’ and ‘ah’, so removing these is as simple as deleting them as text. This is a miraculous feature for those who know the pain of isolating such things individually within an audio file, which is not only tedious and time-consuming, but very difficult to do without making the audio sound awkward and jumpy.

Descript’s use is incomparable with other software as it offers a unique way of manipulating audio with methods that make it ideal for voice-only files. It is without a doubt one of the best podcast software options we could find, and at the very low price of $15 a month for access to all its features.

Alitu

  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac
  • Price: $32 per month, cheaper annual subscription available

Alitu is an all-around podcast software that’s especially useful if you’re a beginner to audio mixing and editing. As well as handling everything from recording to audio cleaning, Alitu also connects directly to your podcast host of choice to upload your episodes directly from the program.

Alitu is designed for podcasters and incorporates both automatic and manual editing systems to remove silences, cut out disfluencies, reduce and remove background noise, and generally polish up all recorded tracks.

Alitu Example

As well as making editing simple for beginners with a no-nonsense UI and helpful tutorials, Alitu offers community involvement that connects podcasters together for helpful advice, content sharing, and general Q-and-As for newcomers and veterans.

With a drag-and-drop system, general cleaning is done automatically while the more in-depth features are done using simple toolboxes that come with full explanations for those who have never used audio editing software before.

Removing silences, disfluencies, coughs, etc, is made easy with the highlighting tools. These make specific parts of a recorded episode simple to zone in on and clean up or remove as necessary.

Reaper

  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac (Linux version in Beta)
  • Price: $60 – $225

While it may not be the best-looking podcast software in the world, what Reaper lacks in flashy UI it makes up for in usefulness.

Comparable to high-end software like Logic Pro, Reaper stands out by also allowing for more radio-like podcasts via its live audio streaming options similar to a Twitch users’ OBS. Reaper is also highly customizable by allowing for external plug-ins.

Compositions and edits can be made to imported files. As podcast software, these edits include the sampling and remixing of audio tracks for introductions, outros, ads, and music breaks.

Reaper Example

Because of the simplistic UI, Reaper runs very smoothly, which is ideal in podcast software. When editing on slower programs, skips in the audio due to slow processing can be mistaken for faults in the audio itself. This can lead to overcorrection, reducing the overall quality.

If the UI does prove too uninviting, skins and customizations are available to jazz things up a little, which is good news for podcasters who like to personalize their workstations.

Anchor’s Record With Friends — Easy Podcasting Software

  • Compatibility: Android and iOS
  • Price: Free

An honorable mention in recording programs, the Anchor app’s Record With Friends feature is essentially an automatically recording version of a Zoom or phone call, designed for use as podcast software.

With beginner-friendly usability and easy steps from calling to recording and post-production, Record With Friends allows for up to five people to join a call and record their discussions.

Record With Friends is an especially useful tool for podcasts that cover live events like sports and gaming conventions. It’s also very handy for those without easy access to PCs or who want to record podcasts while traveling or just generally out and around.

While audio recorded from Record With Friends can be uploaded to podcast host platforms directly from the built-in editing tool, you can also import files from your phone to a PC for more in-depth editing.

Anchor Interface

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