April 28, 2022

What Are the Best Software Options for Recording Your Podcast?

Stephanie Fuccio

Congratulations on starting to plan your podcast! As you may have already noticed, there’s a lot to do to get your message and story out into the world. I’ve gotta be honest with you, the learning curve is huge. And that’s something that’s rarely talked about in the podosphere. But, I want to be honest with you, and also give you some of the best tools to make the podcast editing side of your creation smoother, easier and, well, less stressful. By finding the right tool to edit your podcast you’ll free up time to do what you’re meant to do: tell stories. 

How Do I Edit my Podcast? 

There’s a lot of information out there about each DAW (digital audio workstation), the name for podcast editing software, but it’s not always clear how to choose the right tool for your podcast editing needs. Let’s break down how you can choose which software to use to edit your podcast. 

Your Podcast Budget

One of the biggest factors to consider when deciding on which DAW to use is cost. Some DAWs like Audacity and Garageband are free, whereas more complex DAWs like Adobe Audition and ProTools are quite expensive. There’s a full range of DAWs at nearly every price point. So, narrowing down what your podcast budget will afford can automatically help you decide on a DAW. The cost options include free, monthly rental, yearly rental and one-time purchase. But don’t worry if you’re starting a podcast just for fun, with ZERO as your overall budget. We’ve got recommendations for all DAW budget levels.  

Experiment with the Most Popular FREE Software, Audacity

Audacity and GarageBand are two very popular free DAWs. GarageBand is only available for Macs, so we’re going to focus on Audacity, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux computers. 

You can do a lot with Audacity. Some podcasters start out with Audacity and move onto other DAWs, and some people stay with it for the long term. Also, Audacity has been updated fairly recently and I’ve been hearing really good things about the changes. So I asked around the podcast management and editing communities for more info on this to give you an updated view of the DAW. 

Podcast Manager, Jastine Vonn of Dream Podcast Media mentioned these changes: 

“... now that they released Audacity 3.1 with new features to improve the editing process such as clip handlebars, which allows you to move audio clips around more easily. The new smart clips will help you to non-destructively trim clips. You can also find lots of tutorials on how to use it online.”

Another advantage with using Audacity is that it’s been around since 2000, which means that there are a lot of tutorials, videos and people that are able to teach you or help if/when you get stuck with your editing. It wasn’t made for podcasting originally but it’s been used by many podcasters, so the resources available are plentiful. And if you do try out Audacity, check out our Beginner’s Video Course for some video tips!

Focus on the story like journalists have done for years with Hindenburg

Newer, multifunctional tools like Descript are gaining popularity in podcasting for more experienced podcasters who want text and audio editing capabilities at the same time in the same platform. But for the new podcaster, getting into a regular publishing momentum is the top priority. And this is not easy.

Though Audacity and Garageband were made for musicians, Hindenburg was made for journalists in the field. More on this origin story, pricing and key features in this article. What I want to share with you now are the top features that podcasting community members said were key to Hindenburg being great for new podcasters with DAW experience. 

  • Simplicity: Maryner Pentinio Sablayan of Your Pod Squad found Hindenburg easier to use than other DAWs. “Compared to Audition, Hindenburg is so easy to understand and use. For me, it’s a user-friendly tool. Not so technical.”

Jason Sheesely of Abridged Audio chalks the visual aspect of Hindenburg as a reason for its simplicity. "From the moment I open Hindenburg, I’m focused on content. A single window gives me everything I need to get started without bogging me down.." 

  • Low learning curve: Meg Lindholm of Uplifted Podcast loves teaching Hindenburg to newbies because  “...the learning curve is low, so confidence early on in the game is high.  Hindenburg’s sound consistency makes audio produced in it sound professional.”
  • Time-saving: Brittany Rincón, Owner of Hello Podcast Media has a favourite feature: “The direct publishing feature allows you to publish your audio straight to your podcast host without downloading and uploading your file.”

Even with these advantages, Hindenburg is not the right fit for everyone, especially if your podcast recording needs spill over into your podcast editing needs. 

Save time by recording AND editing your podcast in Alitu.  

You can record your local track in Audacity and Hindenburg PRO does have remote recording functionality. But, it’s not as organic as their other features. Fear not if you need an all in one recording and editing platform. Alitu might be the DAW for you. 

Cheri from Meditation…WTF? shared her experiences with Alitu recently in our Podcraft community. 

And, it’s simple to use. You can record audio, select music, arrange your episode and export it to your integrated podcast host, all on one platform. Once you’ve recorded, you’ll use the Episode Builder (below image) to organize the parts of your podcast. This visual podcast arrangement is much easier for many podcasters to work with than the waveforms in other DAWs because…

 instead of seeing this:

you’ll see this:

Alitu will also auto-level and compress your audio so that the volume and audio quality are consistent and at the right levels for your listeners' experience to rock. If you have your own recording method already, you can start the process by importing your audio into Alitu and move forward from there. Either way, the Episode Builder will walk you through the process, making it easier and quicker for your episode to get out into the world with little fuss. 

If this sounds like your kind of DAW, you’re welcome to join the FREE 7-day Alitu bootcamp. There, we’ll walk you through how to use this powerful tool from recording to finished episode.

No matter which DAW you decide on, it’s important that you consider the factors that make a good DAW match with your specific podcast editing needs. Because, the DAW you can stick with is the one that will help you create and share your stories with the world! 

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