If you’re serious about your show, you need the best software for podcast editing. Skills alone are not enough to create an amazing podcast. The expertise that you have within you should go hand in hand with the resources available. This means that, along with your knowledge, the right tools should be at your disposal.
Thus, if you are one podcaster out there who is in search of podcast editing software, you have come to the right place. We prepared a list of the best software for podcast editing. We believe that something on this list is going to fit your needs.
Functions of Editing Software
Before choosing podcast editing software for your show, let us first go through a crash course on how these types of applications work. This is to give you a clearer idea about where your skills are right now and what features you need to complement them.
The first function of the best software for podcast editing is recording. This step belongs to the pre-production stage. There is a lot of editing software available in the market that can assist you in recording your show. So you do not need a separate recording device or software. It helps you contain all your processes in one platform.
However, there is editing software out there that cannot cater to all your podcasting needs. For instance, you might record remotely and separately from your guest and co-host. Sometimes you need to have call recording software or a double-ender as additional equipment for recording remotely.
The next step on this list is editing. It belongs to the production stage. After recording the show, all audio files should go through this process. Editing stitches all the conversations together to render it as one audio or video file. In this part, you will also have the chance to cut out unnecessary parts from the conversation.
One speaker in a recorded conversation might accidentally say something undesirable. For instance, they might use profanity that you don’t want on your show. Or, they might have an annoying verbal expression that you want to leave out. Sometimes these are filler words they use repeatedly. Some common ones are “uhm” and “you know”. These are just simple words. Yet, you may want to edit them out since they hamper the natural flow of the conversation. If you or your guest utter these words repeatedly, chances are your show will lose its value and context. Thus, editing is a very crucial feature of the best software for podcast editing.
After combing and cutting out unnecessary parts of an audio file, editing software helps you adjust volumes and voice modulations. The best software for podcast editing should also assist editors in inserting background music and sound effects for ambiance. You may also want set equalization, and an intro and outro added to each episode.
In this part, the software also helps in eliminating annoying background noises and echoes. During recording, some podcasters cannot avoid the sound of a fan, AC, or a neighbor mowing their lawn.
Worry not! There is a lot of editing software out there that can perfectly mix and master your audio. This editing software feature ensures you are all set before distributing your episode to podcasting platforms.
What is a DAW?
DAW or Digital Audio Workstation is another term for audio editing software. It allows you to do all the four mentioned tasks above on one platform. It helps audio editors to render the best audio, may it be from a professional recording studio or remote records at home.
Best Software for Podcast Editing
There are a lot of podcast editing software tools in the market that claim to be the best. In the past years, there have been some software tools that indeed serve their purpose. For you to land on the best decision, we will cover five different podcast editing tools that we appreciate. We will also talk about their pros and cons.
According to The Podcast Host, Audacity is the most popular and effective podcast editing platform in the world. And, what makes it more interesting is that you do not have to pay for it, it is free! To download it, you need to go directly to Audacity’s website. You can choose from three versions based on the device you are using. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, GNU, and Linux.
Even though this software is free of charge, it has a lot of editing capabilities. It comes with normalization, compressor, EQ settings, fades and crossfades. All the editing techniques and strategies that you learn in your podcasting journey, you can apply it in Audacity.
There are certain drawbacks that users experience with this software. It is sometimes buggy. Usually, when your device goes through system updates, Audacity cannot simultaneously cope with it. As a result, there can be incompatibility and inefficiency when using this software.
The next con of Audacity is its destructive editing. Destructive editing means that if you take a part of the audio and you save the file, you cannot undo the audio to go back to its original state. This is very frustrating and inconvenient. You need to have a backup of all your audio files as you may not retrieve them once you have spliced them through the editing application.
Who is Audacity for?
Audacity is definitely for podcasters who are on a budget yet want to experience a very comprehensive audio editing platform.
The next editing software on the list is Alitu. It is an Internet-based software that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux devices. The good thing about this software is that it includes both recording and editing on one platform. In addition, podcast editors complement this podcast editing software for its fast editing capabilities.
Alitu has a setting where you can automatically insert your intro and outro instantly. Some editing software requires editors to stitch in their intro and outro manually every single time. In Alitu, you just need to save it once, then it can bring it in each time you edit an episode. You can also set the tool to do the mixing and mastering of your audio files automatically. It is like putting all the ingredients together, VOILA! There you have it, the finished product. With this feature, podcasters, especially when they do all the pre and post-production tasks all by themselves, can really save a lot of time.
However, just like any other editing software, Alitu has its drawbacks. It is limited in terms of the available functions for mixing and mastering. This is because of its super automated features, which restrict you from doing the editing manually.
Who is Alitu for?
If you are a hands-on podcast editor then we might not recommend that you use Alitu. This software is best for busy podcasters who want to find some way to make their editing faster.
The third one on the list that we will discuss is Descript. This editing software is unique. It is not a conventional tool. Rather than editing the audio file itself, Descript produces a transcript of the audio. After which, it allows you to edit your recording in a text-based manner similar to proofreading and editing an article. However, if you prefer, you also have the option to still edit it in the waveform editor.
The text-based editing option allows you to delete filler words and unnecessary lines easily. Some features like overdub allow you to fix the things that you should not say on the recording. However, take note that sometimes the transcript-based edit is unreliable. Sometimes your edits, like eliminating sentences or words in the transcript, do not get you the expected audio outcome. So, you need to review the audio from the top to check that the edits went well. This adds an extra layer to the process, which can delay your workflow.
Who is Descript for?
It is for new podcasters who find the idea of audio editing overwhelming yet have expertise when it comes to writing and proofreading essays and articles.
Another free editing software we are going to add in this review is GarageBand. People with Apple devices definitely know this one as it is pre-installed on any Apple device. Podcast editors commend two things about this editing software—it is free, and it is easy to use.
GarageBand is easier to understand than Audacity. When you compare these two pieces of editing software with each other, GarageBand has a shorter learning curve than Audacity. It is more intuitive and easy to maneuver.
However, when editing in this software, you need to be aware of its limited export capabilities. GarageBand lacks settings for the audio file formats you might like your edited audio to be. You cannot control whether to download the file as a WAV or mp3 file.
Another drawback of this audio editing software is that you have no control over your podcast’s loudness. You cannot lower or raise the volume as you choose. You cannot adjust your audio under the industry standards, which are -16 LUFS (stereo files) and -19 LUFS (mono files) in this software.
Who is GarageBand for?
GarageBand is for macOS users who are just trying to warm up in the podcasting space. It is also for people who want audio editing software that is easy to use and reliable as well.
Reaper is not a free option. However, it has a demo open for ninety days, which we think is enough to finish a considerable number of episodes. A lot of users say that this software has an endless trial mode. Reaper also offers flexible features which are really great.
Another benefit of Reaper is that it caters to remote working. You can connect it to the processor of another device in your network for CPU-intensive tasks. However, you need to have plug-ins on both systems.
The downside of this software is that it gives you no way to make a distinction among track types. Reaper comes with automations, but it is not as excellent as other editing software programs. There are a lot of plug-ins that you can automate, which is annoying since it fills up the whole screen. The left and right scrolling is also inverted. Plus, the font size is small, and sometimes unreadable.
Who is Reaper for?
Reaper is for audio editors who want to take their editing skills to the next level. It is also for people who want a lot of customization to do things faster.
Most commercial studios use Pro Tools. This DAW allows audio editors to transfer easily between multiple studios. It also gives producers and audio engineers a chance to collaborate with each other.
Pro Tools is free when you register on the Avid website. It also provides new users with tutorials to get started. Audio editors consider this to be one of the best software tools for podcast editing because it has a clean audio editing workflow. Its factory and plug sounds are also commendable. It also allows users to record audio and edit it with its Edit and Mix interface. However, the downside is that it lacks built-in pitch correction. It also has no VST or AU plug-in support.
Who is Pro Tools for?
Pro Tools is for professional audio editors and engineers. It is also good for beginners since it does not require M-Audio hardware to run. However, users say that it has a steep learning curve but offers a top-tier performance.
Free Vs. Paid Editing Software: Which is Best?
Remember that you should anchor your decision based on the level you think you are at right now. Paid software is usually the professional type of package. You need to choose paid editing software only if you want to enjoy power features. So, if you think you are handling a complex podcast, a show that has a lot of layers and subjects in it, then you need to pay.
On the other hand, free software like Audacity is enough for most podcasters. These free tools often have all the features that the average podcaster needs. However, the downside is that you cannot expect an excellent interface or fancy automations.
Whether free or paid, the best software for podcast editing is the one that works for you. Your best choice always depends on your level of skill, experience, and needs. Don’t go for the paid options if you know you cannot exhaust all the features in the package.
What You Need to Remember
Now you know the difference between these five podcast editing software tools with their benefits and drawbacks. We hope you can use this example comparison to land on the one that fits your needs best. Don’t forget:
- Know your skill level in audio editing.
- If you are a beginner, start with a simpler application.
- Choose a software that will not overcomplicate your workflow.
- Consider software with automated features.
- There is no one best podcast editing software for everyone.
- The effectiveness and purpose of a tool depend on your skills and needs.
- Consider paid software as an investment, but do not invest if you cannot take full advantage.
The key to podcast editing is, especially when you are just starting out, is eagerness. You need to test the waters, yet never be afraid to dive as you go. And, of course, if the waves are hitting you too badly, never be afraid to ask for help. We, at Podkick, offer a wide range of podcasting production services, including podcast editing to streamline all your show’s processes.
Mary Achurra is a freelance content marketer. She helps business owners and entrepreneurs attract and retain customers by creating quality, engaging content.