Podcasting Q&A

Best Podcast Recording & Editing Software

July 13, 2020 Buzzsprout
Podcasting Q&A
Best Podcast Recording & Editing Software
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Norman from Antifool asks, "What is the best way to record someone using a phone for a podcast interview?"

In recent years the number of new software options for podcasters has increased quite a bit. Some of them are great for experience podcasters that want every bell and whistle imaginable. While others are focused on streamlining the process as much as possible.

So in this episode, we'll share the pros and cons of the top five recording software options that we use and recommend at Buzzsprout to help you decide which one is best for you.

1. Audacity

Audacity is the most popular podcast recording and editing software in the world (and for good reason). It's free to download, it's available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and has the full suite of audio editing features.

Just be aware that Audacity tends to be a bit buggy (like, won't work because Apple updates their OS kind of buggy) and does destructive editing. Destructive editing means that if you delete a portion of your audio and then save your project file, you can't get that audio back.

2. GarageBand

GarageBand comes pre-installed on just about every Apple device you can imagine (Macbook, iPad, iPhone, etc.). Like Audacity, it's free to use. Unlike Audacity, it's easy to learn quickly so you spend less time learning the software and more time editing your episodes.

One thing to keep in mind is that GarageBand's export settings are severely lacking, so if Loudness Normalization or bit rate modes are important to you you'll need to pair it with some additional software.

3. Alitu

Alitu is an internet-based recording and editing software that makes it super easy to create episodes. You can automatically add your intro and outro to every episode, it applies mixing and mastering effects to your audio files as you upload them, and you can publish your episodes directly into podcast hosts like Buzzsprout.

But all that efficiency and ease of use means there are fewer things to customize. So if manually setting your compression levels is important to you, look elsewhere. But if you are a busy podcaster looking for ways to speed up your workflow, Alitu is a great solution.

4. Hindenburg Journalist Pro

Hindenburg Journalist Pro is everything you could possibly need in a podcasting editing software. It's intuitive, easy to work with, and allows you to publish episodes directly to Buzzsprout.

Because it's a pro-level software, Hindenburg Journalist Pro is a more sizeable investment, but if you're a Buzzsprout podcaster you can use the link in the Resources tab of your Buzzsprout account to get a 90-day free trial and test drive it for yourself before deciding if you want to invest in it longterm.

5. Descript

Descript takes a fresh and innovative approach to editing podcasts. Rather than generating a waveform of your audio files, Descript creates an accurate transcript of your recordings. Then to edit your podcast episode you just edit the words on the screen. How cool is that?

Just make sure to listen back to your episode from start to finish before you export it as sometimes the algorithms aren't as precise as you'd like them to be.

Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

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Travis :

In today's episode, we'll cover the pros and cons of the five podcast recording software options that we recommend the most. Welcome to Podcasting Q&A, where you learn the best tips and strategies to launch grow and monetize your show. This week's question comes from Norman.

Norman :

Hey there Buzzsprout this is Norman Chella, the podcast rainmaker and host of Antifool. I'm producing six of my own shows, and then currently using audition, which is great, but always trying out new tools like Descript to add to my workflow. What are your thoughts on editing software that isn't really conventional, like Descript being text based? And are there any other tools that we should be considering? always happy to try them out? Thanks.

Travis :

Thank you so much for your question, Norman. Now, in the past several years as podcasting has really started to pick up some steam, there have been some really cool audio editing software's and companies that have started coming out. Now some of them lean more towards the pro level. audio editing software, they're giving you all the bells and whistles that you need as a podcaster without introducing a ton of complexity into your editing workflow. And then on the other side, there are some companies that have come out with some really innovative solutions that are perfect for people that are just getting the podcasting that aren't interested in learning a software like Adobe Audition. So in this episode, I'm going to break down the pros and the cons of the five audio editing software's that we use that we recommend here at Buzzsprout and then also tell you which one would be best for you. The first audio editing software that we recommended Buzzsprout is Audacity and it's probably for the same reasons that it is the most popular podcast editing platform in the world. The first pro being it's free so you don't have to pay anything. To start using it. You just download it directly from audacity website and you start going to town The other reason we really like audacity, it has a lot of editing capabilities built right into it. You can apply normalization effects you can apply compressor effects You can do EQ settings, you can do fades and crossfades. All of the editing techniques and strategies that you learn in your podcasting journey, audacity can do it. However, audacity does tend to be a bit buggy, especially when it comes to software updates. Recently, Apple updated their operating system to Catalina and it broke Audacity. If you use Audacity to edit your podcast episodes, you could not do that in Catalina, and it took a while for audacity to create a software patch that would restore that capability to all of their Mac users. The other thing to be aware of with audacity is that it does what's called destructive editing. So if you cut out a piece of your audio, and then you save the file, you can't get that audio back. So whose audacity best for? Well, it's best for podcasters on a budget that still want the full suite of audio editing options if that is you and you edit on a Windows or a Mac. Computer, go with Audacity. The second software option on our list is GarageBand. GarageBand comes pre installed on just about every Apple device that you can imagine whether it's a MacBook or an iMac, iPad, iPhone, all the AI things GarageBand comes pre installed. So some of the pros, it's free, so you don't have to buy it. And it's pretty easy to use, especially when you start comparing it to audacity, which has a lot of capabilities built into it. But it can take a while to learn how to use the software, garage bands a lot more intuitive, a lot more easy to understand. Now one thing that you need to be mindful of when you're editing in GarageBand is that it has very limited export capabilities. So a lot of audio editing software, when you export your projects. To make your final mp3 or WAV file, you have a bunch of fields that you can fill out you have a bunch of things that you can customize to make sure that your file turns out exactly the way that you want it GarageBand does not the other thing that garage Ben cannot do is set the loudness level. So if you want to set your podcast episodes to the industry standard have negative 16 lufs for stereo files and negative 19 lufs for mono files GarageBand can't do that. So you're gonna have to use a second piece of software in order to set that loudness for your podcast episodes. But who's GarageBand for? Well, it's for Mac users that are just getting into podcasting. And they want something that's easy to use, that they don't have to spend any money on. The third software on our list is Alitu, Alitu is an internet based recording and editing software that works on any device. And what's really cool about Alitu, is that they have done their very best to speed up the editing process as much as possible. And you'll notice this once you start editing inside of Ality. You can bring in your intro and your outro into every single episode. You don't have to add it every single time. You save it once Alitu brings it in when you import audio files Whether it's an interview file or a narration file or background music, it will automatically do some mixing and mastering to that. And then at the end of the Edit, once you're done, you can publish directly into podcast hosting companies like Buzzsprout. So removing the step of having to export the file, download it to your computer, log into your podcast host upload the file, it removes all those steps. And when you're doing that, every single week, that time starts to add up. Now one drawback of Alitu, is that you are kind of limited in the mixing and mastering that you can do because so much of the process is automated, to really simplify the workflow that just gives you less toggles that you can adjust. And so if that is something that you are really passionate about doing, then don't use Alitu. But if you are a busy podcaster that's always looking for ways to speed up your workflow without sacrificing your audio quality. Alitu is a great solution and if you're a Buzzsprout podcaster make sure you check the resources section in your Buzzsprout dashboard, where you can get 50% off your first three months of Alitu. The fourth audio editing software that we recommend is Hindenburg Journalist Pro. It's the one that I use to edit all of our podcasts here at Buzzsprout. And the reason is that it is everything that you need in a professional level audio editing software, without the complexity that you don't if you've ever looked at Adobe Audition, and just immediately felt overwhelmed and confused about what to do or how to do it, you were not alone. Welcome to the club. Hindenburg has a lot of those same level features that you're going to get in a software like audition or even Logic Pro X. But it's a lot more intuitive. I can blaze through a podcast edit and Hindenburg Journalist pro so much faster than I can in any other audio editing software simply because of how intuitive it is and how simple the tools and the effects are to use and like with altitude you can publish directly from Hindenburg Journalist pro into your Buzzsprout account, saving you 10 to 15 minutes depending on your internet upload and download speeds and all that those extra steps that really do add up over time. The only drawback to Hindenburg Journalist Pro is that it is an investment. audacity is free GarageBand is free allatoona is really affordable Hindenburg Journalist Pro is priced as a pro level audio editing software. But if you are committed to podcasting for the long haul, and you know that over the months and the years, these little time savings that you get from using a software like Hindenburg Journalist Pro is going to be worth it to you, I would highly encourage you to go for it. If you're a Buzzsprout podcaster, you can get 90 days for free. Just go to your Buzzsprout account, go to the resources section. And you can get a coupon for a 90 day free trial to test it out for yourself. And then the final recording software that we have started recommending recently is Descript. And what's really unique about Descript is that rather than bringing in the audio file, looking at the waveforms of you know that are populated based on your audio and then editing that Descript creates a transcript when you go to edit your podcast episode, you can either edit it using the waveform in the timeline, or you can just edit the transcripts and it will make those changes to the audio underneath some of my favorite features from the scripts are being able to edit the transcript and knowing that it's going to edit the audio underneath it features like overdub, which allowed you to fix mistakes, things that you didn't say that you wish that you said or that you said incorrectly without having to go back and re record the microphone and then even things like automatically removing filler words. Those are huge time savers. Now the only thing that I will say about Descript is that when you edit the transcript, it often doesn't give you exactly what you want in the audio because it is interpreting the audio waveform it is trying to make some decisions for you. But sometimes that doesn't actually sound the way that you want it to. So you will need to go back, listen to it all the way through once you make all your edits, to make sure that it is going to turn out and sound the way that you want it to. And that's just an extra step that you have to do with Descript that you want. Have to hear editing purely based on the waveform. But if you're new to podcasting, and the idea of learning an audio editing software is kind of daunting. But you've been writing five paragraph essays for your entire life. Descript is a really great software option. And in fact, we're doing a special giveaway right here right now in this episode. So if you want to win a year of Descript, all you have to do is leave a comment below the YouTube video, letting us know how you think Descript would help your podcast editing workflow. And next Monday, we will choose a winner and give you a free year of Descript. Thank you so much for sending us your question, Norman. Now if you have a question that you want us to answer on a future episode, all you have to do is go to speakpipe.com/buzzsprout or click the link in the show notes and leave us a brief audio message. Make sure to subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel to get future episodes of the show as they come out. Or if you're listening to this in your podcast app, make sure you hit subscribe so you get those new episodes automatically every week. Well that's it for today. Thanks for listening and as always Keep podcasting