The key to a good podcast is finding the right editing and mixing software. Without such software, you’ll struggle to make a podcast with decent audio quality and structure. You also need such software to upload your podcast episodes to whatever streaming service you choose.
Problem is, those who are new to the world of podcasting might not be aware of the different software available. Digital audio workstations, also known as DAW, are essential for creating a good podcast, but what is the best DAW for podcasting?
Here is our guide to the best DAWs for podcasting!
We can’t talk about digital audio workstations without mentioning GarageBand. GarageBand is a popular Apple application that is free and automatically downloaded to any Apple device, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
GarageBand is most popularly used by beginner podcasters who want to get to grips with editing audio. Tracks and audio recordings can be separated and edited to include music, intros, outros, and even spaces for advertisements.
There are also features that help to create a good quality podcast, including level adjustment and audio fading.
The only downside to GarageBand is that it doesn’t get more complicated than that. While this is ideal for beginner podcasters who aren’t bothered about special effects (let’s be honest, no podcast needs extreme effects, anyway), this might be somewhat limiting to professional audio recorders.
You can download GarageBand for Mac here.
- Free – No purchase necessary, comes free with all Apple devices
- Great for beginners – Easy to use and comes with necessary features for podcast episodes
- Additional features – Options to add plug-ins, ad spots, noise gates, level adjustments, and more
- Potentially limiting – Isn’t as professional or complex as other software programs
#2 Logic Pro
Logic Pro is a popular macOS program for editing audio and music production. This program comes from the creators of GarageBand, and is comparably the more expensive option to its software relative.
As a result of this increased price, Logic Pro is a significantly fast, robust, and highly detailed editing audio program.
If you already have GarageBand, you’ll find that Logic Pro isn’t too hard to use in comparison, as they have more or less the same interface. It’s also very easy to upgrade and connect your GarageBand apps with Logic.
As an Apple application, you can link your Logic Pro to your iPhone or iPad with the Logic Remote App. This is ideal for editing podcasts while away from your laptop or desktop.
The only reason why some might not recommend Logic Pro for podcasting is because the tools are very advanced and professional. This is because Logic Pro is primarily used for music production rather than editing podcasts, so you might not end up using many of the features.
The one-time purchase of Logic Pro is $200, which you can buy here.
- Compatible – Links to GarageBand, so works as a great upgrade
- Professional quality – Used in professional audio recording and music production settings
- Option to work remotely – Links to Remote app to edit podcast episodes on-the-go
- Unused features – As a music production program, some features will go unused for podcast editing
#3 Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is ideal for those who don’t have a Mac product, as it is compatible with both Windows and macOS. The software originally started out as Cool Edit Pro, but Adobe bought the program in 2003.
Adobe Audition is designed specifically for audio editing, from podcasts to radio shows. It is equipped with countless features for audio editing, including advanced compression and equalization, noise-reduction, and more.
There’s also the option to apply multiple effects to a single file, and then apply the same effects to other chosen files in a process called “batch” processing.
Adobe Audition can be purchased for $20.99 a month, or if you have a subscription to the Creative Cloud suite, this will be included in the subscription. You can buy Adobe Audition on a monthly basis here. It should cost about $250 a year to run Adobe Audition.
However, if you want to make use of all of Adobe’s software programs – such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Effects, and Premiere Pro – then you can always buy access to the full Adobe suite.
- User-friendly – Lots of online classes and tutorials on how to navigate the program
- Podcast-specific – Can be set to editing podcasts in particular, or other audio media such as radio shows
- Purchase options – Buy separately, or in a bulk batch with the Creative Cloud or Adobe suite.
- Price – Monthly purchase is fairly expensive for beginners and those on a budget.
- Adobe Audition is a professional audio workstation.
- Allows mixing, editing, and creating audio content.
- It's a part of Adobe's Creative Cloud suite.
Like GarageBand, Audacity is another free DAW. Unlike GarageBand, Audacity is compatible with macOS as well as Windows 10 and even Chromebooks, making it one of the most diverse audio editing programs available.
While it is most commonly used by beginner podcasters, some professionals still use Audacity for their podcasts. This is because it ticks all the boxes – it records audio, and then allows you to edit tracks with effects and features to make the sound clear and perfect.
We actually recommend downloading Audacity before looking into purchasing any other audio editing software that costs a couple of hundred dollars a year to run. This is because Audacity gives you a simple, user-friendly introduction to editing podcast episodes.
The only downside is that Audacity does not offer multi-track recording.
You can download Audacity for free here.
- Free – The most cost-effective option for beginner podcasters
- Compatibility versatility – Compatible with macOS, Windows 10, and Chromebooks
- User-friendly – Easy to use and lots of online tutorials available for beginners
- Lacks in multi-track recording
If you can afford to pay for a DAW, but you don’t want to break the bank, check out Reaper. Reaper is an affordable DAW that is equipped with more robust editing features than Audacity or GarageBand. It can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux.
One of the biggest benefits of Reaper is that it’s pretty lightweight, so its efficient code means it still operates quickly on old computers thanks to its ability to run from a USB drive.
So, you don’t have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on a new laptop or computer to accompany new editing software.
Reaper is a handy DAW that records, edits, and mixes podcast episodes of all lengths. When you download the latest version, you qualify for weekly updates that work to rid the software of bugs.
While appearance isn’t a huge issue for most podcasters, you have the option to download different skins to improve the user experience.
The only downside to Reaper is that it’s still slightly unknown in the world of audio editing. As a result of this, there aren’t many online tutorials available.
You can purchase Reaper for less than $100 here.
- Affordable – Reaper is one of the most affordable paid audio editing programs
- Fast operating time – Loads and operates quickly, even on old computers
- Does the job – Ideal for podcasts of all genres
- Lack of tutorials – Few online tutorials online might lead to confusion for some beginners
#6 Hindenburg And Hindenburg Pro
Hindenburg is designed specifically for editing interviews, radio shows, and most popularly, podcasts. As a lot of DAWs are technically classified as music production programs, the fact Hindenburg is solely designed for podcasting makes it a fantastic option for all podcasters.
Hindenburg is an affordable audio editing software that works on both macOS and Windows. It allows users the ability to record and edit podcast episodes, with the program automatically setting the audio level based on the volume of the recording.
This is great for beginners or those looking to edit and upload a podcast episode quickly.
Hindenburg Pro is the upgraded version of Hindenburg, and as a result of its extensive features, it is inevitably more expensive than its predecessor. However, some podcasters find that the Pro version isn’t necessary.
While it has some amazing features, you can use all the features in the original version for a fraction of the price.
- Affordable – Much more affordable compared to other paid editing programs
- Podcast-specific – Designed specifically for editing podcasts, interviews, and radio shows
- Automatic leveling – Automatically levels the volume to make the editing process quicker
- Pro version – While it has great additional features, the Pro version is an expensive and unnecessary purchase
TwistedWave is a bit of an unsung hero in the world of audio editing. This macOS-exclusive DAW is suitable for beginner and intermediate podcasters looking to up their podcast editing game. Sure, the user interface is a bit outdated, but this DAW is far better than it looks.
Not only does TwistedWave offer the ability to record, edit, and master podcast episodes, but it also comes with the unique feature of finding dead spots.
Podcasts are naturally going to have moments of quiet, and if you’re keen on finding these to make cuts, then TwistedWave will find them for you. This silence detector isn’t commonly found in DAWs!
Plus, TwistedWave is an affordable option at under $100. You can buy it for Mac, iPhone, or iPad here.
- Silence detector – Automatically highlights dead spots to help the editing process
- Affordable – An affordable DAW option at under $100
- Download as an app – Work on editing podcasts on your iPhone or iPad when away from your Mac
- User interface – Slightly outdated appearance and lack of online tutorials
#8 Pro Tools
If you want to mimic a professional recording studio, then check out Pro Tools. Pro Tools is first and foremost a professional-quality music production DAW, making this a fantastic option for music podcasts.
In fact, long-running podcasts that feature musical artists almost definitely used Pro Tools to edit the audio.
While there is a free version with 23 plugins, you’d ideally want to pay for the full version to play with 115 plugins. The only downside is that the monthly price is pretty steep for those who aren’t earning from their podcast.
However, if you are making a monthly profit from your podcast, this is a worthy investment.
You can make a monthly subscription of $29.99 for Avid’s Pro Tools here.
- Option to upgrade – While limited in comparison, there is a free option with a suitable number of features
- Professional-quality – used by industry professionals in music production and podcasts
- User-friendly – Lots of online tutorials available for beginners
- Price – Expensive monthly subscription for the paid version
So, there you have it! Turns out, there are lots of DAW options for podcasters of all skill levels (see also Best Podcast Recording Software). The key is to focus on programs you can afford, and the ones that match your skill level.
Paid DAWs are, ultimately, a worthy investment if you wish to make the most of your podcast, so it’s definitely worth considering some of the paid DAWs.