Best Podcast Editing Software: At-a-Glance
- There is a wide range of podcast editing software options on the market today.
- At their core, they all really function and work in the same way.
- For many, the choice comes down to budget. There are free options out there, like Audacity.
- Paid platforms like Adobe Audition are immensely powerful and flexible, though overkill for most podcasters.
- A dedicated podcast editing tool like Alitu is a great option for those who want simplicity and automation. And it’s so much more than just editing software, too.
- Read on to find out more…
Is there a single best podcast editing software option out there? Unsurprisingly, no. But, we can tell you some of the best options FOR YOU!
That’s because, although all podcasters have much in common, there are also a lot of individual factors to think about with something like this.
People come to podcasting with different backgrounds, skill levels, experiences, commitments, ambitions, and budgets. And those are just a few factors that might help decide what the best podcast editing software for someone is.
This makes it impossible to recommend one podcast editing software option as “the best” – so I’m going to offer four recommendations under the categories.
Remember, if you’re looking for a guide to ALL of the types of software you’ll need to run a show, check out our main Podcast Software article, for recording, editing, scheduling & planning software, and more!
Our ‘Best Podcast Editing Software’ guide was originally written in 2018. We update this post periodically to reflect changes in technology, our recommendations, and because we’re always learning new things!
Are you a complete beginner with no real technical background, and no desire to learn about podcast audio editing?
If so, there’s a tool called Alitu that’ll let you record and build your episodes in an incredibly simple way. All you need is an internet connection.
Its user-friendly interface is easier to navigate than your average social media app. And it’s so much more than just an audio editing software package too.
You can record your audio in Alitu – either solo episodes or remote conversations – so you won’t need to pay extra for a call recorder subscription.
It’ll then take your raw recording, automatically balance out your audio levels, and do the cleanup and processing for you. It’ll let you add in your music, segments, transitions, etc. In fact, it’ll even go as far as to publish your episode for you once it’s ready, either in Alitu’s own hosting, or directly to most popular podcast hosting providers.
Full disclosure here – Alitu is our own app.
It was something we developed because so many of you were asking for a completely simple solution to podcast editing. The feedback so far has been brilliant so far too. One user commented that her show “would never have seen the light of day” if it wasn’t for Alitu.
One Alitu feature that’s going down a storm with users is the Playback Speed settings. This comes in handy when you’ve recorded hours of audio and need to listen through it to find and make any edits. With the Playback Speed feature, this can now be done in half the time. So if you’re in the “non-techy”, “complete beginner”, or “time-strapped” camps (or all three!), be sure to check out Alitu.
Alitu pricing: $32 a month (7-day free trial available)
The Free Podcast Editing Software Option: Audacity
Maybe you’re a complete beginner who’s not looking to spend any money, but has some spare time to learn the basics of podcast editing.
If that’s the case, Audacity is your best option.
A stalwart in the world of podcasting, Audacity is an open-source audio recording and editing program. Such programs are also known as DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).
The fact that Audacity is free makes it the most commonly used DAW in podcasting too.
But being free isn’t its only appeal. It’s also packed with enough features to build any type of podcast episode you like.
The latest version has also introduced non-destructive editing, too – which is a big step forward for the platform. It used to be that when you cut stuff out in Audacity, it was gone for good. But now the software works in the same way as most other podcast editors – your cuts are “hidden” rather than deleted entirely.
We actually have a huge, in-depth course on how to use Audacity, from beginner to pro, inside Podcraft Academy. But you’ll also find enough free tutorials out there to get you up and running if you’re working with no budget whatsoever!
Audacity pricing: Free
The Pro Podcast Editing Software Option: Hindenburg Journalist
Hindenburg Journalist is a DAW that’s specifically designed for podcasters and radio journalists.
The Hindenburg website says that the program’s “focus is on storytelling.” and “The design and features are tailored spoken-word productions.”
This actually makes it a little cleaner and less intimidating than its more advanced alternatives.
With Hindenburg Journalist, you can put together complex documentary-style episodes with multiple elements without being an audio production master.
If you’re interested in learning more about whether Hindenburg is your best podcast editing software option, check out our more in-depth look at this tool.
An alternative to Hindenburg at the Pro-level option is Reaper, and you can read our full Reaper review to get the lowdown on that software, too.
Hindenburg Journalist Price
Hindenburg Journalist pricing: $99 (one-off)
The Advanced Podcast Editing Software Option: Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is an excellent podcast software option for someone who wants complete flexibility and control over their projects.
This DAW has everything you need to achieve a level of mastery in audio editing and production.
But, unless you’re an experienced podcaster or audio editor, Audition can be a steep learning curve. That said, once you’ve grasped the basics, the stuff you can do with your audio is pretty limitless.
I use it for high-quality audio multi-track editing, piecing separate tracks together (voices, music, sound effects, etc) to produce audio drama soundscapes. Audition’s advanced tools make it a stand-out option if you’re prepared to spend a bit of time and money on getting first-class sound quality.
You can read my full review of Adobe Audition here, where I run through some of my favourite features for producing podcasts. That’ll give you a glimpse into how this advanced software looks, feels, and performs.
A quick heads up that our link below is an affiliate, so we’d earn a small commission if you were to buy through it – at absolutely no extra cost to yourself!
Adobe Audition Price
Adobe Audition pricing: $20.99 a month
You can also get Adobe Audition as part of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, giving you access to their photo and video editors, along with many more of their apps.
Podcast Editing Software FAQ
We’ve covered the main recommendations. But you might still have a lot of questions about podcast editing software before making a final decision. Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
What Your Podcast Editing Software Can (And Can’t) Do
First up, why might you want to use podcast editing software in the first place? In what ways can it help you? And what sort of things are beyond its power?
Double up as Recording Software
Podcast editing software typically doubles up as podcast recording software. This is handy because it means you only need one single platform to record and edit your podcast.
One exception here is if you’re recording remote conversations with interviewees or co-hosts. Most podcast editing software packages don’t have a remote call recorder feature (with the exception being Alitu). If you’re using something other than Alitu to edit your episodes, then you’ll want to use dedicated call recording software too. You’d then download your audio after each session and import it into your podcast editing software to begin working on it.
Editing (Cutting Stuff Out)
People use podcast editing software for two main reasons. The obvious one is the editing out of mistakes and unwanted segments. This is literally where you cut out surplus content from the finished episode. For a deeper dive here, check out our ultimate guide to podcast editing.
Cleaning Up, & Fixing Volume Levels
Another key use of podcast editing software is a process known as “post-processing”. This is where you clean up any background noise, ensure that volume levels are consistent throughout, and that the overall volume of the episode is within generally accepted podcasting standards.
Audio Quality: Repair, or Enhance to Studio Standard?
Your podcast editing software can be a powerful tool. But it isn’t magic. Nor is it a substitute for good practices in the recording process. If you hear a podcast that has great audio quality, the main factors at play are that the podcaster has a decent level of gear, is using it in the right way, and has taken the recording environment into consideration.
The cleaning up of “background noise” is a bit of an ambiguous term too. Editing software can easily clean up consistent sounds like the hiss or hum underneath the vocals caused by things like equipment, fans, or AC units. However, background noise like people shouting, doors slamming, and phones ringing aren’t so easy to remove. With a bit of know-how and the right tools, you can certainly have a stab, but often this type of audio surgery will leave audible flaws in the voices we’re trying to listen to.
Podcast Production Software Vs Audio Editing Software/Digital Audio Workstations
You can use any type of audio editing tools or software for your podcast, but dedicated podcast production software does exist nowadays, too.
For years, podcasters used equipment and software that was built – first and foremost – for music production.
As podcasting continues to grow, though, we’ve seen technology created specifically for the medium. Hardware-based examples of this are audio interface devices like the Zoom PodTrak P4 and Rode Rodecaster II.
Using pro-level software like Audition will give you tonnes of flexibility, including the ability to add and mix in all sorts of audio effects. But for most podcasters, this is overkill, and can add unnecessary complications.
Dedicated podcast editing software like Alitu, on the other hand, was tailor-made for podcasters. That means it has a suite of features for podcasters that stretch beyond the editing and production realm – from call recording, to hosting and transcriptions built-in!
Podcast Editing Software Vs Hiring a Podcast Editor?
You’ve really two options when it comes to editing podcasts – you can learn to do it yourself, or you can hire someone else to do it.
If you work with a dedicated podcast editor, then you can pay them to turn your source files and audio tracks into fully mixed and mastered episodes.
An additional benefit, alongside not having to do this work yourself, is that you can get feedback from an actual qualified human. Your podcast editor might send you a note along the lines of “please turn off those noise gates”, “buy yourself a pop filter”, or “stop recording in that cave”.
It’s in their interests that your source material sounds as good as possible because they can then polish it up even better. If you record low-quality audio, on the other hand, no producer or production software will be able to make it sound decent.
Whilst getting that human feedback from a podcast editor is a big plus, there are downsides to outsourcing, too. It’s a lot more expensive, for starters. And you’re also now relying on someone else to get your show ready and out on time.
There’s no right or wrong approach here – only what works best for you and your budget. If you’re interested in hiring a podcast producer then check out your range of options, linked there. Or, if you’re set on finding the best podcast editing software so you can do it yourself, then let’s crack on with some options.
Publishing Content: Uploading Your Files
Regardless of which editing process or software you use, you’ll eventually need to upload your finished episode files and make them ready for the world to hear.
There are loads of great podcast hosting providers out there. Once you sign up for one, you fill out your show’s description, add your cover art, and upload your very first episode. Then, you can start submitting your podcast to all the major listening apps and platforms.
Recording and editing podcasts, as well as uploading and publishing them can all happen in one single place now, too, with Alitu. Hosting is the latest tool to be added to its arsenal, so you only need to work in one single place if you’re keen to save time, money, and, streamline your workflow.
But, as I’ve said, there are a lot of great podcast hosting options out there too, so check up our roundup if you’d like to do a bit of shopping around.
Best Podcast Editing Software – Which Version?
As mentioned at the start, everyone is different, and it’s impossible to pick one single best podcast editing software option. It all depends on where you are at this moment in time in your podcasting journey.
There will always be exceptions, but on a general level here’s a summary of my recommendations.
Looking to save time, avoid learning anything about audio editing, AND have access to a remote call recording, transcriptions, and hosting built into your editing software?
Looking for a free option, but are prepared to invest some time in learning audio editing?
Alternatively, if you can afford to spend some money, as well as a little time, you can learn the streamlined DAW Hindenburg Journalist which is designed with audio storytelling in mind.
Or, if you want long-term flexibility, and no limits on your quest for audio production mastery, then check out Adobe Audition.
It’s also worth noting that – like whatever microphone you use – your editing software is just a means to an end. The quality of your podcast will ultimately be decided by its content, and no editing software or DAW can guarantee you growing an audience.
With that said, none can hold you back from growing one, either!
So choose something, learn it, and use it to the best of your ability. But don’t let it distract you too much from the work that matters most – creating engaging episodes that people want to listen to.