Best Podcast Recording Software for Every Scenario & Budget

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Podcast recording software comes in many forms, and most will do a bit more than simply record audio. Find one that best suits you right here!

There’s no shortage of podcast recording software options on the market these days. But for most people, too much choice is as bad as none at all. In this roundup, we’re going to help you choose the ideal option for your own unique needs, budget, and setup.

And, if you’re at an early stage in your podcasting journey, here are another couple of important guides worth bookmarking for future reading;

A quick heads up, too, that we sometimes use affiliate links to products and services we recommend. Buying through these links means we may earn a small commission, though at no extra cost to yourself. Affiliates help support all the free content we put out on the site!

With that all said, let’s dive in to the meat of the article…

What is Podcast Recording Software?

There are a lot of ambiguous terms in podcasting – most notably, people who refer to their podcast episodes as “podcasts” – so it’s always useful to kick off with a bit of clarity.

Podcast recording software comes in many forms, and most will do a bit more than simply record audio. Here are the three most popular types we see:

The DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

Digital Audio Workstations (or DAWs) are sophisticated programmes. With a DAW you can not only record audio, but you can also do all your editing and production inside them, too. This can be as simple as a single voice with some intro music, or it can be as complex as a cinematic soundscaped audio drama.

The Call Recorder Tool

Most podcast interviews happen remotely. This gives podcasters the freedom to bring on interesting guests from anywhere in the world. Call recording tools do exactly what they say on the tin. A few of them even offer live broadcast and production features. Typically, users run them within web browsers, though some do offer dedicated desktop apps.

The ‘Podcast Maker’ Tool

‘Podcast Maker’ tools tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the two types listed above. They’ll let you record your episodes, then provide a range of simplified options for editing, producing, and publishing them.

Best Podcast Recording Software Options

As I’ve mentioned already, the “best” option for you will depend on your own unique needs, budget, and setup. You’ll find something for everyone in the following roundup. Options are listed in alphabetical order, and are hopefully nice and skimmable for you 🙂

Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is like a bigger and better version of the popular free DAW Audacity (mentioned further on). With Audition, there are a lot more options and you’ll have much more flexibility and tools at your disposal. On the flip side, these extras obviously raise the barrier to entry, too.

  • Type: DAW
  • Price: $21 a month
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Steep

Additional Resources

Alitu: the podcast maker - best podcast recording software

Alitu

Full disclosure, Alitu is actually our very own ‘podcast maker’ tool. We built it because so many people told us they were struggling with the editing and production side of things. You can also record your podcast with Alitu, be that a local recording or an online call. You can publish your episodes from within Alitu, too!

  • Type: ‘Podcast Maker’ tool
  • Price: $32 a month (7-day free trial)
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resource: How to Make a Podcast With Alitu

Anchor: Record With Friends

Anchor‘s Record With Friends tool offers call recording, editing, and hosting options – all for free. It can be used with up to 5 remote guests who can join in via mobile (Anchor app) or desktop. Conversations are recorded onto one single track. Then, edit your audio afterwards, and upload and publish directly to Anchor!

  • Type: ‘Podcast Maker’ tool
  • Price: Free
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resources:

Audacity

Audacity is a popular and free open-source DAW. If you are running a solo show, or, recording a guest or co-host locally, then it has everything you need. On the flip side, two common criticisms of Audacity are that it looks a bit clunky and can seem complicated to beginners. That said, the price tag of Free is a big plus for many on a tight or non-existent budget.

  • Type: DAW
  • Price: Free
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Moderate

Additional Resources:

Cast

Cast lets you record yourself and up to 3 guests. There are editing and production options available. It also doubles up as a media host, so you can upload and publish your episodes, too. Google Chrome is the recommended browser for recording on Cast.

  • Type: ‘Podcast Maker’ tool
  • Price: From $10 a month
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resource: Best Online Call Recorders

Descript

Descript is an innovative platform for creating and editing podcasts. It’s most popular for its auto-transcripts which then give you the ability to make edits to your audio from within the text. It can also learn your voice so you type out scripts and have “you” say them!

  • Type: ‘Podcast Maker’ tool
  • Price: Get started for free
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: Yes
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resource: Descript Review

Hindenburg

Hindenburg is a unique DAW because it’s actually designed with podcasters, radio people, and audiobook producers in mind. Most other DAWs are primarily for music production but just so happen to lend themselves well to spoken-word content. Hindenburg is definitely the DAW with the lowest barrier to entry for folks new to audio production.

  • Type: DAW
  • Price: From $10 a month
  • Editing & Production: Yes
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Moderate

Additional Resource: 5 Ways That Hindenburg Will Save You Podcast Production Time

podcaster picking equipment

Podbean Live Stream

You can run Podbean Live Stream on desktop (Chrome) or mobile (use Podbean app for Android/iOS). It’ll let you host up to 5 active co-hosts and guests at any one time. Your audience can tune in and listen along live, as well as call in to participate. Conversations will be recorded onto one single track. You can play music and audio effects during your show, and once it’s finished, upload and publish directly to Podbean.

Get a month’s free hosting with Podbean when you sign up using the coupon code podcraft.

  • Type: Call Recorder
  • Price: Get started for free
  • Editing & Production: No
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Moderate

Additional Resources:

Ringr Podcast Recording Software

Ringr is an app that enables you to record calls on your mobile or desktop.  You can record yourself and 4 guests on the $19 a month premium package. They recommend that participants use Google Chrome or Firefox. Use the coupon code podcraft when you sign up for a paid plan for 10% off monthly or 25% off annually! 

  • Type: Call Recorder
  • Price: From $8 a month
  • Editing & Production: No
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resource: Best Online Call Recorders

Riverside.fm

Riverside is a top-quality piece of call recording software with a lot of flexibility. You can record up to 8 people on individual tracks and it’ll record video as well as audio. You can also run live streams on Twitter, Youtube, or Facebook live, as well as accept live call-ins from listeners. They have a mobile app for iOS and Android, too!

  • Type: Call Recorder
  • Price: From $9 a month
  • Editing & Production: No
  • Video Recording: Yes
  • Learning Curve: Moderate

Additional Resources:

Spreaker Studio

Spreaker Studio comes as either a desktop or mobile app and works in a similar vein to an online radio station. You have the option to go live and interact with your listeners in real-time through its chat function. Conversations will be recorded onto one single track. Being a media host, you can upload and publish directly to Spreaker, too.

You can start for free, but storage and session duration will be limited. Paid tiers offer more options and start from $5.99 a month. You can get a month’s free hosting with Spreaker when you use our link to sign up.

  • Type: ‘Podcast Maker’ tool
  • Price: Get started for free
  • Editing & Production: Basic Top & Tail
  • Video Recording: No
  • Learning Curve: Moderate

Additional Resource: Best Podcast Maker Apps

SquadCast Podcast Recording Software

With SquadCast you can record yourself and up to 3 guests on individual tracks. Recently, SquadCast introduced the option to record video. You’d just need to upgrade to the $40 per month tier to access that feature. $50 per month gives you the ability to record up to 10 people, too.

  • Type: Call Recorder
  • Price: From $10 a month
  • Editing & Production: No
  • Video Recording: Yes
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resource: Best Online Call Recorders

Zencastr Podcast Recording Software

One of the original online multitrack recorder options on the market, Zencastr allows for 4 guests and 1 host, with a ‘5 or more guests’ option in Beta. There’s an auto post-production option that’ll mix these all together and level them up afterwards. You can generate transcriptions with Zencastr too. Recommended browsers are Google Chrome, Brave, or Microsoft Edge. Use coupon code THEPODCASTHOST for 20% off the first three months of a monthly pro subscription with Zencastr.  If used for a yearly subscription, it will be 20% off for the entire year!

  • Type: Call Recorder
  • Price: Get started for free
  • Editing & Production: Basic post-production
  • Video Recording: Yes, now in Open Beta
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resource: Best Online Call Recorders

Zoom

Zoom is the go-to video chat option for millions of people around the world. It can also be used as podcast recording software. You can capture remote conversations in both audio and video form. The overall quality will struggle to compete with the other options in this roundup, but for many, the fact that so many people are familiar with Zoom makes it their ideal option.

  • Type: Call Recorder
  • Price: Start for free
  • Editing & Production: No
  • Video Recording: Yes
  • Learning Curve: Simple

Additional Resources:

podcasting from space

Summary: Best Podcast Recording Software

I know I said at the beginning “sometimes too much choice is as bad as none at all”, and then followed up by listing a whole load of choices. But I’ve tried my best to make it ‘skimmable’, highlighting things like cost and main features.

Take a quick look over it, make a shortlist of the 2-3 that most fit with your needs. Then, take a deeper dive into the additional links under those sections.

A final few thoughts, in summary: The vast majority of podcasters run online interview shows, so will be looking for online call capabilities within their podcast recording software. Though if your guests have the ability to record good audio on their side, you might still opt for a DAW and run double-ender recordings.

A word of warning, too, that online call recorders can suffer a bit from ‘drift’. This is where each participant’s audio becomes out of sync the longer the conversation goes on.

Zencastr were quite prone to this a couple of years ago, but seem to have made big improvements. Most recently, we worked with a client recording via Anchor and the drift was quite bad. With it all being recorded onto a single track there was no way to fix it, either.

Ultimately though, no piece of software (podcast recording, or otherwise) is going to be free from bugs and glitches. The above options are all established and will all have their satisfied customers, as well as their dissatisfied users who’ve moved on to other platforms. Every company in the podcast recording software space will always be making adjustments and improvements. They all want to be the best, and that’s good news for you as a podcaster!

Best Podcast Recording Software: Final Recommendations

For most folks looking to record remote convos (co-hosts and interview guests) then it’s a coin toss between SquadCast and Riverside. If you just need to record audio straight into your computer then Audacity is completely free, which makes it appealing to many.

Let Alitu Take Care of Your Podcast Editing

Alitu is a tool that takes your recording, polishes it up, adds your music, and publishes the episode, all automatically.

Learn more about Alitu

A final shout out too, to our own tool, Alitu, which is one of the ‘podcast maker’ tool options mentioned above. You might opt for Alitu if you consider yourself “non-techy”, want to run remote calls, and don’t want to learn the ins and outs of editing, production, noise reduction, compression, etc. Why not give it a try, free, for 7 days to see what you think?

And remember to check out these 2 important guides, which will help give you a clearer view of exactly how everything fits together when it comes to recording your podcast…