DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation and refers to a software tool used to create music.
DAWs can also be used for recording and editing podcasts but you need to pick the right one that will be suited for the purpose.
When it comes to DAWs for podcasting, there are plenty of options that you can work with.
These range from the DAWs used for general music recording and production to podcast-specific DAWs that are specially designed for podcasting use-cases.
No matter your podcasting dreams, you will need a DAW that is equipped with the right podcasting features, that is easy to use and which has the robustness and versatility to make your vision a reality.
There is no better time to start your podcasting career than at this time when the art is at its peak.
The spontaneity, the niche focus, and the undying thirst for new content mean that podcasters are pretty much in top demand.
Today you can find podcasts focusing on every topic imaginable from work to tech, politics, homesteading, art, music, crime, literature, history, and much more.
It doesn’t take a lot of resources to produce podcasts so if you have good content and an eager audience, it is possible to have a very prolific run.
There is literally a podcast for every topic imaginable out there and yours could be amongst them with the right podcasting DAW, a microphone, and of course, the topic and you will be good to go.
These will form the basic setup and later on, you can incorporate mixers, high-end microphones, some marketing, and monetization.
For successful podcasting, you need a good Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for recording and editing your podcasts.
It should be one that packs the right user features, easy to use, and also within your budget.
At the most basic level, most DAWs should allow you to record and edit your work easily but it is the advanced features that will make all the difference to help you make those compelling and high-quality podcasts.
These features vary from one audio workstation to another.
Some are invariably better equipped than others and also better designed for podcast recordings.
There are DAWs that will only record the audios while others will be equipped with algorithms that can automatically edit the audio.
Go for a DAW that simplifies your podcasting so that you can focus on letting your creative juices flow.
When shopping for a new DAW for podcasting, it is also important to factor in user-level.
Some podcasting software will work for beginners while some have the breadth and sophistication that will appeal to professionals who have produced podcasts for years and have a precise idea of what they are looking for in the audio recording and editing software.
At the end of the day, the kind of software that you opt for will be up to you.
Map out your needs and find a tool that can satisfy those individual podcasting requirements.
When you have a clearer idea of what you want along with the budget that you are willing to spend on the DAW, you can hit the road running and start building your podcast brand.
In this article, we review some of the best DAWs for podcasting to help you choose the right one to power your podcast brand into superstar status.
If you are a complete beginner looking for any reliable podcasting DAW to help you get started, then you can’t go wrong with this free and open-source DAW.
Audacity is compatible not only with Windows 10 but also with Linux and macOS.
You can run it in Chromebooks via the Linux (Beta).
The interface isn’t beautiful and elegant-looking but it gets the job done.
Besides, the fact that it is a free DAW means that you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying this out.
Audacity enables you to record and edit multiple tracks and you can even use its effects to clear up the audio.
You can also use this DAW to export different file types.
If you are new to podcasting and just want to get a feel of how this works, you should try out this free DAW to master the terrain before you upgrade to more sophisticated systems that are likely to set you back a few hundred bucks.
- It’s a free DAW platform hence very easy on the wallet.
- You get full recording and editing capabilities
- Audacity is a very versatile recording and editing software that will virtually run on anything with a processor.
- In spite of the fact that it is free software, you still get full recording and editing capabilities.
- Lots of online tutorials on how to use Audacity that can give you a feel of the land
- It doesn’t offer you multitrack recording capabilities.
Reaper Version 6
Reaper is a DAW that combines affordability with comprehensive and rich features.
This DAW is relatively lightweight but it delivers very robust podcast editing capabilities than you would get with the free Audacity platform.
It is designed with an efficient code that enables it to load and operate fast.
As a result, you can seamlessly use it on some of the older computers.
You can even run Reaper from a USB drive.
Reaper is a multiplatform DAW that supports not only Windows but also macOS and Linux.
With Reaper, you have a multifunction DAW that you can use to record, edit, and mix all for a price of less than $100 which is within reach even for podcasting beginners.
If you buy the present version, you will also be eligible for weekly updates until it runs up to version 7.99.
It also offers plenty of customization options for the interface so if you don’t like the present look, you can play around with different skins to customize the appearance of this DAW.
The menus are also manually adjustable in order to give you the best user experience.
- It has a light code and thus loads and operates fast
- Easy UI and UX customization to get the best look and functionality
- It is an affordable DAW that still gives you excellent value for money.
- Still has all you need to record a top-quality podcast.
- Not many tutorials are available for this DAW.
Here is a podcasting software that has been specifically built for podcasts.
Don’t get us wrong.
Most of the other DAWs that are available in the market still deliver great recording and editing performance but they have been made for ‘general’ recording and editing work rather than specifically for podcasts.
There is an advantage to working with a software tool that has been uniquely made and tailored for podcasting applications.
For one, you are likely to find specific features that are better geared for podcasts rather than for general music production functions.
The Hindenburg Journalist is one such as DAW software tool that’s specifically built for podcasts and which lends itself intuitively to the podcast format including for interviews and radio.
The Hindenburg Journalist will work on both Windows and macOS.
It has a simple and straightforward interface that you can master and use easily.
It is also an affordable DAW that costs just $95.
For that price, you can pull everything off right from recording to editing.
The software will automatically fix the correct levels for your podcasts based on the loudness, ensuring that you provide your listeners with an optimal listening experience.
You can use the Hindenburg Journalist to record and edit your podcasts and then upload your podcast files directly to streaming portals such as SoundCloud or Libsyn.
The pro version of the Hindenburg Journalist comes with even impressive features including multitrack recording for Skype calls during your podcasts.
However, you will have to dig deeper for this pro version which goes for $395.
But it is a cost that you can do without as the standard version of the software still offers you a comprehensive package with all the impeccable and novel features to help you record a top-notch podcast.
- Powerful production and editing workflow which makes it a powerful podcasting solution.
- Audio levels are automatically set
- Get a one-click podcast upload to streaming platforms such as SoundCloud or Libsyn
- Has a voice profiler that fixes the EQ on voices to give you a more natural sound on your podcasts.
- With the clipboard feature, you can easily store your podcast interview clips that you can use at a later date.
- The regular version of the DAW does not feature “noise reduction”.
- It features multitrack recording for Skype Calls. The Pro version of the DAW has internet recording feature only.
- The DAW simply hordes too many features in its pro version which is priced beyond the reach of many podcasters.
The Adobe Audition is a podcasting tool that packs all the features that you need for optimal recording and editing functions for your podcasts.
In case you are missing any feature on the DAW, you can explore its countless add-ons to add the features that you want.
However, the biggest advantage with Adobe Audition is its Adobe Suite.
The Adobe ecosystem gives you a world of limitless options to work with on your podcasts.
If you are churning out lots of podcasts, you will be doing much more than recording and editing and you can leverage the massive Adobe software suite to do the extras.
You can use this ecosystem to also simplify your whole workflow.
For example, you can use the Adobe After Effects to help you design audiograms that you can use to promote your podcasts on social media channels.
You can also tap into Adobe Media Encoder to send out your work to social media channels.
Adobe Audition is relatively affordable making it the perfect piece of software to use if you are already relying heavily on the Adobe Suite for other projects.
It will seamlessly tie into your existing Adobe ecosystem and become an integral part of your project workflows.
- Tap into the broader Adobe creative suite ecosystem.
- It has podcast-specific features
- Lots of online classes and tutorials
- This being a professional and comprehensive DAW, beginners might find it a little overwhelming.
- It’s pricey
This is another great option for a podcasting DAW.
It’s a music app with lots of music making capabilities embedded in as well as a large selection of digital instruments.
However, you can still use this music DAW for your podcast recording and editing needs.
It is in fact one of the most underrated podcasting software solutions.
GarageBand is super-convenient if you own a Mac.
You can use it as a multipurpose app for making and editing music as well as for making and editing podcasts.
GarageBand allows you to quickly cut and paste your work or to move around parts of the audio.
You can use it to layer the usual user-friendly Apple experience in sound.
This would be a great fit if you already have Apple products.
Its user-friendliness would also be fortuitous if you are new to podcast recording and editing and wants to get a grasp of professional podcast editing.
- GarageBand is a free software and comes with all Apple devices
- With the Logic Remote app, you can transform your iPad into a second screen.
- This is a portable tool that you can use on-the-go for your podcasting.
- Thanks to the iCloud backup, you can simply pick up on your podcast recording and editing from where you left even if you are using a different Apple device.
- This is an iOS app and you might find it a bit constricting doing your podcast editing via an iPhone touchscreen.
- While both the iPad and iPhone have external microphones, they are not the most impressive, particularly for podcasting applications.
- It’s great for beginners but it doesn’t have the advanced features so if you are looking for powerful professional-grade software, particularly one that you can effectively use with multiple guests, then you will have to look elsewhere.
Auphonic is a powerful audio editing software that gives your recording a complete makeover.
It’s subscription-based but there is the free version known as Auphonic XS which you can use to upload up to two hours of audio per month.
Auphonic is a personal audio trainer that creates professionally-sounding podcast files.
It has an algorithm that will analyze the podcast files as well as the audio levels.
The algorithm can also reduce noise and transcribe audio from more than 80 languages amongst other podcast-oriented functions.
Auphonic is a good choice if you are looking for high-quality podcasts without having to handle the cumbersome editing work.
It costs $11 per month for up to 9 hours of processed audio.
- Auphonic can level the audio tracks and prevent the voices and the music from canceling one another out.
- You can use its speech recognition feature to transcribe audio recordings.
- Gives you the ability to save your work on multiple destinations including Dropbox, Google Drive, SoundCloud, and Libsyn among others.
- It is affordable
- You won’t get the essential features in the desktop version of Auphonics.
- You need internet access to use it
- You still need to edit your tracks on a DAW to do the trimming, audio ducking as well as the cutting out of the silent moments.
SquadCast is a unique podcasting tool for long-distance podcasting with a video chat functionality.
One of the workable podcast formats is where you have a group of participants talking about various topics, similar to what you’d have in a radio format.
With SquadCast, you get an all-in-one and long-distance podcasting tool that can accommodate multiple people.
With SquadCast, the host creates the account and then sends out an invitation link to up to three guests.
Each of the guests gets a video call.
There is also an optional video chat which is recorded as an audio file that has been uploaded in real-time to both the cloud as well as the host’s local drive.
When you complete the podcast, the SquadCast podcasting tool will avail every participant’s audio track which can subsequently be uploaded into the DAW for editing work.
- This is a podcasting tool with video functions to capture the authentic conversations of the participants.
- With its multitrack recording function, you can easily edit your podcasts while still being able to adjust the audio levels of each of the participants. This can have a massive positive impact on the quality of your podcast.
- Guests that have been invited to the podcast don’t have to create an account.
- Your podcasts are backed in the cloud.
- It is a costly podcasting solution priced at $9 per month or $100 per year for just 2 hours of audio recording monthly. This can be quite limiting or too costly if you are a prolific podcaster.
- Does not have an automatic editing functionality for your tracks.
- It does not record audio of the host’s computers to enable guests to listen to clips or audio from the host’s computer. This can be limiting if you want to do audio playbacks in your podcast show.
This is another long-distance podcast solution and unlike SquadCast above, it doesn’t impose any audio recording limits.
It is also fairly affordable and within reach of most podcasters at just $22 per month for individuals.
The price, $22, might seem to be on the higher end but you don’t have to grapple with any recording limits.
If you are a prolific power podcaster, you will get your money’s worth as you don’t have to deal with the constraints of a recording limit.
The software has a free version but this is not fully featured.
For example, it lacks the multitrack recording functionality that is limiting when you want to adjust the levels or do some edits along the way.
If you are low on budget and don’t have exacting podcast recording and editing requirements, the free version can suffice.
The pro version, of course, offers you much more.
For example, it gives you the option to control the audio channels to record and allows you to even adjust levels in the midst of recording.
If you are planning to produce long podcast episodes with your remote guests, then the pro version Cleanfeed will fit your needs.
- It is compatible with multiple operating systems including macOS, Windows Linux, and Android.
- Has multitrack recording functionality
- Allows you to adjust levels in the midst of a recording.
- You can invite guests to the podcast via a link. Only the host needs to have an account.
- Even factoring in the unlimited recording hours, $22 per month is still a steep price for a podcast software.
- No video option
- It doesn’t support iOS.
Zencastr is also a great DAW choice for long-distance podcasting.
Many of the podcasting software tools we have looked at so far offer you something unique and different.
With Zencastr, you get a mix of several features that make it a top choice for top podcasters.
Based on several user reviews, it is regarded as one of the top podcasting tools for long-distance podcast recording and editing.
In Zencastr, every guest is recorded as a separate and lossless WAV track.
This saves you significant space both on the local drive of the host as well as in the cloud services in case you are using a cloud storage solution.
It has a built-in VOIP service where guests can chat.
That means you no longer have to use third-party chat services such as Skype.
It’s also built with a soundboard feature that can be used by the host during the recording.
This allows you to podcast without doing massive editing afterward.
There is also intro and outro music as well as sound effects.
You can even add clips to your podcasts during the recording, a feature that is not available in some podcasting DAWs.
It processes the complete audio recording into one mixed track that has adjusted levels.
- You can host unlimited guests in Zencastr
- Has both MP3 and WAV recording options
- It automatically processes the finished audio with adjusted (optimized) sound levels.
- Every session gives you up to three hours of recording.
- Cloud-backed files
- Offers you a sleek web-based user interface
- Get up to 8 hours of recording with the free version
TwistedWave is a very robust audio editing software that is well suited for your podcasting requirements.
From a casual look, it appears like one of those nondescript DAWs but looks can be deceiving.
It is capable of recording high-quality audio which is key to successful podcasting.
It also packs enough features that make it good enough for professional-grade podcasts.
The software has some novel podcast-oriented features such as a silence detector which will automatically detect the dead spots in a podcast.
It may not have a sleek and professional interface but it has lots going for it when it comes to the core podcast recording, editing as well as mastering that it can adequately handle professional podcasting.
With its comprehensive set of features, TwistedWave is quite a steal for under $100.
- For its lineup of features, the price of under $100 is quite a steal
- It has a silence detector to find the dead spots in your podcast recording.
- You can use TwistedWave to convert your podcast recording into multiple file types.
- Has both iPhone and iPad support
- It is fast
- The user interface could do with some facelift
- The user-base is still small
- It is still a pricey podcast DAW
Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is at the very apex of quality, performance, and reliability and is the undisputed top choice for macOS audio engineers.
Like GarageBand, it is also from Apple hence only available for Apple products.
However, this DAW is much more robust, faster, better, and also costlier than GarageBand.
You will, however, notice some similarities between the Logic Pro X interface and that for GarageBand so if you have used the latter before, you will have little problem adapting to the new one.
Logic Pro X is so advanced and so comprehensive that using it for podcasting seems like a bit of an overkill.
This DAW outdoes itself even when it comes to music production so using it for podcasting puts a powerful tool in your hands.
Some podcasters would balk from this, preferring a leaner and more straightforward podcast-oriented software.
However, if you are well-versed with the mixing board, the Logic Pro X will still work for your podcasts.
- The Logic Pro X interface is similar to that of GarageBand so you won’t have a problem onboarding onto it if you have used the latter in the past.
- Get professional-grade mixing and mastering functionality
- You can use Logic Pro X with iOS devices for both production and editing uses.
- For purely podcast productions, this is a bit of an overkill.
- Most of its features are geared for music production.
Here is another powerful DAW for podcasting.
It is an all-in-one professional-grade recording studio.
It’s a top-of-the-line tool that might also seem like an overkill for podcasting applications.
It is mostly used by music producers and has music-oriented features.
Its interface is not very comprehensive.
It’s streamlined enough and also has plenty of powerful plugins that music producers and audio engineers can use for quality audio output.
On the flip side, you will cough out quite a bit for Pro Tools.
The base software begins from $29.99 per month and for this price, many of its features are still geared towards music production rather than other functions such as podcasting.
That means you will spend quite a bit for features that you will not need, especially if you are using it purely for podcasting.
The free version of the software comes with certain features that you will require for your podcast production but some features are missing.
If after a few months you determine that you need to unlock more gated features, you can simply upgrade to the base version.
- The free version of the software will be adequate for your podcasting needs.
- There are lots of free tutorials that you can read to get yourself up to speed with Avid’s Pro Tools
- You get up to 23 plugins in the free version and 115 plugins in the paid version
- This is certainly no DAW for beginners.
- It is expensive
The FL Studio is the professional DAW option that is preferred by many music producers.
It is widely deployed in the industry.
It’s no doubt built for music recording and editing but you can extend some of its features to podcast production.
This being a professional-grade DAW, pricing is going to be on the higher side but it’s a one-off purchase.
You don’t have to grapple with the monthly payment plans which cost you more over the long haul.
Its most basic edition is the Fruity version which costs $99 but this will be unusable for podcasting applications as it lacks the audio recording functionality.
For podcasts, you will need to purchase the Producer version which goes for $199.
- One-time payment saves you money over the long haul.
- With the Producer version, you get all the features you need for professional podcasts.
- There is no audio recording in the basic edition.