Choosing the Best Podcast Recording Software for Your Needs (and budget)
Looking to start a podcast? With so many podcast recording software options on the market, finding the best fit can take time. In this article, we’ll guide you through the features needed to find the perfect fit for your podcast (and budget).
Types of Podcast Recording Software and Platforms
Think of it this way: just like how a chef needs quality ingredients to whip up a delicious meal, a podcaster needs the right tools to craft an engaging show. So, let’s dive in and explore the various options to consider.
Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve all become experts in virtual communication, and now you can choose to put that expertise to use for your podcast recordings. That’s right, your preferred virtual meeting tool could also be your go-to recording software for your next podcast episode. Here we look at two of the most widely used conferencing tools and how these work for podcast recording:
Zoom is frequently used as a podcast recording software because of its popularity as a video calling platform, affordability, and ability to record both video and audio. However, its audio quality may not always be reliable, and because the files are compressed, the quality is lower. The lack of separate video tracks for each participant and because files are only saved after the Zoom meeting is over, there may be a risk for lost files. Zoom does offer a free plan, is compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs, and can record up to 100 participants in one recording with up to 1080p online recording resolution, transcriptions, and cloud storage.
Although Skype has lost its position as the top online video chat service, it’s still a popular option among podcasters thanks to its user-friendly interface. With Skype, all you do is click record, making it a suitable option for podcasters who are starting to experiment with recording episodes. However, Skype recordings rely on your internet connection and offer low quality audio files, which might not meet your listeners’ expectations. Also, recordings are only available to download for 30 days and are not securely stored on the platform permanently. That said, Skype is free and widely used.
Multi-purpose audio recording tools
Multi-purpose audio recording tools record and edit audio for a variety of purposes, from podcasting to music production. These versatile tools offer a range of features to suit different needs and budgets. Here are two examples:
Audacity is a free, open-source, multi-purpose audio recording software that’s accessible on all desktops. The somewhat outdated interface can be a bit complicated to navigate, but it offers a variety of basic recording and editing features and supports different file formats, making it a good option for recording audio podcasts. However, it’s not designed for video podcasting, and it does not provide live call or email support.
Garage Band is a free audio editing software designed for music production and can also be used for podcasting. It offers basic recording and editing features with the ability to add effects from its sound library. With a simple interface and an accompanying iOS app, it’s a great option for beginners who don’t want to invest in specialized software yet. However, it has limited tools and is only compatible with Mac and iOS devices.
Digital Audio Workstations
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW’s), are specialized software applications used for recording, editing, and producing audio. These tools are versatile, making them the go-to option for musicians, podcasters, and other audio creators. Here are two of the top DAW options available for podcasters.
Hindenburg Pro is a software for podcasts that packs a punch. With features like automatic audio leveling and noise reduction, it’s easy to create high-quality audio recordings. It’s a reliable choice for recording interviews, and its Voice Profile feature balances the audio for each host. While it may come with a hefty price tag and lacks some more advanced recording and editing features, the production value and user-friendliness make it a popular choice for professionals and beginners alike.
Adobe Audition is a professional-grade audio editing software with an extensive list of features, including multitrack recording and a library of royalty-free music and sound effects. While it may not be the most affordable option out there, it’s the perfect choice for podcasters looking to add a professional touch to their recordings. With live monitoring, advanced editing tools, and easy integration with Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition is a good option for serious podcasters. However, beginners may find the software intimidating, and it does not offer built-in remote recording software features.
Purpose built Podcast Recording Platforms
If you’re looking for a podcast recording platform designed specifically for podcasting, purpose-built options are your best bet. These platforms are created to make recording and producing podcasts simple. With features tailored specifically to podcasting needs, they offer superior quality and performance. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to up your game, consider checking out these purpose-built podcast recording platforms.
Look no further than SquadCast – as the trusted choice for remote podcast recording with over 10,000 customers, including big names like Microsoft, Spotify, and ESPN, we can take your podcast to the next level. With progressive upload feature, your audio files are uploaded in real-time, providing you with complete peace of mind. And let’s not forget about sound quality – our advanced features, like localized recording and multiple backup files, ensure that you receive the highest possible audio quality, even when your guests are using their laptop’s built-in microphone. Plus, with the option to download your audio in WAV or MP3 format, you have the flexibility to edit and master your audio to your liking.
Setting up a recording session is a breeze too – just click “Add session,” fill in the details, and add the email addresses of your guests (up to 10). They’ll receive an automatic invite with a link to the session, and they can join with just one click – no signing up necessary. It’s a seamless user experience that makes recording your podcast a joy.
At SquadCast, we are true podcast fanatics and have thought carefully about user experience and quality, making our remote podcast recording software the ultimate choice for podcasters who demand the best.
Riverside’s high-quality local recording makes it a good choice for podcasters who prioritize sound and video quality. Its Editor tool allows for easy customization and the Media Board provides sound effects to enhance a podcast. However, Riverside lacks advanced editing features.
While it may not offer the advanced features of other purpose-built podcast recording platforms, Riverside’s user-friendly interface, local recording function, and high-quality recordings make it a reliable choice for podcasters of all levels.
Spotify for Podcasts (Previously Anchor)
Spotify for Podcasts offers a browser-based recording software and mobile podcast recording app to create audio segments. It also allows you to record with up to five guests remotely using the Record With Friends feature on the same mobile app. Anchor enables users to upload pre-recorded files to combine with Anchor recordings. However, you can only record segments of up to 30 minutes on Chrome and five minutes on Safari, though you can record unlimited segments.
How to choose podcasting software
Your choice of podcasting software should depend on your level of experience. Beginners should choose a platform that’s easy to use and navigate, with a straightforward interface and basic editing tools. More experienced podcasters may need more advanced features, such as the ability to record and edit multiple tracks, or integrate with other software. If you determine your budget from the start, you’ll be sure to get the best value for your money.
Finally, consider the features you need. Do you need a platform that allows for remote recording with guests or co-hosts? Do you require advanced editing tools for post-production work? Do you want a platform that integrates with other software, such as video editing software or social media platforms? By considering these factors carefully and doing your research, you’ll be able to find the perfect platform to suit your needs and experience.
Choosing a Podcast Recording Platform Based on Your Level
Depending on whether you’re just starting out, looking to grow your audience, or already an established podcaster, there are different requirements for each stage of your podcasting journey.
Best Podcast Recording Platform for Beginners
For beginners, a podcast recording platform should be easy to use and provide the basics needed to start recording and publishing your podcast. Cost is also important, since you don’t want to invest a lot of money before you’ve even started. Look for a platform with affordable pricing plans or even a free option. Finally, it’s important to choose a platform that provides good customer support and resources for beginners. With these factors in mind, there are several great options out there for beginners looking to launch their first podcast. We recommend three top options:
Best Podcast Recording Platform for Growing and Established Podcasters
As a growing or established podcaster, you have already found success in creating engaging content and building a loyal audience. But as your podcast grows, so do your needs for a reliable and high-quality podcast recording platform that offers a variety of integrations for automating workflow. When it comes to choosing the best podcast recording platform, there are a few key factors to consider.
First, reliability is crucial. You need a platform that can provide crystal clear audio and video consistently, so you can focus on creating great content without worrying about technical difficulties. Remote recording capabilities are also a must-have for busy podcasters who need to collaborate with guests and co-hosts in different locations. And for those who regularly feature multiple guests, the ability to manage and record all participants seamlessly is essential.
The type of podcast you’re recording will also play a role in determining the best platform. If you’re conducting in-person interviews, you’ll need a platform that can capture high-quality audio and video on location. If you’re conducting remote interviews, you’ll need a platform that can facilitate remote recording with multiple guests.
Best Podcast Recording Platform for In Person Interviews
For in-person interviews, you have two options: an audio interface connected to a computer or a standalone recorder.
If you already have a reliable computer, an audio interface might be the best route. With an audio interface, you can connect microphones to your computer and use software to record the audio. For those on a tight budget, an audio interface is a great option.
For a portable and affordable option, the Tascam DR-40 and Zoom H4n portable recorders are excellent choices. They save audio files to memory cards and even have their own internal microphone, which can be used solo or as an additional microphone in your setup. On the higher end of the price range, though less portable, are dedicated podcast recording devices such as the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 and Rode’s RODECaster Pro.
When choosing equipment, consider how your needs may evolve in the future, remembering that you can always sell equipment later to upgrade.
Best Podcast Recording Platform for Remote Interviews
For remote interviews, it’s crucial to have a platform that offers crystal clear audio and video quality, reliable connectivity, and user-friendly features to make the recording process easy.
Top three options for Remote Interviews:
- SquadCast: SquadCast stands out as the clear choice. Offering high-quality audio and video recording capabilities, a user-friendly interface, and reliable connectivity that makes remote recording a breeze, SquadCast will take your podcast to the next level.
- Zencastr: Another option is Zencastr. While not as dependable from an audio quality perspective, the platform has easy-to-use remote recording features, and automatic post-production, making it a good choice for busy podcasters.
- Riverside: Riverside is another option for podcasters seeking high-quality remote recording capabilities and automated editing tools. However, it lacks the seamless user experience and superior sound quality of SquadCast. And, keep in mind that Riverside does not have progressive uploads so the risk of losing your recording if the app is closed, crashes, or disconnects is higher.
Best Podcast Recording Platform for Solo Podcasts
A variety of options exist for solo podcasts. One of the most simple and cost-effective ways to get started is by using a USB microphone and a computer with recording software such as Audacity, GarageBand, or Adobe Audition.
However, for those seeking even higher quality audio recording, portable digital recorders are the way to go. See our previous recommendations for these.
But what if you’re on a tight budget? You can simply use your smartphone and a recording app like Voice Memos (iOS) or Easy Voice Recorder (Android). Although the audio quality won’t be as good, it’s still a great way to start without investing in additional equipment.
Choosing a Podcast Recording Software Based on Your Budget
You want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Best Free Podcast Recording Platforms:
If you’re on a tight budget, free podcast recording platforms can be a great option. While they have fewer features and capabilities than their paid counterparts, they can get you started. We chose our top three:
- Audacity is easy to use and offers noise reduction and normalization. For being free it offers a good range of plugins and features that can be used to enhance the recording quality of your podcast.
- GarageBand offers a range of features, including multiple track recording, a built-in synthesizer, and effects processors. While GarageBand is primarily aimed at musicians, it is also a great tool for podcasters.
- Zoom is a popular video conferencing tool, but it is also a good option for podcasters. It offers features such as screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and breakout rooms that can be useful for podcasting. While it is primarily a paid service, a free version offers basic recording and hosting features.
Best Paid Podcast Recording Platforms:
If you’re looking for more advanced features and capabilities, paid podcast recording platforms are the best option. In addition to offering advanced features and capabilities, they provide better audio quality, additional storage, advanced editing tools, and support for multiple guests.
Our top 3 recommendations:
- SquadCast is the popular choice for podcasters seeking a reliable, user-friendly, and high-quality recording platform. Offering studio-quality audio, crystal clear video, and a range of advanced features, including automatic post-production, remote recording, and multiple guest support, SquadCast is committed to ensuring podcasters have a seamless and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
- Hindenburg Prois is another great option for podcasters seeking a paid recording platform. This software is designed specifically for podcasters and offers a range of advanced editing tools, including multi-track editing, noise reduction, and automatic leveling.
- Zencastr is a reliable and easy-to-use platform that offers high-quality audio and video recording capabilities. It also includes a range of advanced features, including automatic post-production, cloud backup, and support for multiple guests.
Choosing a Podcast Recording Platform based on Features
When choosing a podcast recording platform, there are several important features to consider. First and foremost, you need studio-quality audio and crystal-clear video. These are essential for producing professional-sounding podcasts. User friendliness is also important.
Reliability is also crucial. You want a platform that you can depend on to work consistently. Having the ability to record multiple guests is important, too, especially if you plan on conducting interviews or co-hosting a podcast. And good customer support is essential in case you run into any problems.
Integrations with other tools and platforms is also very useful, allowing you to streamline your workflow and make the most of your podcasting efforts.
When choosing a platform, make sure your selection has every feature you’ll need. Fortunately, SquadCast offers options for everyone, no matter what your podcasting needs are. With its high-quality audio and video recording capabilities, ease of use, reliability, integrations, and ability to host multiple guests, SquadCast is the perfect platform for podcasters looking to take their recordings to the next level.
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