Learning how to edit your own podcast is a valuable skill that will save you a significant amount of money. But what is the best editing software?
Before considering your editing software, it’s important to begin with high quality audio. There’s only so much you can do to improve bad audio, even with the most sophisticated editing program. You’ll achieve much better results if you use a decent mic, practice good microphone technique, and record in a space without a lot of ambient noise or echo.
Keep in mind that these editing programs double as recording software: i.e. you can use the same program to record and edit your podcast.
Now, let’s dive into the best podcast editing software!
Audacity is a free, open source program that includes everything you need to begin editing your podcast. It’s available on most operating systems including Mac, Windows, and Linux. Even though it’s free, it contains all the features you’ll need for basic podcast editing. The user interface is more outdated than the following options, but the functionality is solid and easy for beginners to learn.
One downside to Audacity is you can’t export your podcast as an MP3, which is required by all hosting platforms in order to distribute your podcast. There are simple workarounds to this (such as downloading an MP3 converter), so don’t let this turn you off from Audacity completely. Overall, it is a program suitable for inexperienced and experienced podcasters alike.
Want to learn how to edit your podcast with Audacity? Check out our course: Editing in Audacity! With this course you’ll learn how to edit your podcast without any prior editing experience and learn skills that can be applied to any editing software.
GarageBand is a free digital audio workstation for Apple products. GarageBand is a great option for those that are already Mac users; if you own a Mac then you own GarageBand. While GarageBand was designed for musicians, it also works great for podcast editing and recording. It’s user friendly while still offering plenty of features to yield high quality audio.
The biggest downside to GarageBand is it’s only available for Mac users. If you work on a PC or Linux and want a beginner friendly program, check out Audacity. If you’re looking for something more advanced, read on!
If you’re interested in learning how to edit your podcast with GarageBand, check out our course: Editing in GarageBand! This course takes you step-by-step through editing your podcast in GarageBand and is great for any podcaster interested in becoming proficient with the program.
Hindenburg was designed specifically for radio and podcasting, therefore you won’t find features intended for music creation. One of its best features is the ability to automatically set the levels of your audio. Hindenburg has some premium features while remaining user friendly, which makes it a good option for podcasters looking to upgrade but who aren’t ready for something as advanced as Adobe Audition or Pro Tools.
Unlike the following programs, Hindenburg is available for purchase (no subscription required) for $95. They also offer a 30-day free trial, which you can access here.
Adobe Audition includes advanced features such as professional mixing and mastering tools and easy noise removal. The wide range of features gives podcasters many opportunities to improve their audio, however the features can be overwhelming without basic editing knowledge. However, if you’re looking for a more advanced program for professional sounding audio, Adobe Audition could be a great option for you.
Adobe Audition requires a subscription. On its own the subscription is $20/month, or you can get a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud for $50/month, which gives you access to Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Premiere, and more. You can also sign up for a 7-day free trial here.
Pro Tools is a professional level DAW that is intended for professional audio engineers. We encourage beginners that are interested in Pro Tools to first sign up for the limited free version, Pro Tools First. If you’re interested in upgrading to Pro Tools, be prepared to invest time to master it.
Pro Tools does offer a limited free version called Pro Tools First. Otherwise, Pro Tools is $29.99/month.
Want to learn how to edit your podcast with Pro Tools First? Check out our course: Editing in Pro Tools First!
If you’re a podcaster that is new to podcast editing and plan on editing your own podcast, we recommend starting out with a free program such as Audacity or GarageBand. These programs are beginner friendly, but still have the tools you need for basic podcast editing. One of the great things about podcasting is it’s accessibility; you don’t have to break the bank in order to achieve a high quality podcast. However if you’re a podcaster whose goal is to master podcast editing, then look at one of the professional programs with all the bells and whistles.
At the end of the day, the best podcast editing software is whichever one that you enjoy using the most. Like most areas of podcasting, there is no one “correct” way to do things or programs to use. Spend the time researching your options, and then make a decision based on what works best for you and your needs.