What Is Audio Recording Software?
Audio recording software captures sound from microphones and other audio inputs and stores it so it can be played back and edited. Audio recording software will often include a digital workstation (DAW), an all-in-one application where you can record, edit, mix, and master audio files.
What Are the Benefits of Audio Recording Software?
Professionals use audio recording software to improve the quality of their audio files and mix audio together to create cohesive content. Good audio recording software has features for editing out unwanted sounds and options for adding intros and outros, music, sound effects, or even recorded ads.
Some of the benefits of using audio recording software include:
- Real-time audio monitoring
- Easy mixing and mastering
- High-quality audio that sounds professional
- Social media sharing and streaming abilities
Good audio recording software gives you all the tools you need to take your audio from good to great. In addition to improving the quality, you can add character to your content using the mixing features most audio records offer - add music, intros, sound effects, and more.
The Most Important Features for Audio Recording Software
Finding the best audio recording software for your content can seem overwhelming with so many choices on the market. You should pay attention to a few key features when determining which recording software you’ll choose for your recording and editing needs. Make sure the software you choose has the following features for recording audio and making edit:
Analog vs Digital Recording
You should always determine whether a software program uses analog vs digital recording. This will affect how you make edits to your audio files. Here’s the difference:
Analog recording stores audio information as a series of magnetic charges saved to a reel of magnetic tape.
Digital recording saves audio as bits of digital information to be read and interpreted by a computer or other digital device.
Most modern audio recording software uses digital recording. If your audio recorder doesn’t, you’ll have to convert your analog audio to digital files for editing.
Audio Mixing Features
Audio mixing involves combining sounds, music, and other audio from multiple tracks into one channel. At the point of the production process, you add intros, outros, ads, and sound effects to give your content some flavor. Your recording software should provide plenty of options for audio mixing as this is an important part of the editing process.
Gain and Equalization
All good recording software gives you the ability to adjust the gain and equalization so your audio has a consistent sound from start to finish. An equalizer will cut out unwanted sound picked up outside of the frequency spectrum you set and gain adjustments will ensure the sound level is consistent.
Internet Connection Requirements
Beware of web-based recording programs that depend on a steady internet connection to produce quality recordings. An unreliable connection or connectivity issues diminish the quality of your audio. Seek out a platform that doesn’t need a reliable internet connection to capture high-quality recordings.
Building a podcast studio the right way and having good equipment will prevent you from picking up most unwanted noises in your audio. You can’t block everything out, so look for a recording software that can remove unwanted sounds. Most recording programs have features to remove hisses, hums, pops, and plosives.
Record multiple channels
The ability to record multiple channels is essential if you host an interview-based podcast or you’re a podcaster who has a co-host! Make sure the audio recording software you choose has multi-channel recording. Recording multiple audio inputs at the same time is handy, even if you’re normally just recording yourself.
Using audio recording software helps make your recording sound better. Good recording software lets you edit tracks to reduce unwanted noise and clip irrelevant conversation to create a polished track that sounds professional. Look for a software program that uses simple cut/paste and drag/drop features if new to editing audio.
The trimming feature will let you cut down your audio tracks to reduce their length. You can also create sound snippets that you can repurpose as sound bites for use in ads, effects, or anything else you can think of.
What Are the Different Audio Formats Supported by Audio Recording Software?
Each software will support different audio formats. Check the specifications to learn which audio formats are supported by any audio recording software. Make sure the program you choose can export the file type you need if the social platform or streaming service you use requires audio files in a certain format.
Some of the most popular audio file formats include:
- MP4 (combined audio and video in one file)
Does Audio Recording Software Affect Sound Quality?
Your recording environment and the recording equipment affect sound quality the most. Do research and take your time when choosing a podcast microphone and creating a recording environment.
Some voice recording software requires a strong internet connection to produce a quality recording. This creates a problem when recording outside of your studio or with spotty internet connections. Look for the best audio recording software that uses local recording to save files directly to your computer.
Local Recording Produces High-Quality Audio
You don’t have to worry about losing quality or content when recording audio if you use software with localized recording. Files are saved directly to your system (and the systems of your co-hosts and guests). They're then uploaded in real-time. Quality isn’t sacrificed if you have a bad internet connection! Riverside.fm uses local recording to produce professional, high-quality audio.
Our Top Pick for Audio Recording Software: Riverside.fm
You can find many good audio recording software options on the market. We compared price, features, and ease of use when determining our pick for best audio recording software.
We chose Riverside.fm as our all-around winner. This audio recording software produces HD recordings and has an intuitive interface to record and edit audio like a pro, even if you don’t have a lot of experience.
Riverside.fm’s comprehensive recording and editing solution for creators streamlines how they record and edit their content. In addition to capturing high-quality audio, the software has editing and mixing features to improve your content. The features you get and the quality of the audio you produce make Riverside.fm a great value for creators of all skill levels!
Riverside.fm Makes Recording Professional Audio Easy
Podcasters, interviewers, and other content creators use Riverside.fm to record professional audio. Guests can easily join your recording environment by clicking a link, and audio is recorded separately for improved quality.
We’ve highlighted some of the features that set Riverside.fm apart and make it a top choice for recording professionals:
High-Quality Local Recordings
Riverside.fm uses local recording to save audio directly to your computer, so you don’t lose quality if you’re dealing with a bad internet connection. Record HD audio and video in up to 4K resolution no matter where you are or what the WiFi signal is like. Get reliable quality every time you hit the record button!
Separate Track Recording
Video and audio are recorded separately for each input/guest when using Riverside.fm. This means that you get separate tracks for all of the participants in your recording, which gives more control in post production. Easily remove noise from and make cuts to individual tracks to further improve the quality of your recording!
Remote Recording & Screen Share Capabilities
Riverside.fm has everything you need to host a class, meeting, or podcast! You can have up to eight guests in your recording environment at one time. Guests can join your recording environment with one click and you can present information on your screen using the software’s screen sharing feature.
The Riverside.fm mobile app turns your phone into a recording studio so you can capture HD audio and video no matter where you are!
Riverside.fm Media Board
Riverside.fm’s Media Board feature lets you make live edits to your audio, which saves you time in post production. You can upload and insert intros, outros, ads, and other effects as you record so you don’t have to add them later—especially handy if you livestream your content.
Magic Editor Tool
You don’t have to spend hours analyzing and editing your audio tracks. The built-in Magic Editor tool uses automation to improve the quality of your audio by removing noise and adjusting volume levels. With just a couple of clicks, the Magic Editor tool will do all of the hard work and create a high-quality audio file that’s ready to be uploaded.
Other Noteworthy Mentions: The Best Audio Recording Software for 2022
Though our top pick for audio recording software is Riverside.fm, you can find many other good recording programs out there for all budgets and skill levels. We’ve reviewed ten alternatives to Riverside.fm and noted some of the features we think podcasters and other content creators will appreciate the most.
Ableton Live 10
Ableton Live provides a lot of creative opportunities through its advanced DAW. The recording software was created for artists and musicians, which is made obvious by the advanced creative control you’re granted over audio files.
Price: $99 intro package
- Ability to record on multiple tracks simultaneously
- Over 5k sounds and virtual instruments
- Powerful automated features
Best For: Because of the way its workflow is set up, this software is great for composing and recording live music.
Many professional content creators, especially those in the podcast world, use Adobe Audition to record and edit their content. This podcast recording software is packed full of features you can use to produce a professional-quality podcast. Because of its lack of music composition tools, Adobe Audition may not be the best choice for you if you’re producing music.
Price: $20.99 / month
- Easily integrates with other Adobe programs
- Single and multi-track editing capabilities
- Excellent for audio restoration, sound removal, and noise reduction
Best For: Adobe Audition was designed specifically with podcasts in mind, so it’s a good recording software choice for podcasters who have the budget for it.
If you have an Apple device, you probably already have GarageBand. This free (but powerful) recording program facilitates professional audio recording on iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices. Overall, it’s the best free audio recording software for Mac users given the amount of features it provides and the high-quality audio it produces.
- Supports third-party plug-ins
- Streamlined, easy-to-use interface
- Social sharing capabilities
Best For: Mac users on a budget will love how the free Garageband audio recording app produces high-quality audio recordings that can be used for content online.
Audacity’s versatile audio recording program enables podcasters and other content creators of all skill levels to capture and edit professional audio. This recording software doesn’t have some of the advanced features of other digital audio workstations, but it lets you make quick and easy edits to improve your audio quality.
- Batch and multitrack processing capabilities
- Open-source software that’s constantly updated
- Import, mix, and combine audio tracks easily
Best For: Audacity is a good audio recording software option for creators who don’t want to spend money and only need to make basic edits to their content.
This voice recording software is full of tools to help you get crystal clear speech in your audio recordings. It has a suite of tools to remove plosives, clicks, pops, hisses, and other interference from your recordings. Use the software to produce professional recordings with a full-bodied and balanced sound.
Price: A one-time charge of $129.99 or a monthly subscription of $4.33 / mo (billed annually)
- Supports multi-channel device recording and batch processing
- Powerful tools to produce crisp vocals
- Advanced audio restoration tools
Best For: This software’s vocal-focused features make it an excellent program for podcasters, interviewers, and singers.
Audio Hijack lets you record audio from an input device, your system, or any app. The audio recording software lets you capture conversations from apps like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Talk. It also has features that make it easy to livestream to YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and other social sharing platforms. It’s initiative interface makes it a great choice for newbies.
- Live stream and broadcast capabilities
- Streamlined recording options
- Record multiple input sources simultaneously
Best For: Mac users who are beginners when it comes to recording and editing audio.
Ocenaudio's free audio recording program lets you perform basic audio edits. Even though it doesn’t have as many features as other audio recording software you have to pay for, Ocenaudio has everything you need to clean up your audio and produce a quality recording. The interface is simple to understand and the program has editing features like adding sounds and effects that many other free platforms don’t provide.
- Helpful spectrogram and file analysis
- No limit on the length or the quantity audio files you can edit
- Real-time audio effect previews
Best For: Ocenaudio is perfect for content creators seeking a free, basic audio editing program to improve the quality of their recordings.
Reaper from Cockos provides a lot of bang for your buck, but it isn’t for beginners. You should have a bit of experience if you plan to use Reaper as your primary audio recording software. The interface is not intuitive and those new to using digital audio workstations might feel overwhelmed. If you know what you’re doing, Raper is a powerful tool for multi-channel audio recording, mixing, and mastering.
- Powerful tools for editing audio clips and MIDI data
- Full automation capabilities
- Totally customizable user interface
Best For: Experienced sound editors will love the amount of customization and number of features Reaper provides.
Sound Forge Audio Studio
This recording software is intuitive and easy to use - you can cut, move, and edit audio with only a few clicks. Anyone who’s new to capturing and editing audio can use the software’s wizardFX suite to create a clean recording that sounds professional.
- Multi-channel and multitrack recording
- Professional recording quality up to 32-bit/384 kHz
- Remote recording capabilities
Best For: Its low price and easy-to-use features make this software a great choice for new podcasters and other content creators on a budget.
The Wavosaur user interface is a bit old-school in its appearance, but the audio recording software is super efficient and is loaded with features to improve the quality of audio recordings. The program won’t take up much space on your system (the download file is only 225KB!) and any edits you complete are non-destructive.
- Supports ASIO and VSTfx
- Accurate waveform representation
- Automated volume control features
Best For: Wavosaur is great for anyone learning the basics of audio editing because any mistakes that are made can easily be fixed by clicking the “undo” button.
Start Recording Audio in HD Today
Not all audio recording software has the same features and some don’t have HD recording capabilities. Carefully research the features of recording software before you commit to one. While there are many good recording software options out there, we’ve chosen Riverside.fm as our top pick because of its versatility, affordability, and simple interface.
Still unsure about how to find the best audio recording software for your podcast, interviews, or other content? Check out our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about audio recording software.
Can I Use GarageBand Commercially?
Yes, you can use GarageBand commercially. There are currently no copyrights or other restrictions that prevent content creators from using the program for recording audio for commercial use.
What is the Best Free Audio Recording Software?
Many good audio recording software options are completely free! The best one for you will depend on the features you’re looking for and the type of content you’re creating. Some of the best free audio recording software programs include Audacity and GarageBand.
What Recording Software Do Most YouTubers Use?
YouTubers use many different types of recording software, it depends on the niche their content focuses on. Specialized recording software like ShadowPlay or Camtasia makes it easy for gamers to record their screens. Other creators use podcast recording software like Adobe Audition or Audacity.
What is the Best Audio Recording Software for Mac?
There’s no clear cut answer for which audio recording software is best for Mac users. GarageBand is an audio recording app that’s free for MacOS users and is available on most Apple devices.
What is the Best Audio Recording Software for Windows?
Know which features are important to you when searching for the best audio recording software for Windows. The best audio recording software for you will depend on your unique needs and budget.
Can You Record Audio on a Chromebook?
Yes, you can record audio using a Chromebook. Chromebooks come with a built-in microphone, but you have to download a recording program to capture audio. There are many third-party apps available for download in the Chrome Web Store, including AudioRecorder, WeVideo, and Reverb Record.