It’s a great way to present almost any kind of talk and audio-based content — from discussions about music to political ranting to storytelling to playing roll playing games on air (yep, that’s a thing).
If you’re reading this, you probably already know what a DAW is (digital audio workstation). The question is, which DAWs would be great for podcasting? After all, a full-fledged ProTools system is a bit overkill for podcasting, and if the software’s too much, it could be inefficient to work with or slow you down for no reason. Not to mention the cost of a full-on music production suite, which can be prohibitive.
So, here are three great DAWs for podcast editing — specifically.
Audacity is free and open source. You can use it on a Mac, Windows, or Linux machine, and it’s a rock- solid piece of software. Best of all, it’s simple and easy-to-use. Many professionals who have big fancy recording rigs with ProTools or Logic still have a copy of Audacity for quick, simple work. In fact, Audacity makes certain work — like separating mono tracks or converting audio formats — way easier than in a bigger DAW.
Audacity can also function as a more complex solution as well. It can do multiple tracks, apply effects, normalize tracks, and do most of the audio work that you would do in any other package — even record multiple tracks at once. It can be clunky for full-on music production (even though it technically does just about everything), but for vocal production and podcast editing, it’s near perfect.
Apple’s GarageBand makes the list because it’s free, easy to use, and comes with any Mac. Although not all who read this will be Mac users, plenty are. GarageBand can handle edits, processing, multiple tracks, and everything you’d need for a podcast.
As it turns out, GarageBand is the main production tool for plenty of musicians, complete with a sound library of its own. So, if you were so inclined you could slap together some music of your own for your podcast, right in the same session. And of course, given its non-existent cost, GarageBand would be a great choice for any Mac-based podcaster.
3. Hindenburg Journalist
At $95 for the individual version and $375 for the pro version, Hindenburg’s Journalist software is the only non-free DAW on our list. It works on both Windows and Mac and is intended and designed specifically for podcast type work.
As such, Journalist offers a ton of podcast-specific features such as merge (to merge edits and takes), voice profiler (to “set your ideal on-air sound”), chapters and images, and one-click publishing. If you’re ready to get just a little more serious and streamlined about your podcast, and you’re not worried about the price tag, Journalist is one the best options out there.
It’s up to you!
At the end of the day, what you use to edit your podcast is up to you. If you’re already equipped for full music production and you’re comfortable with your Logic Pro or even Ableton Live rig, there’s no rule against using that for podcasts — even if it’s overkill. On that note, we here at Soundfly can help you get set up with those DAWs as well as other best practices for producing music and audio; just hit subscribe!
Some people opt to have few different software options for different jobs, and that’s alright too. Of course, many audio interfaces and mixers come with free software such as Tracktion (Mackie and Behringer products), StudioOne 3 Prime (included with PreSonus gear and now actually free), or Cubase LE (Steinberg interfaces).
Whichever way you go, good luck — and happy podcasting! And if you want to see what we’re doing in the podcast department, please check out Themes and Variation, our bi-weekly conversations with musicians, music lovers, and veritable nerds, about the songs they love and why.
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