What software do I need?
If you’re just getting started in podcasting, you may be concerned that you don’t have the right software to record your show. Good news! You really don’t need a whole lot to get going.
In truth, the only software you really need to make a podcast is recording software. We’ll go through a few options below. On top of that, there are a few pieces of software that can help improve your show, like audio mixing software or collaboration tools to help record with guests, but none of them are strictly mandatory. Let’s get started!
Audacity is a free audio recording program for both Mac and PC users that allows you to record, do some simple editing, and output MP3 files for your show. It doesn’t have the same robust set of features as other tools, like Adobe Audition, but for most podcasters, it’s the de facto choice.
Download Audacity here.
GarageBand is Mac’s audio recording and editing software. Similar to Audacity, it has plenty of built in tools for mixing and editing. GarageBand also has a library of built in audio cues available for use within your show. If you want to edit on the go, it also syncs with iCloud and allows you to record and edit audio on the GarageBand iOS app.
You can learn more about GarageBand and download it here.
Adobe Audition is a professional level tool for recording, editing, and mixing audio. By no means do we advocate dropping money on this tool for your first podcast, but if you’re reaching outside of the limits of what free tools can offer you, it might be time to invest in what the pros use.
Adobe Audition Cloud has a monthly subscription fee of $19.99/mo on its own. If you use other Adobe Cloud software, it’s likely worth upgrading to the Adobe Cloud Package for $49.99/mo. You can learn more about Adobe Audition and download it here.
Recording with multiple hosts or guests
You’ll often find yourself needing to record more than one person that isn’t in the same place. Don’t worry, plenty of people have come up against this problem and found great solutions. Some collaboration tools are listed below, but you’ll want to check out our guide to recording remotely for a dive into how to best record and mix multiple recorded audio tracks into the same show.
Skype is the old guard of online audio chat. It is a communication tool with text, voice, and video functionality. Skype is free for web-to-web calling, and has paid options for calling traditional phone numbers. If you’re regularly interviewing individuals and don’t want to go through the hassle of inviting them to a new app or organization within other group chat apps, Skype is the choice that fits most easily into most peoples’ normal routines.
Download Skype here.
Slack is a group communication tool launched in 2014. Originally built for businesses, Slack allows you to create an organization and invite users or guests to join and chat, share files, or communicate via audio and video. It has both free and paid plans. Slack’s standout is its community of third-party apps.
Download Slack here.
Similar to Slack, Discord is a group communication tool, but it has more of a feature tilt towards online gaming. You’ll find a similar feature set of text chat, and file sharing, but Discord makes it much easier to join audio chat for a channel. As with Slack, there are both free and paid plans. Discord is our favorite choice on this list for both ease of use, and reliability of voice features.
Download Discord here.
As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of mandatory tools to get started podcasting. You’ll need some recording and editing software to get started, and there are multiple free options to get you there!