Once you’ve planned your podcast episode and recorded it, the next step is to edit, mix, and master your content before you hit publish. If you’re going to edit your podcast then you will need to find some podcast editing software that fits your specific scenario.
In this article we’ll go over the 7 best programs you can use to edit, mix, and master your podcast.
The Best Podcast Editing Software:
Before we dive in, let’s talk about how you can pick the right tool for your unique situation.
How to Pick the Best Podcast Editing Software
There are a few things you need to think through in order to pick the best podcast software for your unique situation.
Budget: Can you spend any money on software, or do you need a free solution?
Setup: How many people do you plan to record?
Device: Do you plan to edit your podcast on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop?
Location: Do you plan to record at home or on the go?
Experience: Are you a beginner looking for a simple tool (Ex: Garageband) or a professional looking for maximum editing control (Ex: ProTools)?
Format: What is your podcast’s style? A monologue, interview, 4-person roundtable, or a narrative podcast where you have voiceover?
Outsource or DIY: Do you want to outsource your editing or do it yourself?
1. Ferrite: Best for Editing on iPad (Free)
Ferrite is a free mobile podcast editing app that is best for editing on iPad but works on smartphones as well. This app lets you record, edit, enhance, and export your audio files just like other traditional digital audio workstations (DAW) like ProTools or Logic Pro.
This app is best for creators who want more detailed control and enjoy the more complex editing experience of a DAW like ProTools.
This is a robust tool that feels like using Pro Tools on your iPad and iPhones
iPad power users love this tool for their workflows
The software is free to start, but you have to pay to upgrade to get all features like multi-channel recording, per-track effects, automation, and more
2. GarageBand: Best for Macs (Free)
GarageBand is a free digital audio workstation (DAW) that is pre-installed on every Apple computer. GarageBand is the younger cousin to Logic Pro, the more robust DAW also developed by Apple. GarageBand is a simple tool that lets you record, edit, enhance, and export audio all on your computer. And, as an added benefit, if you outgrow GarageBand you can easily buy Logic Pro with the confidence that you’ll learn how it works very quickly since it has a nearly identical interface design.
An easy-to-use program built for beginner creators
Offers everything you need to record, edit, and mix a show in one app
If you want to upgrade later on you can switch to Logic Pro ($199) easily since they have a nearly identical user interface
Does not have a crossfade feature. You can use volume automation to work around this issue, but it’s a very valuable feature that most other DAWs do have.
Only available on Mac computers, iPads, and iPhones
3. Audacity: Best for Beginners on Windows (Free)
Audacity is a free open-source DAW that runs on Windows, Mac, and even linux. It is a great replacement for GarageBand on Windows, offering a very similar simple feature set. You can record multiple tracks, edit, enhance your audio by mixing it, and export files for publishing.
Audacity is an easy to use alternative to GarageBand for Windows and Linux computers
Simple feature set has everything a simple podcast will need to edit and mix
Uses destructive editing: That means if you delete content and then save the project you cannot restore what you previously deleted the next time you open the application. You can undo edits you made before you hit save, but not after you save.
4. Descript: Best for Editing from a Transcript (Free to $24/mo)
Descript has put a major spin on the editing process by allowing you to edit your audio and video via transcription, just like editing a Google doc. This tool is great for podcasters who want to see a full transcript of their show, scan through the content to find sections they want to remove, then cut out that content. Some creators use this tool to edit their entire show, while others use it to simply identify clips they want to remove before using another program to mix and master their audio.
Easily edit content by deleting text from an interface like Google docs
Automated features speed up the editing process
Some features like the ability to remove filler words (other than “um” and “uh”) are behind a paywall starting at $9/mo
5. Anchor: Best for Free Podcast Hosting (Free)
Anchor is a podcast creation tool that Spotify acquired in 2019. Anchor provides forever-free podcast hosting to all creators and has a very simple mobile app that lets you record with a friend remotely (just like a phone call), splice together an episode, and add music from Spotify’s library (if you only release it on Spotify), and more.
The app is free forever which is great for beginners.
Free hosting lets you get your podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google without spending a dime
Anchor submits podcasts to Apple under its own account, which means that by using their hosting service you give up the ability to get analytics from Apple Podcasts Connect
No multi-track editing feature
Difficult to split clips into two parts and break sections up
6. Pro Tools: Best for Professionals ($9.99/mo)
Pro Tools has been the industry-leading DAW for several decades and is used in top recording studios around the world. It is one of the most robust (and complex) editing tools used for music production, recording audiobooks, scoring films, and doing complex surround sound mixing for feature-length films. This is the best software for professional audio engineers and creators looking for maximum control, capabilities, and complexity. But it’s not the best option for a creator making a simple podcast with a couple of people and some background music.
You can easily edit audio, music, and sound effects all in the same program and the same project
The stock plugins are very high-quality and can be used to enhance your voice, music, and the overall master sound of your podcast
Paid tool, required investing more money
Pro Tools is a very complex tool with too many features for the average podcaster to value from. If you’re not a professional Audio Engineer then this tool is not the best fit for you, most likely
Setting up a Pro Tools session requires learning about signal flow and normally needs to be set up from scratch, making it harder to do simple things like record and edit
7. Resound: Best for Detecting Umms and Ahhs
Resound (this is us 👋) is an editing tool for podcasters that uses artificial intelligence to speed up the process.
Cleaning up the content of your podcast can be very time-consuming. The average person says a filler word such as “um” or “ah” every twelve seconds that they’re talking (Harvard Business Review). Translation? That means the average 45-minute podcast has roughly 225 mess-ups and takes a very long time to edit. Many podcasters say that it takes 3x the length of an episode to edit it. Meaning a one-hour podcast can take three hours to edit.
Resound automates the process by removing your umms and ahhs in seconds, saving you hours of editing time. Resound offers one hour of free editing every month. It also detects silences and automatically mixes and masters your audio. Create a free account to automatically detecting all the umms and ahhs in your podcast.
Available as a web app (Mac, Windows, Tablets, Smartphones)
Automatically detect umms and ahhs from your podcast in seconds with AI
AI Mixing and Mastering
You’re in control. Review each edit and determine if you want to cut or keep it.
Edit multitrack episodes with up to 4 speakers simultaneously, in sync
Export studio-quality WAV, MP3, or AAF files
… And much more coming soon
Offers a free plan then starts at $15/mo
Built to be as easy to use as possible, no training required
Lacking some more robust features and has some bugs since it's still in early beta
Reaper ($60): This tool is highly praised in the r/podcasting subreddit. It’s a steep learning curve to get started, so it’s not best for beginners but it provides some high-quality plugins and features for a one-time price of $60.
Logic Pro ($199): If you enjoy using GarageBand but want to upgrade features then Logic Pro is the way to go. It’s also developed by Apple, compatible with macOS only, and has an almost identical user interface with Garageband.
Hindenburg Lite ($99): This app is built specifically for podcasters and audio journalists, making it a very simple solution for podcasters with less experience in audio production. It’s compatible with both macOS and Windows.
Adobe Audition ($59/mo): If you enjoy working with Adobe’s Creative Cloud tools like Premiere Pro or After Effects then Adobe Audition, their audio editing suite, might be a good fit for you. It’s more complex to get started but is easier to learn if you are familiar with the design of their other products in the Creative Cloud subscription. Compatible with both macOS and Windows.
Spreaker (free): This is an iOS and Android app that lets you record, do some basic editing, and publish your podcast quickly on Spreaker hosting.
When (and Why) Do You Need Podcast Editing Software?
You need podcast editing software for after you’ve recorded an episode and are ready to add music, chop up the content, and add effects to the vocals to make them sound crisp and professional.
Why edit your podcast? The goal of editing is to make your podcast better for your core listeners. You want to bring your listeners on a journey that they will enjoy, and wow them so that they go tell their friends about the episode too, creating a growing feedback loop.
How to Edit a Podcast
Editing a podcast can mean a lot of different things. Here are some of the most common things people do during the editing process.
Editing a podcast includes:
Edit out mistakes, sensitive information, background noises, umms and ahhs, etc
Add music to your intro and outro, or even throughout the show
Arrange all of the individual files of your episode (Ex: intro, interview, ads, interview part 2, outro)
Once you’ve edited your show, the last steps are to mix (make your voice(s) sound clearer and compressed), master (prepare your audio file for digital streaming), then upload it to a podcast hosting platform so it will be live on Apple, Spotify, etc.
There are lots of podcast editing tools available for podcasters today. Even the free apps have some compelling features.
Let’s recap what we’ve learned:
Resound:Best for quickly editing ums and ahs out of your podcast using AI
Anchor:Best for beginners looking for a quick solution with few editing features
Ferrite: Best for creators who love doing everything on an iPad.
Garageband:Best for creators working on an Apple computer who want more manual control
Audacity:Best for creators working on a Windows computer who want more manual control
Descript: Best for editing your audio from a transcript, organizing content, and working quickly on a Mac or Windows computer
ProTools: Best for professional creators looking for a highly robust DAW for Mac or Windows
I hope this guide has helped you pick the perfect tool for your setup.
Podcast editing software is any tool that lets you edit and/or enhance audio to prepare it for publication. Digital audio workstations, or DAWs, are commonly used as podcast editing software. However, other solutions exist like Resound, Anchor, Descript, and other tools that don’t neatly fit into the category of a DAW.
What Program Do You Use to Edit a Podcast?
There are many different programs for editing a podcast.
Ferrite is best for creators who love doing everything on an iPad.
GarageBand is best for creators working on an Apple computer who want more manual control
Audacity is best for creators working on a Windows computer who want more manual control
Descript is best for editing your audio from a transcript, organizing content, and working quickly on a Mac or Windows computer
ProTools is best for professional creators looking for a highly robust DAW for Mac or Windows
Resound is best for quickly editing ums and ahs out of your podcast using AI
How Can I Edit My Podcast for Free?
You can edit your podcast for free using a tool like Resound, Descript, Garageband, or Audacity. These free tools provide all the essential features you need to edit your show. Some professionals prefer to use a paid tool like Pro Tools ($29/mo) or Logic Pro ($199).
What is the Easiest Way to Edit a Podcast?
Resound is the easiest way to edit out ums and ahhs from your podcast. Just upload your audio, run it through Resound, and “approve all” or review each edit manually. Coming soon at resound.fm.
Is Editing a Podcast Hard?
Editing a podcast can be a very time-consuming process. Many podcasters say a one-hour podcast takes them around three hours or three times the length of their recording. The time it takes will depend on how many mistakes you made in your episode, how long it is, how detailed you want to be with your editing process, and how many additional items like music and ads you need to put in your show. We think editing takes way too long, so we’re building a podcast editing app called Resound to reduce the editing process down to a few minutes.