The 8 best audio recording software picks for any device and budget

Want to record exceptional audio for your next project? Here are 8 of the best audio recording software picks in 2024.
November 6, 2023
Brandon Copple
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Forget the pricey studio bookings. Today, high-quality audio capture is a click away. 

Whether you like to produce podcasts, record music, or stream gaming sessions, you’ll need audio recording software to make it happen. The best part: Whatever your platform—Windows, Android, macOS, or Linux—there's software designed for it. 

Not sure which to choose? This guide shares eight of the best audio recording software platforms for any device and budget, ranked by the best features on offer.

Audio recording software Best for
Descript All-in-one audio recording and editing
Audacity Multi-platform, budget-friendly editing
Adobe Audition Professional audio recording and editing
GarageBand Musicians on Mac devices
Audio Hijack Live audio and VoIP recording
Reaper Professional sound engineers
Ableton Live Recording live performances
FL Studio Producers and DJs

What is audio recording software?

Audio recording software is a digital tool that allows you to record sound. Many tools allow you to edit, trim, and refine sound within the same platform. You can use it for any type of audio project, from music production to podcasting and voice recording. 

A step by step image of recording audio in Descript.
Record audio in Descript in 6 easy steps.

8 best audio recording software picks for creators

If you’re a creator who’s in the market for new audio recording software, here are the best options:

  1. Descript
  2. Audacity
  3. Adobe Audition
  4. GarageBand
  5. Audio Hijack
  6. Reaper
  7. Ableton Live
  8. FL Studio 

1. Descript

Best for: Creators looking for an all-in-one audio recording and editing solution.

Descript is one of the best audio recording platforms for modern creators. Whether you’re recording audio of just you, your webcam, your screen, or a remote podcast guest, you can do it all in one place.

The best part? Descript’s intuitive editing tools let you adjust your recording as easily as editing a word doc. As soon as you’re done recording, the app creates an automatic transcript, which you can use to cut, rearrange, and add effects to your audio without touching any complicated timelines. It’s incredibly time-saving and user-friendly. 

Another advantage to Descript is its all-in-one approach: if you’ve got video and audio you need to edit, you can do it all at the same time. You don’t have to jump from tool to tool to get multimedia projects to the finish line. 

Best features:

  • Filler word removal to banish”ums” and “uhs” from your audio recording
  • Remote recording tools to interview people online (perfect for podcasters!)
  • AI Voices feature to fix mistakes in the recording with a clone of your voice
  • Collaborative audio and video editing tools for working with teams
  • Studio Sound to remove background noise and create professional-grade audio 

Pros of Descript:

  • Intuitive, doc-style editing
  • Automated audio transcription
  • User-friendly dashboard
  • Built for collaborative audio recording
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2

Cons of Descript:

  • No mobile app available—just browser, Mac, and Windows
  • Limited transcription hours on free plans   

Pricing: Descript offers a free plan that includes access to all premium features. For more hours of audio recording and transcription, paid plans start at $12 per user per month.

2. Audacity

Best for: Multi-platform users editing a variety of audio types on a limited budget. 

Image of Audacity’s interface
Audacity

Audacity is a free, open-source digital audio workstation (DAW) that supports a variety of audio types. It’s a popular choice for podcasters, voiceover artists, and anyone interested in audio recording or editing that’s running on a budget and doesn’t mind using third-party plugins for more advanced features. 

Audacity is designed to be easy to use and supports all major operating systems including Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Best features:

  • Multitrack editing to manage and mix multiple audio clips together
  • Ability to record audio with a microphone, MIDI device, or audio interface
  • Royalty-free sound effects in the Muse Hub 
  • Normalize feature to make different tracks sound consistent 

Pros of Audacity:

  • Free software makes it accessible to anyone
  • Lots of editing options for dialogue and music
  • Simple user interface 
  • Compatible with several plugins and integrations 

Cons of Audacity:

  • No mobile version
  • No option to create a transcript
  • User interface looks dated
  • While popular, not the industry standard

Pricing: Audacity is a free, open-source audio recording tool.

3. Adobe Audition

Best for: Professional audio editing and recording.

Image of Adobe Audition dashboard for audio recording and editing
Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a professional audio workstation that allows you to create, mix, and design sound effects. It’s designed for professionals who need more advanced features from their recording platform. 

Adobe Audition is not just limited to audio editing; it’s also great for mixing audio for video post-production (with a seamless integration with Premiere Pro), making it a versatile choice for professionals in different creative fields. While it doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, Adobe Audition is full of powerful tools for professional use.

Best features:

  • Automatic loudness correction
  • Record, edit, and mix audio for video with the Premiere Pro integration 
  • Multitrack editing to edit multiple audio files in a single project 
  • Wide range of audio effects to add personality to your recording 

Pros of Adobe Audition:

  • Wide support for different audio formats and third-party plugins
  • Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of products 

Cons of Adobe Audition:

  • No MIDI input to record audio with this type of device
  • The cost could be a barrier for hobbyists or individuals on a budget
  • Requires a learning curve to use it at its full potential, especially beginner audio editors

Pricing: Adobe Audition is available for $22.99 per month on its own or with the full suite of Creative Cloud apps for $59.99 per month. The audio recording software also has a free trial.

4. GarageBand

Best for: Musicians who want to record audio on a Mac device.

Image of GarageBand audio recording studio
Apple

GarageBand offers a straightforward and intuitive dashboard that makes audio editing a simple process. It’s among the best free audio recording software for creators who want to layer interviews, add background music, and use sound effects for a rich auditory experience. 

This audio recording software comes with a sound library filled with bundled content, giving you a wide range of options to enhance your audio quality. The support for third-party plugins means you can extend its capabilities even further if needed.

Best features: 

  • Metronome feature to keep you on track as you record 
  • Record physical musical instruments by connecting them to your Mac
  • Record software instruments like virtual pianos, guitars, and keyboards 
  • Studio-quality sound recording 

Pros of GarageBand:

  • Streamlined, professional dashboard
  • Supports up to 255 audio tracks
  • Compatible with third-party plugins
  • Provides free lessons for beginners
  • iPhone and iPad compatibility 

Cons of GarageBand: 

  • Not available for Windows users
  • No mixing console view
  • Not the best for professional-grade sound editing

Pricing: GarageBand is free to use. 

5. Audio Hijack by Rogue Amoeba

Best for: Live audio recordings and editing VoIP conversations. 

Image of Audio Hijacks landing page with image of dashboard

Audio Hijack is a professional-grade recording software designed for MacOS users that lets you capture audio from literally any website or application on your Mac. 

Whether you're browsing through an inspiring TED talk you want to sample for your next podcast episode or you want to save webinar audio for reference later, Audio Hijack is right there with you, ready to record.

Best features:

  • Livestream recording to save your audio post-stream
  • Magic Boost and volume blocks to balance audio levels
  • Powerful podcast recording options with a simple compressor block
  • Record audio from virtually any application on your Mac 

Pros of Audio Hijack:

  • Modern drag-and-drop interface 
  • Ability to record web streams for offline listening
  • Variety of audio capture options including application, device, and system audio

Cons of Audio Hijack:

  • Only available on Mac devices 
  • Steep-ish learning curve for beginners

Pricing: Single user license costs $64. 

6. Reaper

Best for: Professional sound engineers who want to record and mix audio. 

Image of Reaper’s audio recording dashboard
Reaper

Reaper is a digital audio workstation designed for professional sound engineers who want to mix audio in the same platform they use to record it.

Reaper stands out in its compatibility with Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins. If you use plugins on your audio, you can add all kinds of audio effects to your sonic canvas in real-time. Whether you're creating an ethereal soundscape, dialing in the perfect guitar tone, or removing plosives and breath sounds from your narration, plugins open up your creative possibilities.

Because of its advanced features, Reaper does have a steep learning curve for new creators. But if you’re willing to learn the platform and pick up a new skill, it’s a good option. 

Best features:

  • Record audio in the same dashboard you use to edit 
  • Studio quality sound for any audio recording
  • Mixer view to help you edit multiple tracks simultaneously  

Pros of Reaper:

  • Windows and Mac apps available 
  • Extremely customizable to design the DAW you want 

Cons of Reaper: 

  • The interface can be hard to navigate 
  • No option to record audio on mobile  
  • Limited to audio recording (no video) 

Pricing: If you’re recording audio for personal use, you’ll qualify for Reaper’s $60 license. If you’re recording audio for a business that earns over $20,000 per year, you’ll need to get its $225 license. 

7. Ableton 

Best for: Musicians who want to record live performances.

Image of Ableton Live recording dashboard
Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a great audio recording software for music creators. It offers a range of sound effects, virtual instruments, and creative features for music mixing. Whether you're tucked away in your studio or out there on stage, Ableton Live adapts seamlessly. 

You can also connect any MIDI controller via Bluetooth or USB for another way to create. Albeton also lets you craft your own unique sound presets and templates, store them, and revisit them anytime. This means you can build a personal library of sounds and effects, tailor-made for your style.

Best features:

  • Record acoustic and MIDI instruments in one dashboard 
  • Real-time tempo and timing adjustments with warping
  • Suite of built-in instruments and effects
  • Linked track editing to make bulk changes to multiple tracks at once 

Pros of Ableton Live:

  • Designed to record live audio 
  • Available for macOS and Windows
  • Enables seamless transition between studio production and live performance
  • Strong community and educational resources to learn more about audio recording 

Cons of Ableton Live:

  • No mobile app available  
  • The pricing is steep compared to other audio recording tools on the market

Pricing: Ableton’s most basic plan starts at $99 and includes 16 audio tracks. For unlimited tracks and advanced features, plans start at $439. There are payment plans available. 

8. FL Studio

Best for: Music producers, composers, and DJs that need a versatile audio editor for better sound quality.  

Image of FL studio recording dashboard
FL Studio

FL Studio is a comprehensive music recording and audio editing software that caters to seasoned music creators. It comes with the array of instruments, effects, and professional editing features you’d expect from software reportedly used by the world’s top DJs and producers. 

With its long list of plugins, synths, and effects, it offers an expansive dashboard built for musical exploration as well as the occasional side project like podcast audio editing. Its lifetime of free updates is a great way for users to always have access to the newest features and improvements.

Best features:

  • Range of plugins to apply audio effects like delay and reverb
  • FL Cloud, its sister software, helps you master audio production
  • Online forum of sound engineers who share their best tips for editing and recording audio

Pros of FL Studio:

  • Lifetime free updates keep the software current 
  • Compatible with a wide array of plugins
  • Built for creators who want to edit beyond the basics

Cons of FL Studio:

  • Some users may find the software to be resource-intensive on their systems
  • Rated below average for ease of setup 

Pricing: FL Studio’s cheapest plan doesn’t include audio recording. This feature is only included in its most popular plan, which is a one-off fee of $149. All plans come with free lifetime updates. 

Features to look for before buying audio recording software

Multitrack recording and editing

Multitrack recording lets you capture multiple audio channels, or “tracks,” independently. It gives you the freedom to edit each track without affecting the others. This could mean recording yourself on one track and a guest on another if you’re recording a podcast.

Image of user importing files to Descript and selecting “combine 3 files into a multitrack sequence”
Descript can automatically create multitrack sequences to keep tracks separate and edit everything in one timeline.

Let's say you're making your first podcast episode. You can record your narration, guest interviews, and background music on separate tracks, so you can adjust the volume, tone, and clarity of each element individually. 

If your guest's volume is slightly lower than yours, you can boost it without affecting the rest of the episode. What might have been a boring podcast becomes a dynamic, professional audio production with this granular control.

Real-time audio effects and processing

With this functionality, you can apply sound effects and enhancements while recording or playing back audio. The benefit? You don't have to wait until the recording is done to hear how EQ and compression, noise reduction, or reverb impacts the sound.

It's like trying on clothes in a fitting room—you get to see (or hear) how your choice fits, and decide whether or not to keep it.

Non-destructive editing and automation

Non-destructive editing refers to editing audio without permanently altering it. You don't have to lose the original recording if you cut, fade, or apply effects.

With this feature, you can revert to an earlier version or tweak an edit without losing any previous work. It's like having an unlimited undo button so you can experiment without risking your original work. 

High-quality audio file formats and export options

The ability to export in high-quality audio formats cannot be overstated. In music production, film production, and broadcasting, high fidelity is critical. These formats ensure that the audio is reproduced as accurately as possible, which is crucial for mixing, mastering, and post-production.

Formats like WAV, FLAC, and AIFF preserve the full quality of the audio, ensuring no details are lost during digital encoding. They offer greater bit depth (like 24-bit) and higher sampling rates (such as 192kHz). The result is richer, more detailed sound, which captures nuances and subtleties you wouldn't find in lower quality formats.

Exporting audio from Descript
It’s simple to export high-quality audio files with Descript

Different platforms and applications require different formats. For example, a music producer might need WAV files for studio work but also MP3 versions for online distribution. Having a range of export options means one software, like Descript, can cater to all these needs.

Audio recording software FAQs

What is a good audio recording software?

  1. Descript
  2. GarageBand
  3. FL Studio
  4. Audacity
  5. Adobe Audition

What software do people use to record audio?

Software Compatible with Price
Descript Mac, Windows, and browser Free
GarageBand Mac Free
Riverside Mobile Free or $15/month
Reaper Mac and Windows $60
Audacity Browser Free

What is the best software to record and edit audio?

  • Best for creators and podcasters: Descript
  • Best for musicians on Mac: GarageBand
  • Best for customization features: Audacity
  • Best for live recording: Audio Hijack
  • Best for professional sound engineers: Reaper
Brandon Copple
Head of Content at Descript. Former Editor at Groupon, Chicago Sun-Times, and a bunch of other places. Dad. Book reader. Friend to many Matts.
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The 8 best audio recording software picks for any device and budget

Microphone connected to a record player connected to a laptop

Forget the pricey studio bookings. Today, high-quality audio capture is a click away. 

Whether you like to produce podcasts, record music, or stream gaming sessions, you’ll need audio recording software to make it happen. The best part: Whatever your platform—Windows, Android, macOS, or Linux—there's software designed for it. 

Not sure which to choose? This guide shares eight of the best audio recording software platforms for any device and budget, ranked by the best features on offer.

Audio recording software Best for
Descript All-in-one audio recording and editing
Audacity Multi-platform, budget-friendly editing
Adobe Audition Professional audio recording and editing
GarageBand Musicians on Mac devices
Audio Hijack Live audio and VoIP recording
Reaper Professional sound engineers
Ableton Live Recording live performances
FL Studio Producers and DJs

Video is clearly an effective way to engage your customers and convert new ones. Descript makes editing video production easy and collaborative, without sacrificing any of the power or functionality of more complicated software.
Tell your story with video. No training required

What is audio recording software?

Audio recording software is a digital tool that allows you to record sound. Many tools allow you to edit, trim, and refine sound within the same platform. You can use it for any type of audio project, from music production to podcasting and voice recording. 

A step by step image of recording audio in Descript.
Record audio in Descript in 6 easy steps.

8 best audio recording software picks for creators

If you’re a creator who’s in the market for new audio recording software, here are the best options:

  1. Descript
  2. Audacity
  3. Adobe Audition
  4. GarageBand
  5. Audio Hijack
  6. Reaper
  7. Ableton Live
  8. FL Studio 

1. Descript

Best for: Creators looking for an all-in-one audio recording and editing solution.

Descript is one of the best audio recording platforms for modern creators. Whether you’re recording audio of just you, your webcam, your screen, or a remote podcast guest, you can do it all in one place.

The best part? Descript’s intuitive editing tools let you adjust your recording as easily as editing a word doc. As soon as you’re done recording, the app creates an automatic transcript, which you can use to cut, rearrange, and add effects to your audio without touching any complicated timelines. It’s incredibly time-saving and user-friendly. 

Another advantage to Descript is its all-in-one approach: if you’ve got video and audio you need to edit, you can do it all at the same time. You don’t have to jump from tool to tool to get multimedia projects to the finish line. 

Best features:

  • Filler word removal to banish”ums” and “uhs” from your audio recording
  • Remote recording tools to interview people online (perfect for podcasters!)
  • AI Voices feature to fix mistakes in the recording with a clone of your voice
  • Collaborative audio and video editing tools for working with teams
  • Studio Sound to remove background noise and create professional-grade audio 

Pros of Descript:

  • Intuitive, doc-style editing
  • Automated audio transcription
  • User-friendly dashboard
  • Built for collaborative audio recording
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2

Cons of Descript:

  • No mobile app available—just browser, Mac, and Windows
  • Limited transcription hours on free plans   

Pricing: Descript offers a free plan that includes access to all premium features. For more hours of audio recording and transcription, paid plans start at $12 per user per month.

2. Audacity

Best for: Multi-platform users editing a variety of audio types on a limited budget. 

Image of Audacity’s interface
Audacity

Audacity is a free, open-source digital audio workstation (DAW) that supports a variety of audio types. It’s a popular choice for podcasters, voiceover artists, and anyone interested in audio recording or editing that’s running on a budget and doesn’t mind using third-party plugins for more advanced features. 

Audacity is designed to be easy to use and supports all major operating systems including Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Best features:

  • Multitrack editing to manage and mix multiple audio clips together
  • Ability to record audio with a microphone, MIDI device, or audio interface
  • Royalty-free sound effects in the Muse Hub 
  • Normalize feature to make different tracks sound consistent 

Pros of Audacity:

  • Free software makes it accessible to anyone
  • Lots of editing options for dialogue and music
  • Simple user interface 
  • Compatible with several plugins and integrations 

Cons of Audacity:

  • No mobile version
  • No option to create a transcript
  • User interface looks dated
  • While popular, not the industry standard

Pricing: Audacity is a free, open-source audio recording tool.

3. Adobe Audition

Best for: Professional audio editing and recording.

Image of Adobe Audition dashboard for audio recording and editing
Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a professional audio workstation that allows you to create, mix, and design sound effects. It’s designed for professionals who need more advanced features from their recording platform. 

Adobe Audition is not just limited to audio editing; it’s also great for mixing audio for video post-production (with a seamless integration with Premiere Pro), making it a versatile choice for professionals in different creative fields. While it doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, Adobe Audition is full of powerful tools for professional use.

Best features:

  • Automatic loudness correction
  • Record, edit, and mix audio for video with the Premiere Pro integration 
  • Multitrack editing to edit multiple audio files in a single project 
  • Wide range of audio effects to add personality to your recording 

Pros of Adobe Audition:

  • Wide support for different audio formats and third-party plugins
  • Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of products 

Cons of Adobe Audition:

  • No MIDI input to record audio with this type of device
  • The cost could be a barrier for hobbyists or individuals on a budget
  • Requires a learning curve to use it at its full potential, especially beginner audio editors

Pricing: Adobe Audition is available for $22.99 per month on its own or with the full suite of Creative Cloud apps for $59.99 per month. The audio recording software also has a free trial.

4. GarageBand

Best for: Musicians who want to record audio on a Mac device.

Image of GarageBand audio recording studio
Apple

GarageBand offers a straightforward and intuitive dashboard that makes audio editing a simple process. It’s among the best free audio recording software for creators who want to layer interviews, add background music, and use sound effects for a rich auditory experience. 

This audio recording software comes with a sound library filled with bundled content, giving you a wide range of options to enhance your audio quality. The support for third-party plugins means you can extend its capabilities even further if needed.

Best features: 

  • Metronome feature to keep you on track as you record 
  • Record physical musical instruments by connecting them to your Mac
  • Record software instruments like virtual pianos, guitars, and keyboards 
  • Studio-quality sound recording 

Pros of GarageBand:

  • Streamlined, professional dashboard
  • Supports up to 255 audio tracks
  • Compatible with third-party plugins
  • Provides free lessons for beginners
  • iPhone and iPad compatibility 

Cons of GarageBand: 

  • Not available for Windows users
  • No mixing console view
  • Not the best for professional-grade sound editing

Pricing: GarageBand is free to use. 

5. Audio Hijack by Rogue Amoeba

Best for: Live audio recordings and editing VoIP conversations. 

Image of Audio Hijacks landing page with image of dashboard

Audio Hijack is a professional-grade recording software designed for MacOS users that lets you capture audio from literally any website or application on your Mac. 

Whether you're browsing through an inspiring TED talk you want to sample for your next podcast episode or you want to save webinar audio for reference later, Audio Hijack is right there with you, ready to record.

Best features:

  • Livestream recording to save your audio post-stream
  • Magic Boost and volume blocks to balance audio levels
  • Powerful podcast recording options with a simple compressor block
  • Record audio from virtually any application on your Mac 

Pros of Audio Hijack:

  • Modern drag-and-drop interface 
  • Ability to record web streams for offline listening
  • Variety of audio capture options including application, device, and system audio

Cons of Audio Hijack:

  • Only available on Mac devices 
  • Steep-ish learning curve for beginners

Pricing: Single user license costs $64. 

6. Reaper

Best for: Professional sound engineers who want to record and mix audio. 

Image of Reaper’s audio recording dashboard
Reaper

Reaper is a digital audio workstation designed for professional sound engineers who want to mix audio in the same platform they use to record it.

Reaper stands out in its compatibility with Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins. If you use plugins on your audio, you can add all kinds of audio effects to your sonic canvas in real-time. Whether you're creating an ethereal soundscape, dialing in the perfect guitar tone, or removing plosives and breath sounds from your narration, plugins open up your creative possibilities.

Because of its advanced features, Reaper does have a steep learning curve for new creators. But if you’re willing to learn the platform and pick up a new skill, it’s a good option. 

Best features:

  • Record audio in the same dashboard you use to edit 
  • Studio quality sound for any audio recording
  • Mixer view to help you edit multiple tracks simultaneously  

Pros of Reaper:

  • Windows and Mac apps available 
  • Extremely customizable to design the DAW you want 

Cons of Reaper: 

  • The interface can be hard to navigate 
  • No option to record audio on mobile  
  • Limited to audio recording (no video) 

Pricing: If you’re recording audio for personal use, you’ll qualify for Reaper’s $60 license. If you’re recording audio for a business that earns over $20,000 per year, you’ll need to get its $225 license. 

7. Ableton 

Best for: Musicians who want to record live performances.

Image of Ableton Live recording dashboard
Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a great audio recording software for music creators. It offers a range of sound effects, virtual instruments, and creative features for music mixing. Whether you're tucked away in your studio or out there on stage, Ableton Live adapts seamlessly. 

You can also connect any MIDI controller via Bluetooth or USB for another way to create. Albeton also lets you craft your own unique sound presets and templates, store them, and revisit them anytime. This means you can build a personal library of sounds and effects, tailor-made for your style.

Best features:

  • Record acoustic and MIDI instruments in one dashboard 
  • Real-time tempo and timing adjustments with warping
  • Suite of built-in instruments and effects
  • Linked track editing to make bulk changes to multiple tracks at once 

Pros of Ableton Live:

  • Designed to record live audio 
  • Available for macOS and Windows
  • Enables seamless transition between studio production and live performance
  • Strong community and educational resources to learn more about audio recording 

Cons of Ableton Live:

  • No mobile app available  
  • The pricing is steep compared to other audio recording tools on the market

Pricing: Ableton’s most basic plan starts at $99 and includes 16 audio tracks. For unlimited tracks and advanced features, plans start at $439. There are payment plans available. 

8. FL Studio

Best for: Music producers, composers, and DJs that need a versatile audio editor for better sound quality.  

Image of FL studio recording dashboard
FL Studio

FL Studio is a comprehensive music recording and audio editing software that caters to seasoned music creators. It comes with the array of instruments, effects, and professional editing features you’d expect from software reportedly used by the world’s top DJs and producers. 

With its long list of plugins, synths, and effects, it offers an expansive dashboard built for musical exploration as well as the occasional side project like podcast audio editing. Its lifetime of free updates is a great way for users to always have access to the newest features and improvements.

Best features:

  • Range of plugins to apply audio effects like delay and reverb
  • FL Cloud, its sister software, helps you master audio production
  • Online forum of sound engineers who share their best tips for editing and recording audio

Pros of FL Studio:

  • Lifetime free updates keep the software current 
  • Compatible with a wide array of plugins
  • Built for creators who want to edit beyond the basics

Cons of FL Studio:

  • Some users may find the software to be resource-intensive on their systems
  • Rated below average for ease of setup 

Pricing: FL Studio’s cheapest plan doesn’t include audio recording. This feature is only included in its most popular plan, which is a one-off fee of $149. All plans come with free lifetime updates. 

Features to look for before buying audio recording software

Multitrack recording and editing

Multitrack recording lets you capture multiple audio channels, or “tracks,” independently. It gives you the freedom to edit each track without affecting the others. This could mean recording yourself on one track and a guest on another if you’re recording a podcast.

Image of user importing files to Descript and selecting “combine 3 files into a multitrack sequence”
Descript can automatically create multitrack sequences to keep tracks separate and edit everything in one timeline.

Let's say you're making your first podcast episode. You can record your narration, guest interviews, and background music on separate tracks, so you can adjust the volume, tone, and clarity of each element individually. 

If your guest's volume is slightly lower than yours, you can boost it without affecting the rest of the episode. What might have been a boring podcast becomes a dynamic, professional audio production with this granular control.

Real-time audio effects and processing

With this functionality, you can apply sound effects and enhancements while recording or playing back audio. The benefit? You don't have to wait until the recording is done to hear how EQ and compression, noise reduction, or reverb impacts the sound.

It's like trying on clothes in a fitting room—you get to see (or hear) how your choice fits, and decide whether or not to keep it.

Non-destructive editing and automation

Non-destructive editing refers to editing audio without permanently altering it. You don't have to lose the original recording if you cut, fade, or apply effects.

With this feature, you can revert to an earlier version or tweak an edit without losing any previous work. It's like having an unlimited undo button so you can experiment without risking your original work. 

High-quality audio file formats and export options

The ability to export in high-quality audio formats cannot be overstated. In music production, film production, and broadcasting, high fidelity is critical. These formats ensure that the audio is reproduced as accurately as possible, which is crucial for mixing, mastering, and post-production.

Formats like WAV, FLAC, and AIFF preserve the full quality of the audio, ensuring no details are lost during digital encoding. They offer greater bit depth (like 24-bit) and higher sampling rates (such as 192kHz). The result is richer, more detailed sound, which captures nuances and subtleties you wouldn't find in lower quality formats.

Exporting audio from Descript
It’s simple to export high-quality audio files with Descript

Different platforms and applications require different formats. For example, a music producer might need WAV files for studio work but also MP3 versions for online distribution. Having a range of export options means one software, like Descript, can cater to all these needs.

Audio recording software FAQs

What is a good audio recording software?

  1. Descript
  2. GarageBand
  3. FL Studio
  4. Audacity
  5. Adobe Audition

What software do people use to record audio?

Software Compatible with Price
Descript Mac, Windows, and browser Free
GarageBand Mac Free
Riverside Mobile Free or $15/month
Reaper Mac and Windows $60
Audacity Browser Free

What is the best software to record and edit audio?

  • Best for creators and podcasters: Descript
  • Best for musicians on Mac: GarageBand
  • Best for customization features: Audacity
  • Best for live recording: Audio Hijack
  • Best for professional sound engineers: Reaper

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