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Podcasting on a Budget: Going Soft

Sometimes the word “software” scares people. I’m not a “computer guy.” Most of my work is done on an old laptop that could be replaced within the next year. However, I know that to do anything on my computer, I need the right programs for the job. Just like how most people know that you can’t write documents without good word-processing software, like Microsoft Word or Pages, you can’t record quality audio without a good audio recording software. In this blog, I’ll be discussing my recommendations and warnings for audio recording software.

I usually like to start with the software I am personally most accustomed to, but I don’t recommend my preferred software to everyone in this case. I primarily use a free program called OBS, also known as Open Broadcaster Software. This is a recording program built for YouTubers and Streamers primarily, working especially well with gameplay footage. OBS is a free program that is both easy to install and operate. The software has in-app tutorials and numerous pages of support online due to a thriving community. However, the program lacks most editing features, meaning you’ll need to use a secondary program to edit the audio in the event of a mistake. As well, the program only exports files as videos but does not require the use of a camera. If you’re comfortable with any video or audio editing software and plan on using video footage, still image(s), or gameplay recordings in your podcast/stream, then I happily recommend OBS as an option for you!

Audacity is most likely the software you’ll have heard the name of the most. It is a free program that allows for recording and editing audio. This already makes it one of, if not the, best option for general podcasting. The process of making a quality podcast is much faster this way. However, the application has a bit of a learning curve, is not as easy as OBS in my opinion, and lacks the support system that OBS has, potentially leaving you stranded when stuck. The program also has no in-application way to record audio from multiple sources. So, to record audio from yourself and someone who is not in-studio, you will have to record the audio of your calls, such as a Discord or Zoom call. OBS is far more optimized for Discord calls and integrates directly into it, making it better suited for this task.

Adobe Audition is another commonly recommended and popular software. This program is phenomenal for making quality podcasts. Stock sound and music, editing software, multitrack recording, and templates & tutorials are built into the program on installation. However, Adobe Audition can be difficult to use, with a steep learning curve. Additionally, it costs money. Adobe products are notorious for climbing in price as time goes on, so I warn you to be extra cautious about it. For these reasons, while Audition is a great program, I cannot recommend it to anyone with a limited budget or limited experience.

Lastly, I’d like to discuss Anchor. Anchor is two things. First, it is a podcast hosting platform backed by Spotify, a great place to post your podcasts. Second, however, it is also a podcast recording software on its own. The program is free, but in-browser, so a solid internet connection is critical. As well, the editing software is present, but limited, placing it between OBS’ “no editing” and the rest of the alternatives’ options. It does support high-quality remote recording, though, making it the best option for recording sessions with long-distance co-hosts.

Hopefully, one of these programs caught your eye. There are hundreds of audio-recording programs out there, but these are the ones I enjoy the most or feel were most important to discuss. Do you know of another software I didn’t mention that is worth discussing? Comment below, I would love to hear about some alternative options! If you learned anything today or enjoyed what you read, please share this with your friends so we can all be a little bit smarter and nerdier together! As always, I’d also appreciate comments and suggestions from you! If there’s anything you’d like to see in a future post here, let me know!



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