16 Best Audio Recording Software for 2022

Nero Peña Image
Nero Peña

Updated: April 11,2022

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Do you want to capture high-definition audio?

Then you need the best audio recording software.

Don’t worry, they’re all right here!

In this guide, you’ll get to see:

  • The top 16 audio recording programs 
  • Our in-depth reviews on their features, performance, and pricing
  • A quick explainer on audio editing and recording
  • The key specs to consider in each application software 

Ready to record?

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Best for: Beginners
Audacity logo

1. Audacity

  • Multitrack recording
  • Built-in equalizer
  • Many audio plugins
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Music production
PreSonus Studio One logo

2. PreSonus Studio One

  • Drag-n-drop workflow
  • Unlimited tracks
  • Good free version
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Pro-level projects
Adobe Audition logo

3. Adobe Audition

  • Multitrack UI
  • Automatic noise reduction
  • Smart functions
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Audiobooks and podcasts
Sound Forge logo

4. Sound Forge

  • High-definition sound
  • Remote recording
  • Truncate Silence enabled
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Entertainment
Streaming Audio Recorder logo

5. Streaming Audio Recorder

  • Easy to use
  • Good audio quality
  • Task recording
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Newbie music producers
FL Studio logo

6. FL Studio

  • Grouped recording takes
  • Multi-sampled instruments
  • Track consolidation
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Albums and soundtracks
Avid Pro Tools logo

7. Avid Pro Tools

  • Many track presets
  • Multichannel recording
  • Lots of samples and presets
Visit Website Full review
Best for: System and app recording
Audio Hijack logo

8. Audio Hijack

  • Multiple audio inputs
  • Easy VoIP recording
  • Auto edits
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Hardware inputs
Ardour logo

9. Ardour

  • Completely free
  • Unlimited multichannel tracks
  • Flexible recording
Visit Website Full review
Best for: MIDI recording
Mixcraft Recording Studio logo

10. Zynewave Podium

  • MIDI recording
  • Free version
  • Customizable UI
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Songs
Mixcraft Recording Studio logo

11. Mixcraft Recording Studio

  • Unlimited tracks
  • Performance Panel
  • 7,500+ loops and effects
Visit Website Full review
Best for: VST arrangements
Wavosaur logo

12. Wavosaur

  • Multitracking
  • Audio analysis
  • ASIO & VST support
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Apple users
GarageBand logo

13. GarageBand

  • Completely free
  • Built-in VST
  • Easy keyboard sampling
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Mac music recording
Logic Pro X logo

14. Logic Pro X

  • Hi-res recording
  • Non-destructive editing
  • MIDI performances
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Automated records
I-Sound Recorder logo

15. I-Sound Recorder

  • Voice-activated recording
  • Automatic gain control
  • Advanced Scheduler
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Mobile users
WavePad logo

16. WavePad

  • Clean UI
  • Quick edits
  • Audio restoration
Visit Website Full review

Best for: Beginners

1. Audacity

Multitrack recording

Built-in equalizer

Many audio plugins

Audacity is the best free audio recording software for any project. You can use it to record speech or music tracks – or both!

It’s free and open-source, that’s why it’s a top choice for rookies and pros alike. Its clean and simple UI makes sound recording a breeze. Not only that – it also offers editing tools for effective sound manipulation.

Anyone can use it, as the program is compatible with most operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

Features

Despite its simplicity, Audacity offers a rich toolbox for recording media. Here they are:

Multitrack Recording

You can hook up one or more inputs to record any type of audio. Be it vocals from a microphone or live music from equipment. The free sound recorder can even capture computer playbacks like system audio or internet radio feedback.

On the timeline, you can stack multiple tracks to create overdubs. It displays individual level meters for equalization. This way, you can control the volume before, during, or after recording.

Sound Editing

There’s a wide range of editing tools you can maximize for post-production. When it’s time to refine your tracks, you can use basic commands like:

  • cut
  • duplicate
  • fade in/out 
  • undo/redo
  • delete

If you’re working with tons of tracks, labeling them is a real time-saver. You can group them into clusters and apply bulk edits at once.

Plugins

It’s an easy voice recorder, but there’s still enough room for complexity. You can extend the program’s functionality by adding numerous plugins or libraries. And they’re free!

For example, you can add Virtual Studio Technology (VST) effects to your recordings. However, VST instruments aren’t supported yet. You won’t be able to add music tools like synthesizers or samplers.

Audio Quality 

Audacity records audio with low latency. That’s good news if you’re overdubbing or recording new tracks while listening to another. It also supports the holy trinity of sample rates: 

  • 16-bit
  • 24-bit
  • 32-bit

If you have tracks with varying sample rates, don’t worry. It has audio converters that work automatically via high-quality resampling. Yes to HD audio recordings!

Pricing

As we’ve mentioned, Audacity is a completely free recording app. It’s open-source, so anyone can use and develop the program’s features without a cost. 

That said, expect that the software will come with limitations on advanced specs. Mixing is one of them. Compared to other DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), it doesn’t have a dedicated mixing console or mastering tools.

Other than that, it’s truly a powerful recording program. If you simply need a high-quality recorder that’s free and functional, go for this option.

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Best for: Music production

2. PreSonus Studio One

Drag-n-drop workflow

Unlimited tracks

Good free version

PreSonus is a musical giant. It has the most bombastic monitor speakers, audio interfaces, and other equipment. But what about its DAW?

Studio One is no exception. It’s a complete audio workstation that welcomes end-to-end production. It’s not only a contender for the best audio recording app. It’s also a robust platform for audio mixing, mastering, and even performing.

Features

Let’s see what this comprehensive music technology can do.

Unlimited Tracks

This professional audio recording software provides an intuitive, drag-n-drop workflow for multitracking. And the best part? Unlimited everything! You can record as many of the following inputs as you want:

  • Audio tracks
  • Virtual instruments
  • MIDI tracks
  • FX channels 

You get unlimited buses, too, so you can add more flavor to your mixes. This also makes it easier to manipulate track regions while recording.

High-Resolution Recording

To maintain high audio fidelity and quality, Studio One’s digital recording settings are at max. You can record your tracks in 64-bit floating-point WAV format. That meets the optimal processing power for most audio interfaces. 

Advanced Editing

On the editing workflow, you’ll find the essential editing tools to fix your records. You can trim, slice, or split your tracks, adjust the equalization, and more. 

Now, what makes it a really good music recording software are its advanced tools.

There’s a software sampler for resampling, transient detection, or audio stretching. You can even correct each tempo via Manual Time Stretching

Harmonic Editing also lets you fix pitch changes – both in MIDI recordings and audio tracks.

Pre-Record

Do you often hit the “Record” button too late? If Yes, you might want to maximize the Pre-Record tool. The recorder can capture audio up to a full minute before you even press the button. That way, you don’t miss any part of your track.

Mixing Console 

Aside from producing professional voice recordings, Studio One is great at audio mixing, too. You’re free to add clip effects, plugins, and inserts to your raw tracks. The Mixtool, in particular, is a handy option for gain control and audio channel manipulation. Another is the MixVerb, which is an automation that lets you add reverb to mono or stereo tracks.

Pricing

Great news – you can use this pro-grade audio software for free! Although it comes with limited functionality, it’s still packed with amazing features, like unlimited tracks and virtual instruments.

These are the packages you can choose from:

  • Studio One Prime - Free
  • Studio One Artist - $99.95 (+27 Native plugins)
  • Studio One Professional - $399.95 (+38 Native plugins)

The paid plans are a one-off payment with a 30-day trial period.

If you prefer a monthly subscription, though, you can opt for the PreSonus Sphere. It costs $14/month and comes with more features plus collaboration tools.

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Best for: Pro-level projects

3. Adobe Audition

Multitrack UI

Automatic noise reduction

Smart functions

Recording songs? Filming podcasts? Extracting audio? You can do all that with Adobe Audition. It’s a comprehensive digital audio workstation developed by Adobe Inc. It lies at the forefront of sound production, with big players behind it like iHeartMedia and Entercom. Studios and artists tap its power for professional audio recording

Features

The software offers plenty of customization options and automatic functions. Two essential recording features that both beginners and pros will enjoy. 

Multitrack UI

In Audition, you can record over 32 tracks or playback over 128. You can enter the Waveform view for handling single stereo tracks or head straight to the Multitrack view for mixes. You can hook up external equipment like audio interfaces too.

For podcasters, there are plenty of templates you can take advantage of. If you have several speakers, you can connect multiple microphones and mix different voices. You can add royalty-free sound effects too!

Automation

Audition has lots of smart functions beyond the usual voice recording program

With one click, you can reduce background noise without finding noise prints. It also has a Sound Remover effect that eliminates unwanted audio sources. You can even schedule recordings, and the program will record audio automatically. Broadcast automation is key!

Input Monitoring

Before starting the voice recorder app, you can preview the input source. This will help you balance the level meters from your recording device. Although you can control the gain on the timeline, it’s good to monitor your inputs before capturing them.

Essential Sound

Aside from the DeVerb and DeNoise options, the Essential Sound panel is loaded with more drag-n-drop effects. These tools can enhance the sound by adjusting: 

  • volume levels
  • speech clarity
  • equalization 

and more!

You’ll find a ton of special effect presets. Use them to mix tracks like an audio engineer, minus the hard work.

Audio Extraction 

If you’re looking for a hard disk recorder, Audition is a good audio recording software. It can do analog recording with just a few clicks! Got a compact disc or cassette with sounds you want to capture digitally? Head over to the File window and hit the ‘Extract’ button. It’ll transfer CD tracks to a single file in no time.

Adobe Cloud Integration

Just like Photoshop and Illustrator, you can use this program side-by-side with its partner – Premiere Pro

You can load your tracks from Audition and into the video editing software – or vice versa! You’ll be able to maximize this if you’re working on YouTube videos, films, soundtracks, and other video projects.

Pricing

You can buy Adobe Audition via subscription for $20.99 per month. Unfortunately, there isn’t a free version. However, you can try the sound recorder app within the 30-day free trial.

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Best for: Audiobooks and podcasts

4. Sound Forge

High-definition sound

Remote recording

Truncate Silence enabled

Sound Forge Audio Studio is an all-in-one audio solution for any project. It’s one of the top products by MAGIX, which is home to popular Windows photo editors and video production apps. 

Here, you can record, edit, and restore audio files from various sources. You can produce soundtracks, podcasts, or audiobooks with professional quality. Its Export Wizard even lets you instantly upload your files into streaming platforms like iTunes, Audible, etc.

Features

If you’re a Windows user, Sound Forge is the most optimized software for audio recording. Here are its capabilities:

High-resolution Recordings

Like most well-equipped DAWs, you can use Sound Forge to record audio using multiple inputs. You can connect one or more mics to an audio interface, then start capturing! The software can record the sound for up to 32-bit/384 kHz.

You can use it to record computer audio, too. Other playback devices include:

and so on!

Waveform View

As you record your audio, the timeline displays your track waveform. Here, you can monitor the latency of your recordings in real-time. The program boasts its near-zero latency output, which is great for multitracking or overdubbing.

Remote Recording

If you’re trying to record your speech with a transcript, this option comes in handy. You can minimize the program and place the remote window wherever. This way, you can just press the Record button while reading your text on-screen. 

Truncate Silence

Good recording software must have automated functions, and Truncate Silence is a great example. It can automatically remove silence in your tracks. 

Let’s say you’re recording a podcast or an audiobook. It’s inevitable to make long pauses or breaks as you speak. This tool will identify those moments and take them out of the timeline. That way, you won’t have to manually go over and edit your hours-long projects!

wizardFX

On the editing window, you’ll find a huge panel containing premade effects and fixes

You can tap into Dynamics for quick adjustments on equalization. In terms of reverb, delays, and flanger effects, you can head on to the Modulation option. 

Pricing

Sound Forge has a lite version which you can use for free. It’s good for high-resolution recording. However, the advanced functions we mentioned come with a price.

There are two options for payment:

  • Sound Forge Audio Studio - $59.99
  • Sound Forge Audio Studio 365 - $2.99/month

These two paid versions don’t have a trial period. You can warm yourself up to the features by downloading the free version.

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Best for: Entertainment

5. Streaming Audio Recorder

Easy to use

Good audio quality

Task recording

Streaming Audio Recorder is a handy Mac and Windows audio recording software by Apowersoft. The name says it all! It has the power to record clear and high-quality audio content from streaming sites like YouTube.

But that’s not all. Its core function is to capture both system and microphone sound from your computer.

Along with it are extra smart features like downloading and converting audio files. We’ll tell you more about it below.

Features

Here’s what it can do:

PC Recording

The audio capture software has two main input sources – the system and the microphone. You can choose which one to record or do both simultaneously. The system sound is what you’ll use to record:

  • Streaming content
  • Online meetings
  • Live narrations
  • Tutorials

or basically whatever program’s running on your computer.

Task Recording

Away from the computer? Let the program do it for you! With this feature, you can just let the tool automatically record content. All you have to do is schedule a task by setting a Start and Stop time for the command. Then, it’ll initiate and save the recording on its own.

Audio Editing

After using the sound recorder app, you can open the Edit window to add some tweaks. You can trim, split, or delete tracks – all the basic stuff. The tools aren’t as rich as the ones you’ll find in audio editing software, though. However, they still work well and serve their purpose.

If you’re making playlists, you’ll love the ID3 Tag Editor. It can recognize song titles, artists, albums, genres, and more. No need to manually edit names!

Audio Converter

You can upload multiple audio files and convert them to your desired format. The program supports the most widely-used formats like:

  • MP3
  • WAV
  • AAC
  • WMA
  • M4A

and more. If you’re fond of downloading music videos, there’s also a Video to MP3 Converter option.

Pricing

The audio recording program has a lite version you can use for free. On it, though, you can only record up to 3 minutes of audio. Name tracking is also limited to 3 tracks only.

If you want maximum usage, you can consider these subscription plans:

  • Monthly - $29.95
  • Annual - $39.95
  • Lifetime - $59.95

If you’re not satisfied with the product, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This applies to Annual and Lifetime plans.

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Best for: Newbie music producers

6. FL Studio

Grouped recording takes

Multi-sampled instruments

Track consolidation

FL Studio has been around for two decades, and it’s still an industry favorite. DJs, musicians, and vocalists love this audio workstation’s comprehensive tools for music production. Its core features include audio recording, editing, sequencing, sampling, and more.

It has a massive and diverse user base, as it’s compatible with all operating systems.

Features

Unlike typical audio recording apps, this one is loaded with rich music-creation features.

Group Recordings

If you’re in a band producing soundtracks, multitracking with FL Studio is seamless. Why? Well, you can easily hook up MIDI controllers and sound inputs. Also, the program lets you work with grouped takes.

On the main workspace, you’ll be able to separate and group individual tracks while recording. Just set up a looped region, then press Record. The software will create a new track whenever the region loops back. This saves a lot of time when musicians and vocalists work together!

Instruments

If you’re a composer, this music recording software has what you need. That is, a functional Piano Roll. It contains tools you can use for meticulous score editing and manipulation.

Aside from that, you’ll also find a set of native instruments. The Instrument Pack has over 400 multi-sampled instruments. If you need more, you’re free to install third-party solutions. 

Sampling

For budding artists, sampling is a great way to start your music journey. Not all voice recording apps for singing projects have this feature. 

Luckily, FL Studio has an in-program Sound Library. You can take inspiration from thousands of samples taken from artists across the globe. From pop to rock to country, every music genre is available.

But heads up – using samples will cost you an extra fee.

Plugins

The tool supports all VST standards on the market. You can even use FL Studio as a third-party plugin if you’re using another music workstation

Otherwise, you’re free to onboard more:

  • effects
  • virtual synthesizers
  • loops
  • presets

and other add-ons that will help enrich your sound.

Pricing

FL Studio offers various packages that are reasonably priced. There’s no free music recording software among the options. There are no trial periods either.

Here’s what you can consider:

  • Fruity - $99 (83 instruments & effects)
  • Producer - $199 (89 instruments & effects)
  • Signature - $299 (96 instruments & effects)
  • All Plugins Edition - $499 (107 instruments & effects)

You can purchase these tools through a one-off payment. We recommend the Producer version, as the Fruity version only has editing tools and lacks a voice recorder app.

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Best for: Albums and soundtracks

7. Avid Pro Tools

Many track presets

Multichannel recording

Lots of samples and presets

Avid Pro Tools is a pro-grade digital audio workstation fit for musicians and producers. From recording all the way up to distribution, the toolbox is complete. Kanye West, Dr. Dre, and Pharrell are just some of the big names using this platform.

Features

Let’s take a closer look into the program’s features: 

Multichannel Recording

The program offers a powerful multitracking workflow for all sorts of audio input. You get up to 768 audio and 1,024 MIDI tracks. And if you want clear audio capture, the software can record at up to 24-bit/192kHz.

You can plug in any input source or an audio interface to start recording. If you don’t have enough music equipment, there’s a bunch of virtual instruments available.

Avid Instruments

What are those instruments, you ask? You’ll find six of them:

  • drum machine
  • organ emulator
  • mini grand piano
  • tube synthesizer
  • multitimbral synth
  • structure free sample player

Besides these instruments from AIR, you can also maximize the new UVI Falcon 2. In this pack, you can use thousands of factory sounds to enrich your recordings. This also gives you plenty of room to play with reverb, dynamics, equalization, etc.

MIDI Compatibility

A high quality recorder isn’t everything. To produce stunning sound, you should be able to layer tracks, switch arrangements, nudge notes, and so on. That’s where the MIDI Editor comes in. With it, you’ll be able to compose MIDI tracks and even record your performances. 

Track Presets

Just like in Audition, Pro Tools has its own basket of presets. If you’re layering multiple tracks and applying effects, saving them is key! You can retain your favorite effect chains to avoid repetitive tasks. On top of that, you can save arrangements, vocal processing, and other track settings into your catalog.

Samples

If you’re recording from scratch, sampling is a great way to start compositions. Aside from the virtual instruments, this professional audio software also has hundreds of loops and samples. You’ll find a library filled with 3 GB worth of high-quality sounds.

AvidPlay

When it’s time to get your music out there, AvidPlay is your distribution partner. You can send your soundtracks to major streaming platforms like:

  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • TikTok
  • Deezer

and more. And the best part? Artists get to keep 100% of their rights and earnings!

Pricing

Avid doesn’t offer free recording apps like it used to, but the premium plans still come with a 30-day free trial. There are two subscriptions to choose from:

  • Pro Tools - $29.99/month
  • Pro Tools Ultimate - $79.99/month

The big difference is that the Ultimate version has more tracks and input/output channels. If you don’t need hundreds of those, you can stick with the Standard version.

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Best for: System and app recording

8. Audio Hijack

Multiple audio inputs

Easy VoIP recording

Auto edits

Audio Hijack is free recording software for Mac developed by Rogue Amoeba. The company is based in the USA and has pioneered music technology since 2002. It offers a full suite of audio editing, mixing, and streaming tools like Loopback, Fission, Airfoil, and more.

Hijack is the one meant for capturing sound – and it does a pretty good job at it.

Features

From quick recordings to automated edits, this tool can do it all.

Multiple Inputs

The program can record three inputs:

  • System Sound - press the red button, and it will capture any audio that’s playing on your Mac.
  • Device Audio - microphones, audio interfaces, mixers – plug these in, and it will record the sound.
  • App Audio - if you want to get audio content straight from the application software, use this option.

While previewing these HD audio recordings, you can add effects on the fly. Adjust the 10-band equalization, manipulate the time shift, and so on.

Stream Output

Recording and streaming at the same time? Totally doable! With this new feature, you’ll be able to stream your audio output to RTMP servers. No need to use third-party streaming software. You can instantly go live on Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and other platforms.

Automation

When it’s time to polish your tracks, several intelligent features will come in handy.

Silence Monitoring is one of them. When long pauses are detected, the tool can automatically remove that region or stop the recording. Another is Bulletproof Recording, which auto-saves your work when your computer shuts off. 

Project Templates

If you’re in a rush, the audio recorder software has quick templates to save you some time. One is the podcasting template, which opens up more recording options. It also provides a customizable source, which is great for multiple speakers. 

Reusable Sessions also make it easier to initiate projects with premade settings.

Pricing

A license key for Audio Hijack costs $59. With it, you can use the program on one or more Mac devices. There’s a free version, but it has quite a few limitations. The biggest one is after 10 minutes of capture, noise is added into the recording.

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Best for: Hardware inputs

9. Ardour

Completely free

Unlimited multichannel tracks

Flexible recording

Ardour is one of the best free audio recording software for Windows 10, Mac, and Linux. 

It’s an open-source program, so users can pitch in on its development. It’s quite similar to Audacity but offers more complex functions. Sound recording is its main function, but it goes beyond that. You can use the tool for editing and mixing, too!

Features

Can the free program offer enough recording functionality? Let’s see.

Hardware Audio Capture

To start capturing, all you need is an audio interface to connect your gear. You can plug in your microphone, keyboard, electric drums, etc. 

If hardware isn’t your thing, this professional audio recorder software can also handle imports. You can load MIDI and other audio files from your hard drive or the Freesound database.

Unlimited Multitracking

On the multitrack timeline, you can add as many recording elements as you want. Sky’s the limit in terms of tracks, buses, inserts, and plugins you can work with. You can set tracks to mono, stereo, or multichannel for sound processing. You can even set overlapping layered regions.

Flexible Recording

Speaking of overlaps, you’re free to choose between layered and non-layered editing modes. The per-track view makes it easier to monitor each input. You can either control this manually or let the meters do it for you. 

When recording, the Stop&Forget feature also lets you cancel takes and retrieve the used disk space. 

Non-destructive Editing

It’s not just an audio recording program – it can manipulate sound, too. With the tools available, you can cut, split, stretch, or swing your tracks. You can also add crossfade and transpose effects. And don’t worry about making mistakes. The workflow provides non-linear editing with unlimited undo/redo commands.

Soundtracking

Getting soundtracks from your favorite films is easier with Ardour. You can import the video file and extract the tracks you like. 

You can do this by first displaying a frame-by-frame timeline of the video. Then, you can manually select the audio regions on a separate video monitor. Save them into new files, and you have your soundtrack!

Pricing

As we’ve mentioned, Ardour is a free recording app. You can download the ready-to-run program right from the website. Or, you can get the source code. Take this option if you wish to modify or develop the program on top of using it.

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Best for: MIDI recording

10. Zynewave Podium

MIDI recording

Free version

Customizable UI

Podium is a Windows audio recorder and editor developed by Zynewave. The company’s forte is music production, with this software as its flagship product. 

With modern features, it joins the pack of leading DAWs offering complete production tools. It supports the recording and editing of audio and MIDI tracks. Additionally, it can load a host of VST instruments, plugins, and effects.

Features

Musicians will find the most benefits from the following tools:

MIDI Recording

If you’re composing musical arrangements, Podium is the place to be. You can record as many audio and MIDI inputs as you want. You can even do it simultaneously!

Now here’s what makes it the best music recording software:

Once captured, you can edit MIDI note sequences with a piano roll or a drum map. During takes, you can even add automatic crossfades or sound events.

Unlimited Arrangements

There’s no limit to the number of styles you can add to the timeline. And the good thing is your musical arrangements can share sequences in a single project. This makes it easier to create variations in your mixes. Just duplicate them as phantom copies!

VST Plugins

Yes, you can add Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins to the workflow. With this, you’ll be able to use a software synthesizer or effects unit to your tracks. When it comes to dynamics, there’s no need to look further. The music recording software comes bundled with controls like:

  • Equalization
  • Reverb
  • Pitch control

and more.

Customizable UI

Working with multiple tracks and buses can be messy. Luckily, you’re free to organize your workspace. You can personalize your recording layout. Whether a single window or multiple ones – the choice is yours. You can also regroup the Editor windows based on what you need.

Pricing

Zynewave Podium comes in two versions – free and paid. The free sound recorder is a fully-functional program but with a few restrictions. You only get one MIDI input/output and no plugin multiprocessing.

The full version, on the other hand, unlocks all features. It costs $50 for a single-user license.

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Best for: Songs

11. Mixcraft Recording Studio

Unlimited tracks

Performance Panel

7,500+ loops and effects

Acoustica Mixcraft is every musician’s best friend. It offers a multitrack recording workflow for Windows users. On top of that, it has the essential digital audio workstation features. It serves as an editor, mixer, MIDI sequencer, VST host, and a lot more.

The software is featured in popular magazines like Electronic Musician, Computer Music, MusicTech, and Keyboard Magazine.

Features

Time to see what this Windows sound recorder is all about.

Unlimited Tracks

Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or both, the multitrack timeline is yours to fill. You get to add as many tracks and buses as you like. 

When it’s time to get creative, the opportunities are endless. You can add one-click audio filters and special effects. Incorporate reverb, denoise, crossfade – anything you want! The only limitation is you won’t be able to convert them from mono to stereo or multichannel.

Live Performance

Mixcraft is a good music recording software for finding the best sound. On the Performance Panel, you can play with arrangements and loop-based compositions. If you have a MIDI controller or keyboard, you can trigger the audio and record directly to slots.

Loop Library

If you want to enrich your musical recordings, you can just head straight to the Loop Library.

This collection contains 7,500 loops – all professionally generated. The wide selection also has these sound packages:

  • sound effects
  • music beds
  • samples
  • genres

And if that’s still not enough, there’s a built-in Freesound.org browser where you can find more.

Virtual Instruments

Similar to the best music recording software, this one is loaded with a massive collection of instruments. 

You can take advantage of built-in virtual synthesizers, electric keyboards, rock organs, and more. The effects department isn’t lacking either. You can calibrate the sound with reverbs, equalizers, compressors, etc.

Pricing

There are two versions of this recording studio, and both come with a price:

  • Mixcraft 9 Recording Studio - $75
  • Mixcraft 9 Pro Studio - $149

You get way more instruments and effects on the Pro Studio. However, the Standard version offers great functionality as well.

If you want to test the features, you can download a two-week trial version of Mixcraft.

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Best for: VST arrangements

12. Wavosaur

Multitracking

Audio analysis

ASIO & VST support

Wavosaur is a free and easy-to-use audio recorder and editor for Windows. It’s a handy tool developed by multimedia experts from France, Greenland, and Feroe Island. On the program, you can do basic sound manipulation and production. Mixing and mastering functionality is also available, thanks to its effective VST processing.

Features

The super-simple UI looks underwhelming until you find all the feature-packed sections.

Recording and Editing

Like most audio recording apps, it can capture from any sound card input you may have. That includes your microphones, headphones, and other line-in inputs. 

When it comes to editing, the tools for basic manipulation are more than sufficient. Classic commands like cutting, splitting, and converting are doable. Additionally, you can apply volume envelopes, crossfades, silence, and more.

It employs non-destructive editing. So, you’re free to undo and redo your actions without loading original files.

Advanced Features

Wavosaur has a couple of smart functions, too. Just like Audio Hijack, it has a silence remover. It can automatically erase dead air from your recordings, so you won’t have to. Other automated tools also include:

  • Auto-detect region
  • Auto-trim 
  • Vocal removal

and so on. 

VST Processing

What’s truly impressive about this free recording software is its extensive VST support. You can load third-party plugins to add rich clip effects to your recordings. And if you don’t know where to get them, no worries. There’s a bunch of plugin listings on the app’s website – with download links.

Audio Quality and Formats

The tool’s audio output sample rate reaches up to 192 kHz at 24 bits. This is the standard for pristine, hi-res audio recordings. It also has great file format support as it can load the following:

  • WAV
  • AIFF
  • MP3
  • AIF

Based on our test runs, it records audio with low latency as well.

Pricing

As we’ve mentioned, you can do all sorts of audio recording on this free software. There are no premium versions – you’re free to download the full program from the official website.

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Best for: Apple users

13. GarageBand

Completely free

Built-in VST

Easy keyboard sampling

GarageBand is a full-featured digital audio workstation for Apple users. It comes preloaded into Macs, iPad, and iPhones, allowing users to record, edit, and produce music on the go. 

Not only is it a free voice recorder app, but it also features a rich sound library filled with instruments, presets, and loops. Anyone can make music like a pro – for free. 

Features

Whether you’re recording songs or podcasts, you can check into GarageBand for all the tools you need.

Audio Recorder

When you open the Recording Window, you get a clean interface for doing your takes. Just use your phone’s mic, or connect an external one to the jack. You can manipulate the sound levels by dragging the volume meters. 

And if you want to change the input, simply tap and turn the dial to choose a different one.

Audio and MIDI Editor

Classic commands are easily executed, like removing mistakes and splicing tracks. You can do this to any audio track you’ve recorded.

Now, when it comes to MIDI editing, the Piano Roll is your best friend. Use it to edit individual MIDI notes, adjust the pitch, velocity, and so on.

Built-in VST

Not every free software for audio recording has VST capabilities. Luckily, GarageBand has it. The music technology has a massive library of:

  • Synthesizers
  • Drum kits
  • Drum machines
  • Acoustic and electric guitars

and more. 

Some VST options even have extra settings within them, adding more functionality.

Sampling

If you’re composing from scratch, the AUSampler keyboard is the one you should explore. It offers great help in composing your tracks from existing tunes. You can either record or load audio files for playback. From tuning to panning to adjusting, this tool will make sampling way easier.

Music Distribution

Did you know that some audio recording programs can send files to streaming sites too? Well, GarageBand is one of them. When you’re done recording, editing, and mastering, you can export your files directly to streaming platforms like iTunes, SoundCloud, or YouTube.

Pricing

The app is completely free, and it’s pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

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Best for: Mac music recording

14. Logic Pro X

Hi-res recording

Non-destructive editing

MIDI performances

Logic Pro X is Apple’s pro-grade software for music production. It has robust and creative tools for recording, sequencing, editing, and mixing tracks. 

It’s a program designed exclusively for Mac. However, users can integrate their other Apple gadgets via the Logic Remote. It adds more functionality and ease with maneuvering the tools and features.

Features

Here’s what you can do with Logic:

Recording and Editing

The program provides an easy voice recorder with high-resolution settings. It supports 24-bit/192kHz audio, which is a recipe for clear and stunning sound. The workflow can also handle heavy projects containing:

  • up to 1,000 stereo audio tracks
  • up to 1,000 instrument tracks 
  • hundreds of plugins

If you need to cut, split, replace, or overlay tracks, you’ll find all the tools on the Audio Editor window. It uses non-destructive editing, so changes are quick to do, undo, or redo.

MIDI Performances

There are key tools you can use to boost your MIDI performances. One is the Capture Record, which starts the recording even before you press it. If you're composing with a MIDI controller, you want to make sure all the good parts are captured.

Another is by setting region-based parameters. This ensures that you hit the nail in terms of note velocity, timing, and dynamics.

Step Sequencer

This is what this music recording app is known for. Enter the Step Sequence editor, and you’ll find tools for recording all kinds of sounds. From drum beats to basslines, what you can create is endless. You can also take advantage of hundreds of built-in rhythms for melodic patterns.

Track Alternatives

If you like to experiment with your compositions, try adding track alternatives. You can create many variants of a recorded track. Then, easily switch between them to test what sounds the best.

Pricing

So, how much does Logic Pro X cost? You can purchase it for $199 through a one-off payment. It’s yours to use forever, and you’ll get your share of updates. 

There’s no free version. However, Apple offers a generous 90-day trial period to test out all the features.

The price is a little steep, but the pro-level specs justify it.

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Best for: Automated records

15. I-Sound Recorder

Voice-activated recording

Automatic gain control

Advanced Scheduler

I-Sound Recorder is a quick and easy voice recording software for Windows. It’s an application software developed by Abyssmedia – a company specializing in audio technology and developer tools.

It offers direct audio recording with multiple input support. It’s also able to capture sound in bit-perfect settings to preserve audio quality.

Features

From superior audio quality to automated settings, I-Sound checks all the boxes.

High-Resolution Recording

The voice recording program can reach up to 192kHz/24-bit without interpolation. That’s the setting you want if you’re aiming for pristine audio quality. And to complement that, it saves the recorded audio files in a lossless FLAC format.

If disk space is your concern, don’t worry – it uses rea- time audio compression for common file formats.

Automatic Gain Control

Trouble keeping track volumes consistent? This option will help you fix that. It can gradually increase or decrease the gain as signal levels change. But if you like to be more hands-on, you can still configure it manually via the UV meter.

Voice Activated Recording (VOX)

Similar to other recording programs with silence removers, VOX can detect long pauses and skip recording them. You can opt to remove them completely or split the tracks into separate audio files.

Advanced Scheduler

If you’ve got tasks lined up, automate! The program can initiate up to 100 recordings by itself. Just set a date and time, and you can leave it on its own. It can record streaming audio, too, then close the browser after it finishes the capture. 

Auto-naming

Tired of repetitively naming and renaming files? You can set up an automatic naming system to avoid that hassle. You can base it on date, project, type, etc. The naming template is all up to you.

Pricing

It’s an affordable recording software – costing only $29.95 for the full package. There’s no free version, but you can download a free trial program which comes with duration and feature limitations.

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Best for: Mobile users

16. WavePad

Clean UI

Quick edits

Audio restoration

WavePad is one of the simplest and most accessible audio recorders on the market. Developed by NCH Software, it’s packed with a full suite of features. Use its tools to capture high-definition audio, edit audio files, and restore content. Its mobile functionality makes it the best music recording app for Android.

Features

Offering easy actions, comfortable navigation, and a quick setup, it’s one of the most user-friendly programs on the market.

Audio Recording

Capturing audio with the program is as simple as it can be. Just plug in your microphone, monitor the input, then hit Record. 

Now, the main track timeline is unable to record multiple sources at once. But, you can download and install MixPad as a remedy. It’s a multitrack mixer that lets you record unlimited tracks with studio quality. 

Quick Editing

The basic yet powerful editing tools make WavePad a good audio recording software for newbies. Fast edits like cuts, splits, and duplicates are all one-click commands. 

The same goes for adding sound effects to your audio clips. You can seamlessly infuse crossfades, echoes, reverbs, reverses, and more.

Audio Restoration 

If you have a CD stash or vinyl record collection, why don’t you turn them into digital audio? All you need is an audio interface and this software’s restoration tools. Noise reduction and click pop removal will make old records sound new!

File Format Support

The program can import multiple file formats and convert them without losing quality. It supports widely-used formats like:

  • MP3 
  • AAC
  • FLAC
  • WAV
  • M4A

You can even export them into video files via waveform or image visualization.

Pricing

WavePad is a free audio recorder. It’s a cross-platform app, so anyone with a laptop or smartphone can download and use it.

There are premium versions, though, that provide more features and functionality. Here they are:

  • Standard Edition - $29.99 - includes all the basic features.
  • Master’s Edition - $49.99 - includes VST plugin support and SFX Library.

The lite version should be enough for personal projects. But if you’re using it for professional purposes, you’ll need to buy the software to secure a license.

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What Is Audio Editing Recording?

Audio editing and recording are the two major steps of sound production. 

Recording is the process of capturing sound information and transferring it to another medium. The recorded sound, called an audio, is then used to reproduce its original sound. The output can be either analog or digital.

On the other hand, audio editing involves manipulating audio files to produce the desired sound. This usually involves trimming, splitting, or deleting portions of tracks. An editor can also change the speed, length, volume, or composition of recorded audio. 

An application software called a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is often required to execute both of these steps.

How To Choose the Right Software for You?

So, how do you actually spot the most suitable audio recording software? Consider these factors:

Features

The first thing you should look for is a multitracking workflow. Multitrack recording allows you to capture sound from numerous sources. That’s also the key to recording multiple takes to make one cohesive audio. 

Next, you need a program with good editing tools. When you have your audio tracks, you must be able to execute basic manipulations. That includes trimming, splitting, duplicating, etc.

You should also look into the number of tracks and buses available. This is particularly important for music production and if you’re working with arrangements.

File Format Support

The best audio recording app must be ready to process commonly-used audio formats. WAV, FLAC, and AIFF are particularly important ones. Why? These formats are uncompressed and maintain lossless audio

Other notable formats include MP3, AC-3, AIF, AIFC, AAC, HE-AAC, CAF, PCM, OGG, and WMA. All the tools on our list can import, process, convert, or bounce these formats.

Now, there are users who integrate an audio recorder app into video editing software. If you plan on doing the same, take note of video formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, or FLV. Adobe Audition and Avid Pro Tools are examples of recorders with video functionality.

Sound Effects and Filters

Audio recording doesn’t end the moment you stop that red button. Refining your tracks is a crucial step!

That’s why good recording software must have built-in effect presets to improve your sound. Those include noise reduction features, reverb, amplify, crossfades, echo, equalization, and many more. If you’re making music, support for Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is a huge plus. The ability to infuse third party-plugins adds more flavor to production!

Processing Power

Programs that have a 64-bit processing power generally perform better compared to 32-bit ones. This also ensures that your CPU stays in good shape while you’re recording tracks. Tools like Adobe Audition, Avid Pro Tools, WavePad, and Audio Hijack all have robust processors.

Use Case

What type of recordings are you working on? 

If you need professional voice recordings for speech, podcasts, or audiobooks, go for plug-n-play options like Audacity or Sound Forge. These have excellent noise reduction features, too.

Music-related recordings need lots of available tracks, plugins, and MIDI controls. In this case, you should be looking at production programs like Pro Tools, GarageBand, or PreSonus Studio One.

Now, if you need to record system audio, streaming content, or app sounds, Audio Hijack and Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder are the ones for you.

Price

There are good audio editing tools you can use without a cost. Free recording software like Audacity and GarageBand are great for users looking for cheap yet viable solutions.

If you’re looking to invest between $20 - $70 for a complete DAW, Pro Tools and Adobe Audition are right up your alley.

Wrap Up

Now that you’ve discovered the right audio recording software, it’s time to face the music.

When in doubt, remember the holy trinity:

Powerful multitracking ability. High audio fidelity. Sufficient editing capacity.

If your chosen program has all three, then you’ve made the right decision.

Happy recording!

FAQ.


Which software is best for audio recording?

Audacity is the best DAW for recording tracks. It supports all audio formats and can render high-resolution audio files. The editing workflow also makes it easy to polish your sound with basic tools. And it’s free!

What is the best audio recording quality?

If you want to produce high-res audio, your recordings should be at least 24-bit/192kHz. To preserve the quality, it’s also better to save them in uncompressed formats. WAV, FLAC, and AIFF are some good examples.

What is the easiest audio recording software to use?

Audacity is the easiest, most user-friendly program. It has a simple and clean UI with basic editing tools. You can do multitrack recording and overdubbing even without a musical background.

What is the best audio recording software for Youtube?

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder is the best audio recording software for YouTube videos. It captures system sound with high resolution and low latency. It also supports multiple file formats.

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Nero Peña

Nero Peña

Nero is an all-around wordsmith with a degree in Communication Arts— not the vicious emperor you might know in history books. He's an avid reader. A frisky writer. A tech enthusiast and occasional binge-watcher. He likes long walks on the beach. Enjoys deep thinking and shallow conversations. Hates ketchup. Panic! At The Disco.

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