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17 Best Audio Recording Software for 2023
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?
1. VideoProc Vlogger
If you're looking for a free audio recorder, editor (cut, customize, fade-in/-out, change voice, etc.), or make the most of your audios for video post-production, VideoProc Vlogger is the great place to start. VideoProc Vlogger is a comprehensive video audio editing suite for Windows and Mac, developed by Digiarty. The free software takes a modern approach to a familiar task, aiming the program at vloggers, game streamers, marketers, and drone pilots. In reality, it suits anyone that needs to edit high-quality video on a budget. Its niche is somewhere below Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas, but well ahead of the usual throwaway freeware. Full review
- • Audio Editing
- • Speed Editing
- • Low System Requirements
Looking for a free audio recorder? Audacity is the answer! Use this easy and open-source tool to record, edit, and export audio files without a care. On its multitrack timeline, you can capture sound from numerous sources. You can hook up some playback devices as well. Full review
- •Multitrack recording
- •Built-in equalizer
- •Many audio plugins
3. PreSonus Studio One
Attention, musicians! If you want a DAW where you can record, mix, and master your tracks, Studio One is the one. Ideal for budding artists and music professionals, the tools for production are abundant. You don’t have to pay for them either. Full review
- •Drag-n-drop workflow
- •Unlimited tracks
- •Good free version
4. Adobe Audition
From recording to mixing to restoring, this powerful digital audio editor can do it all. With a powerful processor, rich toolbox, and sound library, it’s the best audio recording software for PC. It’s our top pick for aspiring audio professionals! Full review
- •Multitrack UI
- •Automatic noise reduction
- •Smart functions
5. Sound Forge
That’s our top pick for users looking for recording software for Windows. You can record at 32-bit/384 kHz – the recipe for crystal clear audio. There’s also a wide selection of editing and mastering tools for refining your tracks. And most of them work automatically. Full review
- •High-definition sound
- •Remote recording
- •Truncate Silence enabled
6. Streaming Audio Recorder
Want to capture all forms of entertainment? This software is a quick fix. You can easily record audio from streaming sites and radio stations. And if you want to edit them, there’s no need to use another DAW. Streaming Audio Recorder has the tools for it! Full review
- •Easy to use
- •Good audio quality
- •Task recording
7. FL Studio
If you lack instruments to record your music, go to FL Studio! This professional audio software has hundreds of native and third-party instruments to play on. And no matter what package you choose, you get lifetime updates. Full review
- •Grouped recording takes
- •Multi-sampled instruments
- •Track consolidation
8. Avid Pro Tools
Pro Tools packs the essential tools to record, compose, mix, and distribute your music. You can fill up the multichannel window with hundreds of audio tracks. There’s also a wide mix of virtual instruments to play on. Full review
- •Many track presets
- •Multichannel recording
- •Lots of samples and presets
9. Audio Hijack
This recorder can extract just about anything – from vocals to web streams. It’s our top pick for Mac users who want a trusty audio program. Whether hardware or software, Hijack can get the sound in its clearest form. Full review
- •Multiple audio inputs
- •Easy VoIP recording
- •Auto edits
Record, edit, and mix on any device with this free DAW. You can connect any hardware and record its audio in high resolution. You get unlimited tracks, so there’s plenty of room to get creative. Full review
- •Completely free
- •Unlimited multichannel tracks
- •Flexible recording
11. Zynewave Podium
On Podium, you can record your MIDI tracks and meticulously refine them – for free. It’s a great place for composers! And with unlimited arrangements, you can create the best sound possible. Full review
- •MIDI recording
- •Free version
- •Customizable UI
12. Mixcraft Recording Studio
Looking for a DAW that does it all? Mixcraft is your right match. This high-quality recorder offers the complete production studio. Aside from capturing and making music, you can mix and master, too. Plus, its massive loop library will get you inspired! Full review
- •Unlimited tracks
- •Performance Panel
- •7,500+ loops and effects
If you’re looking for audio recording software that‘s free and useful, just look at Wavosaur. It doesn’t just capture audio. It’s also capable of editing and mastering it. If you’re a Windows user and want a light yet powerful program, check this out. Full review
- •Audio analysis
- •ASIO & VST support
Record music like a pro, minus the price tag. In this free audio workstation, you can learn, play, create, mix, and share your music. No fancy equipment needed – just your iPhone, iPad, or Mac will do! Full review
- •Completely free
- •Built-in VST
- •Easy keyboard sampling
15. Logic Pro X
Want to make it big in the music industry? This powerful digital audio workstation is your playground. It can record pristine audio of up to 24-bit/192kHz. Then, use the Step Sequencer to make your tracks pop! Full review
- •Hi-res recording
- •Non-destructive editing
- •MIDI performances
16. I-Sound Recorder
If you want a simple Windows audio recorder, this tool is for you. It has smart features like voice-activated recording and automatic gain control. Perfect for managing recordings in bulk! Full review
- •Voice-activated recording
- •Automatic gain control
- •Advanced Scheduler
Do you need to record, edit, or restore audio content real quick? You’ll find the fastest tools right here. And if you need to do more, make use of the advanced options. You can amplify sound, do batch processes and spectral analysis. Full review
- •Clean UI
- •Quick edits
- •Audio restoration
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
Top Recommendations and Reviews
1. VideoProc Vlogger
Low System Requirements
If you're looking for a free audio recorder, editor (cut, customize, fade-in/-out, change voice, etc.), or make the most of your audios for video post-production, VideoProc Vlogger is the great place to start. VideoProc Vlogger is a powerful video audio editing suite designed for Windows and Mac users. It's targeted at bloggers, game streamers, marketers, and drone pilots, but it's also suitable for any individual who needs high-quality video editing without breaking the bank. It offers features which are more advanced than typical free software but less complex than Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas. Its user interface is beginner-friendly, making it a great choice for those just starting out in video editing.
The timeline across the bottom lets you easily move and adjust clips, the preview window in the center lets you easily watch and refine your edits, and the library of clips to the left allows you to quickly access all your footage. Additionally, the intuitive design of the program puts all the main tools at the top of each section, making it quick and easy to use.
You can’t ignore the importance of sound when editing a video. Fortunately, VideoProc has all the audio features you need to complement professional video editing.
You can do simple fade-ins and outs, alter master volume and the volume of individual clips, and use an equalizer. Customizing the stereo sound, gain, pitch, etc., is as easy as dragging a slider and clicking the mouse. You can also add filters to transform the sound completely.
One of the most useful filters is noise reduction. This maps the entire track and removes any persistent humming or background fuzz, especially during silent portions. It can mean the difference between an amateur mess that hurts people’s ears to a professional grade production.
There is also a fun voice changer that automatically adjusts the equalizer and other settings to create robots, gender swaps, evil voices, etc. It’s not going to work wonders, but it can be good for voiceovers.
You can record voiceovers themselves directly on the software using your mic. You don’t need to use a third party like Audacity or Audition. But if you want to, you can - VideoProc lets you import MP3, WAV, AAC, M4A, and over 30 other audio formats.
It also supports Dolby Vison and Dolby Atmos, so you don’t lose that perfect surround sound when exporting.
Low System Requirements
VideoProc Vlogger accepts a vast range of video file formats, covering most Android and iOS devices, DSLR cameras, GoPros, DVDs and Blu-rays, and webcams. You can import:
- Apple ProRes, QuickTime
- MKV (Multiple audio streams, subtitles)
- 3D video
The software can also handle the following image types:
- Apple ProRaw
- PNG, JPG, JPEG, GIF, DNG (RAW), BMP, TIF, TIFF
- 360 Photo: Equirectangular format JPG/TIF
- CUR, EMF, EPS, ICO, MHT, RAS, TAG, WFX, WMF, WPG
Audio compatibility is as comprehensive as it can get:
- MP3, AAC, M4A, M4R iPhone Ringtone
- OGG, AIF, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, WMA, Opus, Dolby Digital, DTS, MOD
- A52, AC3, AIF, AIFF, AMR, ANX, AOB, APE, AQT, ASX, AXA, CAF, M2A, MKA, MLP, MP1, MP2, MPA, MPC, OGA, OMA, RA, RAM, SPX, TTA, VOC, VQF, WAVE, WV, XA
VideoProc Vlogger is entirely free to download for Windows and Mac. All features are accessible and there are no premium upgrades. You don’t even have to register an account.
Developer Digiarty does have premium companion software such as VideoProc Converter, but this is not necessary to reap the full benefits of the video editor.
You can purchase the Converter for a one-off lifetime license at $37.95, while a Family License is $57.95 and permits installation on 5 PCs.
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.
Despite its simplicity, Audacity offers a rich toolbox for recording media. Here they are:
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.
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:
- fade in/out
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
3. PreSonus Studio One
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.
Let’s see what this comprehensive music technology can do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Adobe Audition
Automatic noise reduction
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.
The software offers plenty of customization options and automatic functions. Two essential recording features that both beginners and pros will enjoy.
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!
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!
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.
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
You’ll find a ton of special effect presets. Use them to mix tracks like an audio engineer, minus the hard work.
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.
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.
5. Sound Forge
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.
If you’re a Windows user, Sound Forge is the most optimized software for audio recording. Here are its capabilities:
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:
- phonograph records
and so on!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
6. Streaming Audio Recorder
Easy to use
Good audio quality
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.
Here’s what it can do:
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
or basically whatever program’s running on your computer.
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.
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!
You can upload multiple audio files and convert them to your desired format. The program supports the most widely-used formats like:
and more. If you’re fond of downloading music videos, there’s also a Video to MP3 Converter option.
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.
7. FL Studio
Grouped recording takes
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.
Unlike typical audio recording apps, this one is loaded with rich music-creation features.
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!
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.
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.
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:
- virtual synthesizers
and other add-ons that will help enrich your sound.
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.
8. Avid Pro Tools
Many track presets
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.
Let’s take a closer look into the program’s features:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Apple Music
and more. And the best part? Artists get to keep 100% of their rights and earnings!
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.
9. Audio Hijack
Multiple audio inputs
Easy VoIP recording
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.
From quick recordings to automated edits, this tool can do it all.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlimited multichannel tracks
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
11. Zynewave Podium
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.
Musicians will find the most benefits from the following tools:
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.
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!
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:
- Pitch control
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.
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.
12. Mixcraft Recording Studio
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.
Time to see what this Windows sound recorder is all about.
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.
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.
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
And if that’s still not enough, there’s a built-in Freesound.org browser where you can find more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Vocal removal
and so on.
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:
Based on our test runs, it records audio with low latency as well.
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.
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.
Whether you’re recording songs or podcasts, you can check into GarageBand for all the tools you need.
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.
Not every free software for audio recording has VST capabilities. Luckily, GarageBand has it. The music technology has a massive library of:
- Drum kits
- Drum machines
- Acoustic and electric guitars
Some VST options even have extra settings within them, adding more functionality.
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.
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.
The app is completely free, and it’s pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
15. Logic Pro X
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
16. I-Sound Recorder
Automatic gain control
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.
From superior audio quality to automated settings, I-Sound checks all the boxes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Offering easy actions, comfortable navigation, and a quick setup, it’s one of the most user-friendly programs on the market.
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.
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.
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:
You can even export them into video files via waveform or image visualization.
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.
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.
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.
Munni is also an ardent student of human-computer interfaces and user experience design. He makes the vital connections between technology and the end user. He always finds the ultimate way to tell the story of software, to highlight its strengths and weaknesses in an accessible way. He often contemplates the dynamic relationship between humanity and technology over a pint of lager, while enjoying some classy classical rock.
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