There are various audio editing software or platforms used by podcasters and broadcasters for producing audio content. Many of these audio editing software also allow you to record and edit on them, while others are only made specifically for editing or recording. If you are new to this field, this tool review could help you get started. The audio editing software you choose depends on factors that include your requirements, skills, budget and
We review and share some of the tips from three African podcasters on which audio editing software they use and prefer.
Despite GarageBand being a music-making digital audio workstation, podcasters are able to use this to edit audio. It is a free, and fairly easy to use audio editing software available on the Apple store.
“In My 20s” podcaster and journalist, Rutendo Nyamuda uses Garage band daily to edit podcasts for the shows she produces for. She shares her experience of using the platform.
Positive: When I first started podcasting I used GarageBand because it was already on my laptop. As someone who had no audio experience at the time, I found it to be straight forward and simple to use. The actual interface is not complicated so if you’re starting out I would recommend it.
Negatives: One disadvantage is the fact that the audio mixing capabilities are very limited. Another is that you can’t clean your audio or add elements like ‘noise reduction’ to your audio.
However, because I do prefer editing on GarageBand I usually record my audio in GarageBand, then export it to Audacity (an audio editing program with more editing capabilities). I’ll clean the audio in Audacity, the move it back to GarageBand to do a tight edit on the audio.
Examples of some of the podcasts you’ve published having used this audio platform for editing: I use Garage Band to edit all my podcasts and for my Voice Over work (but I do my audio clean up in Audacity).
- “In My 20s” — A millennial focused podcast. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and IONO FM. You can also find some clips on the Instagram page here: @in_my20s
- BizCommunity’s “BizTakeouts” Podcast
Final comments: As a free audio editing platform, for someone who is starting out in podcasting, GarageBand is great. However, if you plan on taking podcasting more seriously then you definitely need to explore other software with more functions. Audacity is great because it is also free. Adobe’s Audition is GREAT and many professionals use it, but it is super expensive. At the end of the day it’s not about the software you use but rather about your capabilities to use the functions correctly. So start small (and free) and build from there.
Hindenburg Journalist PRO
A multitrack audio editing platform uniquely made for broadcasters, audio producers, radio journalists and podcasting, Hindenburg is intuitive and easy to use. The audio editing platform has both a free version as well as a Pro account.
We had a chat to Rasmus Bitsch, executive producer and co-founder of Sound Africa, about using Hindenburg for editing audio.
Positives: the main positives I think is that it is built for this type of work. It’s not a software built to create film scores or software that’s built to do something else. It is actually made for creating radio and particularly podcasting. So that means it is very much intuitive and it is very easy to use. You can pretty much start using it straight away. And while it might be missing some of the very advanced features of its competitors, I think it makes up for it in that way.
One of the features Hiddenburg has that other platforms doesn’t have is a noise reduction like plugin that’s built in and it can integrate with Skype so you can record your calls directly into the workspace. I think that there are a few features there that are quite convenient. But again the main thing I would say about it is that those features as well as what it does otherwise is that it is intuitive and it is easy to use.
Negatives: If you are going to do advanced sound design, sampling of music and these kind of things, there might be certain features that other platforms have that you might be missing. It’s not as advanced as, say Pro Tools or Adobe Audition. Once you get really detailed and high end, you might be missing certain features.
Examples: I’ve used it for most of my work in the last five to ten years. And I’ve used it to put together the Sound Africa podcast, but also to create podcasts for the Danish National Broadcaster, clients in South Africa and abroad.
Final comments: people behind the software initially developed it for community media, I believe it was Zambia. Basically, they are very passionate about community radio and empowering non-profits to create content. So we contacted them and asked them a few years ago whether they would donate their software licenses to our team and they agreed to do so. And as far as I know, they’re still doing that. So if you want a really good software and you’re running a non-profit project, you could just get in touch and ask them whether they’re still donating the software.
Pro Tools 11
One of the oldest digital audio workstations (DAW)in the world, Pro Tools is still going strong. The platform is developed by Avid Technology and can be used on both Microsoft Windows and macOS. The software is largely used for the production of music, sound recording and editing and mastering audio.
Positives: Pro Tools is the home of the plug-in. If you have some extra cash you can find a plug-in that can manipulate or manicure your audio is any way that we see fit.
Negatives: It is complete overkill. Most podcast editing if finding the correct clip and recording the appropriate voiceover — you don’t need something as powerful and multi-faceted as Pro Tools to do that. Having said that, of all the programs I have used over the years, from Adobe Audition to Audacity you could never get me to move from Pro Tools. The shortcuts and the layout I find is completely intuitive.
Examples of some of the podcasts you’ve published having used Pro Tools: I produced the second series of Alibi on Pro Tools.
Final comments: The platform that you choose will probably come down to accessibility and cost. A free program like Audacity I would heartily recommend for people starting out. It doesn’t look as glossy as Pro Tools but will do everything you need it to do. Having said that — if you are a student or work at a university you can usually get pretty good discounts on programs like Pro Tools.
There are many more audio editing platforms that can be used by broadcasters and podcasters and this list is not exhaustive. Other platforms include: Adobe Audition; Audacity; Audiotool; Acoustica 6; Oceanaudio.
We especially want to invite readers to contribute and comment: Which audio editing platform have you or are currently using? What are the best features podcasters should look out for on an audio editing platform? Please share these in the comments below, directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or join the discussions on our Facebook page and Twitter.
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