If you don’t already own some kind of digital audio workstation (DAW) or other audio recording software, making a simple voice recording may seem like a daunting task. But that’s why we’re here, right? While there are all types of options available to you, there are several things you first need to consider when selecting the best voice recording software for your needs: What operating system are you using? What is the end product for your voice recording? Are you strictly looking for a free solution? Let us help you filter out the noise and find the best solution for you needs.
Mac? Windows? Unix? iOS? Android?
Ah, the eternal debate of operating system versus operating system. We’re not going to get into that, because if you’re looking for software, you’re well past that stage. But it’s important to keep your OS in mind when you first start looking at software options. That may sound obvious, but how many times have you fallen in love with a program after reading a review, only to realize it doesn’t run on your computer or device. Save yourself the trouble by checking the system requirements before you do anything else.
What’s the End State?
Saying you want to do a ‘voice recording’ is pretty general. Exactly what kind of recording are you needing to create? Podcasts, video voice overs, commercial voice work, and music vocals (singing/rapping) all fall under the umbrella of voice recordings, but they’re very different beasts when it comes to needed features.
If you’re looking to record vocals for music production, things change a bit as you’d likely want to use a DAW software platform that would play well with the workflow of the engineer or producer. While any DAW worth its salt will provide plenty of compatible export options, working within the same ecosystem as the rest of the project has benefits.
Also, what format does your file need to be in? Some recording programs will only save to a single format, such as .wav, while others can export to multiple formats. Of course, you can always find a good audio format converter if you find yourself if that situation, which we’ll cover in a later article, but be sure you know what format you need before you start in order to save yourself that headache.
Free or Paid?
There are plenty of free options available, most of which are down-and-dirty solutions for creating basic audio files. In fact, there are options for users of all platforms that are built-in to the base operating system. (No downloads required!) But often times those options aren’t enough to meet the need, so there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Many free download options are still one-trick ponies, but they’re still capable enough to get the job done. Some are open-source projects with substantial development and user communities behind them, such as Audacity. And, of course, there are plenty of paid options that range from a few dollars for souped-up recorders to hundreds of dollars for full-featured DAWs, such as Pro Tools or Logic Pro.
Now that you have a better idea of the questions you need to ask, let us help you answer them. Check out our reviews and rankings, as we work to sort the best programs by operating system, use and price.