7 Best Sound Design Software For High-Quality Podcasts And Music Production

by Tracy Jackson

Last Updated on February 1, 2022 by Tracy Jackson

best sound design software

Creating high-quality podcasts and music productions takes a lot of time and effort.

But with the right tools, it can be a lot easier.

I’ve searched for the best sound design software and I’ve found that the most versatile and feature-rich software is Audacity.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best sound design software or digital audio workstation available on the market today.

We will break down each software based on its features, pros, cons, and pricing.

So whether you are just starting out in podcasting or music production, or you are looking for an upgrade as a sound designer, I have you covered!

Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.

What Is Sound Design Software?

Sound design software helps you create high-quality podcasts, music productions, and more.

It’s a must-have tool for anyone looking to take their sound quality up a notch.

The best sound design software can be expensive but it’s worth the investment if you are serious about podcasting or music production.

What Is The Best Sound Design Software?

1. Avid Pro Tools

image 6

Pros
  • Wide range of features
  • Very user friendly
  • Used by professional audio engineers

Click To Try Avid Pro Tools

Cons
  • Can be expensive
  • Requires some prior knowledge to use effectively

Avid Pro Tools is the industry standard for sound design and music production.

It is used by professionals all over the world and offers a wide range of features that allow you to create high-quality podcasts and music productions.

Avid Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation (DAW) software used for recording, editing, and mixing music and audio.

Avid Pro Tools Main Page

Key Features:

  • Unlimited audio tracks
  • 64-bit architecture
  • Over 70 effects plug-ins included
  • Automatic delay compensation
  • Advanced automation
  • Multi-core processor support
  • Track freeze
  • Extensive MIDI capabilities
  • Score Editor for notation and tablature editing of any stereo audio file

Pros:

  • Wide range of features
  • Very user friendly
  • Used by professional audio engineers

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Requires some prior knowledge to use effectively

Pricing:

Avid Pro Tools offers new users a free 30-day trial.

Paid version pricing is as follows:

  • Pro Tools (standard audio-production software) starts at $29.99 ($9.99 for students and teachers)
  • Pro Tools Ultimate (for professional music and audio post-productions) starts at $79.99 ($29.99 for students and teachers)
Avid Pro Tools Pricing Page

You can check out Avid Pro Tools here.

2. Logic Pro

Logic Pro X

Pros
  • Wide range of features
  • Smart Controls help you control multiple parameters simultaneously

Click To Try Logic Pro

Cons
  • Can be expensive compared to other options
  • Can be difficult to learn
  • The interface is not always user-friendly
  • It may not be the best option for everyone’s needs

Logic Pro is a powerful music production software that enables you to create professional-quality recordings.

It is one of the best audio editors that comes with a wide range of features, including MIDI sequencing, audio recording, audio editing, virtual instruments, and effects processing.

Logic Pro also has a redesigned interface that makes it easier to use.

The new Smart Controls let you control multiple parameters at once using intuitive sliders, knobs, and buttons.

You can also customize the controls to suit your needs.

Logic Pro Main Page

Key Features:

  • A huge library of sounds and patches that can be used for a variety of purposes.
  • The ability to record and edit audio with ease.
  • Powerful tools for composing and arranging music.
  • MIDI sequencing.
  • Virtual instruments and effects processing.
  • Compatibility with other Apple software and hardware products.

Pros:

  • Wide range of features.
  • Smart Controls help you control multiple parameters simultaneously.

Cons:

  • The software can be expensive compared to other options on the market.
  • It can be difficult to learn how to use all of its features without proper instruction.
  • The interface is not always user-friendly.
  • And finally, it may not be the best option for everyone’s needs.

Pricing:

Logic Pro offers users a free 90-day trial.

Logic Pro is priced at $199.99 on the Apple App Store.

Logic Pro Pricing

You can check out Logic Pro here.

3. Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition

Pros
  • Great for podcasting and voice-over work
  • Efficient audio editing capabilities
  • Plenty of built-in effects and filters

Click To Try Adobe Audition

Cons
  • Can be a bit confusing to use at first
  • Some features are hidden behind menus

Adobe Audition is a comprehensive program for recording, editing, and mastering audio.

It has all the features you need to produce high-quality audio files, including tools for sound restoration and noise reduction.

Audition also includes powerful effects processors to enhance your audio tracks.

You can use it to create podcasts, radio spots, or even entire albums.

If you’re serious about audio production, then I highly recommend investing in Audition.

It’s one of the most powerful tools out there and will help you take your music or podcasting projects to the next level.

Overall, Adobe Audition is a great audio editing tool with plenty of features to help you get the job done.

While it can be confusing to use at first, with a little practice you’ll be able to create professional-sounding audio files in no time.

Just make sure to take advantage of all the resources available online and you’ll be up and running without any problem.

Adobe Audition Main Page

Key Features:

  • A comprehensive program for recording, editing, and mastering audio.
  • All the features you need to produce high-quality audio files.
  • Tools for sound restoration and noise reduction.
  • Powerful effects processors to enhance your audio tracks.
  • Can be used to create podcasts, radio spots, or entire albums.
  • Available in both standalone and Creative Cloud versions.

Pros:

  • Great for podcasting and voice-over work.
  • Efficient audio editing capabilities.
  • Plenty of built-in effects and filters.

Cons:

  • Can be a bit confusing to use at first.
  • Some features are hidden behind menus that can be difficult to find without help from a tutorial.

Pricing:

Adobe Audition offers new users a free trial to download and use.

Creative Cloud single-app membership for Adobe Audition starts at $20.99 per month.

Adobe Audition Pricing

You can check out Adobe Audition here.

4. Audacity

Audacity

Pros
  • Audacity is free and open-source software
  • It has a wide variety of features
  • There is a large online community that supports Audacity

Click To Try Audacity

Cons
  • The user interface can be confusing to new users

Audacity is a great program for editing audio files.

You can use it to cut and paste pieces of audio, change the volume, and add effects like reverb and echo.

Audacity is also great for recording your own audio projects.

You can record vocals, guitar tracks, or any other type of audio you want.

Audacity is free and open-source, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for an affordable way to edit your audio files.

If you’re new to Audacity, be sure to check out the tutorials on the Audacity website.

There are plenty of resources available there to help you get started using Audacity.

And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the Audacity forum.

Audacity main page

Key Features:

  • Record and edit audio.
  • Convert audio files.
  • Burn CDs.
  • Share audio files online.
  • Audio restoration.
  • Audacity is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for recording and editing audio. It can be used to create podcasts, edit soundtracks, or simply record your favorite song.

Pros:

  • Audacity is free and open-source software.
  • It has a wide variety of features.
  • There is a large online community that supports Audacity.

Cons:

  • The user interface can be confusing to new users.

Pricing:

Audacity is free and open-source software that is available for anyone to download and use.

Audacity Pricing

You can check out Audacity here.

5. GarageBand

GarageBand

Pros
  • GarageBand is free to download and use
  • It has a simple interface that makes it easy to learn for beginners
  • There are many different instruments and sounds available in GarageBand

Click To Try GarageBand

Cons
  • The software can be slow on older computers
  • If you’re not familiar with music theory, it can be difficult to create complex songs

GarageBand is a music creation and recording studio software application for the Mac operating system.

It was first developed by Apple Inc. in 2004 as part of the iLife software suite and is now part of the Logic Studio suite.

GarageBand allows users to create custom musical compositions or record audio files with a wide range of virtual instruments, tools, and effects.

It also includes a number of preset audio loops and beats for users to work with, as well as support for MIDI keyboards and controllers.

GarageBand is an incredibly versatile application that can be used by musicians of all skill levels.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been playing music for years, GarageBand is a great tool to have and is available for purchase in the Mac App Store.

GarageBand Main Page

Key Features:

  • A wide variety of instruments and sounds to choose from.
  • The ability to create loops is a powerful tool for music producers of all levels.
  • The ability to create custom sounds.
  • MIDI support.
  • Audio recording capabilities.
  • A wide variety of effects and plugins to choose from.

Pros:

  • To start, GarageBand is free to download and use.
  • It has a simple interface that makes it easy to learn for beginners.
  • There are many different instruments and sounds available in GarageBand, so you can create any type of music you want.

Cons:

  • However, there are some drawbacks to using GarageBand. One downside is that the software can be slow on older computers.
  • Additionally, if you’re not familiar with music theory, it can be difficult to create complex songs in GarageBand.

Pricing:

GarageBand is free for anyone to download and use from the Apple App Store.

GarageBand Pricing

You can check out GarageBand here.

6. Ableton Live

Ableton Live

Pros
  • Create custom beats, hooks, and melodies
  • Mix and master tracks easily
  • Flexibility to control almost every aspect of your music production

Click To Try Ableton Live

Cons
  • A steep learning curve for beginners
  • Not very user-friendly

Ableton Live is a music production and performance software that lets you create, produce and perform your musical ideas in real-time.

It’s one of the most popular music production software because it’s easy to use and versatile.

Ableton Live can be used for simple tasks like writing a song or creating a podcast, or for more complex tasks like mixing an entire album or DJing a party.

Ableton Live has everything you need to make music, including instruments, effects, and sounds.

You can also record audio and MIDI from other devices, such as guitars, keyboards, and microphones.

Plus, you can import your own sounds and samples into Ableton Live to use in your songs or projects.

Ableton Live Main Page

Key Features:

  • Ableton Live has Session and Arrangement View modes, which allow you to work in different ways depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
  • It has a huge library of sounds and instruments built-in, as well as the ability to import your own sounds.
  • You can easily record and edit audio or MIDI clips.
  • Ableton Live also includes a range of sound effects processors to enhance your sound.
  • The software is extremely versatile and can be used for everything from live performance to studio production.

Pros:

  • Create custom beats, hooks, and melodies.
  • Mix and master tracks easily.
  • One of the best things about Ableton Live audio editor is its flexibility. You can control almost every aspect of your music production.

Cons:

  • A steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Not very user-friendly.
Ableton Live Pricing

You can check out Ableton Live here.

7. FL Studio

FL Studio

Pros
  • There are a lot of features and plugins available
  • The interface is very user-friendly and easy to learn
  • The sound quality is excellent and the plugins available are top-notch

Click To Try FL Studio

Cons
  • The full version can be quite expensive
  • Some of the plugins are not as good as others, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing
  • It can be a bit CPU intensive

FL Studio is a digital audio workstation developed by the Belgian company Image-Line.

FL Studio has been in development for over 20 years and has undergone many changes over its lifetime.

FL Studio is one of the best audio editing software that enables users to create professional-quality music tracks.

It has a wide range of features and tools that allow users to not only sequence but also edit audio, mixdown tracks, apply effects, and more.

The software is relatively easy to use once you get accustomed to its layout, making it an excellent choice for beginners.

The interface of FL Studio is based around a traditional sequencer layout, with tracks on the left and instruments on the right.

The user can create new tracks or instruments by clicking on one of several icons at the top of the screen.

There are five main windows in FL Studio: the main window, where the user creates and edits their project; the mixer, where all of the channels for each track are displayed and edited; the piano roll, where notes can be edited and MIDI data created; the playlist, where the song is arranged and sequenced; and the automation editor, where automated parameters can be edited.

Key Features:

  • MIDI support
  • The ability to “score” music, that is, to create sheet music notation that can be played back using a software or hardware synthesizer.
  • FL Studio also supports VSTi (virtual instrument) plugins, which allow third-party developers to create instruments and effects. These plugins can be used in the Mixer window or in the Piano roll editor.
  • Finally, FL Studio includes extensive recording and sequencing capabilities for creating digital audio tracks.
  • Tracks can be recorded either from live input (via a microphone or other input device) or from pre-recorded samples.

Pros:

  • There are a lot of features and plugins available that can help you create great-sounding tracks.
  • The interface is very user-friendly and easy to learn.
  • The sound quality is excellent and the plugins available are top-notch.

Cons:

  • It can be quite expensive, especially if you want the full version.
  • Some of the plugins are not as good as others, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing any.
  • It can be a bit CPU intensive, so make sure your computer is up for the task.
FL Studio Main Page

Pricing:

FL Studio offers new users a free trial.

The software is available in four different editions:

  • FL Studio Fruity Edition at $99
  • FL Studio Producer Edition at $199
  • FL Studio Signature Bundle at $299
  • FL Studio All Plugins Edition at $499
FL Studio Pricing

You can check out FL Studio here.

What Should I Consider When Choosing A Sound Design Software?

When searching for the best sound design software, you will want to consider the following factors:

Price

When starting a podcast or vlog, the first thing you’ll need is software to record your content.

If you have a tight budget, there are plenty of free and open-source recording applications available.

However, if you want more features and better quality recordings, you may want to invest in a paid application.

The price of sound design software can vary significantly.

Some software is free while others can cost several hundred dollars.

It’s important to consider your budget when selecting sound design software.

The most expensive software is typically for professional use, but there are many affordable options that will produce high-quality results.

However, I would recommend investing in the best software possible as it will save you time and produce better results.

Ease of use

Not all sound design software is created equal.

Some programs are more user-friendly than others.

It’s important to select a program that is easy to learn and use so you can spend more time focusing on your projects and less time trying to learn how to use the software.

Features

When choosing sound design software, the first thing you’ll need to consider is what you plan to use it for.

If you’re just starting out with podcasting or music production, you may want to choose software that has a wide range of audio tools and features.

This will give you more flexibility when creating your projects.

On the other hand, if you’re an experienced producer or engineer, you may prefer software that’s geared specifically towards sound design.

This will allow you to focus on the details of your project without having to worry about the basics of tools and features.

The best sound design software will have a wide range of features that allow you to create high-quality podcasts and music productions.

Make sure the software you select has all the features you need to produce professional-sounding content.

User feedback

One of the best ways to determine if audio software is right for you is by reading user feedback.

This will give you an idea of what other people think about the program and whether it meets their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best sound design software overall?

Audacity is the best sound design software overall.

It offers great features and a powerful editing toolset that can be used to create high-quality podcasts and music productions.

2. What does DAW stand for?

DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstations, which is a term used to describe software that is used for recording, mixing, and mastering audio files.

3. What is the best sound design software for Macs?

There is no clear-cut answer to this question, as the best music editing software for Macs depends on your specific needs and preferences.

That said, some popular options include GarageBand, Logic Pro, and Ableton Live.

For Windows users, Adobe Audition is a widely used option.

4. What is the best podcast sound design software?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best sound design software for podcasting and music production will vary depending on your needs and preferences.

However, some popular options include Audacity, Adobe Audition, and Pro Tools.

5. What is the best free sound design software?

Audacity is a well-known and popular sound design software package that is available for Windows as well as Mac OS X.

Conclusion

Sound design software can be a great way to improve the quality of your podcast or music production project.

In this article, we looked at seven of the best sound design software options available.

While all of these programs have their own strengths and weaknesses, Audacity emerged as the clear winner for both beginner and expert sound designers.

It’s open-source, easy to use, and has a wide range of features that make it perfect for any type of audio production project.

Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience under your belt, Audacity is a tool you’ll want to add to your arsenal.

Click here to check out Audacity today!

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