voice over software

Editor’s Note: This post is an update to the original article that was published by Stephanie Ciccarelli.

Whether you’re a voice actor who is building your own home studio, a singer, or someone eager to start their own podcast, recording software is a crucial consideration for achieving high-quality voice overs.

If you’re curious about which voice over software professionals prefer – including free options, this article will help you determine which option you should consider.

Purchasing the Right Voice Over Software for Your Needs

While you may be tempted to save some money on your voice over software, you may also be asking, “Should I use a free software package for recording my audio files instead?”

When software is available for free, some may be tempted to equate the price with ‘low quality.’ However, there are a number of reliable programs available for no cost, many of which are available for download. So, in order to help decide if investing in software – or downloading it for free – is a better option for your needs, it’s worth it to ask yourself a few key questions.

Which Voice Recording Software is Best?

If you want great vocal quality for your professional voice over demos and auditions, or even for your podcast show, there are some considerations to weigh in order to find the best software solution for your situation.

Here are 7 questions to ask yourself to determine which recording software option is right for you:

  1. Do you identify as a professional? With the professional title, there may come an expectation for professional-grade equipment and software (among other things!). Research what the ‘pros’ use and see if the program is generally available for free, or if it tends to be a cost of business. In a recent survey conducted by Voices.com, Adobe Audition was the most popular software used.
  2. What software might your clients be using (e.g. you may need to collaborate)? And will it be compatible with what you have in your studio? Compatibility is important. While it’s impossible to anticipate what every client uses, at least understanding the industry standard can be very helpful in deciding between software options.
  3. Is the software user-friendly? If you can’t use it… then of what use is it to you, really?
  4. Does it allow you to do what you need to do? A good quality program should have all of the ‘tools’ you need to do your job.
  5. Is it compatible with your system and hardware? Whatever tech you acquire should be compatible not only with your computer’s operating system, but your mic and other hardware as well.
  6. How does it sound when you use it? Quality is key!
  7. What do reviewers say online? If the program has a poor rating, it may not be worth your money or your time.

 5 Most Popular Audio Recording Software Brands

According to data on voice actor profiles on Voices.com, these are the most popular software programs – you can learn more about them below.

  • Adobe Audition (38%) (subscription $20.99 USD/month)
  • Audacity (26%) (Free)
  • Pro Tools (16%) ($24.92 – $599 USD)
  • Logic (8%) ($279.99 USD)
  • GarageBand (5%) (Free – Standard on all Macs)

8 Digital Audio Recording Software Programs to Consider

These are some of the most popular programs for voice actors, podcasters and more. Bonus: You can also view working professionals’ favorite mics, software, and more in How to Become a Successful Voice Actor.

Free Recording Software

Adobe Audition

  • Free trials are available. Otherwise, it is a software that requires purchasing.
  • Offers compatibility with all major operating systems. For specifics, visit the Adobe Audition website.

Audacity

  • This software is free, and proud of it.
  • Audacity experiences regular updates to continuously improve on the user experience of the software.
  • Generally compatible with all major operating systems.

Recording Software for Purchase

Sound Forge

  • Sound Forge is considered to be one of the more advanced recording software options.
  • Free trials are available. Otherwise, it is a software that requires purchasing.

Goldwave

  • This software seems to put an emphasis on music production, but can also be used for voice over recording in desired.
  • Goldwave provides licensing options, with no free versions available.

Cubase

  • Cubase offers different product levels and very clearly outlines which product is best for advanced audio production professionals, musicians, and home recordists.
  • Requires time and financial investments to onboard.

GarageBand

  • This software is a program that typically comes pre-installed in Mac computers. Therefore, it is free to use.
  • It is an Apple product and is not currently compatible with PC operating systems.
  • Marketed with a slant toward music production, but can definitely be used for voice over if desired.
  • GarageBand is considered a beginner’s option into audio production.

Logic

  • Logic is considered the upgrade from GarageBand.
  • Like GarageBand, Logic is only available for Mac operating systems.
  • Unlike GarageBand, it is not free.
  • Logic provides the granularity in audio editing that GarageBand is unable to.

Pro Tools

  • Pro Tools is considered to be one of the more advanced recording software options.
  • Offers different product levels that are outlined by usage of the program, not by experience level.

For more information on each, browse through each company’s websites and investigate reviews on the software to help you understand specifically what each recording software brings to the table. Also, though these are the most popular, you can find other alternatives online.

The Best Voice Over Software is the One that Works for You

By now, it should be clear that the software that is best for recording actually depends more on how you intend to use it.

By answering the above, you should now have an understanding of whether it’s worth it for you to make an investment in software as the best move for your business, or, if free software can help you accomplish what you need to.

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Chantelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Journalism from the University of Toronto’s joint program with Centennial College. As an experienced writing professional and digital media enthusiast, she has worked with many companies to enhance their online presence by creating engaging content across their online platforms.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I tried out Pro Tools – much more than I needed for straight voice work. I have been using Audacity for several years now and find it has everything I need for my work. Editing is Sooooo much easier than any other software I have tried.

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