Now that you’ve got your hardware squared away, you’ll need some software to record your first episode. Software is the program(s) that work with the hardware on your computer and the hardware attached to your computer.
By far, the simplest and most popular podcast recording software is Audacity. Compared to other programs, it is easy to use and maybe even a little bit boring. But it gets the job done. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s free.
You can download the latest version of Audacity for PC or Mac at audacityteam.org/download/. If you decide to use this program, while you are at it, go ahead and download the LAME MP3 Encoder at lame.buanzo.org/#lamewindl. You will need it later.
Cakewalk’s Sonar LE program is more complicated to use. It presents more options than Audacity, many of which you won’t have reason to use as a podcaster. But if you end up composing music or mixing audio from different sources to create an NPR-level news program, it would be useful. The Sonar Home Artist edition sells for $49. You can view other editions and purchasing options at cakewalk.com/Products/SONAR/Versions.
GarageBand is an Apple program billed as a “music creation studio,” but you can also use it for recording your podcasts. If you own a Mac, you probably already have it. Once you fire it up, it may take a few passes to get the hang of it. Nic Raboy has an excellent, brief guide on recording episodes in GarageBand. You can read it and watch the video here.
Once you choose a program, download and install it on your computer. (Even if you plan on using Sonar or GarageBand, for the purposes of this guide, you can get started with Audacity. The skills you learn in Audacity will carry over.)
This post is a part of the PODCASTING FOR MINISTRY blog series.