Smooth workflow is one of the reasons why audio and video professionals prefer Mac over Windows. As long as you have the right apps, you won’t mess yourself up. If you want to record audio for music production, podcasts, or anything else, you need the best audio recording software for Mac.
By default, the Mac allows you to record audio from the Mac’s internal microphone, which is fine if you want to make quick audio recordings. However, if you want professional sound quality, we recommend using a USB microphone like the Blue Yeti. If you want to record system audio, install Soundflower on your Mac. Most of the following Mac audio recorders allow you to change the audio source. Below we have reviewed some of the best audio recording software for Mac that you can use.
Best Audio Recording Software for Mac
Best for – simple audio recording
QuickTime, as you might know, is a built-in utility in macOS. It is most commonly used for video/audio playback, but it also allows you to record audio content. As you know, QuickTime lets you record video using your webcam or any connected device. Now, moving on to the QuickTime audio recording feature, it is very easy. You have a really intuitive interface with minimal customization options.
It will take you a few extra clicks to start recording audio with QuickTime. First launch the app from Spotlight and go to File > New Audio Recording.
For example, Quicktime allows you to change the recording source selection between the internal microphone and system audio (using Soundflower). You can also change the recording quality between high and max. Once they are set, just click on the record button. When the program records your voice, you can also check the file size of the recording. After recording all this, you can export the file as an MPEG-4 audio file. However, there is no option to stop the audio recording, you can only pause it and start a fresh one.
- Really easy to use interface
- Embedded macOS
- Ability to record from various sources, including an external microphone
- Limited customization options, no option to pause recording
- Interface not suitable for professionals
- Limited options for exporting audio
QuickTime is the best Mac software for random audio recording. It does its job – the bare minimum of things is at stake. You don’t have to worry about complex settings or exports. Everything you record will be available in one file. That being said, we do not recommend QuickTime for professionals.
Best for voice recording and editing
Audacity is a free and open source audio recording software for Mac. We use to record audio for our YouTube channel. You have the option to select the recording source (we use it with the Blue Yeti mic), recording channel type, audio type, etc. As you can see below, it also offers a wide range of controls. But the best thing about Audacity for Mac is that it comes with a suite of editing tools. In fact, Audacity is a digital audio editor, first and voice recorder later.
Unlike Quicktime, Audacity allows you to perform basic audio editing tasks such as editing. You will also get options like effects, voice generation, noise removal and track based controls. If you are into professional audio recording and editing, there is a wide range of Audacity plugins to choose from.Another bright side is that you will be able to export the audio recording in almost any format.
The reason we like Audacity is because it has cross-platform support (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) like Photoshop will save the file to PSD and keep all the properties intact, you can save Audacity files to AUP Which you can later open and edit from any computer that has Audacity installed.
- Professional features for recording and editing
- Multiple audio recording and editing options
- Free, open source and cross platform
- Audacity doesn’t have an intuitive interface
- It takes time to get used to
Like we said, Audacity is built for professionals. Did we say Audacity is free to use? It is free, open source and cross-platform. This is also a good thing considering the features you get. At least you don’t have to worry about paying a huge amount for your DAW.
3. Simple recorder
Best for fast audio recording
Simple Recorder is a very simple audio recording solution for Mac. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it gets the job done. Unlike Quicktime and Audacity, which require a few clicks to start recording, Simple Recorder is in the menu bar and can start audio recording with just two clicks. Best solution when you want to take quick notes.
You can select the recording source from the dropdown menu. It also allows you to adjust the volume. With just one button, Simple Recorder will start the recording process. Under Preferences, you can choose the recording format, sample rate, channel, etc. There are some pro features like status icons, shortcuts and some level of automation.
- Fast and easy to use
- You can manage all actions from the icon menu itself
- Offers multi-source support and standard tuning
- Doesn’t offer basic editing options
Simple Recorder is the best Mac audio recording app for intermediate users. Unlike Quicktime, it offers a standard set of customization options. Also, unlike Audacity, these tasks are not even suitable for professionals. So, if you feel you need control over the record, do it.
4. Garage Band
Best for Recording Audio for Music Production
Technically speaking, GarageBand is a digital audio workstation, not a digital audio recorder (such as Quicktime) or a digital audio editor (such as Audacity). In simple words, if you love to record audio for music production, then GarageBand is one of the best options in town. It is rich in features and offers the best level of compatibility. Last but not least, you have to pay a dime for this program.
Like Audacity, GarageBand supports MIDI recording and editing. However, unlike Audacity, GarageBand has a shorter learning curve and is more stable. Furthermore, it is compatible with any iOS device.
While it’s a complete DAW, you don’t need rocket science to record audio with GarageBand. It also has a dedicated mode for voice where you can choose the type of voice recording as well. For example, it offers various Narration Voice and Bright Voice recording options. Simply click on the “Record” button and you can export the part later.
- GarageBand – a complete audio recorder
- Comes with built-in audio editing features
- Good for professionals
- GarageBand is not compatible with Quick Recordings
- The interface may take some time to get used to.
GarageBand is the recommended option for professionals. If you need the best quality, control as well as performance, then you should go for this built-in tool. Although the user interface is simple, learning GarageBand will definitely help you as an audio pro.
Best Recorded Podcast
Piezo by Rogue Amoeba is a simple and wonderful Audio recording software for podcasts . If you want to make some amazing podcast recordings with precision, you can count on Piezo. Unlike all the tools we’ve talked about before, Piezo allows you to record voice from popular apps like Chrome, Skype, FaceTime, Messages , etc. It’s one of the best features for getting accurate podcasts, you know.
The settings in Piezo are very easy to manage. However, it allows you to change only the quality of the music. However, there is no need to make guesses here. Piezo has installed some quality presets for music, audio, spoken word, etc. Recordings will be saved as MP3 by default, which is convenient for most people. As you can see, the interface is a bit unconventional.
- Really easy to use interface
- Quality presets are useful for quick recording
- Supports recording from individual applications
- There may be better export options
Piezo is the best audio recording software to perform podcasts on Mac. You can simply record your own voice or get input from regular apps like Chrome or Skype. It’s mostly minimal, but you have options to expand Piezo’s capabilities.
6. Macsome Audio Recorder
Best for Recording Audio from Multiple Sources
Macsome Audio Recorder is one of the voice recorders that promise to do just about anything. While not bringing all the Professional Features, Macsome Audio Recorder allows you to record audio from multiple sources such as the internal microphone, various applications on your Mac, and other hardware. However, unlike some other apps, it doesn’t offer any kind of optimization.
Despite all these features, the program can offer a minimal footprint. Did we say that Macsome Audio Recorder has one of the best recording management interface as well? You can even use Identical Tags to organize your entry files . We really liked how Macsome Audio Recorder works. You can add separate recording profiles for applications/hardware and start the recording process with one click.
- Simple yet effective interface
- Supports recording from individual applications/hardware
- Super-easy record profile management
- The recording screen is not intuitive
As promised, Macsome Audio Recorder is one of the best all-in-one audio recorder for Mac. It may not have the best user interface in town, but it does have a lot of productive features. When you need a tool that records podcast, music and speech with equal efficiency, Macsome Audio Recorder is our choice.
Best for advanced video recording
We’ve already talked about Rogue Amoeba’s Piezo, haven’t we? Audio Hijack is also from the same developer but offers advanced features and controls. Inside a good package, you will find tools to record almost all types of audio from your Mac. You can even use Audio Hijack to schedule recordings. This would be the best option when you are recording audio from the internet.
The best part is that Audio Hijack comes with a variety of session templates – you have one for Internet Radio, DVD Audio, Application Audio and Web Audio, etc. When it comes to application mode, you can select an application from the list and start record. You can also check out a bunch of built-in effects and filters in Audio Hijack. It also has an interesting user interface that allows you to control how the burning process works. Overal Audio Hijack is one of the best audio recording software for Mac if you are looking for advanced features.
- Professional interface and intuitive UI
- Built-in filter and sound effects options
- Advanced options available
- No one worth mentioning
Audio Hijack is one of the very few Mac audio recording software that is worth paying for. You get a whole host of features like filters, effects, and top-down controls. Even if you are not into it, you can get cool audio recording and control experience.
It is best to take audio notes during lectures.
AudioNote allows you to combine a note taking app and an audio recording app. Here’s how it works: You can open AudioNote and start recording lectures, interviews, or whatever. When you take notes on the screen, it will be synchronized with the audio. Thus, during playback, you can listen to the audio, as well as see all the notes on the screen.
There are some really cool features too. For example, you can click on one section of your notes to jump to the corresponding section in the audio. As a note taking software, you can bring text, shapes, annotations and more. Once you’re done, you can also convert your notes to a PDF document. The best part is that you have everything in sync.
- Great way to record and sync notes
- Easy interface
- iCloud integration
- No one worth mentioning
AudioNote is the best option for both students and professionals. With this tool in hand, you don’t have to worry about getting a list in your notes. You would know what the professor was talking about when he wrote something. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
9. pro tools first
All of the options above will allow you to make a basic audio recording. However, if you want to record multiple tracks, you should try Pro Tools. Even though it’s paid software, Avid also makes a free version for users who want to familiarize themselves with the software before purchasing.
You can record up to 16 tracks which will come in handy if you are a content creator. It not only lets you record vocals, but also overlay multiple instruments, effects, and more.
In addition to this, you can automate volume, pan tracks, and use over 23 plugins that come with the free version. Installation is pretty easy, just follow the link below, create an account (email req.) and you’re done.
- Multiple track support
- Professional level recording
- Multiple tools and effect options
- steep learning curve
- Large download file
I highly recommend Pro Tools First to anyone who wants a free introduction to DAW. Unlike other free programs, it actually has a lot of tools that can come in handy when recording, editing and exporting your tracks. Also, if you are a content creator, the ability to record multiplayer layers will come in handy.
Best Audio Recording Software for Mac
Well, they are different kinds of audio recording software for Mac, for different needs. For your daily recording needs, Simple Recorder is truly the best option. On the other hand, if you’re into the world of podcast recording, check out Audio Hijack by Rogue Amoeba. Options like GarageBand as well as Audacity are for those who need professional quality control over the recording and process. However, you can make an effort to step up the game.