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6 Best Free Recording Software for 2024 | Audio, Video & Screen

Discover the 6 best free recording software in 2024! We'll help you choose high-quality software for audio, video, and screen capture.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Published:
November 13, 2023
Last Updated:
February 22, 2024
10
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Whether you’re recording a podcast, a Twitch stream, or a company meeting, it’s important to have user-friendly, high-quality software you can rely on. Thankfully, there are many tools on the market in 2024 that can get the job done without breaking the bank.

In this article, we’ll walk you through six of the best free recording software for audio and video. We’ll also help you decide what features are important to you in the software you choose—and how to decide if a paid tool is worth the investment.

What to consider when choosing free recording software

Before picking a tool, check its specifications to be sure it supports your preferred audio and video format(s). Especially if you plan to publish the final result, you’ll want a program that can export in the file type required by the streaming service, social media site, or hosting platform. 

You’ll also want to pay attention to the following features when choosing recording software:

Local recording

Some web-based recording tools rely on your internet connection to create quality output. Instead, look for free recording software that records to your local device. That way, an unexpected lag in your internet connection won’t disrupt the audio or video quality. 

Multi-channel recording

For most recording use cases, you’ll want the ability to record multiple channels. Maybe you’re planning to host an interview podcast or record a webinar, where recording separate audio and video inputs simultaneously is a must. 

Even if you only plan to record yourself, you might want to reserve the option to do multi-channel recording later.

Audio mixing and tweaking

Many recording tools include audio mixing features, which let you combine audio and music from multiple tracks into one. You’ll also be able to add sound effects, ads, intros, and outros.

You should also look for additional audio customization features, like the ability to adjust gain and equalization. Equalizers and noise reduction features eliminate unwanted sound, while gain adjusters keep the sound level consistent.

Editing and trimming

While you can always use a separate, dedicated editing tool, you might want to consider the editing features your recording software offers. Many quality recording tools have basic editing features like trimming, clipping, audio mixing, and automatic transcriptions. Look for a program that includes user-friendly editing tools to turn raw footage into a final product quickly and easily.

4 best free audio recording software for 2024

1. Riverside

Riverside

Compatibility: macOS, Windows, iPhone, Android 

If you’re looking for a studio-quality audio recording tool that won’t cost an arm and a leg, Riverside is your best bet. On the free plan, users get unlimited video calls, unlimited single-track recording and editing, and up to 2 hours per month of multi-track recording. 

No matter what plan you use, you can be confident in crystal-clear audio quality with Riverside. The tool records audio and video locally to your device, ensuring great results without relying on your internet speed. Easily record with up to 7 remote guests with separate audio and video tracks for each person—giving you maximum control in post-production. 

Riverside’s mobile app also lets you capture high-quality audio (and video) on the go. And when you’re ready to upgrade, you’ll get plenty of bonus features—like AI-powered transcriptions, editing tools, and live streaming—to skyrocket your productivity and content creation abilities.

Key features:

  • High-quality audio up to 48kHz 16-bit resolution
  • Record with up to 8 participants
  • Choose between uncompressed WAV (for best quality) or MP3 audio (for optimized file size)
  • Separate audio and video files for each guest 
  • Local recording captures audio directly on your device, unaffected by your internet connection
  • Producer mode and live media board for adjusting audio and inserting sound clips in real-time (saving you time in post-production)
  • Easy live streaming to platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Live call-ins from guests for maximum audience engagement
  • AI-powered audio transcriptions for easy captioning and content repurposing
  • Magic Clips tool uses AI to create bite-sized, shareable clips for social media

Pros:

  • Reliable high-quality audio and video
  • Record and edit in one tool
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Local recording and progressive uploading protects your audio from internet lags
  • Web-based software is compatible with all devices, with no downloads or installations
  • Mobile app for on-the-go recording

Cons:

  • Editing is only available on the desktop version

Best for: Professional-level audio and video content creation, especially with multiple remote participants.

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2. Audacity

Audacity

Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux

Audacity is a free audio recording software that allows content creators of all skill levels to record and edit professional audio. Because it’s free and open source, it doesn’t offer many of the advanced features that other tools in this list do—but it does let users make basic edits to improve audio quality. 

The interface feels a little outdated, and you may need to download additional plugins from third parties to get all the features you’re looking for, but if you’re on a tight budget, Audacity might be for you.

Key features:

  • Open-source software
  • Multitrack recording
  • Easily import and mix audio tracks
  • 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit sound quality
  • Basic audio effects and editing
  • Export in multiple common audio formats

Pros:

  • Works across multiple operating systems
  • Separate track recording
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Outdated interface
  • Can’t record with remote guests
  • May need to download third-party plugins

Best for: Creators on a tight budget and who only need to make basic edits to their audio content.

3. Apple GarageBand

GarageBand

Compatibility: macOS only

If you have an Apple computer, GarageBand is probably already downloaded to your device. This platform was created for musicians, which explains why it offers several virtual instruments, including pianos, guitars, and drums. But it does work well for beginner content creators of all kinds, letting you create separate tracks for voiceovers, ads, intros, and outros.  

It’s also equipped with a color-coded EQ dashboard and integrates with multiple plugins so you can export to an editing tool of your choice.

Key features:

  • Share creations easily on social media
  • Supports third-party plugins 
  • Multi-sync recording and editing
  • Basic editing capabilities
  • Exports in a variety of formats

Pros:

  • Easy to use and beginner-friendly
  • Simple exporting
  • Comes pre-installed on Mac devices

Cons:

  • Designed primarily for musicians
  • Exports in large file sizes

Best for: Musicians and Apple users on a budget

4. Ocenaudio

OcenAudio

Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux

Ocenaudio is another free recording software that lets users execute basic audio edits. While it doesn’t come with as many features as paid programs like Riverside, it does offer the basic tools new content creators need to create and edit a quality recording. 

Key features:

  • Real-time previews for audio effects
  • Add sounds and effects
  • Spectrogram and file analysis
  • No length or quantity limit for editing
  • Multi-select portions of an audio file to edit or apply an effect

Pros:

  • Available on all major operating systems
  • More editing features than other free tools offer

Cons:

  • Limited recording and editing features

Best for: Content creators on a budget who still want basic real-time and post-production editing features. 

Bonus: 2 Best free video and screen recording software

1. Riverside

Riverside free recording software
Riverside

Compatibility: macOS, Windows, iPhone, Android 

Not only is Riverside a great choice for audio recording, but it also has professional-quality video and screen recording capabilities. Easily record video in 720p (or 4K quality on all paid plans), and the split-screen and screen-sharing features make it simple to give presentations, hold meetings, and record talking head tutorials. 

Because Riverside is browser-based, it’s compatible with all major operating systems—and you don’t have to download or install anything to get started. You can invite up to 7 remote guests, who can join easily with a click, and Riverside captures locally-recorded, separate tracks for each participant. 

Key features:

  • Video in up to 4K and audio up to 48kHz 16-bit resolution
  • AI transcription for easy captions and repurposing
  • Live streaming feature lets you share real-time webinars, video game streams, and more 
  • Record remote video interviews with up to 7 guests
  • Text-based video editing lets you easily alter your videos by editing a text transcript
  • Magic Clips feature automatically converts long-form videos into shareable social media clips
  • Video teleprompter tool to help you record polished videos in fewer takes

Pros:

  • All-in-one audio, video, and screen recording tool
  • Easy to use
  • No downloads or installations needed
  • High-quality audio and video that doesn’t depend on your internet connection
  • Mobile app for recording video on the go

Cons:

  • Editing is only available on the desktop version

Best for: Anyone who wants to create and share high-quality video, especially with multiple remote guests.

Learn more, or sign up to start experiencing all of these benefits and more. 

2. Loom

Loom

Compatibility: macOS, Windows

Loom is a screen recording app that lets business professionals record quick, easy videos. These videos can be tutorials, webinars, or video walkthroughs. Because Loom is available via web, desktop software, mobile apps, and even a Chrome extension, it’s easily accessible and convenient to use. Most of Loom’s features are available on the free plan.

Key features:

  • Automatic transcripts and captions in over 50 languages
  • Interactive video creation
  • AI-generated word removal, titles, summaries, and more
  • Live streaming
  • Video embedding and sharing

Pros: 

  • Easy to use 
  • Convenient for sharing and embedding videos
  • Loom records from your webcam, screen, or both at the same time

Cons:

  • Not designed for long-form video creation
  • Audio quality can be unreliable
  • Limited editing capabilities

Best for: Teachers and business professionals looking for an easy and accessible way to streamline video communication. 

FAQs on Best Free Recording Software

What is a good free recording software?

If you’re looking for a free audio recorder, try GarageBand (for macOS users) or Audacity. For video and screen recording, try Loom’s free plan for quick and easy video communication. Riverside is also professional-quality free recording software that offers a free subscription tier that includes unlimited video calls, unlimited single-track recording, and up to two hours of separate audio and video tracks.

Is OBS the best free recording software?

The “best” is always subjective, but OBS is popular for a reason; it’s free and open source, with plenty of advanced features for gaming and live streaming. However, it might have too steep of a learning curve for some beginners. 

To find out if OBS is right for you (and to see similar options), check out our guide on the best OBS alternatives

Is Audacity better than GarageBand?

The answer depends on what you’re looking for. Audacity is a great choice for advanced audio mixing and editing, while GarageBand offers plenty of tools for creating music from scratch. If you want multiple virtual instruments and a complete music production package (and you use Apple devices), go for GarageBand. 

However, GarageBand is a free recording software for macOS users only. If you’re looking for recording programs for Windows, Audacity is a better bet. And if you want a general-purpose tool to help you record and edit other kinds of audio content, Audacity is likely the better choice for you. 

What is the best free multitrack recording app?

There are several top free recording tools available in 2024 that let you record multiple tracks at once, including Audacity, Ocenaudio, and GarageBand

But as is usually the case, you often get what you pay for. If you’re willing to invest in your recording setup, you can often access more features that will save you time (and money) later. Sometimes the best solution is to choose a high-quality tool with a free subscription plan—and then you can add paid features when you’re ready. Riverside gives you a strong foundation with high-quality, locally recorded audio and video tracks. 

And as your content creation needs grow, Riverside’s Pro plan offers advanced tools like unlimited AI transcriptions, live call-ins, and a teleprompter to help make your recordings polished and professional in just one take.

Want to see for yourself how easy it is to record audio for free with Riverside? Sign up and start recording!

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The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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