9 Best Descript Alternatives in 2024
You started as a have-a-go podcaster, made it past the 10-episode mark, and your audience is growing. You did it by finding new subjects and new people to talk to. You’ve stepped out of the comfort zone of your bedroom, but that’s brought some interesting technical challenges.
Interviewing in coffee shops, workplaces, or on the street is hard with all that background noise. Fascinating but inexperienced interview subjects leave a lot of ums and ahs in your recordings and editing time to sort them all out is blowing your production schedule.
Tools like Cleanvoice offer an easy-to-use solution that stops you from wasting hours of production time editing out these recording problems and more.
Soon you’ll be ready for your next hurdle, second-series syndrome. What other tools are out there that can help you overcome it and go on to Crime Junkie levels of success.
What is Descript
Descript takes a really neat approach to audio editing. You record your podcast, then Descript creates a text transcript of what was said. Editing the text transcript automatically edits the audio file. We told you it was neat.
You can either upload media into Descript or record directly in the application. Transcriptions are fast and accurate and come with automatic speaker detection, so it can tell who’s speaking and when.
Descript will edit out filler words and silence gaps with a single click and can work with video and audio, recording from a webcam or video file.
Behind a simple-to-use interface lies a hidden range of pro editing tools including multi-track editing, live collaboration, auto-captioning, and much more.
It can even learn your voice and synthesize missing words for you to edit in.
Why Podcast Editing Tools are Important?
Add Professionality to Your Podcasts
If you want to sound professional and distinct, podcast editing tools are the way to go. They can help you remove mistakes, awkward pauses, and background noise that clog up your recordings and distract your listeners.
But edit wisely. Authenticity is all part of creating a professional-sounding podcast.
Make Conversations Understandable
Avoid ambiguity. You want your audience to be able to follow your story, especially if it unfolds over several episodes.
Clear, understandable conversations mean that nobody loses the plot, especially when more than one person is speaking.
Audio editing keeps conversations clear in the final cut, even if they were muddled, overlapping, or out of sequence during recording.
Help Establish Your Brand
As with any product, branding is essential to help your podcast stand out from the crowd. Intros, outros, overlays, logos, and music all work together to create your own brand identity.
Editing tools are the easiest way to add the brand assets you create to your productions.
With a brand identity in place, it’s now much easier to advertise your podcast on social media channels and podcast distribution platforms.
How to Choose the Best Podcast Editing Tools for You?
There are a lot of choices out there for podcasters ready to up their game. What are the ground rules for choosing the right one your you?
1. Determine Your Budget
This should always be step 1. There are a lot of choices out there, from free to pro. Start by deciding how much you’re prepared to pay for editing software as part of your overall production budget.
Try to balance hardware and software costs to get the best all-around equipment for your podcast.
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. There are a wide range of options available, from free to paid.
So, it’s important to decide how much you’re willing to spend on podcast editing software.
2. Consider Your Level of Experience
All tools have a learning curve, and some are steeper than others. If you’re already experienced at editing, you’ll find it easier to dive into the fully-featured but more expensive options out there.
If you’re just getting started with podcasting, consider a basic, free option. This lets you get a feel for the editing process before diving into anything really sophisticated.
3. Evaluate Your Needs
Is it a “need” or a “want”? Think about the podcast you want to create, then evaluate what you really need to make it happen. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion on this.
Talk to other podcasters on forums like Podcaster Community and use their experience to get the right balance of functions and usability vs. cost.
Best Descript Alternatives
Descript takes an innovative approach to editing, but there’s always more than one way to solve a problem.
From using a digital scalpel to cut, trim and paste in a timeline to AIs that can clean and edit at the click of a mouse, there’s a range of tools available for both the novice and experienced podcaster.
Technology changes fast, but we’ve picked what we think are the best choices available at the moment.
- Type Studio
- Piktochart Video
Cleanvoice uses AI to automatically remove filler sounds, background noises, stuttering, and mouth sounds from your recordings.
Once unwanted sounds are removed, Cleanvoice will remove any remaining dead air, tightening up your podcast at the click of a mouse. Audio files are uploaded for Cleanvoice’s AI to work, and cleaned files are downloaded, either as finished files or as a timeline for further manual editing.
- Multilingual Filler Sound Remover
Every language has its own version of filler words. And with the help of Cleanvoice AI, you can make sure they’re scrubbed from any audio recording.
- Removal of mouth sounds
Mouth sounds and stuttering can be incredibly distracting for your audience, interrupting the flow of any audio recording.
With Cleanvoice, you can make sure these are removed easily, allowing you to provide clean, crisp audio without distractions.
- Removal of dead air
Dead air can break the flow of audio recordings, which can result in incohesive audio recordings and podcasts. Cleanvoice helps to remove periods of silence in your recordings so that you can deliver the best experience for your audience.
Cleanvoice provides two pricing models, the standard subscription service and a PAYG model.
Prices are based on the number of hours of processed audio per month, with plans starting at a modest ten euros. If you’d rather test us out before you put down any money, you can edit 30 minutes of audio for free!
Pros & Cons
- AI editing tools are easy to use
- Automatically remove dead air and filler words
- Simple exporting feature
- Podcasts and audio files can be easily transcribed with the click of a button
- Requires a constant internet connection
#2 Type Studio
Type Studio works similarly to Descript, creating transcripts of your recordings and then allowing you to edit the text, which automatically edits the audio file.
Type Studio markets itself for podcasters and for creating social media video clips by taking sections of longer videos and editing them for TikTok or Instagram Reels.
- Podcast Editing
Type Studio is a text-based editor. Audio files are automatically transcripted, so that you can edit via text, rather than having to edit hours of audio manually. All edits from text are transferred to the audio, making for a much easier editing process.
- Video Editing
Type Studio makes video editing easy, as you won’t have to install comprehensive editing software onto your computer. Instead, you can create and edit videos easily directly from your browser.
Type Studios is a relatively cost-effective option, as priced plans start at $12 per month for their cheapest plan, and increase to $36 for their most expensive.
Prices are based on the number of hours of video and audio you want to edit, and the amount of storage you need. There’s also a free-forever plan for hobbyists, though it is quite limited.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Manual editing is easy, as all audio is transcribed to text
- Video creation and editing features for those who need them
- Lacks automated editing features
Riverside.fm offers a recording studio in your pocket as it has mobile versions for iPhone, iPad, and Android. And of course, it works on a laptop too.
Recordings are continuously uploaded to cloud servers so you’re not filling up your mobile device with large video and audio files. The downside is that if the internet connection is weak where you record your interviews, recordings can be laggy or even drop out.
The Pro package includes automatic transcriptions, run by an AI and supporting over 100 languages. This is great for doing text searches of an entire podcast recording to find the part you need instead of scrolling back and forth through a recording.
- Separate video and audio tracks
By recording each participant onto a separate track, you have far more control over editing than if everyone’s on the same track.
Your podcast ends up with a much more professional feel and if a conversation gets confused during a recording, it’s easy to sort it out and present a cohesive final version to your audience.
The free tier is really just a try-out with 2 hours of recording time at your disposal. Standard at $19 per month gives you 5 hours of recording time and the Pro package is $29 with 15 hours per month and includes unlimited transcriptions and live call-ins.
Pros and Cons
- Fully featured, mobile recording studio
- Automatic cloud backup
- Highly rated tech support
- Slow internet will cause lag and drops
Audacity is an open-source and free audio recording and editing app. It’s cross-platform but, open source means designed and built by a committee.
“A camel is a horse designed by committee” is attributed to Sir Alec Issigonis, the designer of the Mini car in 1959. Sir Alex knew good design and sadly Audacity’s UI is a bit of a camel.
For a free app, you get really good quality recordings. But working with the files to create a finished podcast can be challenging.
Audacity is a pretty much fully-featured recording studio, for free. This is great if you want full control of your recordings or if you’re a professional with experience in using all the bells and whistles to craft a beautifully recorded podcast.
- Effects and plugins
Audacity features a truly impressive range of built-in effects from audio transitions, noise gates, and echo to the Spectral Edit Parametric EQ.
Access to a range of plugins, both open-source and proprietary, increases the abilities of the software even further. Audio-wise there’s very little Audacity can’t do.
Audacity is very proud of its import and export features that allow users to move files between formats with relative ease.
Built-in formats include WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and MP2 with plugins giving access to LAME MP3 and more. Audacity lets users take files in multiple formats and combine them into a single format.
Pros and Cons
- Lots of pro recording features
- Active tech support from user community
- Steep learning curve
- Clunky interface
Transcript accuracy is key to the way apps like Descript work and if you’re not certain that an AI will do the job right, you can use Rev instead. Rev is a platform to hire humans to do your transcripts for you and they advertise a 99% accuracy rate.
Rev also has an AI feature, which is promoted as having a 90%+ accuracy rate. Once generated, your Rev transcripts can be imported into another editing service like Descript or Type Studio to edit.
- Fast and accurate
Rev produces fast transcriptions and is used by over 750,000 businesses and individuals including PBS, Viacom, and CBS. A built-in script editor lets you customize finished transcripts.
- Human or AI
Having the choice of using a human or AI to do your transcriptions means you can test out both services to see which best suits your needs as a podcaster. Rev boasts that their AI is the best in the market, using the same kind of tech as Siri or Alexa.
Prices differ between human and AI transcriptions with AI starting at $0.25 per minute of recorded audio or video and human service at $1.50.
Captioning for subtitles is the same rate as human transcriptions in English but prices increase from $5, up to $12 per minute for other languages.
Pros and Cons
- Fast service
- Mobile app to hire transcribers on-the-go
- High accuracy rates
- Multiple languages available
- Not always as accurate as claimed
- Not always as fast as claimed
Designed as an AI meeting transcript app, Otter works on iOS, Android, or online.
It can record or import pre-recorded audio files so for the podcaster it’s useful for creating transcripts that could be edited using Descript or Type Studio. And the record function is part of the free intro package.
- iOS, Android, and web
The app has Apple, Google, and online integrations, desktop, and mobile apps so can be used on the go or in the office. It automatically integrates with the most popular meeting formats, Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
- Presentation slide capture
Otter automatically captures slides as they appear during the meeting and puts them into the timeline so they can be viewed in the context of the conversation around them.
Otter generates a meeting summary and automatically emails it to participants so that key information is immediately saved and shared.
The free version transcribes meetings and joins Zoom, Teams, and Meet online meetings for 300 minutes per month, provided no meeting runs beyond 30 minutes each.
Pro and Business plans at $16.99 and $30 per month, respectively, add features including import and export of files and team features.
Pros and Cons
- Quick transcriptions
- Easy to set up and use
- Not always as accurate as claimed
Castmagic is a reliable solution for podcasters who want to do more than just record audio and create unique content.
The tool leverages the power of AI to offer an impressive selection of features to ensure your podcast is of professional quality.
- AI Content
Quite useful for post-production, this feature generates 12 components for each podcast episode. This includes titles, timestamped overviews, key topics, and exciting speaker bios and introductions.
- Automated transcription
Compared to many other tools, Castmagic’s transcription capabilities are pretty robust. You’ll also get automated timestamps for each segment of your podcast episode, so you save more time.
- Content Extraction
To help make sure your podcast has a lasting impact, Castmagic offers a few content extraction capabilities. This includes highlighting key topics, creating summaries, and generating quotes from your episodes that you can use for promotion on social media.
Castmagic offers three pricing plans. The Hobby plan, priced at $23/month, gives you 200 minutes per month; the Starter plan, priced at $59/month, gives you 500 minutes per month; and the Rising Star plan, priced at $179/month, gives you 1500 minutes per month.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful AI capabilities
- Almost accurate transcription
- Repurpose extracted content from your podcast episodes
- Potential for language-related issues for some accents and dialects
#8 Piktochart Video
Piktochart Video is a lightweight tool that lets you create professional-level videos quickly. It claims you can create a fully enhanced and edited video for your podcast in minutes.
- Document-like video editor
Piktochart Video helps you make bite-sized clips of your podcast to use on your social media platforms. It will even highlight the best parts of your podcast for you.
- Web-based app
Piktochart Video is a web-based tool that you can use from any device with an active internet connection. It also integrates with all the major social media sites, so you can easily upload your podcast clips after editing.
- Automatic subtitles
To help cater to your audience, the tool generates subtitles for all your clips. You’ll also be able to change the font style, color, and background inside the video.
Piktochart Video offers three paid plans. The Pro plan is priced at £14 per member per month, the Business plan is priced at £24 per member per month, and you’ll need to request pricing for the Custom plan.
There’s also a free plan that offers you 20-minute video editing per month. However, it does contain the tool’s watermark.
Pros and Cons
- Great for those who use social media to promote their podcasts
- Subtitle generator
- Creates engaging clips from your podcast episode
- It’s a simple tool, so it may not be the best choice for those who want to control every second of their video
Ocenaudio is a free, open-source tool that helps you quickly modify large audio files while on the go. It gives you excellent effects options through Ocenaudio’s recorder integration with VST plug-ins.
- Audio recorder
Ocenaudio’s recorder operates efficiently with all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
This feature helps facilitate complex audio file editing by allowing you to simultaneously listen to, edit and add effects to multiple audio segments.
- Effect preview
Ocenaudio allows you to gauge the impact of your effects, such as EQ, gain, and filtering, by offering a real-time preview feature. This way, you can hear the processed signal while adjusting your controls to get your desired result.
Ocenaudio is free to use.
Pros and Cons
- Free and simple to use
- Great option for beginners
- Batch edit your audio
- There’s no option to auto-save your work
Cleanvoice is an artificial intelligence software tool that removes filler sounds, stuttering, and mouth sounds from your podcast or audio recording. Stop wasting hours editing your podcast when you could be cleaning up your audio at the touch of a button.
Cleanvoice also works with multiple languages including Spanish, German, and French.
Background noise, garbled or confused speech, or distracting mouth sounds can all muddy the waters and make a mess of your podcast. There are various approaches to editing them out, and the best one for your production will depend on budget, features, and usability.
Cleanvoice cuts through the noise and gets to the heart of the matter - clear, enjoyable, and informative podcasts. Try it out with a free trial today.