5 Best Sound Design Tools in 2023

With more than 464 million podcast listeners in 2023 and this number likely to surpass 500 million next year, it’s currently a great time to develop and grow your podcasting career.

To increase your reach and reputation, great sound design is crucial. But what sound design tool can help you best achieve a clean, crisp end product and ideally make the process more efficient?

At Cleanvoice, we know a thing or two about sound design. After all, we’ve built a service that can speed up the editing process thanks to a range of AI-powered features. In today’s guide, we’ll explain how sound design software can benefit you before exploring the five best sound design tools on the market. Let’s dive in!

What is Sound Design Software?

Podcasters, musicians, filmmakers, and more use sound design software to generate high-quality audio content. This is achieved by manipulating the original content to produce a clean and professional end result.

You may want to use a sound design tool to add sound effects or otherwise add a layer of cinematic experience to your audio. However, you may simply want to use sound design software to edit your podcast by removing unnecessary sounds and silences among other changes to ensure a clean listening experience for your viewership.

Why Sound Design Software is Important?

Poor Audio is a Dealbreaker

No matter how strong your script is or how awesome your guests are, nothing else matters unless your podcasts have high-quality audio. Unsurprisingly, poor audio is a turn off for more than half of podcast listeners.

Creates a Better Listening Experience

To add to the above point, a high-quality listening experience not only encourages listeners to stay tuned, but can lead to a more engaging and immersive experience.

The better the listening experience, the more likely a listener is to subscribe and return for future episodes. You can achieve this by removing unwanted sounds and unnecessary silence from throughout the initial audio using a sound design tool, among other edits.

Great for Storytelling Podcasts

Naturally, some podcast formats will benefit from sound design software more than others with the storytelling format being one such example. Sound design software can bring your listener’s experience to life with sound effects, 3D audio, and more cinematic techniques. For those that record podcasts, sound design is crucial for delivering quality audio to your audience.

Best Sound Design Software

Here are the best AI sound design tools:

  • Cleanvoice - Best AI-powered tool.
  • *Ableton Live - High-end professional suite.
  • Sound Forge Pro - Good option for those with a sizable budget.
  • FL Studio - Mid-range price option.
  • WavePad - Low-budget but can still achieve many specified outcomes.

#1 Cleanvoice

Cleanvoice is an AI audio tool that can automatically rid your podcast of filler sounds, dead air, mouth sounds, and more! Cleanvoice is also great for auditing podcasts and other aspects of the development and pre-production stages with a range of AI-powered features available.

Relevant Features

  • Silence remover

Our AI dead air remover feature can rid your podcast of unnecessary silences. This feature is even designed to perform context-based editing. This means that when a speaker is thinking, the feature makes the pause short, whereas during a topic change, our AI-powered tool will keep the pause longer.

  • Filler words remover

Another great feature of Cleanvoice is its abiltiy to remove filler words (e.g., ums and ahs). This feature is a smart remover that can work on multiple tracks and even detect and remove multilingual filler words.

  • Background noise remover

This feature provides automatic audio enhancement by removing background noise from your audio.


Cleanvoice is available in two payment forms, subscription and pay as you go. There’s also a free trial if you’d like to check out our AI-powered tool before committing to a paid edition.

A subscription plan will likely make the most sense if you’ll need an AI podcast sound design tool on an ongoing basis. However, for those with less of a structure or/and more of a casual commitment to podcasting, pay as you go may better suit you.

Pros and Cons


  • User-friendly
  • Cleanvoice is updated regularly
  • May prove helpful for your podcast’s SEO


  • Internet connectivity required continuously as Cleanvoice is a SaaS

#2 Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a powerful and advanced sound design software well-suited to podcast professionals in need of the full package. You can use Ableton Live to record and edit your podcast in detail.

Relevant Features

  • Hybrid reverb

Hybrid reverb mixes convolution and algorithmic reverbs, giving you a vast range of sound space to explore. This level of sound design may prove perfect for those wishing to tell a story through sound.

  • PitchLoop89

This feature is perfect for creating an array of sound effects to create a cinematic experience (e.g. delayed digital shimmers and glitch effects).

  • Record

You can, of course, also use Ableton Live to record your initial audio before editing soon after.


Ableton Live is available in three lifetime packages. The Live 11 Intro package costs $99 whereas the Live 11 Standard is priced at $449 and the Live 11 Suite costs $749.

Pros and Cons


  • Fast workflow once you know the ropes
  • Wide range of features for advanced sound design
  • High level of automation


  • Live 11 Standard and Live 11 Suite editions are expensive
  • User interface could be cleaner
  • High computer specifications needed to run Ableton Live

#3 Sound Forge Pro

Sound Forge Pro is a sound design tool with precise features, high-end plug-ins, innovative edition functions, and more, that can turn your initial podcast recording into a near masterpiece.

Relevant Features

  • Recording

Use Sound Forge Pro to benefit from high-quality multitrack audio recording. 32 channel resolution of up to 64-bit/768 kHz available.

  • Audio editing

You can also cut, edit, and enhance audio with the powerful features included in Sound Forge Pro. The precision provided can let you perfect each and every sound.

  • Mastering

This software also features advanced tools and intelligent high-end effects.


You can avail of four packages in total. The primary Sound Forge Pro package currently costs $349, while the price rises to $499 for the Pro Suite.

The Pro 365 edition costs $14.99 per month for a 12 month subscription ($179.88 annually) and Pro Suite 365 is priced at $19.99 per month ($239.88 each year), again with a 12 month subscription available.

Pros and Cons


  • High-quality editing features
  • Plug-ins are great
  • Professional podcasters can work with ease and efficiency one you know the ropes


  • Large files can take a good bit of time to load
  • Not a huge number of noise reduction options

#4 FL Studio

FL Studio is a comprehensive Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). FL Studio is another great option for professional podcasters looking for a place to compose, arrange, mix, edit and master high-quality audio.

Relevant Features

  • Recording

Record your podcasts and start editing once you’ve wrapped.

  • High-quality effects

Use various sound effects to create the listening experience you want.

  • Tools

Utilize various tools such as pitch shifters for cinematic sound experiences.


FL studio provides various payment options including several packages and the opportunity to buy features and effects independently.

Pros and Cons


  • Full of good plugins
  • Useful and unique workflow
  • Tons of great features


  • Challenging learning curve
  • Doesn’t come cheap
  • Using it within other sound editing tools may create issues

#5 WavePad

WavePad is another sound design tool with a ton of great features. It supports a wide range of file formats including AIF, AU, VOX, GSM, WMA, real audio, and more.

Relevant Features

  • Fast editing

Cut, copy, paste, auto-trim, compress, and more with ease.

  • Powerful tools

Some of the tools featured with WavePad include spectral analysis, batch process, and scrub & search audio.

  • Sound effects

Utilize sound effects like echo, reverb, and normalize; great for storytelling podcasts in particular.


As of May 2023, WavePad is on sale with some decent price options.

Pros and Cons


  • Great for achieving specified results
  • User interface isn’t too difficult to grasp
  • Reliable sound design software


  • Lack of multitrack mixing
  • If running many plugins, managing and organizing media can become challenging


In today’s guide, we’ve looked at the five best sound design tools to perfect your podcast in 2023. We looked at the various features, pricing, pros & cons, and customer reviews of these options. This guide also explained how sound design software can prove so advantageous.

At Cleanvoice, we understand how valuable your time is as a podcaster. That’s why we’ve developed AI-powered features that can help podcasters like you free up hours. Leave the boring and tedious editing to our automated tool to remove filler words, mouth sounds, stuttering, background noise, and more! Check out our prices, and start getting cleaner audio recordings today!