May 30, 2022

Best Audio-Recording Software for a Mac

14 min

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Try Movavi Screen Recorder!

  • Record microphone and system audio
  • Trim your recordings
  • Easily share recorded audio

The best audio-recording software for a Mac makes it easy for you to record both internal system sounds and external audio from your microphone. In this guide, we'll take a look at a selection of sound-recording software for a Mac to help you find the right program to meet your needs.

Program

Best for

Download

Movavi Screen RecorderUsers who want to record easily and quickly on Mac
GarageBandUsers who want to make music on their Mac
Logic ProUsers who want a fully-featured music-making studio
QuickTime PlayerUsers who want a built-in solution for audio recording
Audio HijackUsers who want to record and stream live audio
AudacityUsers who want a comprehensive audio recorder and editor
Ableton LiveUsers who want to create the best quality music
MuLabUsers who want an attractive UI for audio recording
Apowersoft Audio Recorder for MacUsers who want a simple audio recorder for Mac
ArdourUsers who want to enhance and edit every detail of their audio
ReaperUsers who want a secure and stable audio recording solution
PiezoUsers who want to capture app and browser audio
Macsome Audio RecorderUsers who want to capture calls and conferences
AudioNoteUsers who want to create educational audio content
Avid Pro ToolsUsers who want to record audio collaboratively

Best Mac audio-recording software

Movavi Screen Recorder

Best for: Users who want to record easily and quickly on a Mac

Price: Free trial, $57.95 for a lifetime version

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 50 reviews

Movavi Screen Recorder is an app that you can use to capture internal audio, external audio, or video content of your screen, as needed. It's some of the best music-recording software for a Mac due to its versatility and ease of use, so you can quickly and simply capture only the audio from your device as needed and save it as an MP3 file. There are also built-in editing tools for you to trim your recording down and cut out unwanted sections before saving.

Key features:

  • Record audio and video
  • Capture internal and external sounds
  • Basic editing tools

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • A versatile program with many functions
  • Quick and easy editing

Cons:

  • Limitations when using a free trial

GarageBand

Best for: Users who want to make music on their Mac

Price: Free

PCMag rating: 4.5 out of 5

Another great option when you're looking for the best Mac audio-recording software is GarageBand. As the name implies, this software is aimed at bands and musicians, and it functions as a fully-featured music creation studio, with a full audio library of instruments and voice presets. It also comes with a plethora of editing tools and features, allowing you to mix, sync, and adjust your tracks as needed.

Key features:

  • Multi-track recording
  • A huge library of presets
  • Can create complete music tracks

Pros:

  • Ideal for musicians and singers
  • Syncing tracks is very easy
  • Lots of editing features

Cons:

  • Some features are quite complicated

Download GarageBand

Logic Pro

Best for: Users who want a fully-featured music-making studio

Price: Free trial, $199 for a full version

PCMag rating: 4.5 out of 5

Logic Pro is another top-rated app to consider when you're looking for the best audio recorder for a Mac. This is a complete, professional-grade recording solution, made exclusively by Apple for the Mac platform, and it comes with everything that you need to make amazing music on your device. With its super sleek interface, integrated Dolby Atmos tools, powerful creative features, and huge collection of plug-ins and sounds, there's a lot you can do with this app.

Key features:

  • Dolby Atmos tools
  • Use your iPhone or iPad as a Logic Remote
  • Huge library of sounds and plug-ins

Pros:

  • A sleek and attractive interface
  • Beautifully designed for ease-of-use
  • Tons of features and sounds

Cons:

  • Quite a high price for the full version

Download Logic Pro

QuickTime Player

Best for: Users who want a built-in solution for audio recording

Price: Free

AlternativeTo rating: 2.5 out of 5

QuickTime Player is a media player that comes built-in with all Mac devices. So, if you choose to use this free music-recording software for a Mac, you won't need to worry about having to download or install any other freeware or audio capture program on your device. Many people use QuickTime for playing media files every day, but it also has hidden recording capabilities and can record your whole screen's video, as well as capture audio.

Key features:

  • Record video and audio
  • Playback your recordings in the app
  • Built-in with every Mac

Pros:

  • No downloads needed
  • Super simple to use
  • Record and play in one app

Cons:

  • Limited tools

Audio Hijack

Best for: Users who want to record and stream live audio

Price: Free trial, $64 for a full version

CNET rating: 4.3 out of 5, 42 reviews

Audio Hijack is a Mac-exclusive app that is really good for recording and streaming live audio. Many people use it for online radio purposes or for recording and streaming audio, like podcasts, with their fans and followers around the world. It's got a really sleek and simple interface that doesn't take too long to understand and works well for beginners, and it's an ideal choice if you're looking into the idea of instantly streaming your audio with the world.

Key features:

  • VoIP recording via Zoom and other apps
  • Works with live broadcasting
  • Capture audio from any website

Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • Super for streaming and radio
  • Very modern and minimalistic interface

Cons:

  • Many features are locked behind a paywall

Download Audio Hijack

Audacity

Best for: Users who want a comprehensive audio recorder and editor

Price: Free

PCMag rating: 4 out of 5

This is one of the most comprehensive audio recorders available, and it's totally free to use, without any hidden costs or charges. It offers a massive range of features and functions, from noise gates and pitch adjustment to noise reduction when you're recording in spaces with background noise, along with lots of editing, multi-track recording, and much more.

Key features:

  • Multi-track recording
  • Tons of editing tools
  • Export in MP3, WAV, or other popular formats

Pros:

  • A comprehensive editor and recorder
  • Lots of features for clearer sound
  • Simple to get started with

Cons:

  • Tricky to master due to the huge range of features

Download Audacity

Ableton Live

Best for: Users who want to create the best quality music

Price: Free trial, a premium version from $99

PCMag rating: 4 out of 5

Ableton Live is a fluid and fast music creation suite which essentially gives users their own fully-functioning music studio inside their Mac devices. It offers a ton of features to help you capture the crispest and best quality audio, either with your voice or with instruments, and then add feeling and life to your music with editing tools and enhancements. The only downside is that you'll need to spend quite a lot of cash on one of the premium upgrades to get the full selection of Ableton Live features.

Key features:

  • Take comping and linked-track editing
  • Advanced editing tools
  • A huge range of enhancements

Pros:

  • A comprehensive music studio app
  • Incredible quality audio
  • Make any track sound better

Cons:

  • Very expensive to unlock all features

Download Ableton Live

MuLab

Best for: Users who want an attractive UI for audio recording

Price: Free trial, $73 for a full version

MusicRadar rating: 3 out of 5

MuLab from MuTools is another music creation and audio-recording app for a Mac. It has a colorful and attractive user interface and a lot of useful features, including MUX Modular, which is a special synth, sampler, and effect engine. With the power of the MUX Modular, creating, recording, and editing audio becomes very easy.

Key features:

  • Multi-track recording and editing
  • Modular architecture for ease-of-use
  • Lots of editing tools

Pros:

  • Sleek and colorful UI
  • Easy to use for music creation
  • Powerful effects engine

Cons:

  • Some features are missing

Download MuLab

Apowersoft Audio Recorder for Mac

Best for: Users who want a simple audio recorder for Mac

Price: Free

Apowersoft rating: 4.5 out of 5

Next up, we have Apowersoft Audio Recorder for Mac. This simple tool is useful for recording audio from your Mac in lossless quality, preserving the crispness and clarity of every sound. It can be used to record voices, calls, conferences, meetings, commentaries, and music, too, offering both internal and external audio capture.

Key features:

  • Capture internal and external audio
  • 10+ languages
  • Lightweight app

Pros:

  • Completely free to use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Lots of language options

Cons:

  • Lacks features compared to other recording programs

Download Apowersoft Audio Recorder for Mac

Ardour

Best for: Users who want to enhance and edit every detail of their audio

Price: Free

G2 rating: 4.1 out of 5, 11 reviews

Next up, we have Ardour, another top-quality audio capture app you can use on your Mac. This app is popular with singers, musicians, and other artists and creators, as it can help you bring out the very best in your recordings. It comes with many different enhancement tools and editing features to let you adjust and improve each little detail of your tracks, turning a simple and basic recording into something that sounds truly professional and impressive.

Key features:

  • Drag and drop UI
  • Editing tools to trim, adjust, and enhance
  • Multi-track recording

Pros:

  • Sleek and modern interface
  • A huge range of editing tools
  • Great for musicians

Cons:

  • Takes time to get set up

Download Ardour

Reaper

Best for: Users who want a secure and stable audio recording solution

Price: Free trial, a premium version from $60

PCMag rating: 4 out of 5

Reaper is an audio recording and audio protection application. It supports multi-track audio and MIDI recording, as well as editing, processing, and mixing, with a wide range of tools and functions to play around with. Supporting lots of different kinds of hardware and digital formats, this app is famed for its versatility and can be used by anyone from teachers recording lectures to musicians preparing a new album.

Key features:

  • Multi-track audio and MIDI capture
  • 64-bit internal processing
  • Support for thousands of plug-ins and add-ons

Pros:

  • Very versatile program
  • Compatible with lots of hardware
  • Create audio in many formats

Cons:

  • Free trial is 60 days only

Download Reaper

Piezo

Best for: Users who want to capture app and browser audio

Price: Free trial, $25 for a full version

MacUpdate rating: 4.2 out of 5, 14 reviews

Piezo is a fun little app that is designed to look like an old-fashioned radio. It's designed with aesthetics and simplicity in mind, perfect for recording audio from applications like Skype and browsers like Safari and Chrome. You can record in both MP3 and AAC format, as desired, and it really couldn't be any easier to set up and start using.

Key features:

  • One-click recording
  • A range of recording presets
  • Capture audio from apps and browsers

Pros:

  • Really simple to use
  • Fun and attractive design
  • Multiple formats

Cons:

  • Lacks features

Download Piezo

Macsome Audio Recorder

Best for: Users who want to capture calls and conferences

Price: Free trial, $29.95 for a full version

CNET rating: 3.5 out of 5, 2 reviews

Compatible with the latest versions of macOS, Macsome Audio Recorder is a Mac-exclusive audio capture app to record audio from apps like Skype, iTunes, and internet browsers. It can also record external audio from microphones and other connected hardware, so it's a good choice for capturing calls and conferences. It saves in MP3 or AAC format, with various options for file size, audio quality, and more.

Key features:

  • Save in MP3 or AAC
  • Capture internal or external audio
  • Adjust file size, quality, etc.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • A lightweight and simple application
  • Useful for recording online calls

Cons:

  • Free trial is limited to 3-minute recordings

Download Macsome Audio Recorder

AudioNote

Best for: Users who want to create educational audio content

Price: $14.99

Mac App Store rating: 4.3 out of 5, 37 reviews

AudioNote is a powerful tool that is perfect for students and teachers. With this app, users can record lectures and meetings and at the same time take notes linked to audio. Additionally, AudioNote offers some handy tools: users can add drawings or photos to the notes. Overall, the app can be very helpful since it combines an audio recorder and a notes app so you don’t need to switch between two different apps.

Key features:

  • Combines audio recording with note-taking
  • Capture audio and connect it to written notes
  • Connect to text, drawings, photos, or diagrams

Pros:

  • Ideal for education
  • A very unique way of creating content
  • Lightweight and easy to use

Cons:

  • Has very specific usage cases

Download AudioNote

Avid Pro Tools

Best for: Users who want to record audio collaboratively

Price: Free trial, a premium version from $299

PCMag rating: 4.5 out of 5

Like GarageBand and similar apps, Avid Pro Tools is mostly a music creation app. It's designed to help aspiring musicians record and edit their tracks with ease, offering a range of musical instrument sounds and presets that you can experiment with and combine in different ways to make music. It also offers live broadcast options and cloud collaboration to work with bandmates in different locations.

Key features:

  • A huge sound library
  • Track presets for voice and instruments
  • Cloud collaboration

Pros:

  • Great for bands working together
  • Lots of useful presets to play around with
  • Intuitive user interface

Cons:

  • A steep learning curve

Download Avid Pro Tools

How to choose sound-recording software for a Mac

What is the best professional audio software compatible with Mac OS X? If you're still not sure which program to choose, here are some of the most important factors to think about:

  • Ease-of-use: Any program you use should be easy and intuitive. If you're a total beginner in the world of audio recording, a simple and basic app will be just right. If you have more experience, an advanced app might be what you need.
  • Features: Some audio recorders are very simple and can only record system sounds or external audio, but others have dozens of features like multi-track recording, audio editing, mixing, and much more. Find one with all of the key features you need to use.
  • Price: It's important to find a Mac audio recorder within your budget. There are some free, open-source options out there, as well as premium apps that need to be paid for on a one-off or recurring basis. Usually, premium apps will have more features and functionality.
  • Support: Check to see what kind of user support is available for the app you plan to use, like tutorials, guides, live chat, and email support. This may be useful if you find yourself dealing with a bug or problem and need help fixing it.

How to record audio on a Mac with Movavi Screen Recorder

Follow these steps to learn how to record audio with Movavi Screen Recorder:

  1. First, you need to download and install the Mac version of Movavi Screen Recorder.
  2. Once the program has been installed, run it and then click the Screen Recording button on the control panel.
  3. Click on the System Audio and Microphone icons, as needed, to adjust which audio stream is captured.
  4. Click the REC button to start the recording process and Stop to finish.
  5. Make any edits required and then click Export and choose MP3 to save only the audio of your recording.

Summary

Hopefully, this guide has given you plenty of options to choose from the next time you're looking for the best audio-recording software on a Mac. Remember to always choose an app that matches your budget, meets your skill level, and provides the features and functions you need when recording Mac audio.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specializes in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more

Frequently asked questions

What is good audio-recording software for a Mac?

Here are some of the best audio-recording apps on a Mac:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • GarageBand
  • Audio Hijack
  • Audacity
  • Ableton Live
  • Apowersoft Audio Recorder for Mac
  • Ardour
  • Macsome Audio Recorder

Read our full article for even more great tools to use.

What's better than GarageBand for Mac?

You can check out these apps:

  • Audio Hijack
  • Audacity
  • Ableton Live

How can I record audio on my Mac for free?

You can do this with Movavi Screen Recorder:

  1. Download and install the app.
  2. Configure the settings to record system and/or external audio.
  3. Start recording by clicking the REC button.
  4. Click Export to save as MP3 when you're done.

To learn more, read the detailed guide by following the link below: