Free Audio Recording and Editing Apps for eLearning Narration

Some helpful resources for creating your own eLearning Voice Over. (Photo by Gavin Whitner)

Windows OS


Audacity is the goto free app for most corporate eLearning course developers. It's become the sort of "de facto" standard because most corporate developers are using Windows PCs. And for a very long time, Audacity was only available for the Windows OS.  But Audacity is now cross-platform and available to Mac users as well. 

Audacity is very powerful with many features, however, since it's open source, the interface has been neglected. It's not super easy to use but since you didn't pay anything for it, you can invest some time on YouTube getting yourself trained pretty quickly.

Windows Voice Recorder

If you're a Windows PC user and would like something simple for your voice recordings, then you should absolutely take a look at Windows Voice Recorder. It works across all of your Windows devices including your Windows phone.  It's so easy to use that the "How to use..." document on the support site is only 4 sentences long.  

Apple Mac OS


Garageband is a solid member of the Apple family of software products. It's quite popular for all types of audio recording projects used by beginners and professionals. As the name suggests, the focus is on creating music. However, it's great for simple voiceovers as well. 

If you're musically inclined and enjoy creating music for your eLearning projects then Garageband is the ideal program for you. It's loaded with pre-recorded sound loops and some amazing tech for composing your own songs using virtual guitars, drums, bass, strings, and more. And the Apple ecosystem makes it easy to work across devices. You could start your project on your Mac and then open it up on your iPad and work on it while on the road, and then back to the Mac when you return. 

Garageband for PC

While doing some google searches I also discovered that some users have found a way to Apple software like Garageband on their PC. But unless you're very tech savvy and understand how to do a little "hacking", I'd avoid the temptation. However, If you've done this successfully then I'd love to hear about your experience.

Garageband for iOS (iPhone, iPads, etc...)

Garageband for iOS is a powerful recording studio packed right in your pocket... or wherever you keep your iOS device. Its designed for simplicity while you're outside of your main studio (or office recording space).  The simplicity supports your creativity and gives you the ability to capture your ideas quickly and easily when the innovation strikes. We all know that great ideas can hit us at the strangest times. Having access to a simple studio like Garageband for iOS makes it easy to be productive at the moment creative lightning strikes. And if you think it's too low budget and can't be done ALL on your iPhone, just give it a try.  Watch a few YouTube tutorials and you'll see how powerful Garageband really is. 

Quicktime Player

Quicktime Player is a MacOS app that is often overlooked in the world of audio recording.  With the name Player it's easy to see why many don't use it to RECORD. But it can. And it does a great job.  If you own a Mac then it's already loaded onto your system. 

Android OS

If you enjoy working in the Google ecosystem of technologies there are some audio recording options for you as well. It's important to note that there are several hardware manufacturers that take advantage of the Android OS and therefore each has it's own version of the solution.

Device/Brand Specific Audio Recorder

In the Android ecosystem each device has it's own version of an audio recording feature. And this should be your first app to test. It will have been developed and designed specifically for that device. And while it might be minimal in it's feature set, it likely be good enough to get you a solid audio recording.

If the brand specific audio recorder does not fit your needs, then here is a list of android apps you can download from the Google Play Store:

Easy Voice Recorder

Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder

Otter Voice Notes

Voice Recorder 2018

One of these apps should be perfect for your needs. They are all free and for a small fee you can have them ad-free. 

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Comments ( 2 )

  • 0
    Posted 4 years ago blackshady 0   |   2  
    Thanks for sharing!
    However, I have been using a maybe more powerful tool, which I think is good enough to recommend. It's called TunesKit Auido Capture, a streaming audio recorder that can record internal audio played by pretty much all the software on mac. The recordings can be edited by an built-in trim tool and then saved into 6 different formats, including M4A, MP3, FLAC, etc.

  • 0
    Posted 4 years ago blackshady 0   |   2  
    If you have the need for recording audio from the microphone, the soundcard or the speaker or other devices with one program, Joyoshare Audio Recorder is the best choice.
    It is able to do what I just said, and convert the recording to 16 formats. The recording quality is also quite enjoyable.