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Descript AI Review: Incredible Podcast and Audio Tool That You Need To Try in 2024

Our Pick

Descript

5.0

Descript is my go-to audio editing software for Podcasts and screen recordings. It’s fast, easy to use and offers useful AI tools. Check out my full Descript review below.

Pros:
  • Free to use
  • Works with Audio & Video
  • Text Editor is a game-changer
  • Fast and genuinely useful AI
  • Integrations with SquadCast
  • Ability to Output to 4k Video

Cons:

  • Timeline editor has a learning curve
  • Had some weird exporting issues in the beginning
descript ai review

I’ve been podcasting on and off for about 10 years now. It’s one of my favorite ways to create content and share it with a large audience. Although podcasting is faster/easier than video editing, finding new ways to reduce my audio editing time is always something I’m on the hunt for.

descript 2023 video and podcast review
The various uses for Descript.

Up until about 6 weeks ago, I’ve always used free software like DaVinci Resolve, Garage Band, or Audacity. All awesome pieces of software in their own right. Whilst this is a newbie-friendly option to create a podcast and edit audio, today I want to introduce you to a much better option.

An AI-focused audio and video editor that I can’t stop raving about. In fact, its my most used software in 2024.

So, Who is Descript For?

Descript is for content creators working with both audio and video content. Personally, I think it really shines as a Podcast audio editor over everything else. I’ve also used it for Video editing, interviews (via the new Squadcast connection), and multi-track Podcast editing. 

If you’re a YouTuber, Podcaster, Product Reviewer, or Course Creator or you need to transcript audio/video Descript should be at the top of your list.

It’s that good. 

What Projects Can Users Make with Descript?

You can make the following types of projects inside Descript:

  • Screen recordings
  • Screen & Camera Recordings (great for online courses)
  • Audio-only recordings (what I use for Podcasts)

Technically you could also use for creating YouTube content with AI voices and even audiobooks if that’s your thing.

Once the project is created, you have a number of options to export each file which I detail below.

Pros and Cons of Descript:

Product Pros

  • Free to use
  • Works with Audio & Video
  • Text Editor is a game-changer
  • Fast and genuinely useful AI
  • Integrations with SquadCast
  • Ability to Output to 4k Video

Product Cons

  • Timeline editor has a learning curve
  • Had some weird exporting issues in the beginning

Project Exporting Options

After you finish recording your project in Descript, you have a few different options to export it including: 

For Audio only:

  • .wav file
  • .mp3
  • acc (m4a)

Video & Audio:

  • .mp4

Video files can also be exported in 480p, 720p, 1080p, 1440p, and 4k quality which is awesome if you plan to upload to YouTube. 

Tip

I personally export my Podcast audio from Descript to .wav 256kbps for the best audio quality possible. I upload to Apple/Stopify and the voice clarity is excellent.

What Makes Descript Different From Other Editing Suites

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I’ve created a heap of Podcasts over the years. I edited most of them inside Audacity’s free software or DaVinici Resolve. Both are free and open source and work like a dream on Mac.

But, Descript has something none of those free pieces of software have right now. 

AI Audio Transcription. Here’s how it works (And why I love it):

  1. You create a new project, and give it a name
  2. Click ‘Record’ in the toolbar
  3. Select if you want audio, audio and video, ‘quick recording’ or a Squadcast interview/group recording. 
  4. Select Audio only
  5. You’ll get a short countdown (you can set a timer)
  6. You start recording your Podcast like normal
  7. Once you’ve recorded your audio, hit the stop button
  8. Now wait for the magic to happen
  9. Descript will use AI to automagically transcribe your voice into text
  10. You can then scroll through the text, selecting paragraphs/sentences/umms and ahhs that you want to remove

The transcription process takes about 1-2 minutes for a 10-minute clip (depending on your computer + internet connection). I personally use this laptop for audio production and editing.

Being able to edit a Podcast in this way has literally saved me HOURS per episode.

Because I read faster than I can scroll through a timeline in Audacity – and I can see all the mistakes & pauses it’s a matter of selecting and deleting all the mishaps I have during the audio recording. Pretty sick hey! Well, it gets better my friends…

Note

Being able to edit a Podcast using text (instead of a waveform) has saved me HOURS per episode.

Works With Multiple Speakers Too

Recording with multiple people on your Podcast? Awesome, Descript has you covered. You can directly record an audio/interview with someone through the direct Squadcast connection (which is WAYYYYY better than shitty Zoom), and Descript will identify each speaker, and then individually label them inside the text editor. 

using sqaudcast with descript
Squadcast is now part of Descript for group recording.

It’s freakin awesome! I don’t know what kind of voodoo Ai has cooked up here, but the process is so intuitive and simple. It just makes sense. 

The camera/video will even jump to each person as they speak during the interview, saving you even MORE time. It’s truly awesome. No more toying around with multiple timelines in DaVinici Resolve! 

One recording, with perfectly clear audio (a much better bitrate than anything else on the market) and a quick and easy solution to editing the podcast in text format. 

The tool will even identify multiple speakers, and allow you to tag them by name so you can quickly see what they said in the timeline. It’s seriously awesome. 

How I Make My Audio A Million Times Better (with AudioHiJack)

A good friend of mine is really up with audio gear, mixers, and podcasting microphones. I reached out to him recently to ask him about the best podcasting mixer and if something like the Rode Procaster would be suitable for what I’m doing. 

Being the awesome dude that he is, he asked me “What’s your goal for the Audio?”

My response: “To make it sound really warm and professional”

His response: Get AudioHiJack

my audio setup for Descript podcast editing
I use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (usbc) for Podcasting

AudioHijack is the number #1 piece of software I think all Podcasters need. I was able to take my Podcasting setup (which is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and AudioTechnia AT2040 XLR mic) and make it sound SOOOO much better. It now sounds like a proper recording studio that you’d pay $100 an hour to rent. Not kidding. It’s that bloody good. 

audio hijack with descript
I use Audio HiJack to improve my mic quality.

Basically, you install the software on your Mac or PC and it works like a digital pre-amp for your Mic setup. 

You essentially run the software and it changes the audio signature before it records to Descript or any other piece of software on your computer. My audio now sounds warmer, deeper, and richer before it records into Descript. For the low cost of AudioHiJack, I highly recommend it. 

Here’s a look at how I set my up in AudioHiJack: 

my audiohijack setup with descript
(notice the new transcribe block at the end for easy audio transcriptions).

 

Descript Download

Descript is free to download and offers both a Mac and Windows app. It also has a web interface where you can access your projects. Right now (at the time of writing), not all the functionality is available via the web platform and you’ll need to actually install the software to get the most out of it. To download the software,click here. (Free)

Descript Can Produce an Episode With Your Content and a New Voice

Descript has a number of powerful Podcasting tools built directly into the software, one of which includes the option to create a new voice using AI. This can be extremely helpful if you do a podcast and need to add some filler content, replace some audio or even create an entirely new voice – maybe for an intro? 

The process requires you to create about 2-3 sentences inside Descript, which then gives the AI enough data to understand/learn your voice. 

Personally, I opted not to use this, simply because I’m not doing that many interviews right now and I don’t like the idea of an AI tool having a carbon copy of my voice. That being said, Descript makes it super easy to create new voices or create your voice inside its suite of AI tools. 

Descript also has plenty of pre-built AI voices you can use for your own YouTube Videos or Faceless Video Channels.

Changing Audio With Descript’s Overdub

Descript’s Overdub feature basically leverages artificial intelligence and synthesis technology to generate unique AI voices. Users can either create a text-to-speech model of their own voice or select from ultra-realistic stock voices provided by Descript.

By inputting desired text, Overdub can quickly overdub up to 500 words in just three minutes, making it a powerful tool for efficiently creating audio content. I personally haven’t used this feature all that much – but its a great option for anyone wanting unique voices for their content.

Can Descript Remove Filler Words?

As someone who creates all types of content, it’s really hard to not say filler words between sentences. It often just rolls off the tongue. 

If you’re not familiar, filler words are basically umms, ahhs, uhhhs and small words that we typically add as we think of our next talking point. Something I LOVE about descript is how easy it can be to remove these words with 1-2 clicks. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create your content (Podcast or Video)
  2. Let the transcription take place in the editor
  3. Select one of your filler words from the text editor (Umm for example)
  4. Select remove filler words from the menu

Descript will scan the text, find all filler words, and then easily remove them without any fuss. 

Personally, I still like having a few umms and ahhs to make my recordings sound a bit more natural, but if you know you overuse filler words – this can be a huge time saver when creating content. It’s super easy to use and works on both audio and video content.

Any Good For YouTube?

This year I recorded a heap of new video content for the Amazon Influencer Program and YouTube. To edit all my files, I typically use Da Vinci Resolve. It’s an amazing piece of software that’s free to download and use, and it works extremely well on Apples Silicon. 

But, it lacks a good screen recorder and doesn’t offer any kind of audio/video transcription. Something that becoming more and more popular (and necessary) for improving video SEO. 

So, is Descript a good option for YouTubers? Yes, it is. It’s one of the best pieces of editing software for new YouTubers or Video Podcasters I’ve tried. 

It’s one of the best pieces of editing software for new YouTubers or Video Podcasters I’ve tried.

Luke

You can quickly and easily edit content using the timeline, and something I LOVE is the fact you can insert stock images and videos directly into your timeline with a few clicks. No more third-party tools and paid subscriptions. 

I see a lot of Video Podcasters doing this now – they basically jump between themselves on camera to stock video, and then back again. It’s a great option to hide mishaps or fumbles on camera – plus it looks professional. (Pat Flynn does a great job of this on his YouTube Channel).  

I don’t think professional video editors will get much out of Descript – because there are no LUT’s or pro color grading here, but for everyone else I think you’ll love it. 

Using AI Tools to Create Podcast Ideas

Another thing I’ve recently been experimenting with is using tools like KoalaWriter, Agilitywriter and Copy.ai to help me come up with unique ideas for my Podcast episodes. What I’ll typically do is open one of the tools, use the ‘chat’ function and write a prompt that looks something like this:

Prompt: I run a podcast on [xyz]. Write 10 podcast episode ideas that are relevant and my audience would find interesting.

This is so helpful on the days when I don’t have the mental capacity to come up with something exciting to talk about. Now, let’s chat about how I edit the Podcast content using the scene/timeline editor in Descript.

Descript’s Script & Scene Editor vs. Timeline Editing

Descript gives you 3 options to edit your audio or video content. 

The Script Editor (As I mentioned above) is done by working with the text transcription of your video/audio – it’s fast, fluid, and easily my preferred method of working with recorded content nowadays.

The Scene Editor appears on the left of the dashboard and allows you to quickly and easily move between sections for audio or video clip. Creating a new scene is super simple – you just add a forward slash (/) in your content and Descript will automagically create a new scence for you. This is super handy for adding sections on YouTube (so people can jump forward quickly). 

descript scene editor
How scenes appear in Descript

The Timeline editor is what you’ll find in most tools. You simply scroll left and right through a wave format of your video content, cutting, removing and adding video or audio where required. 

Descript’s Video Templates Are An Excellent Inclusion

If your primary focus for Descript is video editing and YouTube content, you’ll absolutely love the included templates. All you need to do is create a new video project, give the project a name, click the template icon in the top row, and drag a template that you want to into your timeline.

From here you can add your own titles, music, and transitions. 

If you’ve ever used Canva, ClipCut or InShot you’ll feel right at home here. It’s super easy to edit and makes for an excellent video editing experience. 

using descript video templates

Descript Pricing

Descript is actually very affordable for what you’re getting. The free plan has a huge range of inclusions, and I think most people will get a heap of value on the lowest tier. I opted for the Creator tier which is only $12 a month. The pro plan goes up to $24 a month:

Descript Integrations

I love how many integrations Descript has at the moment. I can easily export directly to my Mac, or I can upload to other video hosting services like:

  • YouTube
  • Blubrry
  • Buzzsprout
  • Captivate
  • Castos
  • eWebinar
  • Headliner
  • Hellow Audio
  • Podbean
  • Postcast.co
  • Restream
  • Transistor
  • VideoAsk and Wistia. 

Unfortunately, there’s no Spotify for Podcasters integrations just yet, but it’s been requested by a number of users, so fingers crossed we see that in a future update.

The other thing you’ll notice in the software is the option to export Video, Audio, GIF, Timeline, Transcript, and Subtitles – all of which are super helpful for content creators.

Best Free Text-to-Speech Software?

Is Descript the best text-to-speech software out there? Well, it’s hard to say. AI is moving at a pretty rapid rate right now and there are a lot of improvements happening across the board in the AI voice space.

How Descript does text to speech
How Text Appears in the Editor

The thing to keep in mind is Descript is much more than a basic text-to-speech software – it’s a FULL audio & video editing suite. Probably its closest competitor in terms of features and functionality is veed.io. Veed is better for video templates/short-form content, but Descript provides far more tools and audio editing features.

Studio Sound

Although I did a lot of my own personal tweaking to my microphone audio with Audio HiJack, there’s also a function built into Descript called ‘Studio Sound’. Basically, it automatically analyzes your audio recording, removes echo and background noise, and makes everything sound more “studio-like”. I’ve used tools like this in other audio editing suites, and I have to take my hat off to Descript – because theirs is easily the best one available. 

The thing I like the most is that you can adjust the Studio Sound level after it’s been applied. Simply move the slider up and down to set the level you like the most: 

descript studio sound is excellent
Descript includes a really powerful Studio Sound tool

I personally think it sounds best when it’s sitting at about 70-80%. That being said, I have a quiet recording area at home so you might get better results at 90-100%. 

Here’s a demo of a normal recording vs. studio sound recording:

Normal:

The microphone is the Audio Technica AT-2040

Studio sound:


my descript studio sound setup
Studio Sound Settings

My Studio Sound Settings in Descript – Which do you like best?

Descript Alternatives

Right now I feel like there are two types of Descript alternatives. 

The first one is an audio editor like Audacity or Fission. Both are excellent but don’t offer audio-to-text editing. Something I can’t NOT use anymore. But, both options are much slower than what Descript offers.

Fission vs Audacity for audio editing

And the second category is a Podcast hosting service with audio editing functionality built in. Something like Podcastle or Fusebox. These are great options too, but again – their primary focus is hosting, not editing, so the suite on offer is nowhere near as good as what Descript provides. 

Really, there’s no other product on the market right now that does what Descript does. I noticed ClipCut has a similar audio-to-text editing feature – but it’s clunky and still in beta. Maybe with time, it’ll get better, but for right now, I strongly recommend Descript.

Verdict – Is Descript Worth it? My honest review

There’s a lot to love about Descript. It’s awesome for Audio editing, Video Editing and Podcasts. It has a ton of ai voice editing tools and the overdub feature is really impressive. But is it worth jumping ship from something like Da Vinci Resolve or another free tool? 

I actually think it is – if your primary goal is to record audio and create show notes for Youtube or Podcasts. The automated transcription and text editing saves me hours every week. I absolutely love it.

Now that I’ve swapped to Descript, I rarely (if ever) use the timeline to edit audio. It’s been a total game charger for my personal workflow.

Descript allows you the option to quickly scan text and quickly remove errors and filler words. Traditionally this would take me hours of zooming and scrolling the timeline. I highly recommend you try Descript – even the free version and I’m sure you’ll also see how powerful it’s suite of tools is for content creators. 

Try Descript today for FREE.

Is Descript any good?

As someone who has made Podcasts for several years, I think Descript is one of the most powerful new tools for editing audio and video available. I love it.

Is it safe to use Descript?

Yes! Whilst there are many built in AI voice tools included, it’s completely up to you if you want to use them or not. Even without the AI tools, it’s still an awesome tool.

Is Descript fully free?

Yes! The free tier gives you almost everything you need to record and edit professional videos and podcasts.

Is Descript a good editing software?

It sure is! It offers both a desktop and web based editing suite. The free tier gives you everything you need to start recording professional podcasts, youtube videos & desktop recordings.

Is it possible to upload your podcast you YouTube?

Yes! Descript has direct YouTube integration, meaning once you’ve edited your audio you can click Export > And select Youtube to create a new podcast.

Can a podcast be a video?

Yes! You can now create a new Playlist in YouTube and enter an RSS feed URL and YouTube will create a free Podcast playlist for you.

Can Descript Remove Filler Words?

Yes, after you’ve recorded your audio into the timeline, select the ‘Remove filler words’ from the drop down list to remove ahhs, umms and uhhs within a few seconds.

Is Descript Good For Podcast Editing?

It’s currently my favorite tool for creating and editing podcast audio because it provides text-based editing which saves me hours every week. It also directly integrates with tools like Podbean and Buzzsprout.

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