Digital Audio Workstations & Plug Ins
When it comes to audio workstation programs, I really only recommend 2 of them.
Adobe Audition is the voice over industry standard and I really feel that it is the best option out there.
Audacity is free open source software used by many voice actors at all industry levels.
Most people who are new to voice over tend to start with Audacity and will adapt a new DAW as their skill levels and needs change.
Like everything else in voice over, I suggest exploring what feels right for you before making a choice
Adobe Audition and I go way back together. All the way back to its earliest days when it was called "Cool Edit."
Over the years countless other DAW programs have been developed. But Adobe Audition has remained the industry leader.
If you asked me to name all of the reasons why I choose this program over the others, I would probably spend an entire week just trying to get it all written down, so I will sum it all up like this.
It works best for VO. It integrates very well with other creative software. It has anything you might possibly need already built into it, and it's easy to learn how to use if you're a beginner.
There is a lot to love about Audacity.
First, you absolutely can't beat the price.
Second, nobody can deny that it is a workhorse that does a damn fine job getting voice work recorded, edited, and minimally processed just like we need it to be.
There are a truckload of features and toys that you miss out on with this software that you get gratis in Adobe, Pro Tools, Reaper, and some of the other big players in the world of DAW for VO, but that's okay. You don't need all of the toys and distractions. You really just need something that works well for you.
Reaper can a lot of power and speed to the table for a very affordable price.
The learning curve is a little steeper for this DAW, but it more than makes up for that with its flexible options for customization which can get you from first read to final audio mix MUCH faster.
Rather than a subscription model like Adobe offers, Reaper will just cost you a one time flat fee after your 60 day trial. Each additional updated version of Reaper must be purchased separately if you want to always have the latest and greatest upgrades. Otherwise, buy it once and use it forever without spending another penny... unless you count the cost additional plugins you'll want to add on for extra audio oomph.
Right now, when it comes to plugins, I'm a huge fan of RX Elements because it gives you everything you need for VO in a great package with fantastic dependability for getting you the best audio results.
While there are a few things that I like from a few other plugins, RX Elements is your best bet. And if you've got RX Elements then you don't really need to buy anything else.