Once we have treated our space, selected a microphone, purchased an audio interface and gear (mic stand, XLR cable, pop filter); we are ready for the recording software or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).
This simple software is what makes all of the magic possible. With it, the power is in your hands. You could create masterpieces or even Frankenstein's monster!!!
Though this seems silly and over the top, it kind of feels like it sometimes. You can record several takes of your script and splice the best parts together, making the best of them all. You can make yourself sound like a robot, a giant monster, like you are on an old fashioned radio and so much more. The world is your oyster!
With that said, the number one basic purpose of the DAW is to capture and record your audio, apply some basic editing to it and export it for your audition or final project
All DAWs have basic effects that you can apply, the most important being EQ, Compression and Gating or Noise Suppression. I won't get into all of this as this is a very technical topic, requiring a post in itself and most likely from an audio engineer.
Okay, so I just pick a DAW and download it?
Well you could. The main differences between each workstation is the extra bells and whistles. Some of which could make editing much simpler and quick, others have more built in sound effects that can be applied to your audio.
The most common among newer voice actors and even some professionals is Audacity. It is free to download and is fairly minimal. No bells and whistles, but gets the job done.
Most industry professionals use Adobe Audition, this is a fantastic piece of software and does everything you need and does it well and more. However, the monthly payment plan can be very costly, especially when and if you are not making much from voice over in the first place.
My top pick is Reaper. This program is quite powerful and has a lot of great tools for editing your audio and with a smooth, easy workflow. They also have a free 60 day trial, that technically doesn't expire — they offer this in good faith. However, the cost for this software is ONLY $60 (USD), so honestly it is way worth the investment and supporting this company.
Mike DelGaudio has a fantastic tutorial series for learning Reaper on his YouTube channel, Booth Junkie.