In today’s pandemic and social distancing era, podcast producers need to get extra creative to continue recording podcasts with guests. For safety, hosts and guests these days prefer to collaborate 100% online.
Many podcasters have done remote podcast recording in the past. Because of the current situation, we are all in, it has become almost a necessity for every podcaster. However, not all podcasters are good at it. Understandably, some hosts are concerned that quality might go down. One cannot control a remote guest’s equipment and settings after all. Remote podcast recording begs the question of how to maintain the quality of a podcast overall. This is especially true when many guests will probably record from home because of social distancing rules.
As mentioned above, remote recording is not new. Many hosts have gone remote over the past several years. Most often, these hosts collaborate with guests from all over the world. Thanks to ever-developing technology, remote podcast recording does not mean lower quality. In this article, our goal is to make remote podcast recording simple for you. This post will walk you through the “what” and “how” so you can maintain high standards for your show.
Remote podcast recording involves setting up your own studio. This can be in the comfort of your home, or anywhere accessible to you. With this type of recording system, you and your co-host or guest need to have your own equipment, stable internet connections, and noise-free recording environments.
Having your own recording studio saves you from going through inconveniences like traffic and increased exposure to the virus. Also, recording podcasts remotely allows you to connect with different people as your guests anywhere globally. It also shatters the time-zone constraints between you, since you now have a 24/7 open recording window.
According to Dolby.io, remote podcast recording has many advantages compared to in-person recording. It opens the door to instant podcast editing right after the interview finishes. Because of this, podcast producers can now accommodate a more hectic schedule of recording back-to-back with various guests.
Zach Moreno, CEO and co-founder of SquadCast.fm saw that the podcasting industry became more alive and robust after the onset of the pandemic. He emphasized that hosts recorded a year’s worth of audio (around 9,000 hours) in September 2020 alone.
There are a lot of ways to record a podcast remotely. But before delving into the different setups, there are steps you need to take. Here are the three essential things you need to be aware of:
Starting without foresight can lead you astray. The first step you need to take is to know the podcast category you hope to create. Is it an interview podcast? Are you planning to have a co-host to discuss the topics with? Or are you doing solo shows and narrative podcasts such as those in dramas and documentaries?
Regardless of which of the mentioned podcast styles you choose, you have to be clear about it. Each podcast niche there has different needs and requirements. For instance, the interview type of podcast demands excellent software for remote recording.
Thus, understanding your podcasting niche needs better will help you define the proper setup, software features, and equipment to start your recording podcast remotely.
We know that remote podcast recording is not ideal. It has a lot of downsides, such as having access to the same levels of recording equipment. These issues can lead to technical problems, especially regarding audio quality.
If you want to have a co-host or guest record separately from you, you need to ensure that you both have the same audio quality. To do this, we encourage you to work with them on:
Another question that comes to mind when preparing a remote recording studio is, “What equipment do I need to record a podcast?”. Of course, the first one on the list would be the microphone.
Never use the built-in microphone on your device. You know what will happen to your audio quality if you do this. Use a dynamic microphone or a condenser microphone. Dynamic microphones are best at filtering out a lot of background noise. Condenser microphones are perfect for soundproof studios. This type of microphone picks up sounds well, especially nearby sounds. Just don’t use a condenser microphone in an open or noisy space.
For ease-of-installation, especially by your guest, it is better to opt for USB microphones. They do not perform as well as the studio-grade microphones out there, but they are better than using your device’s built-in microphone or those in your earphones.
Microphones do not capture voices alone. They can also record bursts of air as you utter different words. This can annoy your listeners. To prevent recording these plosives, install a pop filter. Most pop filters have a pole that tightens down around the mic stand. Loosen that bolt enough until you can fit it around the mic stand. Keep it loose as you adjust it to the correct position. Do not tighten the bolt down too much once you get it to the right position.
Your pop filter should stay three finger-widths away from your microphone. You should also stay three-finger widths away from the filter when speaking. This is to allow the air to disperse before the sound hits the mic.
Another useful piece of equipment when podcast recording is headphones. Headphones can give you control over the vocals and presentation style. You can hear yourself and your guest more clearly, which gives you a chance to alter your speaking voice and maintain better audio quality.
Recording without headphones can lower the quality of your audio if you don’t have a soundproof studio and a quality microphone. Headphones also prevent feedback and echoes. This will save you or your audio editor a lot of time because you won’t have to edit out these undesirable sounds.
Behind every successful podcast show are long weeks or months of preparation. This is more true when you opt for remote podcast recording. Make sure that your guest has no trouble making their authority shine through, even without a visible or physically present audience.
Do an outline of the things that you want to talk about in your podcast episode. Make sure that your subtopics apply to the primary topic. After that, curate some questions that will serve as a guide to improve your podcast’s flow.
Observe the following things to avoid that can affect your podcast’s flow:
Expect a lot of adjustments when you invite someone to be a guest on your show. Some guests are on the run, have hectic schedules, or are just not tech-savvy people.
If you encounter these types of people, interviewing over the phone might be the best option on the list. However, some phones do not allow call recording features. You can use Google Voice to pull off your interview. With this software, you can also still use your computer to start an outgoing call.
Before the interview day:
You can try integrating a mixer into the phone call. It will give you more flexibility in terms of what you can record. By using a mixer, you have the chance to input audio directly into the device rather than relying on various editing techniques later on. Just make sure that the type of mixer you will buy has the feature that lets you record audio on separate tracks.
The Internet offers a lot of ways to record a podcast with your guest remotely. You can choose from the list of widely available conferencing software applications such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
Guests won’t have to worry about learning whichever application you want to use during the interview. These platforms are easy to set up and offer built-in call recording features.
Zoom has become more popular of late, and is the most convenient for multiple participants. It is also great for podcasting because you can set the app to record separate audio files for each speaker. This makes editing a lot easier. Skype is best for beginners since it is the most straightforward application among the three. Google Hangouts limits advanced functionality to enterprise users, but it is one of the best free options for online recording.
To save time in converting the video to audio during the editing process, Zoom has the feature that allows you to have separate audio files for each speaker. Here are the steps to do this:
A double-ender is a remote recording method. The host and the remote guest or two co-hosts record audio and video locally on each participant’s end instead of over the internet.
Recording over a double-ender could eliminate the problem with connectivity using the mentioned conference software. Double-ender recording provides you with higher quality remote recordings.
Both parties who are recording should have the same equipment to record with on both ends when using a hardware double-ender locally.
If you are not comfortable using a double-ender, you may opt for a double-ender software solution to record podcasts remotely. This option also includes a real-time backup recording on your software’s cloud server that gives you additional security.
Download the files, then you can start your post-production to put everything together.
Having special software for remote podcast recording can guarantee better audio quality. It handles issues like poor internet connections. Each participant can locally record audio even though they are in different locations. Below are the top 5 best software applications for remote recording that work on both Windows and Mac:
Recording your podcast remotely can be pretty tricky since your audio quality is on the line. However, this type of recording offers a plethora of benefits. Some advantages of remote podcast recording are:
We hope that this post helped you figure out the best approach for remote recording for you. Here are the different points to remember to recap this post:
You do not have to nail down your remote recording workflow when you finish your setup. Give yourself time to practice using your studio. However, if you are still not confident in doing remote recording on your own, ask for help.
PodKick is a podcast production company that can help podcast producers record podcasts remotely from start to finish. Their services include audio editing, notes and resources, distribution, deep analytics, machine learning, and guest management.