Discover the essential tips and tools you need to record a podcast remotely in our ultimate guide. Learn how to create high-quality content from anywhere with expert insights and step-by-step instructions.
As a listener, when you hit play on your favorite podcasts, you’re hoping to get something out of it. Whether that’s to learn something new, hear a different perspective, or have a good laugh.
This all comes from the value of the content. But another key element of creating a great listener experience is the quality of audio. You may not always have it top of mind, but we can almost promise you that you’re less likely to listen to a poor-sounding podcast.
When podcasting first began, agencies, brands, and creators relied on recording studios to produce their shows. But then COVID-19 hit and recording in a studio was no longer a possibility.
So we all turned to remote recording platforms. These platforms were already around prior to the pandemic but not everyone used them. But now, I can’t think of a brand or agency that doesn’t use them.
With remote podcast recordings, brands and agencies can:
With these key benefits in mind, millions of podcasters have turned to remote recording to expand the reach of the show and feature valuable guests who cannot make it to the studio.
Keep reading to learn four popular ways to record your podcast remotely, expert tips for professional-grade audio quality, and must-have strategies for a seamless remote podcast interview.
Let’s get into it.
It’s 2023, so of course you’re not limited to ways to record your remote podcast interview. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:
Best for: Podcasters aiming for high-quality audio and video recordings.
Remote recording software provides studio-quality recordings and is particularly suitable for podcasters who publish on platforms like YouTube.
Platforms like Riverside.fm and SquadCast offer features such as live-streaming, listener call-ins, and video editing in the browser. Riverside.fm is known for its ability to deliver high-quality audio and video even with less-than-ideal internet connections, while SquadCast is ideal for podcasters with multiple guests or co-hosts.
Riverside's plans also include bonus features like:
Best for: beginner podcasters on a budget.
Zoom, available for free or at a low monthly cost starting at $12, is a popular choice for its ease of use and accessibility. All the app requires is a strong internet connection, a computer or smartphone, and, ideally, a podcast microphone and headphones.
Zoom allows you to record up to 40 minutes for free, and you can send a new link if you run out of time. However, remember that Zoom does compress audio, which may result in average recording quality.
For podcasters using Zoom, there are some recommended settings to optimize audio quality.
If you’d rather not use Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams offer similar capabilities.
Best for: podcasters and guests with unstable internet connections.
This is a straightforward solution for guests who aren't tech-savvy, requiring only a strong cell signal, a podcast microphone, headphones, an iPhone or Android phone, and some cables.
However, it's important to note that phone networks tend to compress audio significantly, resulting in lower-quality recordings. As a last resort, you can plug your phone into a mixer like the Rodecaster Pro to record phone calls, ensuring that both parties record their audio to cover all bases.
Best for: People seeking professional sound quality on a budget
This method is a bit more challenging to set up but offers studio-quality recordings. It involves each participant recording separate audio files using podcast editing software like Descript.
These local recordings deliver the best audio quality possible, but they aren't suitable for video recordings.
Here are some steps and tips for setting up a double-ender recording:
Recording a double-ender might require more effort, but it guarantees superior audio quality, even if your internet connection isn't perfect. Here are some tips to make it a smooth process:
While in many ways remote recording can be easier than recording in-studio, there are some things to consider that may not be immediately apparent.
Here are some of our expert tips to keep your remote podcast interview sounding clear and professional:
When choosing the space to record your podcast, there are a few simple, but important, things to consider.
Firstly, find a quiet space. While background noise is often unavoidable, you can do your best to prevent it by turning down the AC, closing windows, and letting others in your household or office know that you’re recording.
Ensure both you and your overseas guest have the best equipment you can get your hands on (a good mic and headset).
If you’re working with a podcast agency like Quill, in the past we’ve shipped recording equipment to guests if they don’t have a suitable setup for a high-quality recording.
And while ideally, it should be good quality gear, a good rule of thumb is that a suitable room will fare better than expensive goods.
Choosing a space that doesn’t echo or is too close to a fire station downtown will serve you well rather than investing loads of cash into high-end tech. We suggest sending your guests a brief in preparation to ensure that their room is quiet, well-lit, and without echo as well.
A stable internet connection is the backbone of a successful remote recording. Before you start, make sure both you and your guest(s) have a strong and reliable internet connection.
Encourage all parties to stay in one spot during the recording to avoid disruptions caused by wandering around, driving, or any other activities that can impact your internet connection.
Audio bleed is the enemy of podcast recording. It refers to any unintended noise that seeps into your audio. Using headphones or earbuds while recording can significantly reduce audio bleed, as they prevent the audio from your computer or speakers from interfering with the recording.
Opt for a dynamic XLR or USB microphone with a pop filter. Dynamic microphones are designed to pick up less ambient sound and a narrower range of frequencies, making them ideal for remote podcasting. Pop filters are essential for reducing harsh plosives (sounds like "p" and "b") that can disrupt your recording.
Quill Tip: Looking to level up your podcasting equipment? Check out our expert-approved guide for budget-friendly and top-of-the-line options.
Before your interview, we highly recommend sending your podcast guests a checklist that includes what to prepare for the remote interview.
This list should include the details we outlined above, like a stable internet connection, a quiet environment, and a pair of headphones and a microphone. It can also include things like a clean and well-lit background for video podcasts or business casual attire depending on the nature of your podcast.
Ultimately, outlining these things before starting the podcast interview makes the entire process run more smoothly. It also highlights a degree of professionalism on behalf of your brand and improves the relationship between you and your guests.
For Quill clients, we’ll have a producer and sound engineer that help both your podcast host and guest have the best sound quality possible.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a swanky recording studio to create hype around your podcast.
Create more content and buzz while you’re recording the interview (and get your guest to do the same) by snapping photos, recording videos, and posting interactive stories with polls and question boxes.
This adds dimension to future content that can be used across social media to get more followers, reach and expand your audience, and create hype around your podcast. You can even broadcast live on YouTube or TikTok.
Remote podcast recording is a powerful tool for brands looking to connect with their audience in a personal and engaging way. However, it's not without its challenges.
To maximize the potential of your podcast, partnering with a full-service podcast agency is a smart move. With their expertise and support, you can create a podcast that not only sounds great but also aligns seamlessly with your brand's objectives, all while saving you time and resources.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider partnering with a podcast agency:
Recording a podcast remotely has become more accessible and convenient than ever before, thanks to the wealth of technological tools and strategies at our disposal.
With the tips and techniques outlined in this ultimate guide, you are well-equipped to create high-quality podcast episodes from the comfort of your own space, whether your co-hosts or guests are miles or continents away.
Remember that the key to a successful remote podcast recording lies in careful planning, clear communication, and a commitment to delivering compelling content. Embrace the power of virtual communication platforms, invest in decent recording equipment, and pay attention to audio quality to ensure that your podcast maintains a professional and engaging edge.
If you want to learn more about remote podcast recording, chat with our team of audio experts.
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