How to Record a Podcast Remotely: The Ultimate Guide to Seamless Remote Podcasting
Alright, so you want to start a podcast. And because your cat isn’t the best conversationalist, you’d like some other voices to join in with you during recordings. Yep, I get it. It’s more common than you think! And it’s usually the reason 99.999% of podcasts have guests. So here’s my guide on how to record a podcast remotely.
In this digital age, distance is no longer a barrier to creating decent podcast content.
I remember the golden days of podcasting circa 2006-2015 when we grew from courier exchanging CDs of our different sides of the conversation, to having to use special hardware that could connect our phones via Bluetooth.
Then of course came Skype, and ultimately, Zoom.
But Zoom sucks for podcasting. It’s a conferencing tool.
Thankfully, bespoke remote podcasting tools now allow you to connect with guests and co-hosts from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need for face-to-face meetings or expensive travel arrangements. And with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve studio-quality recordings from the comfort of your own home. Right next to that pile of socks you’ve left gathering on your bed…
In this guide, I’ll talk you through the various aspects of remote podcasting, including software options, equipment setup, audio optimisation, interview techniques, post-production, and strategies.
The Benefits of Remote Podcasting
Remote podcasting offers a range of benefits that can greatly enhance your podcasting experience.
Here are some of the key advantages for you to suck down like a delicious seasonal cup of pumpkin-spice-soy-vanilla-knowledge-latte:
Flexibility and convenience
One of the biggest advantages of remote podcasting is the flexibility it provides. You can schedule interviews at a time that suits both you and your guests, without worrying about conflicting schedules or time zone differences.
Guest on the other side of the world?
Not a problem, cobber!
Use tools like Calendly to schedule, or if you’re using Captivate, you can use their own built in tool!
Book in a time that works for them, even if that means you have to secretly be in your pyjama bottoms. They’ll never be able to see them!
Remote podcasting also eliminates the need for physical travel, saving you time and money. Yay! You love saving money because you’re a podcaster! Win!
Remote podcasting eliminates the need for expensive studio rentals. With a minimal investment in equipment and software, you can achieve professional-quality recordings without breaking the bank. This makes podcasting accessible to a wider range of creators, regardless of budget constraints.
Enhanced audio quality
Contrary to widely held and popular belief, remote podcasting can deliver pretty badass audio quality.
See my point above about the progress from Skype and Zoom to bespoke tools!
With the right software and equipment, you can achieve the kind of sound that rivals traditional studio recordings. I would know. I spent my career in them!
Remote podcasting software often includes beginner-friendly features like noise reduction, audio levelling, and echo cancellation, ensuring a polished and professional sound. I wouldn’t recommend these tools for more experienced podcasters because they can degrade the quality a little too much sometimes, but if this is your first show, have at it!
Choosing the Right Remote Podcasting Software
There are loads of tools that can handle the job of recording a podcast remotely. Selecting the right one is crucial for a seamless and productive podcasting experience. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing your software:
Reliability and stability
When it comes to remote podcasting, reliability is literally the most important consideration. Look for software that offers a stable connection, minimal latency, and robust backup systems to ensure uninterrupted recordings. Avoid software that is prone to crashes or connectivity issues (hello, Riverside! Sorry, but it’s true), as this can result in lost recordings and frustrated guests.
Audio quality and enhancement features
Opt for software that supports high-quality audio recording formats, such as WAV or FLAC, to ensure pristine sound reproduction. Look for built-in audio enhancement features like noise reduction, echo cancellation, and audio leveling, which can significantly improve the overall listening experience if you’re a total novice.
Is it easy to use?
User-friendly software is essential, especially if you’re new to remote podcasting. Look for intuitive interfaces, clear instructions, and helpful customer support to simplify the setup and recording process. A steep learning curve can hinder your productivity and dampen your enthusiasm for podcasting. I heard a story from a podcaster who was a guest on another podcast and she said there were too many boxes everywhere which confused her and made for a dreadful experience.
Compatibility and integration
Give some thought to the compatibility of the software you’re going to use, with your existing equipment and workflow. Look for software that integrates seamlessly with popular recording tools, editing software, and hosting platforms. Compatibility with multiple operating systems and devices is also important to accommodate both you and your guests’ preferences.
Price and value
While cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor, it’s important to assess the value you’re getting for your investment. Compare pricing plans, features, and customer reviews to find the software that offers the best balance between affordability and functionality for your specific needs.
Based on our research and personal experience, three standout options for remote podcasting software are Zencastr, Squadcast, and StreamYard Talk Studio. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.
Zencastr is an all-in-one podcasting platform that offers a range of features for remote podcasting. It allows you to record studio-quality audio and video, with support for up to 4K video recording and 16-bit 48k WAV audio tracks per guest. Zencastr’s post-production tools help you optimize audio quality by reducing background noise. The platform also offers AI video layouts now which can sort your social media stuff, but it’s additional cost and it’s pricey. With its reliability, stability, and extensive feature set, Zencastr is a top choice for remote podcasting. I use it. It’s not let me down more than once. And when it did, their support team helped fix it.
Squadcast is another excellent option for remote podcasting. It offers a user-friendly interface and high-quality audio recording capabilities. Squadcast’s software allows for studio-quality audio recording, with separate audio tracks for each participant. It supports remote collaboration with features like live streaming for a select audience while recording, chat, and the ability to monitor the equipment of other participants so you can ensure they’re plugged into the right microphone! Squadcast also offers progressive uploads, Dolby audio processing, and integrations with other podcasting tools. They’ve now joined forces with Descript to help with editing too!
The platform is known for its reliability and stability, making it a trusted choice for podcasters. You now need to sign up through Descript if you want to get the tool.
StreamYard Talk Studio is a powerful remote podcasting solution that offers a range of features for live streaming and recording. With StreamYard, you can add your branding elements to create a unique and professional look for your podcast. The software allows for easy live streaming to platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, as well as custom RTMPs. StreamYard offers multistreaming capabilities, enabling you to reach a wider audience across multiple platforms simultaneously. It also provides features for audience engagement, such as displaying viewer comments on screen. StreamYard now also supports local recording, allowing you to have separate video and audio tracks for post-production editing. With its user-friendly interface and extensive functionality, StreamYard is a solid choice for remote podcasting and would be especially good if you’re doing a lot of live streaming.
Riverside - ugh!
I have to issue a caution against using Riverside. Fans of the tool swear by it and the quality is very good and arguably better than the others. They also say it’s improving. But sorry, it’s just too damned unreliable. I’ve experienced too many incidents of lost audio and screwed-up recordings to be able to recommend this software.
Use at your own risk.
I sure wouldn’t.
Optimising Audio Quality for Remote Podcasting
Achieving high-quality audio is essential for a professional-sounding podcast. Here are some tips to optimize your audio quality for remote podcasting:
I can’t emphasise this one enough! Maintaining microphone technique throughout your podcast episode recordings will be a huge contributing factor to your overall sound quality. Position the microphone at a consistent distance from your mouth to ensure consistent volume levels. Avoid tapping or bumping the microphone, as it can create unwanted noise. Practice good microphone discipline and encourage your guests to do the same.
Avoiding background noise
Minimise background noise by creating a quiet recording environment and using noise reduction techniques. Close windows, doors, and curtains to reduce external noise. Use a microphone with good noise rejection capabilities, and consider using a noise gate or noise reduction plugin during post-production to further reduce background noise. I have a video you can watch where I teach you how to do that.
Wear headphones during recordings to monitor your audio and ensure that there is no echo or feedback. This will help you catch any audio issues in real-time and make adjustments as needed. Use closed-back headphones to minimise sound leakage and ensure accurate monitoring.
Even with the best recording techniques, some post-production editing may be necessary to properly clean up your audio. Use audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition to remove any remaining background noise, adjust volume levels, and apply equalization or compression to enhance the overall sound quality. Be mindful not to lazily shortcut the editing by overusing AI tools for this, as it can negatively affect the natural dynamics of the conversation. And in some cases with tools like Adobe Podcast’s AI voice tool, it can actually delete whole words.
Listeners can always hear a badly edited episode, and they’ll bail. Trust me. Data proves this.
Conducting Engaging Remote Interviews
Conducting engaging remote interviews is key to creating compelling podcast content. Here are some tips to make your remote interviews a success:
Prepare for your interviews by researching your guests and their areas of expertise. Develop a list of questions or talking points to guide the conversation. Familiarize yourself with your podcasting software’s features for inviting and managing guests, such as sending invitations, sharing guest links, and managing audio levels.
Communication and connection
Establish clear communication with your guests before the interview. Provide them with all the necessary information, including the interview date, time, and any technical requirements. Conduct a pre-interview call to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the software and equipment. Building a rapport with your guests will help create a relaxed and engaging atmosphere during the interview.
Active listening and engaging questions
Be an active listener during the interview. Show genuine interest in your guests’ stories and insights by asking engaging and relevant questions. Don’t just auto respond with throwaway words like “fascinating”. Be genuinely curious. Allow your guests to speak without interruption, and give them space to share their perspectives fully. Encourage storytelling and personal anecdotes to add depth and authenticity to the conversation.
Managing audio levels
Pay attention to audio levels throughout the interview to ensure that everyone’s voice is balanced and clear. Use your podcasting software’s audio controls to adjust guest volumes if necessary. Remind guests to speak clearly and avoid talking over each other. A well-balanced audio mix enhances the listening experience and ensures that all voices are heard.
Consider incorporating audience engagement elements into your interviews to make them interactive and inclusive. Encourage listeners to submit questions or comments in real-time through live chat or social media. Incorporate these questions into the interview to involve your audience and make them feel part of the conversation.
More tips for a Successful Remote Podcasting Experience
To ensure a successful remote podcasting experience, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
Test your setup
Before each recording or live session, conduct a thorough test of your equipment, software, and internet connection. Check the audio levels, confirm that all participants can be heard clearly, and address any technical issues promptly.
Communicate clear instructions
Provide clear instructions to your guests regarding the recording process, software usage, and technical requirements. Share any necessary links, login credentials, or guidelines well in advance to avoid any confusion or delays.
Create a backup recording
Consider recording a backup audio file in addition to using your podcasting software’s built-in recording feature. This provides an extra layer of protection in case of any unforeseen technical issues or software failures.
Be mindful of time zones
When scheduling interviews with guests from different time zones, be mindful of the time differences. Use tools like World Clock or scheduling apps that automatically convert time zones to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Edit with care
During the editing process, be mindful of any sensitive or confidential information that may have been shared during the recording. Respect your guests’ privacy by removing or editing out any content that they may not want to be made public.If in doubt, ask. To clarify, I’m not suggesting you give them editorial control. That’s a different beast. It’s your show, and only you have the right to dictate the content. But, if it’s something that could harm either of your brands, or them personally, consider removal.
Build relationships with guests
Cultivate relationships with your guests beyond the podcast interview. Follow up with a thank-you note or email after the recording. Stay connected through social media or other networking platforms to foster ongoing collaborations and opportunities.
With the rise of remote podcasting, the possibilities for creating engaging and professional podcast content are limitless. By choosing the right software, setting up a dedicated recording space, optimising audio quality, conducting engaging interviews, and implementing effective editing and post-production techniques, you can create a podcast that hooks in and inspires your audience. Embrace the world of remote podcasting and create new opportunities to connect with different types of guests, reach a global audience, and make your mark in the podcasting industry.
So what are you waiting for? Get planning.
And if you need any help with this, you know where I am!