Scheduled your first recording but have no clue how to do it? It’s easy to get lost in the jungle of remote podcasting. We chatted with podcast creators from Buffer, The Villages, and KPMG about how they do it.
This chapter digs deeper into recording a clean, high-quality episode with no, a little, or pro budgets. But before you press that red button, we want to ensure you have the right setup for you. Because you should know there is no standard formula to make your remote recording awesome.
There are a few things we want to highlight, no matter the budget. You want to:
- record locally. You don’t want to be dependent on that wifi connection.
- record separate audio tracks. Your editing self will thank you later.
- record uncompressed audio files. You want the unchanged quality.
If you pay attention to these three things, you will create the illusion that everyone is in the same room—even though you are not. So keep in mind that you can’t fix everything in post-production. The more you optimize your setting during the recording, the better the outcome.
Pssst. In the end, we added a checklist for you.
No budget (yet):
No sweat! You can still get started, create a trailer, or even a few episodes to make a case for your boss. Sometimes it’s just better to show than tell. So here’s how you can get started with no budget and still get a solid outcome. No Zoom, Teams, or Skype recording is needed. They’re just not made for it. How do I record remotely with no budget?
① Call your guest. It can be a simple phone call (or WhatsApp call if they’re in another part of the world). We like to record our episodes without seeing each other but if you prefer to see your guest, use your preferred video call tool for the connection.
② Wear headphones (and your guest, too), so the phone connection won’t be part of your recording. It can be your AirPods. That will already make a big difference.
③ You and your guest open the voice memo app on your smartphones (everyone has a phone, right?) and start recording. Hold the phone close to your face (ideally two fists away) and speak clearly for best results.
④ At the end of the conversation, press stop, save your recording and ask your guest to send their raw recording to you.
⑤ You’ll now have two tracks to stitch together, making editing easier. You’ll see.
“We do audio only, no video while recording. We do this intentionally as we want our listeners to have the same experience we have in conversation and not communicate with expressions or gestures that won’t come through in the final product.” — Hailley Griffis, Head of Public Relations @Buffer
A little budget:
How do I record remotely with a little budget?
① You can still connect via a phone call. Or: Use remote recording software like Riverside if you have several guests. Pager also has a simple built-in 🔴 REC function if you’re recording alone.
② Use a decent USB microphone that you can easily plug into your computer and make your Riverside recording to the sky.
③ You can also add a field recorder to your setup, like a Zoom H6 with Shure SM58 microphones. It’s also Tim Ferriss’ setup , so what could go wrong?
④ Buy proper headphones like the Audio Technica ATH-M50X or Beyerdynamic DT 770 to monitor your audio.
“I coach the guest to use a headset and always schedule some extra time so we can make sure to get the audio as clean as possible.” — Zane Ewton, Internal Comms @The Villages
We covered two simple ways to get high-quality recordings with almost no budget. But what if you have a bit of money to invest? How do I record remotely with a pro budget?
① Read up on what the folks from NPR have to say about audio production.
② Send your guest a standalone recorder and mic for the studio quality.
③ The go-to for a hell-of-a-lot “pro” podcasters: Shure SM7B paired with a Cloudlifter and a high-end recorder. We probably don‘t need to tell you what software and tools you need if you're at this level. 😉
④ Alternatively, have someone record it professionally — either at a studio or on-premises. We know podcast champs in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Just ask us.
👍 Always be in the same room, if possible.
👍 If not in the same room, do a so-called double-ender recording.
👍 Find yourself a quiet place and ensure your guest sits in a quiet room, too.
👍 Turn off any noises. Close any tabs and mute your phone.
👍 Have yourself and your guest mic-ed up if you can.
👍 Wear headphones. It will make a big difference.
👍 Schedule extra time to check the software on both ends before starting.
👍 Test your microphone levels (if you use an external mic).
👍 Hold the phone (or any microphone) a bit to the side.
👍 Ask a few easy questions upfront to get going.
👍 Prepare for every guest, but leave room for spontaneity.
👍 Don’t forget to press that red button before you start your interview.
👍 Save the file at the end.
Have you wrapped up your first remote recording? High five, you did it! In the next chapter, we get into podcast editing .