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Everything you need for a successful 4 person podcast setup

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Everything you need for a successful 4 person podcast setup

Podcasting solo is difficult enough, so the very idea of recording with 4 people can be unfathomable. Managing the logistical challenges of getting more than one person together to record is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic.

Plus, the 4 person podcast setup can be hard to perfect, that’s for sure. Luckily, Riverside.fm has got you covered. Whether you’re opting for a budget podcasting setup or a high-value one, Riverside has perfected remote podcasting. With Riverside, each of your participants is recorded locally in full HD, so you don’t have to worry about a dodgy internet connection getting in your way. Your guests can join from wherever they are and you’ll get a crystal clear recording every single time. Basically, recording a 4 person podcast with Riverside is a complete breeze. Thank us later.

TL;DR 

  • Podcasting setup directly influences the production quality of your podcast 
  • Podcast Essential Equipment: Microphone, Headphones, and Camera. 
  • Riverside is the only way to record your remote podcast, trust us. 

Why it’s important to think about your podcasting setup

With all the creative, technical, and logistical hoops you’ve got to jump through to produce a podcast, fine-tuning your podcasting setup is probably your last priority. 

However, as many of us podcasters come to realize, your setup is intimately linked to audio quality, workflow, and realizing your creative vision. 

For podcasters who are recording with four or more guests, thinking about your 4 person setup is essential. If you’re recording on location, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right equipment for the right amount of people. 

And if you’re recording with remote guests, you’ll need to get your hands on a remote recording software that actually works. Not to mention briefing each of your participants before you start recording. Getting the best 4 person podcast setup together isn’t impossible, it just takes some work. 

Ready to dive into creating a 4 person podcast setup? Start with this video and then read on for all you ned to know.

What are the different types of podcasts?

Your podcast can be anything you want it to be, that’s the joy of it. Typically, though, you’ll find a mix of one of these three standard podcasting formulas: 

The storytelling podcast, a one-person show – podcasting on your own

Some podcasters prefer to go solo. You’re in total control of all elements and can record at your own pace wherever you want to. You can indulge your creative whims, and experiment without having to negotiate with others. It also means you can properly invest in your equipment because you won’t have to factor in catering for a number of participants. 

The single host interview show – podcasting with a guest

The classic one-on-one interview format is foolproof. Whether you’re opting for a Q&A or an open discussion, the ability to bounce off the other person often makes for an engaging and dynamic podcast. 

Recording with one guest does necessitate some forward-thinking, though. And you’ll have to ensure your podcasting setup accommodates you both. 

The multi-host talk show, or multiple guests at once – podcasting with others

As they say, the more the merrier! And for some, the same applies when recording a podcast. Whether you share the spotlight with multiple co-hosts or choose to include a number of guests, this is a great way to platform loads of different characters, voices, and perspectives. 

4 people podcasts achieve a nice balance between guests and hosts - especially if you’re the only permanent fixture. You can include a diverse range of guests, reach wider audiences, and encourage organic conversation between the participants. Obviously, the more people you’re recording with, the more work you’ve got to put in - sorting out everybody’s podcasting setup and ensuring you get the recording you want. 

What equipment do I need to start a podcast?

Your basic podcasting setup can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The equipment you need will depend on your budget, preference, and recording space. Whilst some podcasters will want all the bells and whistles, one thing is for sure, it’s essential you have the following three things: 

Podcast microphones

A quality microphone is absolutely indispensable in the podcasting world. This is one of the keys to capturing the studio-quality audio that takes your podcast from amateur to professional. 

To find the perfect mic for your setup, read our guide. There’s something for everyone and every budget. 

Podcast cameras

In the case of video podcasting, it’s not just about sounding good, it’s about looking good. If you’ve got a tight budget, you can stick with the in-built webcam on your computer. If you’ve got a little more to spend, think about investing in an external webcam or even a DSLR. 

Find a podcast camera that captures you in the best light with our guide

Headphones

It would be easy to overlook headphones when it comes to essential podcast equipment. You might feel they’re an unnecessary expense, or simply don’t add anything. In reality, headphones help you monitor your audio properly, enable you to live mix and are also extremely helpful during post-production.

If you’re struggling with where to start, read our guide to finding the best podcasting headphones.  

How do you record a podcast with multiple people?

It can feel like trying to get the stars to align when you’re trying to get a big group of people together to record a podcast. It can even feel impossible to gather everyone in a single room (or Riverside studio) at the same time. 

First things first, you’ve got to get the recording date in everybody’s diary. A good tip is to double-check timings, especially when you’ve got guests across different time zones. 

How do I interview guests remotely?

In a COVID-19 world, this is the first question most podcasters are asking themselves. Before Riverside.fm, recording a podcast remotely was a whole performance. And often, even after investing an immense amount of time and effort, you’d be left with a sub-par recording. 

Watch this in-depth comparison between Zoom and Riverside.fm or read about how to record a podcast with Zoom and some other alternatives

The best remote podcast recording software

Whilst Zoom and Skype might claim to offer a seamless solution to remote podcasting, they really have nothing on Riverside.fm. Here’s why. 

Why Riverside.fm is the best remote podcasting software (in our not-at-all biased opinion)

  • Each participant is recorded locally in full HD, so every single one of you will look and sound your best. 
  • Local recording means bad internet connection has no impact. Unlike Zoom or Skype, dodgy Wifi won’t ruin your recording. 
  • Each guest is recorded on a separate track for more flexibility when you’re editing. 
  • Automatic progressive upload saves you time and minimizes risk of data-loss. Each participant’s track is progressively uploaded during your recording, this means you won’t be waiting around when you finish up, and protects you against data loss. 
  • Browser-based with no need to make an account. Riverside.fm is browser-based, so you don’t need to download a specific application. It’s even easier for your guests. All they have to do is follow a link, no need to sign up.  
  • Easy to use and intuitive workflow. Riverside.fm is designed with the user in mind. It’s simple, straightforward, but super effective for high-production value podcasts. 
  • Producer and audience mode that are automatically excluded from your recording. Your production team can live mix and interact with you and your guests without being recorded. And if you want to include a live audience, they can watch you record but their audio will be automatically excluded. 
  • Affordable subscription model starting for free or paid plans begin at $15/month.
  • Magic Editor cuts down post-production time. Riverside’s Magic Editor makes getting your podcast publication-ready quick and easy. 
  • Automatic Transcription helps you make the most of your podcast. Now with automatic transcription, you’ll have a podcast transcription in no time. With a transcript, you’ll be able to repurpose your podcast content and achieve your digital marketing goals. 
  • Integrated Media Board makes live mixing super easy. Riverside’s Media Board comes preloaded with music and sound effects, and you can easily upload your own
Live Streaming capabilities

And that’s not all. Riverside.fm allows you to livestream your podcast to all the major platforms (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch), so you can reach the widest audience possible and share the live experience with your fan base. 

How to set up a 4 person podcast and record from different locations

Set the date and invite your guests 

There would be no podcast without your guests. Make sure to set the date and invite your participants. Ensure to walk everyone through how to use Riverside as well as what’s expected of them. 

Find A Quiet Place.

As far as possible, find yourself a quiet space away from unwanted background noise. Though Riverside records in full HD, optimizing your recording space is on you. 

Prepare Your Gear and put the microphone in the right place

Set up your podcast equipment, ensure everything is hooked up correctly, and do a quick soundcheck. Mic positioning can have a huge impact on your audio and it’s not hard to adjust your mic placement. 

Read about how to fine-tune your mic setup in our guide 

Set Up Your podcast recording Software - Riverside.fm

  1. Login to your Riverside.fm account or if you’re a newbie, create an account. 
  2. Create a New Studio and if you’ve set the date already, share the studio link with your participants and, if relevant, your production team. 
  3. On the day, enter your recording studio and check your equipment is all correct. 

Send your guests an invite link 

There wouldn’t be a podcast without your guests! If you haven’t already, share the invite link with your participants. For the best performance, encourage your guests to open the link using Google Chrome. 

Start Recording

Once everyone has joined the link and is ready to go, lean in, and start recording. Enjoy it. 

Bonus tip: How to host a 4 person podcast 

Hosting a 4 person podcast is no easy feat. You’ve got to keep the ball rolling, keep everything under control, and ensure you achieve a good balance between each of your guests. 

Choose your guests carefully

Try to choose a diverse range of guests with differing backgrounds, expertise and opinions. This is the best way to ensure you’ll get a dynamic and interesting podcast episode out of your three participants. 

Do your research: know and understand your guests

As the host, it’s your job to get the best out of your podcast guests. Obviously it’s not always possible to have a close personal relationship with the people you invite, so make sure to read up on your guests and get to know a bit about their backgrounds. 

Knowing a bit about your guests, what they do, what they believe etc. will help you to ask them engaging questions and stimulate interesting discussion. Plus, it’s always good to be able to break the ice and make your guests feel at ease. 

Plan your episode effectively 

Unfortunately it’s not (usually) enough to simply get your guests together and hope for the best. Planning a loose structure for your episode will help you balance the discussion, ensure everyone gets to say their bit, and will make for a more engaging podcast. 

This is also a great way to make your guests feel more prepared. Once you’ve thought of a vague structure, you can send it to your participants so they can mull over the talking points ahead of time. 

Don’t be afraid to guide your guests 

You’re the host, so don’t be afraid to show it. If one guest is rambling on or another hasn’t contributed enough, don’t hesitate to give some pointers or words of encouragement. 

Balance the discussion 

You invited each of your guests for a reason, make sure to draw on each of them equally. Obviously, if you’ve invited each guest for a specific segment, things will work slightly differently. But if you’re opting for a panel discussion type setup, it’s crucial to make sure each guest gets approximately the same amount of air time. 

Bonus tip: How to get the best recording from your guest

Not every guest will have recorded a podcast before and even those who are well-seasoned podcasters may suffer from stage-fright on the day. 

Make your guest feel at ease by preparing them 

Preparation combats nerves very effectively. Make sure your guest knows exactly what they’re doing, when. It also often helps to give them an overview of the episode, whether that’s the discussion topic or the general structure. This will help your guests prepare for the recording and probably alleviate their stress too. 

Encourage your guest to wear headphones

As far as possible, encourage your guests to wear headphones. This will help their mic positioning and improve their audio quality. If they don’t have an adequate pair on hand, you might consider shipping them some headphones (although this obviously adds to your production cost). 

Encourage your guest to record in an ideal location

Explain to your guest what constitutes a suitable location for recording a podcast. Don’t forget, they may genuinely be completely clueless. 

Record your remote podcast using Riverside.fm

Recording your remote podcast with Riverside.fm will make your life a whole lot easier, trust us. You won’t have to worry about how strong your guest’s wifi is, about processing time or complicated workflows. You and your guests can just do what you do best, record your podcast. Riverside has got you covered. 

What To Do When You’re Done Recording Your 4 Person Podcast

​Editing Your Podcast

When you’re done recording with your guests, you can download your recording files and upload them into an editing suite such as Adobe Audition or Garageband. Or you can make your life easier, and use Riverside’s Magic Editor. 

Automate Editing using Riverside’s Magic Editor

Riverside’s Magic Editor cuts the hassle and makes editing your recording quick and easy (for no extra cost): 

  • Automatically stitches together your participant’s separate tracks. 
  • Smart Speaker Mode analyzes your video and automatically and seamlessly switches between speakers 
  • Customize the way your video looks with frames and layouts 
  • Automatic transcription makes producing a podcast transcription a complete no-brainer

Upload your show to a podcast Hosting Software (A Place To Store The Audio Files You Create)

Once you’re happy with your final cut, download your file from Riverside.fm and upload it to your podcast hosting service. From there, you’ll be able to publish it to all major listening platforms such as Apple Podcasts. 

Read about what to consider when choosing your podcast hosting platform

Thank your guests! 

Don’t forget to extend a gesture of thanks to your guests for taking part. Plus, a great way to expose your podcast to new audiences is through your guests’ social media circles. Make sure they’re promoting your podcast like crazy. 

Remote podcasting with multiple guests FAQ:

Do you need a camera or a video for a podcast?

Not necessarily. You can opt to record a classic audio-based podcast, which for obvious reasons, makes no use of a camera at all. Adding a visual element to your podcast is a great way to make your content more dynamic and engaging, and to draw new audiences in. 

How do I set up a multi-person podcast?

  1. Come up with an episode concept or theme. Before inviting your guests, you need to think about what kind of podcast you’re going for. 
  2. Identify relevant personalities and figures who would be well-suited to your podcast
  3. Invite your top choices and work from there. Not everybody will have availability (or be willing to take part), so if you get rejections, don’t be disheartened. Work down your list until you fill up your episode. 
  4. Share your Riverside.fm link with your guests 

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