Blog

A Comprehensive Guide to Remote Podcasting

Content

A Comprehensive Guide to Remote Podcasting

Remote Podcasting – What’s in it for You? 

For many, remote podcasting may have been a novel concept a few years ago—Lockdown, isolation, and finding unconventional solutions have changed the current landscape. Workers worldwide have been forced to shift their work to an online environment, podcasters being no exception.

Indeed, remote podcasting comes with initial learning costs and some things that can go wrong. Nonetheless, it also brings opportunities and great creative potential.

Think about it – by conducting long-distance interviews, podcasters can tap into a much larger market of potential interviewees. Remote podcasting allows guests from virtually any part of the world to take part in your podcast and enrich your show.

The convenience of such an approach will likely allow remote podcasting to remain popular even after (we return to some sense of normalcy).

While it may appear daunting at first, remote podcasting doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you are new in the world of podcasting or come with previous experience, this article will help you start strong and find the method most suitable for you and your listeners.


A Technical Note

First, there are some technical concepts that we’ll cover quickly for those new to the world of podcasting. Whether you decide to record audio or video podcasts, there are specific features that will help you understand which recording method is more suitable for you. 

Local recording – when you record locally, the recording will take place on your computer instead of over the internet. Local recordings will avoid disruptions caused by a bad internet connection and will ensure good-quality audio and video, regardless of your internet connection. 

Separate tracks – suppose that one of your guests coughs during the remote interview process or there is a distracting noise coming from one of your guests’ sides. Having separate tracks will enable you to edit such noises and prevent them from affecting the whole conversation. By having each of your guests be recorded in different channels, you’ll be able to silence any unwanted parts from a specific guest’s side without having to delete any content from the other tracks. 

Compressed files – Some recording software will compress the audio or video files into smaller files when exporting them. The compression of your recording will result in quality loss, making the podcasts sound overall less professional.  

Progressive uploading – with this feature, everyone’s track in the session will upload simultaneously while the recording is taking place. By having every member’s audio and video uploaded progressively in the background, you’ll make sure nothing gets lost if one of the members disconnects from the session before the end. Progressive uploading also makes the final upload time much shorter since the files are being uploaded during the recording.

To achieve the best quality for your podcast, you’ll want to choose a method that records local, separate tracks for every guest and delivers uncompressed audio and video files. This will create the illusion that you and your guests are all in the same room. Now, onto it– you also need good equipment.

Equipment SetUp

Studio with podcast equipment including microphones and headphones.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to help you upgrade your podcast setup should you wish to improve your work’s audio and video quality. Don’t feel like you can’t start creating podcasts if you don’t have all these gadgets!

Choosing a quiet room

Your first step is to choose an adequate room to record. Wherever you record your podcast, try to find a quiet space with minimal background noise (turn off fans and other noisy devices).

Curtains, blankets, and carpets will help you minimize echoes during your recording. If you want to record a video podcast, be mindful of the lighting in the room.

Choosing your mic

You can always record your voice on your phone, but if you want to level up, you’ll need a proper mic.

A USB mic that plugs directly into the computer will do the job recording from home. However, if you’re looking for more professional audio, an XLR mic with an audio interface will improve sound quality.

Note that XLR mics come with a connector that needs to be plugged into an audio interface, not directly into a laptop like the USB mic. Below are some of our recommendations:

  • Starter option (USB): Fifine K669 USB Mic (~$29)
  • Intermediate option (USB): Rode NT-USB Mini (~$99)
  • Professional option (XLR): Electro Voice RE320 (~$300) 
Related article: Choosing a Podcast Microphone

Your mic’s position can make a substantial difference in the final audio quality. You should have the microphone axis pointed at your mouth at approximately 10cm of distance as a rule of thumb. Additionally, incorporating a pop filter and a reflection filter to your mic will help get rid of hard plosive sounds (“p’s” and “b’s”) and echoes.

Choosing your headphones

To further isolate voices and minimize overlapping sounds, it can be helpful if both you and your guest wear headphones while recording instead of earbuds with built-in mics. 

Without headphones, your guest’s microphone might pick up your voice from the speakers when asking questions. Headphones will give you more control over the sound and make the post-production process much more manageable. Some options to consider are the following:

  • Starter option: Audio Technica ATH-M30x (~$69)
  • Intermediate option: Sennheiser HD280 Pro (~$99)
  • Professional option: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (~$150)
Related article: The 10 Best Podcast Headphones [2021 Guide]

Choosing appropriate lighting and angles

If you plan to record video podcasts, lighting plays a crucial role. If the chosen room doesn’t have proper lighting, consider adding a webcam ring light and some extra LED lights (such as these kits from Neewer or Viltrox).

Regarding the light positioning, avoid placing lights directly above or behind you. Play with the lighting sources until you find the most flattering angles for your face – the three-point lighting technique can help you with that.

The built-in camera will create a slightly distorted, upward-leaning angle in most laptops. Placing a webcam on your monitor will fix this problem while allowing for a broader view of the room.

Also, a good-quality external webcam will better process the lighting and increase the resolution of your video. Do note that cheaper webcams are very dependent on the room’s lighting to deliver a high-resolution image. Below you can find some recommendations for webcams:

  • Starter option: Logitech C270 (~$25)
  • Intermediate option: Logitech C930e (~$130)
  • Professional option: Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam (~€100)

Podcast Recording Software: Which one is Right for You?

Remote podcasting setup at home.

Deciding which recording software to use heavily depends on the podcast format you choose. Perhaps you only want to focus on audio podcasts. Or maybe you want to record remote video podcasts. How about live streaming? The required software and processes will differ depending on which features you consider most relevant for your podcast.

  • Audio podcasts will make it easy for your listeners to follow your show anytime, anywhere.
  • Video podcasts will engage your audience more in the show and communicate visual objects and other relevant information during the sessions.
  • Livestream podcasts, on the other hand, will allow you to interact in real-time with your audience and build a stronger presence on social media.

There are several platforms to consider when choosing remote podcast recording software. Let’s dive into each of these platforms:

Double-ender. A double-ender is a type of recording where each person records their audio locally on their computer or to an external device. After the interview, your guest sends you their audio file, and you can later stitch together the two ends of the conversation in the post-production process.

At this stage, you will need a more comprehensive recording software: Audacity, GarageBand, or Adobe Auditions; all feature some of the tools you need to produce a double-ender successfully.

A double-ender prevents audio compression and avoids connectivity issues affecting your interview. However, the method requires your guests to record their own side of the conversation.

Be aware; this brings increased risks: guests may not know how to record themselves, their recording may fail, or (oh no) they may forget to press the record button. 

Related article: Double-Ender Recording for Podcast Interviews with Remote Guests

Riverside.fm

The Riverside platform has some outstanding features that pose an essential advantage over platforms such as Zoom and Skype. Riverside.fm records locally, ensuring your recordings are not affected by internet connection. This is important if you are figuring out how to record a podcast from 2 locations while keeping your content high-quality. Riverside works as a remote interviewing software with separate audio and video tracks for every guest. This allows all recordings to be synchronized, making the post-production process even easier. The local recording files are RAW (i.e. uncompressed), therefore ensuring a higher quality file.

The platform also offers the option to live stream the remote recording on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch, allowing podcasters to increase their reach and build a stronger presence on social media. Although live streaming will require you to have a stable internet connection, Riverside.fm will also make a simultaneous local recording so you can distribute the session whenever you want.

Besides the above, Riverside offers many more. With this software, you can benefit from automatic podcast transcripts, a mobile remote recording app for Android and iPhone, and various helpful editing tools for customization and easy podcast polishing. 

Cleanfeed 

Simple to use and good enough to start, this free browser application will allow you to simultaneously record audio from multiple people. You need to create an account for remote recordings and send invitations to your guests. Guests will receive an email with a link to join the session. Be aware, though, Cleanfeed is not a type of double-ender since the entire recording happens live. Depending on your needs and workflow, this can be a pro or a con when looking for the best remote podcast software suited for you.

Zoom

Easy to use and convenient, this platform has become one of the most popular tools among podcasters during these past months. The advantage of Zoom is that your guest is not required to have an account or download any software. The downside of Zoom is that it won’t separate tracks for each participant and the files will be compressed, which will downgrade the quality of the recordings. **Although Zoom supports live streaming, this feature it's not optimized for the platform.

Read a complete comparison essential of Zoom and Riverside.fm.

Skype

Likewise, Skype is a popular remote recording tool due to its ease of use. Guests must have an account, but recording the call is free and has no time limit. Unfortunately, Skype is not the most reliable option for delivering or remotely recording a stable video call. The connection may drop, the audio can be fuzzy, and the video tends to blur. Similar to Zoom, the recording files will be compressed, therefore downgrading the quality of the podcast. For the sake of delivering high quality to your listeners, we would recommend avoiding Skype when possible.

Read a complete comparison of Skype and Riverside.fm.

Although these podcast remote recording platforms illustrate the available options, there is other remote recording software out there. We’ve summarized the best podcast recording software for you to make a good comparison of each. 

No matter what you choose, remember the golden rule: the best way to record a remote podcast in terms of software is achieved through (1) local recording, (2) separate tracks, and (3) uncompressed files.

Preparing for the Show

Practice – even if you have been making podcasts for long, it’s never a bad idea to practice a few interview questions or intro sentences before the show. You may also want to write them down and have them as a guide during the interview. Speak clearly and be aware of your pronunciation, as these can make a big difference for your audience. 

Prepping your guest is no less important. For example, you may want to explain how you plan to organize the episode and how the interview will fit in. You can also let them know whether you plan to edit the answers for clarity or length purposes.

When it comes to the questions asked, sharing them with your guests may incentivize them to memorize answers. If you are looking for a more informal and relaxed atmosphere, it may be wise not to share the questions directly but inform them about the topics you will discuss.

Finally, you can give your guest some practical advice: remind them to find a quiet room to sit during the call, advise them to wear headphones, and let them ask you any questions regarding the whole process. 

If you’re looking for more on how to record a podcast with a remote guest, look into our guide on interview preparation. Although, if you’re particularly interested in podcast video recording, check out how to record a remote video interview.

During the Podcast Recording 

Man recording a podcast remotely with a laptop, microphone and headphones.

The day has come, and you are all set to start your interview. Before the podcast begins, go through this checklist:

  • Start your recording on cooled-down equipment. If you are recording on your laptop, make sure you don’t start recording after a few work hours. This will minimize the chances that your laptop’s fan turns on and creates unnecessary noise during the recording.
  • Have your Wi-Fi connection as solid and consistent as possible. Test your internet speed in advance and, if needed, try moving your router closer to your recording spot.
  • Make sure to test the levels and signal flow on your microphone, phone, or other audio equipment. Once the call starts, check the levels initially and again after 5 minutes. If they are at a good level, don’t adjust them further.
  • Do not forget (!) to press record before you start your interview.
  • It’s never a bad idea to have a backup recording, just in case. You don’t have to worry about that if recording with Riverside.fm, which will always make a backup internet recording to ensure nothing gets lost.

Time to start your remote recording podcast interview! Relax and enjoy. Listen to your guest and encourage them to keep talking (“hmm,” “great point”). Remember that your list of questions should be a guide, don’t let it restrain your interviewee. Ask your questions based on their responses and follow your curiosity.

Great interviews often feel like a natural conversation, so you don’t need to fill in all the silent gaps during the talk. Letting the recording develop like a real conversation will enable your audience to engage in the show. 

If you have a live stream session, you have a unique opportunity to interact with your audience. An exciting feature of Riverside.fm is that your listeners will be able to call in via video to ask their questions during the virtual interview. Use this opportunity! Not only will this interaction increase your audience’s engagement on the podcast, but it will also serve to promote your show on social media.

When the call is coming to an end, make sure to thank your guest and your audience. Keep recording as you hang up the call, and if you can, let the recording run for some seconds of complete silence (i.e., “room tone”) at the very end to use them in transitions, patching edits, or noise reductions during the post-production.

Post-production

The post-production process is your chance to polish the recording and make it sound and look more professional. It’s in this step where you’ll notice the benefits of having local recordings and separate audio (and video) tracks.  

There are different podcast editing platforms to consider, but some of the most popular ones are Pro Tools, REAPER, Audition, Hindenburg, Audacity, and GarageBand. They all have similar features, where they let you edit, mix, and export your audio into a file that you can turn into a podcast. If you have recorded your audio with a double-ender, you will need to combine both recordings into a single cohesive episode. 

For audio-visual content, this step is up to you. Many podcasters upload the raw footage so that the audience can experience the interview exactly how it was conducted. Others make only minor changes to adjust the recording. 

An advanced recording software such as Riverside.fm can make it easier for users to go through this process, such as providing a composed internet recording for users that don't want to edit with complicated tools at all. Riverside has a Magic Editor to take your podcasts from beginning to end. It even offers a great tool that allows you to create short, shareable clips you can distribute anywhere.

No matter what you decide to do during this process, do keep things organized: name your files accordingly, sort them in structured folders and keep the raw footage safe.

Final Verdict: The Future or Back to the Studio?

Offline podcast studio.

While remote podcasting requires some adjustment, it’s well worth considering it as a valuable investment. Knowledge in the world of podcasting may as well become an important asset at times when remote working seems to be gaining widespread acceptance.

“The medium [podcasting] has firmly crossed into the mainstream,” Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research said based on the results of a 2019 study.

Remote podcasting has enormous potential, not only for podcasters but also for larger companies. We can already see podcasts used for internal communication at firms of different sizes, slowly overtaking company newsletters.

What’s more, 54% of American podcast consumers have recognized they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts. Thus, whether in our free time or during work meetings, we are likely to see podcasts become an increasingly important part of our lives. 

At Riverside.fm, we believe that mastering the technique of remote recording will pay off in the years to come. We aim to make the transition easier by providing our users with the necessary tools and a fully equipped remote recording studio to create high-quality content on a single platform.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highly curated content, case studies, Riverside updates, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles

10

min read

Top Podcast Companies in Podcast Production & Software (2022)

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

13

min read

10 Best Transcription Services for Accurate Digital Transcribing

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

12

min read

The 7 Best Reliable Video SaaS Solutions in 2022

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.