A Comprehensive Guide to Remote Podcasting

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Last updated:
May 25, 2021
remote podcasting made easy

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 during the remote interview, one of your guests coughs 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 tracks, 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 a smaller file size when exporting it. 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 at the same time 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.

In order 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 Set-Up

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to help you upgrade your podcast set-up should you wish to improve the audio and video quality of your work. 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 if you are recording from home. However, if you’re looking for more professional audio, an XLR mic with an audio interface will deliver a stronger sound quality.

Do 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 (~€40)
  • Intermediate option (USB): Rode NT-USB Mini (~€99)
  • Professional option (XLR): Electro Voice RE320 (~€260) 
Related article: Choosing a Podcast Microphone


The position of your mic can make a substantial difference in the quality of the final audio. As a rule of thumb, you should have the microphone axis pointed at your mouth at approximately 10cm of distance. 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 will make the post-production process much easier. Some options to consider are the following:

  • Starter option: Audio Technica ATH-M30x (~€60)
  • Intermediate option: Sennheiser HD280 Pro (~€90)
  • Professional option: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (~€150)
Related article: The 10 Best Podcast Headphones [2021 Guide]


Choosing appropriate lighting and angles

If you are planning on recording 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.

In most laptops, the built-in camera will create a slightly distorted, upward-leaning angle. 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 (~€40)
  • Intermediate option: Logitech C930e (~€70)
  • Professional option: Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam (~€180)

Podcast Recording Software: Which one is Right for You?

podcast recording setup remotely

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 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 allow you to engage more your audience 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 a 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 successfully produce a double-ender.

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 important advantage over platforms such as Zoom and Skype. Riverside.fm records locally and works 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.


Cleanfeed. Simple to use and good enough to start, this free browser application will allow you to record audio from multiple people simultaneously. For remote recordings, you need to create an account 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.


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. Zoom will also record locally. 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 full comparison of Zoom and Riverside.fm.

Skype. Likewise, Skype is a popular tool due to its ease of use. Guests are required to have an account, but recording the call is free and has no time limit. Unfortunately, Skype is not the most reliable option when it comes to delivering 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 full comparison of Skype and Riverside.fm.


Although these platforms illustrate the options available in the market, there are other recording platforms out there. This article makes a good comparison of each. 

No matter what you choose, remember the golden rule: the best quality in terms of recording software is achieved through (1) local recording, (2) separate tracks, and (3) uncompressed files

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Preparing for the Show

Practice – even if you have been making podcasts for long, it’s never a bad idea to practice a few 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 things can make a big difference for your audience. 

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

When it comes to the questions that will be 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 instead, inform them about the topics that will be discussed.

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. 

During the Podcast Recording 

during the podcast recording - guest view

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 hours of work. 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 strong 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 at the very beginning 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 the 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 don’t feel the need to fill in all the silent gaps during the talk. By letting the recording develop like a real conversation, you will enable your audience to engage in the show.

If you are having a live stream session, you have a unique opportunity to interact with your audience. An interesting feature of Riverside.fm is that your listeners will be able to call in via video to ask their questions during the 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. 

If you have recorded your audio with a double-ender, you will need to combine both recordings into a single cohesive episode. 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. 

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 at all.

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 studio view

While remote podcasting requires some adjustment, it’s well worth thinking about 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. In fact, we can already see podcasts being 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. Our goal is to make the transition easier by providing our users with the necessary tools to create high-quality content in a single platform. 

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