How to Record Separate Video Tracks in Full HD With Zoom

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Last updated:
May 25, 2021
Record separate full HD video tracks

Can you record your Zoom meeting in full HD? 

Throughout the pandemic, Zoom has gained vast popularity, quickly becoming a household name. For this reason, our first instinct when hosting a digital podcast, webinar, or whatever it is - is to use Zoom. It’s familiar, easy-to-use, and affordable - a no-brainer, right? All you and your guests have to do is download the application and you’re good to go. There is a ‘join from browser’ option, but the host of the meeting must enable this setting. 

But when it comes to recording individual participants in full HD? Unfortunately, Zoom doesn’t have this function. The host can remotely record the meeting, but not each guest individually. To note -  you can record individual audio files with Zoom, but not video. The quality of the download will be the same as what you see on your call, meaning the final outcome is completely dependent on your wifi connection. 

Plus, Zoom defaults to low resolution 640 x 360-pixel video files, unless you elect otherwise, with both audio and visual streams compressed into a single file. Zoom uses compressed lossy files - mp4 video and m4a audio - which provide a smaller file size in a trade-off for suboptimal quality. 

Finally, you will only receive your audio and video recording once you conclude your meeting. This translates to a much higher risk of losing all your files. 

Overall, given the lackluster quality and the compressed file formats that Zoom offers, your post-production capabilities are limited and your recording is likely to be punctuated by glitches, courtesy of unstable internet. 

How to record your Zoom meeting in high quality

As we’ve learned, it’s not possible to record your Zoom meeting participants, individually, in full HD. However, here’s how to do the best with what Zoom offers: 

Pre-Recording Settings: 

Step 1. Make sure you and your guests have a good set-up.
Maximizing the quality of your web-cams, lighting, and mics will vastly improve the chances of a good quality recording.

Zoom settings screenshot

Step 2. Enable HD video in Video Settings.
Go to Preference > Video and select: Enable HD.  

This should, in theory, allow you to broadcast 720p video (1080p with a Business or Enterprise account). In reality, however, there is likely to be very little difference because of Zoom’s reliance on internet connection. 

Remember: the quality of your recording also depends on each participant’s camera.

Step 3. Toggle your recording preferences to optimize the quality and scope for post-production editing.
Go to Recording Preferences > Recording and select

  • Optimize for third party video editor 
  • Record separate audio file for each participant (this allows your to work with separate audio tracks) 
  • Record during screen-sharing
zoom recording settings menu

Step 4. Choose your mic.
You can use either your computer’s internal mic or an external mic. Go to Audio Settings (find this in the arrow next to the Mute button) >Advanced and select:

  • ‘Show in-meeting option to “Turn On Original Sound” from Microphone under ‘Music and Professional Audio’ 
  • If you have a good setup, it’s recommended that you enable the High Fidelity Audio Option, which enhances the audio quality of your recording.
zoom audio settings menu

Step 5. Ensure that your and your guests’ internet connection is stable.

Of course, this is easier said than done. However, as mentioned, Zoom audio and video recording depend upon the strength of your internet, so if you do happen to lose connection or your wifi is unstable, your recording is likely to suffer.

Recording your Zoom meeting: 

Step 1. To record on Zoom, simply click the ‘Record’ button on the menu bar at the bottom of your screen.

Note: If you are interviewing someone and would like to only record their video, ensure to pin their video, otherwise the screen will cut back to you every time you speak or inadvertently make a noise.

Step 2
. Once your meeting is over, simply click the ‘Stop Recording’ button, then when you end the meeting, the mp4 and m4a files will be automatically downloaded to your computer. 


To conclude, you can do your best, but given Zoom’s reliance on the internet connection, there’s really no surefire way to control video parameters when recording your meetings. It’s also not ideal that you can’t record each participant, individually, in full HD…  

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So, you can’t record in full HD on Zoom, what are your options? 

When it comes to recording each of your participants in full HD, Zoom is underwhelming. Luckily, you have two workarounds which we’ll look at in detail: 

  1. You and your guests can each record locally (i.e. on your computer)  from your webcams using QuickTime
  2. You can use a software solution such as Riverside.fm 

Record Zoom meeting using QuickTime 

The first workaround is to use QuickTime to record your Zoom meetings. This is a good option for later editing of a Zoom session because the audio and video feed are recorded locally from each computer, rather than over the internet - preserving the maximum quality.

Advantages: 

  • This option allows each participant to record themselves at their computer and camera’s native resolution, instead of being limited by Zoom’s low functionality. This preserves as much quality as possible.
     
  • Recording locally means the meeting recording will not be affected by internet drop out, buffering, or any other auditory or visual glitches.

  • QuickTime is included with Mac, so there is no need to install any additional software or pay for third-party services.

  • Individual recordings at a high resolution mean greater scope for post-production editing and cutting. 


Disadvantages: 

  • Using QuickTime and Zoom simultaneously is intense for your computer and could result in a slower processing time or worse, a crash.

  • Using QuickTime to record your meeting makes it each participant’s responsibility to manually record, save and upload their recording. This is less than desirable for you and your guests - it’s on them to make sure it’s all working smoothly and you may have to wait around for all the recordings.
     
  • Each person must have enough space on their computer to save their QuickTime recording.

How to Record Your Zoom Meeting Using QuickTime: 

Note: because each participant will have to do this locally (i.e. by themselves on their computer) ensure that you’ve instructed them clearly on how to set up their QuickTime recording before you begin. 

Step 1. Open QuickTime player, choose File > New Movie Recording 

quicktime setup menu

Step 2. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the Record button and choose the camera and microphone that you want to use.

Step 3. In the same place, change the quality setting to Maximum ( 1280 x 720, 30fps ProRes 422. Mov file)

quicktime settings menu camera, microphone, quality

Step 4. Once your Zoom meeting is over, each participant needs to click ‘Stop’ in the menu bar or press ‘command + control + escape’ to end the recording. 

This option is not exactly ideal because you, as the host, have no control over the individual recordings! You can only hope that each of your participants remembers to record, save and send you their recording. 

How to record in full HD using Riverside.fm

The second workaround is to abandon Zoom altogether in favor of a software solution such as Riverside. Opting for Riverside will eliminate the hassle of using multiple applications and worrying about suboptimal quality, meaning you can concentrate on getting the best out of your session. 

Tip: Read a full comparison of Riverside.fm and Zoom

Advantages:

  • Riverside allows you to record separate audio and video files in full HD for each participant! Separate files mean enhanced editing capabilities. You can edit out disruptive noises or interruptions and cut clips together as you see fit.
  • Riverside functions as a double-ender, meaning it records audio and video directly from the source, just like QuickTime, but then additionally uploads it automatically to the cloud.
  • Riverside uploads progressively, meaning each file is being uploaded automatically as they are being recorded. Combined with an automatic backup for loss of connection, Riverside minimizes any risk of losing your precious data. You can track the progress and monitor the size of each upload throughout your session.
  • Like QuickTime, local recording means that there is no reliance on the internet, meaning even if your connection drops, your recording is safe.
  • Riverside’s local video and audio recordings are always of the highest quality, the only constraint is your equipment. 
  • All Riverside’s local recording files are ‘raw’ (uncompressed), meaning you will never lose quality. Audio is recorded as a WAV file. Video quality can go up to 4k (depending on what your camera supports). 
  • You can optimize your recording settings by changing the recording resolution or changing the studio mode. You can adjust audio levels instantaneously throughout your recording.
  • If you’ve got a producer on your team, bring them onto your session in ‘Producer Mode’ - this allows them to control the show without being recorded and to communicate with each participant without their interventions being seen or heard!
  • An optimized guest experience. Riverside is easy to use - there is no need to download any additional applications or plugins, as it is browser-based. One-click on a URL and you’re in.
  • Just like in Zoom, you can also share your screen and this is recorded as a separate video track, should you want to include it in your final edit.

 Disadvantages: 

  • Riverside is optimized for Google Chrome, meaning some participants may have to download the Chrome application.

How to record using Riverside

Step 1. On your Riverside dashboard, click ‘Create a New Studio’ and give it a title. If you are doing a live broadcast enable Live Call In.

Step 2. Enable ‘Record Separate HD Audio Tracks’ and ‘Record Separate HD Video Tracks’

Step 3. You will then be taken to your Green Room. Here, you can set your preferences for your mic, camera, and speakers. When you’re happy, click ‘Join Studio’. Here you can also choose to join as a producer, and your audio and video will not be recorded. 

Step 4.
Once you’re on the show, you can invite your participants either by clicking ‘copy link and sending it to your participants or ‘invite by email’ and inputting each person’s email address. You’ll find both of these buttons on the right-hand side.

Step 5. Once your guests have joined your session, you can start recording. Do so by clicking the big red ‘record’ button which you’ll find at the bottom of your screen.

Your Guest’s Workflow with Riverside

As outlined above, once you’ve joined the session you’ll have the option to send the invitation to your guests. This is how your guests join your session:

Step 1. Once you’ve sent your guest the invite, there is no need to download any additional software or sign up, all they have to do is click the link. Note: ensure your guest is using Google Chrome.

Step 2. Once your guest follows the invite link, they’ll find themselves in the Green Room. Here, they can check their audio and video, and set their display name.

Step 3. Once they’re happy your guest can click ‘Join the Show’ to enter your session.

That's it. Super easy, right? Once your session is over ensure your guest leaves their tab open a little longer so that their upload can be completed.

Final Thoughts

So what’s the best option for recording each of your podcast, webinar, or conference participants in full HD? 

Whilst a great communication interface, Zoom’s recording function just doesn’t hold up against local recordings. Unfortunately, Zoom’s reliance on internet connection makes its recordings vulnerable to interference or even data loss.

Local recording via QuickTime is a solution that reaps high-quality results. Although QuickTime recording means the onus lies with your participants to ensure it’s all working correctly.

Meanwhile, a software solution like Riverside represents a convenient, professional, and worry-free option. But don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself with our free trial! 

Ready to start recording? Get started with Riverside.fm. Record 60 minutes for free, no credit card required.

60 COMPLETELY FREE MINUTES, NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED

Get full access to all of the features and record 60 minutes for free.

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How to Record Separate Video Tracks in Full HD With Zoom

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Have you ever wondered if you can record each of your Zoom meeting participants in full HD? We have too. Whether it’s a vibrant podcast discussion or an engaging digital webinar, you want each of your guests looking and sounding their best. Spoiler: it turns out it’s just not really possible with Zoom. 

Of course, for professional-grade quality, you and all your guests could set up your own camera and microphone to record your Zoom meeting. However, it’s likely that not everyone has the right equipment on hand or sufficient space on their computer for those large audiovisual files. This also means you’ll be waiting around for everyone’s individual recordings before you can start editing. 

In this article, we’ll explain why Zoom doesn’t quite cut it and how to do the best with it anyway. Then we’ll look at two workarounds that will give you the professional quality you’ve been looking for.


Can you record your Zoom meeting in full HD? 

Throughout the pandemic, Zoom has gained vast popularity, quickly becoming a household name. For this reason, our first instinct when hosting a digital podcast, webinar, or whatever it is - is to use Zoom. It’s familiar, easy-to-use, and affordable - a no-brainer, right? All you and your guests have to do is download the application and you’re good to go. There is a ‘join from browser’ option, but the host of the meeting must enable this setting. 

But when it comes to recording individual participants in full HD? Unfortunately, Zoom doesn’t have this function. The host can remotely record the meeting, but not each guest individually. To note -  you can record individual audio files with Zoom, but not video. The quality of the download will be the same as what you see on your call, meaning the final outcome is completely dependent on your wifi connection. 

Plus, Zoom defaults to low resolution 640 x 360-pixel video files, unless you elect otherwise, with both audio and visual streams compressed into a single file. Zoom uses compressed lossy files - mp4 video and m4a audio - which provide a smaller file size in a trade-off for suboptimal quality. 

Finally, you will only receive your audio and video recording once you conclude your meeting. This translates to a much higher risk of losing all your files. 

Overall, given the lackluster quality and the compressed file formats that Zoom offers, your post-production capabilities are limited and your recording is likely to be punctuated by glitches, courtesy of unstable internet. 

How to record your Zoom meeting in high quality

As we’ve learned, it’s not possible to record your Zoom meeting participants, individually, in full HD. However, here’s how to do the best with what Zoom offers: 

Pre-Recording Settings: 

Step 1. Make sure you and your guests have a good set-up.
Maximizing the quality of your web-cams, lighting, and mics will vastly improve the chances of a good quality recording.

Zoom settings screenshot

Step 2. Enable HD video in Video Settings.
Go to Preference > Video and select: Enable HD.  

This should, in theory, allow you to broadcast 720p video (1080p with a Business or Enterprise account). In reality, however, there is likely to be very little difference because of Zoom’s reliance on internet connection. 

Remember: the quality of your recording also depends on each participant’s camera.

Step 3. Toggle your recording preferences to optimize the quality and scope for post-production editing.
Go to Recording Preferences > Recording and select

  • Optimize for third party video editor 
  • Record separate audio file for each participant (this allows your to work with separate audio tracks) 
  • Record during screen-sharing
zoom recording settings menu

Step 4. Choose your mic.
You can use either your computer’s internal mic or an external mic. Go to Audio Settings (find this in the arrow next to the Mute button) >Advanced and select:

  • ‘Show in-meeting option to “Turn On Original Sound” from Microphone under ‘Music and Professional Audio’ 
  • If you have a good setup, it’s recommended that you enable the High Fidelity Audio Option, which enhances the audio quality of your recording.
zoom audio settings menu

Step 5. Ensure that your and your guests’ internet connection is stable.

Of course, this is easier said than done. However, as mentioned, Zoom audio and video recording depend upon the strength of your internet, so if you do happen to lose connection or your wifi is unstable, your recording is likely to suffer.

Recording your Zoom meeting: 

Step 1. To record on Zoom, simply click the ‘Record’ button on the menu bar at the bottom of your screen.

Note: If you are interviewing someone and would like to only record their video, ensure to pin their video, otherwise the screen will cut back to you every time you speak or inadvertently make a noise.

Step 2
. Once your meeting is over, simply click the ‘Stop Recording’ button, then when you end the meeting, the mp4 and m4a files will be automatically downloaded to your computer. 


To conclude, you can do your best, but given Zoom’s reliance on the internet connection, there’s really no surefire way to control video parameters when recording your meetings. It’s also not ideal that you can’t record each participant, individually, in full HD…  

So, you can’t record in full HD on Zoom, what are your options? 

When it comes to recording each of your participants in full HD, Zoom is underwhelming. Luckily, you have two workarounds which we’ll look at in detail: 

  1. You and your guests can each record locally (i.e. on your computer)  from your webcams using QuickTime
  2. You can use a software solution such as Riverside.fm 

Record Zoom meeting using QuickTime 

The first workaround is to use QuickTime to record your Zoom meetings. This is a good option for later editing of a Zoom session because the audio and video feed are recorded locally from each computer, rather than over the internet - preserving the maximum quality.

Advantages: 

  • This option allows each participant to record themselves at their computer and camera’s native resolution, instead of being limited by Zoom’s low functionality. This preserves as much quality as possible.
     
  • Recording locally means the meeting recording will not be affected by internet drop out, buffering, or any other auditory or visual glitches.

  • QuickTime is included with Mac, so there is no need to install any additional software or pay for third-party services.

  • Individual recordings at a high resolution mean greater scope for post-production editing and cutting. 


Disadvantages: 

  • Using QuickTime and Zoom simultaneously is intense for your computer and could result in a slower processing time or worse, a crash.

  • Using QuickTime to record your meeting makes it each participant’s responsibility to manually record, save and upload their recording. This is less than desirable for you and your guests - it’s on them to make sure it’s all working smoothly and you may have to wait around for all the recordings.
     
  • Each person must have enough space on their computer to save their QuickTime recording.

How to Record Your Zoom Meeting Using QuickTime: 

Note: because each participant will have to do this locally (i.e. by themselves on their computer) ensure that you’ve instructed them clearly on how to set up their QuickTime recording before you begin. 

Step 1. Open QuickTime player, choose File > New Movie Recording 

quicktime setup menu

Step 2. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the Record button and choose the camera and microphone that you want to use.

Step 3. In the same place, change the quality setting to Maximum ( 1280 x 720, 30fps ProRes 422. Mov file)

quicktime settings menu camera, microphone, quality

Step 4. Once your Zoom meeting is over, each participant needs to click ‘Stop’ in the menu bar or press ‘command + control + escape’ to end the recording. 

This option is not exactly ideal because you, as the host, have no control over the individual recordings! You can only hope that each of your participants remembers to record, save and send you their recording. 

How to record in full HD using Riverside.fm

The second workaround is to abandon Zoom altogether in favor of a software solution such as Riverside. Opting for Riverside will eliminate the hassle of using multiple applications and worrying about suboptimal quality, meaning you can concentrate on getting the best out of your session. 

Tip: Read a full comparison of Riverside.fm and Zoom

Advantages:

  • Riverside allows you to record separate audio and video files in full HD for each participant! Separate files mean enhanced editing capabilities. You can edit out disruptive noises or interruptions and cut clips together as you see fit.
  • Riverside functions as a double-ender, meaning it records audio and video directly from the source, just like QuickTime, but then additionally uploads it automatically to the cloud.
  • Riverside uploads progressively, meaning each file is being uploaded automatically as they are being recorded. Combined with an automatic backup for loss of connection, Riverside minimizes any risk of losing your precious data. You can track the progress and monitor the size of each upload throughout your session.
  • Like QuickTime, local recording means that there is no reliance on the internet, meaning even if your connection drops, your recording is safe.
  • Riverside’s local video and audio recordings are always of the highest quality, the only constraint is your equipment. 
  • All Riverside’s local recording files are ‘raw’ (uncompressed), meaning you will never lose quality. Audio is recorded as a WAV file. Video quality can go up to 4k (depending on what your camera supports). 
  • You can optimize your recording settings by changing the recording resolution or changing the studio mode. You can adjust audio levels instantaneously throughout your recording.
  • If you’ve got a producer on your team, bring them onto your session in ‘Producer Mode’ - this allows them to control the show without being recorded and to communicate with each participant without their interventions being seen or heard!
  • An optimized guest experience. Riverside is easy to use - there is no need to download any additional applications or plugins, as it is browser-based. One-click on a URL and you’re in.
  • Just like in Zoom, you can also share your screen and this is recorded as a separate video track, should you want to include it in your final edit.

 Disadvantages: 

  • Riverside is optimized for Google Chrome, meaning some participants may have to download the Chrome application.

How to record using Riverside

Step 1. On your Riverside dashboard, click ‘Create a New Studio’ and give it a title. If you are doing a live broadcast enable Live Call In.

Step 2. Enable ‘Record Separate HD Audio Tracks’ and ‘Record Separate HD Video Tracks’

Step 3. You will then be taken to your Green Room. Here, you can set your preferences for your mic, camera, and speakers. When you’re happy, click ‘Join Studio’. Here you can also choose to join as a producer, and your audio and video will not be recorded. 

Step 4.
Once you’re on the show, you can invite your participants either by clicking ‘copy link and sending it to your participants or ‘invite by email’ and inputting each person’s email address. You’ll find both of these buttons on the right-hand side.

Step 5. Once your guests have joined your session, you can start recording. Do so by clicking the big red ‘record’ button which you’ll find at the bottom of your screen.

Your Guest’s Workflow with Riverside

As outlined above, once you’ve joined the session you’ll have the option to send the invitation to your guests. This is how your guests join your session:

Step 1. Once you’ve sent your guest the invite, there is no need to download any additional software or sign up, all they have to do is click the link. Note: ensure your guest is using Google Chrome.

Step 2. Once your guest follows the invite link, they’ll find themselves in the Green Room. Here, they can check their audio and video, and set their display name.

Step 3. Once they’re happy your guest can click ‘Join the Show’ to enter your session.

That's it. Super easy, right? Once your session is over ensure your guest leaves their tab open a little longer so that their upload can be completed.

Final Thoughts

So what’s the best option for recording each of your podcast, webinar, or conference participants in full HD? 

Whilst a great communication interface, Zoom’s recording function just doesn’t hold up against local recordings. Unfortunately, Zoom’s reliance on internet connection makes its recordings vulnerable to interference or even data loss.

Local recording via QuickTime is a solution that reaps high-quality results. Although QuickTime recording means the onus lies with your participants to ensure it’s all working correctly.

Meanwhile, a software solution like Riverside represents a convenient, professional, and worry-free option. But don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself with our free trial! 

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