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How to Optimize Your Computer for Recording Online (5 Tips)

Discover the top 5 tips on how to optimize your computer for recording remotely online. In this video, we share the best remote recording setup for your computer and show you how to free up space, optimize recording with Riverside and more!

Overview Page


Before you start recording with remote guests, there are a few best practices you can follow to ensure you get the best quality audio and video. We're going to cover the top five most important things to do before hitting record and mention more details at the end to go the extra mile. So here's your pre-flight checklist whenever you record. Number one, close all unnecessary apps and tabs.

While you record, your computer is working to save high quality video and audio files to your local drive and upload them in real time. Having CPU or memory intensive applications open at the same time could hinder the quality of the live call and recording. So, be sure to close video and audio editing apps like Photoshop, Final Cut or Adobe Premiere. Also quit cloud service applications that use bandwidth in the background like Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive.

These might be in the menu bar on your computer and you can quit them there. Also, limit the amount of tabs you have open in your web browser. If you have dozens of tabs open, that will use your computer's RAM, or unified memory and lessen its ability to record those high quality local files. Also, check the free space on your computer. Since Riverside records high quality files locally and then uploads them to the cloud, you need to have some local storage available on your machine.


Make sure you have at least five gigabytes of free space on your computer. Here's how you can check that on a Mac or PC. On your Mac, click the Apple icon in the upper left hand corner, and then go down to 'About this Mac.' When a new window pops up, go over to 'Storage' and there you can see the available space on the SSD or hard drive of your Mac.

Again, you want at least 5 gigabytes. On a Windows PC, click 'Settings', then go to 'System Preferences' and then go over to 'Storage'. Also be sure to use a proper web browser when recording with Riverside. Riverside supports Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, so make sure you and your guests have one of those browsers installed and ready to use on the computer.

Firefox, Brave and Safari, which is the default web browser on Mac, are not currently supported. If they're unable to install those web browsers on a computer, you can also suggest the Riverside app on their tablet or mobile device and they can record from there. Also, be sure to select the right audio input and output for each participant.


When you're about to enter the Riverside Studio, you can see the mic, camera and speaker inputs here. And you can choose the proper mic, whether it's a USB microphone or even an audio interface, and the proper headphones. As always, we recommend every participant uses a pair of wired headphones when they record.

Now, even after you enter the studio and your other guests have arrived, you can see the audio input and output that everyone is using right here in the studio. Click this arrow next to someone's name and you'll see the audio input, output and video device that they're using. If you're on a Riverside Teams plan, you can actually change other guests audio input and output as the host or producer in the studio.

You can see here, you can click on an audio input or speaker and literally change your guest microphone and speaker output. Remember, just because a guest has plugged in a USB microphone, doesn't mean they selected that audio input when they entered the studio. You can also check out our videos on microphones and headphones in the video description to get more tips on those.


If you do have a guest or participant that is not using headphones, you will need to enable echo cancellation but don't enable it for everyone if all you need is one person who's not using headphones. You can enable echo cancellation per individual with this toggle right underneath their name. If you have multiple guests with background noise, maybe air conditioner units or noisy city streets, there is a noise removal for all that you can check right here in the studio.

Here's our toggle for 'Noise reduction for all', and you can enable that to eliminate some of the background noise. If you find some of your guests have low bandwidth and the live call is either stuttering or lower quality, expand this menu that says 'Poor internet affecting the flow?', and you can choose 'Low data mode for all.'

When you enable that toggle, Riverside will lower the live call quality, so everything is smoother, there's less delays and stutters, but everyone is still being recorded in high quality video and audio locally on their device. So this toggle will not affect the final quality of the video and audio files you can download from Riverside, it just helps the live call go a little smoother.


And finally, one of the best ways to get high quality video is proper lighting. The first four tips were highly technical, but if you plan to use the video content from your recording, lighting is a key element. If guests don't have their own ring or LED light, they can set up for the recording, try to have them sit facing a window, it will help illuminate their face, or they can even raise the brightness of their computer screen, which will help illuminate them just a little more. We actually have an entire video on pro lighting tips that you can check out at the link above or in the video description.

Now, if you covered those top five strategies for a great recording, here are some additional details to go the extra mile. Number one, you have to make sure you have good bandwidth during a recording. We actually have a whole video covering internet speeds and bandwidth. You can check that out at the link above, but you can check your internet [email protected]. Make sure you have at least 10 megabits as your upload speed, and typically download speeds not the problem, but you want 15 to 20 or more there.

If you have an option to connect hardwired via ethernet, you can choose that. Or if you're on wifi, try to be as close to the wifi router as possible. Again, if you wanna learn more about internet speeds and bandwidth, check out that video in the description. You also might want to check out your camera and screen share permissions on your computer.


Some computers, especially Macs, require you allow permissions for camera, mic, and screen sharing. Typically, when you visit a website that needs microphone and camera access, a little pop-up will appear and you can select 'allow' right there in the window. But if you've missed that, here's how to check to see what applications have access to the microphone and camera so you can record.

On your Mac, click the Apple icon in the top left, click 'System Preferences', and then from here, go down to 'Security and Privacy'. In this window, click the 'Privacy' tab on the far right, and then you'll see camera and microphone in addition to screen recording here as options in the left hand sidebar. Click on 'Camera' and you can see what applications have access to the camera.

If you're using Google Chrome to record, then you definitely want to have that checked. Same with microphone access. Scroll down, find Google Chrome. Make sure it's checked and screen recording is what you'll need for screen sharing in addition to closing applications and browser tabs, that may take a memory or CPU power, some browser extensions can do the same.


You can quit extensions when possible from your web browser, or you can create a new profile in your Chrome web browser with no extensions installed or enabled. If you're unsure how to do that, you can also use a second browser for your Riverside recording that doesn't have all those extensions installed.

So if you use Chrome as your main web browser, install Microsoft Edge and use Riverside there, or vice versa. Also, be mindful if you have guests using live camera effects, there are pieces of software, it might be for webcam or third party camera applications that do things like a live virtual background, or they could even apply things like filters live from the camera.

They could put a strain on the computer your guests are using. So when possible, turn off all of those live camera effects filters or virtual green screens during the call. And as always, we recommend using wired over wireless headphones for all the participants. When you use wireless headphones like AirPods, there is a slight delay, but the greater concern is now battery life.


If you're doing a long recording, let's say a live webinar to your team, those batteries may die in the middle of the recording and now that guest is gonna have to figure out how they can use their headphones or worse, they'll start using their computer speakers. And now you have that echo. Yeah, it could be a mess.

So when possible have everyone use wired headphones, even inexpensive or cheap wired headphones is better than using wireless headphones. So those are some tips on getting the best recording possible when you use Riverside. If you have any questions on what we covered, leave a comment below this video. We'd love to answer you there.

And of course, subscribe to the Riverside Channel on YouTube and hit that bell icon so you don't miss a video. We have lots of content on using video switchers, tips for starting a video, podcast, equipment recommendations, and a lot more. Thanks for tuning in. We'll catch in the next video.

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