Remote Podcast Recording with Libsyn’s Brian Cottington

Libsyn turquoise and green background with "How to Remotely Record Your Podcast" overset next to a computer screen with smiling people wearing headphones.

In the podcasting industry, remote podcast recording is evolving very quickly, due to hardware, software, and remote recording studios constantly being developed and iterated.

Do you have a co-host for your podcast? Are you inspired to interview subject matter experts all over the world? If you are considering any situation where the podcast you’re dreaming up combines two or more voices that won’t share the same recording space, you’re going to need to know how to optimize your recording and editing processes for a remote podcast recording situation. 

 

What is Remote Podcast Recording?
Remote recording is the answer to these very frequently asked questions:

  • How do you record a phone call?
  • My guest lives in Africa and I’m in the U.S.; how do I record that conversation?
  • My co-host recently moved to a different city. We used to record at my home, now how do we record?

The goal: capture the audio of two or more people that are not in the same geographical location.

Due to a global pandemic almost everyone, from enterprises to brick-and-mortar stores, to schools to, well, you name it, has at some point ended up having to use a video conferencing platform that facilitates remote conversations, such as the ubiquitous Zoom.

Zoom video and audio conferencing allow us to remotely converse with one another all over the world, offering up simple and easy ways to record the conversations.

But Zoom is not the only solution. There are many platforms that essentially behave like Zoom but have been created specifically for podcasters or another kind of content creator,  providing high-quality recordings.

But, what are they?

 

Brian’s Take on Remote Podcast Recording

To record a remote podcast that actually sounds great, we asked Libsyn podcaster Brian Cottington what he uses. In his Remote Recording video, Brian shares the pros and cons of services and tools that just might save you a ton of work and headache.-

  • Double Enders
  • A take on Zoom 
  • Browser-based Cleanfeed
  • Streamyard 
  • Riverside
  • and Brian’s favorite VDO.Ninja, previously known as OBS Ninja.

But, regardless of which method you choose, when you are doing a remote recording, you’re going to want to follow some best practices, which also apply in many cases to recording in person.

 

3 Recording Fails to Avoid

Unstable Internet

The biggest issues when it comes to the quality of a remote recording often have to do with slow internet connectivity, especially having super-low upload speeds.

Generally speaking, most platforms can work with 5 mb up and 5 mb down, but the lower the speeds, the more potential for issues. In the western world, most urban locations can provide adequate speeds.

If you or your guest happen to live in a rural locale or outside of the western world, connectivity could become an issue.

It doesn’t matter how professional the remote recording platform is if bandwidth causes you to not be able to connect, to hear your guest, or for them to hear you.

Human Error

  • Forgetting to press “record.”
  • The equipment is not fully charged or plugged in. 
  • Not wearing headphones.
  • Not choosing the appropriate mic input.

All of the above can cause your recording to be less than optimal. Even if you have a checklist to remind yourself and your guest, there will probably be times when someone will forget something. 

Technology Fails

  • You ran out of storage space for the recording. 
  • The microphone, computer, or internet is dying in the middle of the recording.
  • The platform that you were using quit unexpectedly.
  • There was some weird snafu and your recording didn’t record or is unusable.

Yes, all of the above happens. Clearly, the more that you record remotely, the more you’ll encounter unexpected podcasting fails — and eventually, successes!

 

5 Ways to Ensure Audio Recordings Sound Fantastic

Regardless of which way you choose to facilitate your remote interview process, you want to make sure that you, as the host, sound the best that you can.

You might not have control over your guest’s sound or location as much as you would like, but you can certainly make sure that you sound the best that you can.

This means taking the necessary time to prep your studio environment. Bonus: have your guest follow these tips as well!

  1. Use a microphone (preferably a dynamic microphone)
  2. Headphones (to cut down on echoes and interference being picked up on either end of the conversation) 
  3. An audio-friendly environment: a relatively quiet space (no fans or loud appliances running,) and don’t get too close to windows. Also, note that carpeting and soft furniture/drapes/cushions are ideal for atmospheric absorption of sound.
  4. Put devices on silent to avoid a phone notification or computer notification. 
  5. Finally, mak sure that your audio is selected and turned on, and do your very best to monitor yourself so you can hear when you are on or off mic.

This should provide a recording-friendly environment and result in the quality audio you are looking for each time you record a new remote podcast episode.

The ease of recording a remote podcast opens the doors to being able to invite anyone from anywhere to your show. Remote podcast recording gives you the ability to share conversations across the world.

Jump into a world of podcasting creation not limited by who can meet you at your home studio with Brian’s help!



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