Whether you’ve been invited to a podcast as a guest or you are the host of your own show, when it comes to recording remote interviews there is A LOT that can go wrong. Glitches, bad connection, and external noises bleeding into your recording are only a few things that can happen. While there are some things outside of your control, here are some useful tips to sound the best you can.
If you are a podcast professional, you probably have the right equipment to help you minimize errors, but some aspects are not merely technical. In this post, you’ll find tips that you might have not considered before to make your remote recording even better! And for those who are new to the podcasting world, welcome. We’ve got your back to make your first-ever remote recording easy, smooth, and as high quality as possible.
Don’t rely too heavily on editing
Yes, editors are magicians but there is only so much they can do with a glitchy audio, a dog barking in the back, or an almost indecipherable gibberish. Don’t make the common mistake of not doing your prep work and leaving all the hard work to the production of the show.
If you are looking for more info on each step of the podcasting process visit our post: Tools for Every Step of Professional Podcast Production
Your editing team will much appreciate it if your recording is as clean as possible. Plus, you won’t have to worry (as much) about technical problems and circumstantial issues arising. Instead, you can focus on your topic and give a great interview. I promise everything will go much more smoothly if you consider these next tips to sound the best you can and make time in your agenda to get set and ready.
Look for a quiet place
This one is pretty obvious but we are not only talking about shutting your bedroom door. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure an uninterrupted hour for your podcast in a place that makes your recording sound as crisp and clear as possible. Check out these tips to sound the best you can:
When you choose the room you’ll be recording in, make sure it doesn’t produce echo or reverberation when you talk. Usually, rooms that are completely empty will make you sound echoey and affect the recording. You really don’t want to sound as if you were recording in a bathroom or a cave.
Choose a furnished room that’s far from outside noises. It’s also a good idea to avoid rooms with humming appliances like the AC, a washing machine, or the refrigerator. Some people recommend recording in your closet as clothes mitigate echo. But if your podcast interview includes video, we don’t think that’s a good idea.
Other useful tips to ensure a quiet time are to let your family or roomies know you will be recording. Put up a “Recording. Please don’t knock” sign on your door or even on your doorbell, and of course, turn off your computer and phone’s notifications. You don’t want to be interrupted mid-sentence with a loud “DING!”
Have a local recording
Let’s just get it out there, Zoom recordings are not good enough. I know it might seem easier to use the audio from your Zoom call but it is a way better idea to have both participants record themselves separately. Zoom records both audios in the same channel leaving little room for editors to cut out mistakes and work their magic. While remote audio recording software exists, you’ll probably have to pay for it and the quality won’t be as good.
Here’s how local recordings work: you have your normal zoom call but each person will have another device or software recording their voices separately. You can use everything from the most basic equipment like your phone, to an easy software like Audacity or Descript and a USB microphone. Of course, the quality can vary, it’s up to you and your budget to choose.
If it’s a one-time thing, use your phone, but if you are thinking about a long-term podcasting project, get yourself some equipment.
Visit our Quick Guide to Podcast Collaboration to learn more tips and practices on collaborating with others!
Local recordings are much easier to clean, edit and mix to create quality audio for your podcast. Plus, your audio engineer will thank you!
Use Headphones and start at the same time
There is a catch to local podcast recordings: always use headphones. It’s not only about the podcaster look (although anyone can look pretty neat in a headphone set), their purpose is to stop the other person’s audio from bleeding into your recording. Remember: You should only be recording your part of the conversation.
Before you start the interview make sure that everyone has started their local recording, and clap to ensure easy synch when editing. It’s also a good idea to record the Zoom call just to have it as a backup if anything goes wrong.
Avoid glitches, jumps, and other sounds
There are many reasons why you might get a glitchy recording of your voice, follow these tips to sound the best you can:
Slow internet connection can really ruin any remote recording. There is nothing worse than the robot voice followed by a complete disconnection. Make sure you pick the best spot to have a strong internet connection. If your podcast interview will only use audio, turn your video off for a smoother call.
Another reason for jumpy audio involves your physical separation from your microphone. If you speak too closely the audio will get distorted, we’ll hear your mouth and breathing noises and your p’s and t’s will pop too loud. To avoid these annoying sounds keep a good fist-length from your microphone.
Also, be sure to position yourself in a way that you won’t knock your microphone over or hit it with your hands or your headphones cord!
Handling files and sending them
Lastly, after your interview is done, you’ll probably want to send the recording to either the host of the podcast or your audio engineer. We recommend you send the file in a .WAV format to make editing easier. If the file is too heavy to email you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, or even some free tools like WeTransfer.
We also recommend not getting rid of the file until after the podcast has been released… just in case!
Now you are ready to upgrade your remote interview recordings in an easy way by following these tips to sound the best you can. But if this is still too complex for you, or you just don’t have the time, consider booking a session in a pro studio.