Today, more podcasters than ever are wondering how to do remote audio recording. Should you use your phone? Is Zoom a good solution? And is there a way you can do this for free?
Recording remotely may feel more complicated, but I’ve been interviewing guests remotely for years. As the host of both Everything is Teachable and Wit & Wire (for podcasters), I’ve interviewed guests in Spain, Australia, France, and all across America from my home in New York City. And the good news is that anyone with an internet connection and a decent microphone can record remotely.
So if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, or already have one and need to adjust your typical recording plans, here are the four tools you’ll need to produce high-quality content even if you’re both in PJs in separate living rooms.
#1: Capture remote audio recording using Zencastr
Zencastr is my absolute favorite remote recording tool for podcasters. (And before you worry how expensive it might be, it’s free!)
The concept is simple: you and your guest (you can have an unlimited amount of guests depending on your plan) begin a voice call through your browser. Press record, and you’re good to go!
The great thing about Zencastr is that you don’t have to download any software. Everything is cloud-based. This means less hassle and more accessibility for you.
Another awesome thing about Zencastr is each person on the call is recorded locally, meaning separate audio tracks. It’s then uploaded into Zencastr’s server, where the host can then download each individual track and edit them and put them together. You also have the option to automatically save your files to the cloud (Google Drive or Dropbox), which I personally love.
The only part of Zencastr that I don’t use are their editing tools. We’ll talk more about that in a second. But also cool; they’re rolling out video later in 2020. So they’re definitely a company to keep your eye on.
If you’re looking for an alternative, Squadcast is another popular choice.
#2: A high-quality microphone
I think microphones are the top thing I’m consistently asked about. And for good reason! There are tons of microphones out there, at all different price points, and choosing can feel overwhelming.
As you may know, the Blue Yeti is my favorite microphone for most new podcasters. (My full writeup on microphones with links to options at any budget is here.)
The Blue Yeti is a USB condenser microphone at a reasonable price point with great audio quality. As soon as you take it out of the box, you can plug the USB into your computer and start recording.
“Does my guest need a microphone?”
Great question. As long as they have headphones with a microphone – like Apple earbuds – they should be ok. Of course it would be wonderful if they also have a high-quality microphone, but most listeners will forgive their OK audio as long as your host audio is sharp.
#3: Everyone needs headphones
Headphones are a must for both you and your guest.
Without headphones, your microphone will pick up your voice, but also your guest’s voice coming out of your computer. By wearing headphones, you’re shielding your microphone from hearing your guest. (And the same is true for your guest and their mic.)
The good news is that any headphones you already own should do the trick. If you have the option, I recommend wired headphones instead of bluetooth, but it’s only because they’re slightly more reliable. Bluetooth is technically ok.
#4: Smooth out your sound with a pop filter
A pop filter is an inexpensive sound muffler for your microphone that will make “p” sounds less harsh. (They won’t “pop” as much.) For under $20, this is a must-have accessory, no matter which microphone you choose.
Here’s a Pop Filter For Blue Yeti Microphones and another option for Blue Yeti and Any Other Microphone. (Option 2 is cheaper, but I think the arm is slightly harder to attach to your microphone. )
#5: Edit using Hindenburg
I’ve tried plenty of tools, but Hindenburg is my hands-down favorite editing tool for podcasters. Even if you’ve never edited audio in your life, Hindenburg makes it easy to get started.
- User-friendly interface for both recording and editing. (Beginner friendly!)
- Automatically levels your audio
- Easy to add in music, intros, outro
I get no referral commission for recommending Hindenburg. I just love the tool! (It’s still much cheaper than other tools, like Adobe Audition or Logic Pro at $90, one-time. And I believe it’s easier to learn, too.)
PS: Already know editing isn’t your thing? Check out our affordable podcast editing services here.