Perhaps you already have a podcast and you have decided to change your podcast format to include remote guests. Or this will be your first episode of your own show and you want to ensure its success.
It is not always possible to be in the same place at the same time as your potential podcast guests. Having the ability to record your podcast remotely with guests will greatly improve your episode scheduling efficiency, the range of guests you can invite onto your show and the variety of content that you can provide to your podcast listeners.
Recording a podcast remotely can also provide additional challenges. You do not want it to be obvious to your listeners during the podcast listening experience that you and your guests were in two different locations during the time of the recording. Inconsistencies in speaker volume for example can be unpleasant or distracting for the listening experience. The quality of your audio when recorded remotely needs to be to the same professional standard as other popular podcasts where the podcast host and guest are in the same recording studio.
In order to make sure your podcast launch will go smoothly, and that your podcast will be a success and grow in listenership, you need to make sure you understand and implement the best practices of recording remotely with your guests to ensure the quality of your podcast is to a high standard.
If you are just starting a new podcast, you need to have a clear understanding of what your vision is for your show. You need to be clear on:
Once you understand and are happy with each of these, you are ready to start recording your remote podcast.
When it comes to recording your podcast remotely, there are additional considerations to account for that are not the same for in-studio/in-person recordings with your guests. The first thing you need to get right is your podcast recording equipment.
By having your equipment and surroundings correctly set up from the beginning, your entire episode will have better audio quality and you will produce a more successful podcast. Nobody wants to listen to a podcast that has poor audio. Even if you are adept with your editing skills or use a great podcast recording platform, by taking the time to test and optimise your podcast equipment before you start recording, you will see huge benefits and find it far easier to produce great episodes with remote guests.
Microphone: The most important piece of audio equipment you need is a good microphone. If you're aiming for an audio quality that your listeners will enjoy, it's a good idea to invest in a high quality microphone. The quality of the built-in microphones in laptops or other devices is improving and certainly can be used if you have no alternative. If you have the resources, an external microphone is a much better alternative if you want your audio quality to compete with that of other podcasts and for your podcast brand will appear more professional.
An XLR microphone will give you the highest sound quality. Alternatively, a USB microphone is easy to use and will upgrade the quality of your recording. You will certainly hear the difference when listening back to your audio file.
It is recommended to use a pop filter with your microphone in order to shield it from harsh "S" sounds and "P" plosives. If this isn't an option, you could try angling the microphone at a 45-degree angle and speaking off-centre into it, which should reduce the number of harsh sounds picked up by the microphone. As with all your podcast equipment, it is a good idea to practice and do some test run’s first. The more comfortable you are with your microphone technique before recording your first podcast episode, the more comfortable you will feel and the better you will sound to your podcast listeners.
The same can be said for your potential guests. If your podcast guests do not typically appear on other shows, or are not familiar with recording techniques for better audio quality, you can do some tests pre-recording the entire episode. It is important to do at least a short sound check before you start to record a full episode in order to guarantee the quality of the audio for your guests. Any issues that arise are best resolved before recording, to avoid the need to redo the entire episode should the audio be unsatisfactory.
Your podcast guest may also not have access to an external microphone of their own. To enhance the quality of their audio recordings, you can explore recording features like "noise cancellation" that can be found on recording platforms or editing software.
While noise cancelling features can greatly improve the audio quality, it is best to try to have a high standard from the beginning without relying heavily on post-editing. It is not always possible to remove all background noises from audio files. Perhaps you could explore the possibility to mail recording equipment to your guest for the recording and then have them send it back after they are done. This will ensure the highest quality in you remote recording.
Headphones: It is important that both you and your guests wear headphones during the podcast recording process. This will help prevent your microphone from picking up feedback. You certainly do not want feedback or echoes on your audio file.
When you record your short test audio before recording the full podcast episode you will be able to identify if echo is an issue. Additionally, while the episode recording is in progress, you will be able to better gauge the quality of the recording, such as if there is any ambient noise or if someone is too close to their microphone. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments during the recording rather than waiting until the editing stage and attempting to fix any audio issues in post.
It is not necessary to buy a new set of headphones for the purpose of recording audio. Unlike having a high-quality microphone, the quality of your existing earphones/earbuds/headphones won't have much of an impact on the final result.
Recording Technique: Using a microphone may seem intuitive, but there are techniques you should familiarise yourself with before you record your first episode. It is easy to make minor errors which can adversely affect the audio and listening experience. Your audience do not want to hear muffled or plosive noises, or overly sibilant "S" sounds.
Ensure you and your guests are familiar with their mics before the remote interview. Be mindful of which direction your particular microphone receives sound and speak directly into the correct side of it. You should be aware of the placement of your mouth. Aim to keep it 2" - 4" away from the microphone. To prevent a dry throat while speaking, it might be helpful to have something warm to drink close by.
Before recording a podcast episode, it is beneficial to provide tips and guidance to any guests who are unfamiliar with microphone use and podcast recording. Doing so can help ensure the audio quality is clear and professional, and can make the guest feel more at ease. In the end, this will improve the overall sound of the podcast audio and help you produce a successful podcast.
While you or your guests do not need a fancy recording studio in your home to remotely record your podcast, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration when deciding where to set up your equipment for your recording.
First you should find a space in your home that is free from any background sound or where you could be disrupted by others. When you have identified a suitable space, you should evaluate the acoustics of the area. It is not necessary to have a soundproof room to produce and launch a remote podcast but try to make sure the room has minimal echo and reverberation, as this can lead to a poor quality recording. If you're able to, try to find a room that has carpet or soft furnishings like couches or curtains. This will help to absorb sound and it will help reduce echoes.
Keep away from any machinery or appliances that could be heard in the background, such as fridges, and make sure to turn off any electrical appliances like fans when possible. To assess the background noises, begin by recording and then be still for a few moments. Afterwards, listen to the playback to identify any sounds that have been caught.
Finally, make sure you have enough space to fit all of the recording equipment into the room. Good lighting should also be considered if you want to ensure a comfortable and sustainably long-term work space. If you are considering recording video as well as audio, ensuring the room is well lit becomes even more important.
By following these steps, you can easily find the perfect recording spot for your home studio. You can send these guidelines to your podcast guests also to help them find a place to ensure their audio is also to a high recording standard.
For remote podcast recordings that have an interview format, selecting the right recording platform will have a huge impact on the overall quality of your episodes and thus the success of your show.
We have put together a list of the Top 10 Podcast Recording Platforms. Take a look and find the one that works best for you.
For remote recordings, it is recommended to use a web-based recording platform.
When recording remotely, a major factor you need to consider to ensure your audio quality is not diminished is the potential effect of your or your guest’s internet connection.
Using a recording platform that uses Double Ender Recording is a good solution to this potential problem.
Double Ender Recording will save the audio that is captured locally from your microphone directly onto to your device, rather than saving the audio recording that is registered by the online recording platform. By recording on personal device, the audio files will not have any disruptions caused by internet reliability issues, such as lag, poor sound quality or unexpected loss of connection.
It also means that each audio file (both you and your guests files) are saved separately. This makes it far easier when it comes to editing the audio afterwards.
Each of these reasons makes it the optimal choice for remote recordings in order to achieve the highest audio quality.
Online platforms that don't incorporate double-ender recording, like Zoom, need a secure internet connection to maintain quality audio. It is far easier if you are not dependent on your or your guests’ internet connection. Any distortions on audio that arise from poor connectivity will be in the final audio file.
Using software that isn't web-based to set up double-ender recording for remote recordings is doable, but it is more difficult.
Your guest would need to have recording software like Audacity installed on their computer. You and your guests will both have your local recording software open on your computer. Your communication will take place in a separate app such as Zoom or Skype, with the use of headphones, but your audio will be picked up and recorded by the recording software.
Afterward, your guest will share their own audio file. Watch out for the file size as this can be challenging to share. The two audio files will then be merged during the audio editing stage.
We believe that a web-based platform with double-ender recording is much simpler for remote recordings. All files are accessible on the platform and the start and end of the recordings are already synced.
When selecting a platform for remote recording, one important factor to consider is that the files are saved to the cloud, thus reducing the risk of any potential file loss. The most reliable way of doing this is via continuous uploads, which transfer the files to the cloud in real-time as the recording is happening. If the WIFI connection is strong, then this should ensure that all files are 100% uploaded within seconds of the recording ending. Even if there is a lag with the continuous upload, your files will be locally stored on your device and will continue to upload to cloud once the recording finishes and you keep the recording platform open in your browser.
You may choose to produce and launch a video podcast that is recorded remotely.
There are a lot of advantages to video podcasting that you can check out here in our Launch a Video Podcast for Your Business blog post.
You need to make sure that the recording platform you choose to you will record video as well as audio.
Recording video along with your podcast, even if the podcast you launch is audio-only, can have many benefits. It facilitates a more natural flow to the conversation with your guests by enabling each of you to see each other's facial expressions and body language.
Again, even if you do not release video podcasts and all of your podcast episodes are audio only, recording video will provide you with additional marketing options that you can incorporate into your podcast launch strategy and ongoing marketing plans. Using snippets of the video recording from the podcast can be used as short form video content to market to your listeners. This can generate buzz for an upcoming episode release, expand your reach across different social media platforms and grow your listenership and podcast downloads. Most online recording platforms will facilitate video.
Sometimes guests can be nervous about recording an episode. Perhaps this is their first time being a podcast guest and they don’t know what to expect. Try to put them at ease before you start recording. When you are recording remotely with your guests, this can be more difficult. If you were both meeting face to face to record the episode together in person, it can be easier to pick up on these nerves and offer support. It is just as important for your guests to feel at ease when you are having a remote interview.
Before the podcast session, it can be beneficial to have a call with them to explain the process and answer any worries or inquiries that they have. Once the episode recording starts, it is a good idea to have some conversational chitchat with them to help them feel at ease.
It is a good idea to send your guests a checklist with everything they will need to know prior to the recording.
This list can include information such as:
Now that you have your remote interview recorded, it is time to edit. Depending on which method or platforms you chose to use for your recording, the process for how you begin your podcast editing will differ slightly.
One of the main considerations of editing remote interviews is to try to make the audio quality seamless across each speaker. You want to try to make the voices of the speakers sound as if they were in the same space while recording. If the two speakers audio sound are vastly different, this can create an unpleasant and distracting audio experience for your listeners.
You want all audio to be at the same level. Dynamic processing can ensure that your podcast has a consistent volume. Tonal balancing can help make dialogue clearer and bring cohesion to the two different speaking voices.
Having separate audio recordings/files for you and your guests simplifies this process. It makes it easier to tweak one individual's sound without impacting the other(s) and to temporarily mute inactive tracks which are not needed while the other is speaking.
Discover the Top 10 Podcast and Audio Editing Software here.
Your podcast is now ready for launch. You have your remote episode with your guest interview recorded and edited and you are happy with the final product.
Now you need a successful podcast launch strategy.
The first thing you need to do to launch your podcast is to upload it to the hosting platform of your choice.
A podcast hosting platform is where you will store and distribute your podcast’s audio files. When you have uploaded the audio file for your episode to your hosting platform, you can add the episode title, episode description, transcript etc. and schedule it to go live.
There are many hosting platforms available for you to choose. Check out our favourite podcast hosting platforms here: Top 10 Podcast Hosting Platforms.
When you have uploaded your edited audio file to your hosting platform, with your show notes, episode description and podcast artwork, it is time to get your new podcast onto the various podcast directories. These are the podcast listening apps that your audience will listen to your show, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.
If you have a launch date in mind, be sure to keep this in mind as each podcast directory requires a one-time manual setup. This can take up to two weeks for approval, so it is wise to plan ahead so you don’t miss your launch date.
When posting to major podcast directories, you will need to obtain the RSS feed of your hosting platform and submit it to each directory. You can find out more about this in Everything you need to know about Podcast RSS Feeds.
Similarly, if you plan to launch a video podcast with remote interviews to YouTube, you will need to create a channel to post YouTube video.
A successful podcast launch strategy requires you to promote and market your new podcast so that your potential listeners are aware your first episode has been released, and when each subsequent episode is released after that post-launch.
Your podcast marketing strategy is crucial for the success of your show, growing your audience and maximising your podcast download figures.
If you want to find out more successful ways to promote your podcast show, checkout our blog post about the 10 Best Podcast Marketing Strategies.
If you are interested in more information, check out our eBook How To Start an Interview Podcast.
You can always find a professional podcast production agency to manage all of this for you.