Recording a remote podcast across the world

How to Record a Podcast Remotely or Long-Distance [2022]

Remote recording allows you to book guests that would be difficult to interview in person. Remote recordings also make it easier to:

  • record video of your podcast
  • have multiple people on your podcast at one time
  • safely interview guests during periods of social distancing

This guide breaks down four ways to conduct long-distance interviews, so you can ace your next remote recording session!

CONTENTS:

Option #1. Use video conferencing software

Best for ➜ Beginner podcasters on a budget

Zoom | Free or $15 a month

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Quality: Average
  • What you need: Strong internet connection, Zoom app, podcast mic, headphones, computer or smartphone

Zoom is the easiest option because most people have already used it. It's simple to invite guests to a video call and hit record.

Record a remote podcast with Zoom

Zoom has apps for Macs, PCs, Apple iPhones, and Android. You can record up to 40 minutes for free. If you run out of time, just send a new link to your guest.

The downside is that Zoom compresses your audio, so you won't get studio-quality recordings.

Best Zoom settings for podcasters:

  • Record a separate audio file of each participant (Settings > Recording)
  • Enable "Original Sound" (Settings > Audio)
  • Turn on High-fidelity music mode
Zoom settings for podcast recordings

Turn off your video to save some bandwidth if you don't have the best internet connection or Wi-Fi.

Other video conferencing options:

WHY WE DON'T RECOMMEND SKYPE

Skype combines every person's track into one compressed, mixed-down MP4 file which makes it lower quality. Skype isn't as user-friendly as Zoom, and even with a strong internet connection, you'll still get patches of distorted sound.

Option #2. Use remote recording software

Best for ➜ Podcasters who want to record high-quality audio and video

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Quality: Studio-quality
  • What you need: Internet, software subscription, podcast mic, headphones, computer or smartphone

Remote recording platforms use local recordings to give you the highest-quality video and audio possible.

This kind of software has great reviews for functionality and is a solid option if you publish your video podcast on YouTube. Remote recording software typically uses Chrome, so your guest doesn't have to download a separate app.

Riverside.fm | $15 per month

Riverside allows you to record high-quality audio and video interviews, even if you don't have a great internet connection.

Riverside.fm remote recording solution

Riverside's plans also include bonus features like:

  • listener call-ins
  • live-stream to social media
  • video editing in the browser

Riverside has some incredible features, but we have run into a few video framerate bugs when recording some of our own podcast episodes.

SquadCast | $20 per month

SquadCast makes it easy for you to record audio and video for ten people (the podcast host and nine guests or co-hosts).

Recording a podcast episode with Squadcast

It's a bit harder than a Zoom call to set up the first time, but the sound quality is much better because you get locally recorded WAV files.

Pricing starts at $10 per month for audio-only plans, but you can upgrade to audio and video for $40 per month if you want video files as well.

Other options:

Option #3. Record phone calls through a mixer

Best for Podcasters and guests without a stable internet connection

  • Cost: Free
  • Difficulty: Very easy for the guest
  • Quality: Low
  • What you need: Strong cell signal, podcast mic, headphones, an iPhone or Android phone, 1/4" cable, an XLR mic

If your guest doesn't have Wi-Fi access or isn't tech-savvy, you can call them and record your phone call.

Recording phone call through Rodecaster Pro

Since phone networks compress your audio even more than Zoom, this option should be a last resort.

Plug your phone into your mixer, like the Rodecaster Pro, to record the phone call. Make sure both people record their audio to cover all your bcases.

Option #4. Record a double-ender

Best for ➜ Getting professional sound quality on a budget

  • Cost: Free
  • Difficulty: Very difficult
  • Quality: Studio-quality
  • What you need: Both parties need recording software, a podcast mic, headphones, and a computer.

A double-ender recording is where each person records separate audio files to their own computer using podcast editing software like Audacity or Descript.

Since these files are local recordings, you get the best audio possible. But they are challenging to set up and don't work well for video recordings.

How to set up a double-ender recording

  1. Start a Zoom or Skype call so you can hear your guest.
  2. Open your podcast editing software on both computers.
  3. Record the audio from your USB mic.
  4. Start recording on both ends.
  5. Clap to mark the time on both recordings.
  6. Finish the interview.
  7. Save the audio recordings as uncompressed WAV files.
  8. Use Dropbox or Google Drive to send the files to your editor.

Tips for recording a double-ender

Recording a double-ender is more involved than other options, but if both parties have decent equipment, you'll get studio quality every time, regardless of your internet connection.

Follow these tips to get the best results:

  • Ask everybody if they've started their recording.
  • Make sure you're own separate track.
  • Record the conversation on Zoom or Skype as a backup.
  • Ask everybody if they've started their recording (again).

Best practices for remote recordings

A little preparation on the front-end can make a big difference in the final quality of your remote interview. Follow these tips to get a great recording every time.

  • Ensure you and your guest(s) have a strong internet connection. Try to have all parties stay in one spot once they establish a strong internet connection. Avoid walking around while recording, driving, etc.
  • Ensure both parties have a quiet recording space. Pick a room away from traffic noises, humming from an AC unit or fan, etc.
  • Wear headphones or earbuds to eliminate audio bleed. Audio bleed is any unintended noise that makes it into your audio. Headphones or earbuds can go a long way toward removing bleed in your recording.
  • Minimize background noise. Apply DIY acoustic treatments to walls, or fill the room with furniture and rugs to absorb reverberant noise.
  • Use a dynamic XLR or USB microphone with a pop filter. Dynamic mics pick up less ambient sound and a smaller range of frequencies. Pop filters help minimize harsh plosives.
  • Consider booking recording time at a local recording studio. A professional studio gives you more control over your recording and access to everything you need to record a podcast.

Summary

Recording a remote podcast is an important skill for a podcaster to master.

A free tool like Zoom will work well if you're on a budget. For higher-quality sound, stick with a remote recording tool like Riverside.fm.

For the most professional results, record the call via a mixer or have each party record their own track locally via a double-ender.

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout and the co-host of Buzzcast. Have any questions about this guide? Reach out on Twitter.

FAQs

How do I record a remote podcast?

You can record a remote podcast in one of four ways, depending on your preference and the kind of equipment you and your guest have.

  1. Video conferencing software like Zoom
  2. Remote recording software (includes 4K video)
  3. Record the call via a mixer
  4. Record a double-ender

Is Zoom good for recording podcasts?

Zoom is a great, free way to record remote podcast interviews, but it compresses your audio file and reduces its overall quality. For better quality, use a remote recording tool like SquadCast or Riverside.fm.

How can I record a remote podcast for free?

There are two ways to record a remote podcast for free:

  1. Use a video conferencing tool. Zoom lets you record meetings for free for up to 40 minutes. If you run out of time, just send your guest a new link.
  2. Record a double-ender. Each party records themselves and sends the files to the podcaster for post-production.

How do you record a podcast remotely and get it right the first time?

To get a quality recording, ensure your guest has a charged computer, working equipment, a quiet recording space, and a strong internet connection. These precautions should eliminate the most common hiccups found in remote interviews.