Written by StreamYard
How To Record a Podcast Remotely (Step-By-Step Guide)
Many podcasters have been able to create the perfect home recording studio. We’re talking state-of-the-art soundproofing, cable management, mixers, and your favorite ergonomic furniture. Or at least your beloved collection of microphones! But what happens when you are on the road? Say, when you visit your parents... and you still need to record content?
In this article, we will show you how to make the best of any situation. We’ll talk about remote equipment, setup, and software and give you all the tips to keep your podcast’s quality no matter where you are.
Local and Remote Podcasting: The Main Differences
For most podcasters and content creators, having access to your own studio is considered the ideal scenario. However, there are advantages and challenges to both local and remote podcasting, be it for pre-recorded episodes or live streamed ones.
Let’s see a quick breakdown of them.
Local Podcasting Pros and Cons
We’ll start with the pros of recording locally:
- Studio quality: Local podcasting typically takes place in a controlled environment. This typically ensures the highest audio quality, as you will probably have some sort of soundproofing, professional microphones, and equipment. In a local setup, you also have greater control over the acoustics and can have more consistent sound quality across episodes.
- More videography options/shots available: You can set up multiple cameras to record you and your guests in your studio to capture different angles. Wide shots, close-ups, and other angles are available to help you tell your story and keep things interesting for your audience.
- Less external disturbances: Lastly, recording locally minimizes external noises and disturbances. The result is, then, cleaner audio files.
Of course, there are disadvantages, too:
- Limited mobility: Local recording ties you to a specific physical location. This can be quite inconvenient if you need to travel or collaborate with people who are not in the same area as you for in-person sessions. Hosting guests or co-hosts who are not geographically close to your studio can be challenging. So, you may miss out on potential contributors or interviewees.
- Equipment costs: Renting, setting up, and maintaining a high-quality local recording studio (with professional-grade microphones, soundproofing materials, and audio equipment) can be expensive.
- Technical Issues: Local recording environments are not immune to technical problems. We’re talking, in particular, about equipment malfunctions, power outages, or other unforeseen issues that can disrupt recording sessions. Local recording studios also require ongoing maintenance to ensure equipment remains in good working condition.
Remote Podcasting Pros and Cons
Now, the pros of remote recording.
- Flexibility: Remote podcasting allows you to record from anywhere. So, it’s especially suitable for interviews, collaborations, or when you’re traveling.
- Guest variety: You can easily feature guests or co-hosts from around the world, expanding your podcast's reach and content diversity with better remote interviews.
- Cost savings: Remote podcasting can be more cost-effective compared to maintaining a dedicated local recording studio. You can reduce expenses related to studio setup, equipment maintenance, and utility bills. Some remote podcasting software even offer a free-forever plan, like StreamYard.
And the cons:
- Challenges with sound quality: Remote recording can introduce audio quality challenges. The main reason? Varying recording environments, different equipment, and internet connectivity issues.
- Technical hurdles: Coordinating with remote participants may also require troubleshooting for technical problems like lag, dropouts, unfamiliar equipment, or recording software issues.
- Background noise: A big challenge of remote podcasting is background noise from the guest's location. This can be particularly challenging to control. However, some tools, like StreamYard, offer AI-enabled background noise removal to compensate for this.
Step 1: Getting Ready
Alright, we have covered the pros and cons of local and remote podcasting. In most cases, though, it’s not like you have a choice! If you need to leave your studio or local setup, you will need to come up with ways to record audio (possibly record video, too), deal with post-production, and even distribute your content through social media... all when you’re away.
So, let’s start with the first step: Planning.
Define Your Podcast's Purpose and Goals
Even though you might have been running your podcast for a while, it's always a good idea to start your planning by clarifying the purpose of your podcast and the goals you want to achieve. This includes understanding your target audience, content niche, and the type of episodes you plan to produce.
Plan Your Remote Recording Setup
Next, you should decide on the remote recording setup that suits your needs. You will typically have several options, including remote recording platforms and mobile recording.
Coordinate with potential guests or co-hosts to find mutually convenient recording times. Consider time zone differences and use scheduling tools like Calendly or Doodle to streamline the process.
Lastly, you should always develop a clear episode outline or script to guide your discussion. Include key topics, questions, and any special segments you plan to cover during the podcast. And don’t forget to share this with your remote participants in advance!
Prepare For Your Equipment Needs
Ensure you have the necessary hardware and software for remote recording. This includes microphones, headphones, audio interfaces, and recording/editing software. Don't forget to also test your equipment and become familiar with its operation!
As part of your equipment checkup, you should also ensure that all participants have reliable internet connections and functioning equipment. You can, for example, run test runs to check audio quality and video quality (if applicable) and resolve any outstanding technical issues before you even begin recording.
Create a Backup Plan
Although we all hope things work out, you should still anticipate potential technical glitches or disruptions during recording. So, have a backup plan in place, such as alternative recording tools or communication methods, in case of unforeseen issues.
You can also establish recording guidelines and etiquette for participants (for example, discuss rules for muting when not speaking, avoiding background noise, and speaking clearly).
Keep Post-Production In Mind
Although we will cover this in more detail later, this is also a good time to consider how you'll handle post-production tasks like editing, adding music, and inserting advertisements. Familiarize yourself with podcast editing software if you plan to do this yourself, or hire an editor if necessary.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Equipment
Once you've completed the planning phase, it's time to set up your equipment. The first step is to ensure that all participants have the right gear and that it's configured correctly.
You can use the quick checklist below to make sure your equipment is in top shape.
- Ensure that all participants have suitable microphones. USB microphones are often a practical choice for remote podcasting due to their simplicity.
- Connect the microphones to your computer or audio interface and test them to make sure they are recognized and functioning correctly.
- Each participant should wear closed-back headphones during the recording session to prevent audio bleeding and ensure transparent monitoring.
- Test the headphones to ensure they are working correctly.
- If you're using XLR microphones, set up your audio interface. Connect the microphones to the interface and connect the interface to your computer via USB or another appropriate connection.
- Install any necessary drivers for the audio interface and ensure it is recognized by your recording software.
- Open your chosen recording software and configure the software to recognize the microphones and audio interface (if applicable). Set the audio input to the correct source (microphone or audio interface).
- Adjust your audio settings and ensure that input levels are set appropriately to avoid clipping (distortion) but are high enough for clear recording.
- Check sample rates and bit depths to match your desired recording quality.
Test Audio Quality and Internet Connection
- Listen for any background noise, distortion, or unwanted artifacts. You can then make adjustments to the microphone placement, gain settings, or room acoustics if necessary.
- Ensure that all participants have stable and high-speed internet connections. A wired connection is preferable for the most reliable performance, but a strong Wi-Fi connection can also work well.
Before starting the actual podcast recording, don’t forget to conduct a final test run to ensure that all equipment is functioning as expected and all participants are ready.
Step 3: Record!
After careful planning and equipment setup, you're ready to begin recording your podcast remotely.
Start Your Recording Software
Alright. First things first. Open your recording software (we recommend StreamYard) on your computer. Then, double-check that the software settings, including microphone inputs and audio levels, are correctly configured.
Before diving into the main content, conduct a brief test recording to verify that all participants' audio is being captured correctly.
Follow the Episode Outline
You should always refer to your episode outline or script to help you guide the conversation. For example, always make sure that all participants are on the same page regarding the topics, questions, and segments you plan to cover.
An episode outline or script serves as the roadmap for your podcast. It outlines the key topics, questions, and segments you want to cover. When all participants have access to this guide, it helps maintain a structured and coherent conversation.
Staying on topic helps keep the podcast concise and ensures that your audience receives the intended information without unnecessary diversions.
Have A Natural Conversation
It’s always a good idea to encourage natural and engaging conversation among all your participants. So, let discussions flow smoothly, but stay mindful of the planned structure.
More importantly, continuously monitor audio quality during the recording. Keep an eye on input levels to prevent clipping or distortion. Address any audio issues promptly.
You can also encourage participants to minimize distractions during the recording session. Close unnecessary applications or tabs on their computers and mute notifications to maintain focus.
Record Multiple Tracks (If Possible)
If your recording setup allows for it (for example, if you’re using StreamYard), record each participant's audio on separate tracks. This will give you more flexibility during post-production for editing and audio enhancement.
Summarize and Wrap Up
As you approach the end of the recording, it can be a good idea to summarize key points and thank your participants for their contributions. You can also discuss any post-recording tasks or plans, such as editing, promotion, or upcoming episodes.
Once you've completed the podcast episode, stop the recording in your recording software. Then, just save the recording file and back it up to prevent data loss.
Step 4: Remote Post-Production
After completing the recording of your remote podcast episode, the next step is post-production. Post-production typically involves editing, enhancing, and preparing your audio content for release.
While post-production can be done remotely, it still requires attention to detail and a set of specific tasks to ensure your podcast sounds polished and professional. So, let's break this step down into more manageable bits, shall we?
Transfer and Backup Your Files
Firstly, ensure that all audio and video files recorded during the remote session are transferred securely to your post-production setup. You should also always make backup copies to prevent data loss (and, if you are feeling insecure about your setup, backup to multiple locations just to be safe!).
When it comes to audio, the best solution is to use audio editing software (like Adobe Audition, Audacity, or your preferred tool). The editing process may include:
- Removing background noise, clicks, pops, or other unwanted sounds.
- Trimming or cutting sections with mistakes, long pauses, or off-topic discussions.
- Adjusting audio levels to achieve a consistent volume throughout the episode.
- Applying equalization (EQ) to enhance audio clarity and remove frequency imbalances.
- Adding music, intro/outro segments, or special effects as needed.
Multi-Track Mixing (If Applicable)
If you recorded multiple participants on separate tracks (for example, using a double ender), you should mix these tracks together for a cohesive final product.
Balance audio levels and ensure that participants are audible and balanced, so it’s a step that should not be neglected.
This is an often overlooked step (typically because, by this point, you are likely to be exhausted!). However, it’s vital to listen to the entire episode carefully to identify and correct any audio issues or discrepancies introduced during the editing process.
Don’t forget to also add metadata to your podcast files, including episode title, description, episode number, and other relevant information. This metadata is crucial for SEO and podcast directory listings, so don’t skip this step!
Export the edited audio file in the appropriate format (usually MP3) and bit rate for podcast distribution. Ensure the file meets the required specifications of your hosting platform.
If you plan to provide transcripts of your podcast episodes, you can use automated transcription services or hire a transcriptionist to create a text version of your content.
Step 5: Distribution and Promotion
And we’ve made it to the last step! Now that your podcast episode is ready to be shared with the world, all you need to do is make sure people can listen to it.
Uploading and Distribution
First, upload the edited podcast episode to your podcast hosting platform, following their guidelines and requirements.
You can also schedule or publish the episode according to your release plans.
Promotion and Marketing
After the episode is live, engage in remote marketing and promotional activities. You can share the episode on social media, your website, and other platforms to reach your audience.
Don’t forget to monitor comments, reviews, and listener feedback on your podcast platforms. Engage with your community by responding to questions and comments remotely.
Analytics and Performance Tracking
Lastly, you should consider using remote analytics tools to track the performance of your podcast episodes. For example, you can analyze your listener data to understand what works and make improvements for future episodes.
Simplify Your Remote Podcasting with StreamYard
Recording a podcast remotely can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a smooth and high-quality recording. We have covered the main steps to help you capture engaging content and maintain professionalism throughout the process. But did you know there is a super-easy way to record your podcast remotely and without relying on tools with poor recording quality like Zoom?
StreamYard is the easiest way to record audio & video podcasts from anywhere in the world on any device. Podcasters, big and small (including Gary Vaynerchuk), use it every day for their content creation needs.
Key features of StreamYard include:
- Local recordings: With this feature, you’ll ensure the highest quality recording possible — even if you or your guests have an unstable internet connection.
- Easy-to-use interface: The platform offers a user-friendly interface that doesn’t feel overwhelming.
- Guest management: You can invite up to 10 guests to your recording sessions.
- Separate tracks: This lets you easily edit each audio/video track without affecting the others. And StreamYard integrates with your favorite editing tools!
- Branding and customization: You can customize your live streams with your branding elements, logos, and colors.
- Green screen support: StreamYard allows for the use of green screens, enabling users to change their backgrounds during live broadcasts.
Try StreamYard today and take your remote podcasts to the next level.