Nifty tools to record a podcast interview remotely

Apart from the trusty double-ender, a few online options can deliver high-quality audio. Consider these possibilities.

Helpful podcast tools

As nice as it would be to have podcast interviews occur in person, that’s not always practical, especially if you want to interview an array of guests from around the world.

The challenge is that when you have to record multiple people in different locations, it becomes difficult to ensure premium audio quality.

So, what’s the best way to record a remote podcast interview and maintain good audio? Here are a few things to consider:

The double-ender

If you absolutely want to ensure the very best audio in a remote recording, there’s no better solution than the classic double-ender recording.

The premise is simple: Each interview participant record his or her vocals locally, either into a digital audio recorder or recording software on their computer. The separate audio files are shared with an editor, who lines up everything in post-production. This helps you avoid any weird audio glitches.

This a great solution if both parties are handy with a recorder, but it’s not the best if you’re hoping to make participation easy. First, every guest will need a recorder. Then, they’ll need access to whatever shared file storage you have (e.g., Dropbox), and then they’ll have to navigate the file upload. It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not effortless.

Remote recording software

Recording software is the most popular option for capturing remote audio. There is a wide range of options, including these:

  • Skype is popular among podcasters because it’s simple to use and most people are familiar with the interface. Recent updates to Skype have made it even easier to record, notably its native in-app recording. Still, it’s hard to ensure consistent audio quality with it. A lot of podcasts recorded via Skype have that unmistakable sound of a web call.
  • Zoom audio quality seems to be a bit better than other conferencing solutions, and it offers a handy feature to record a separate audio file for each participant locally (sort of like a digital double-ender). This makes it easier for your editor to clean up each participant’s vocals independently. For example, if one guest coughs, you can cut that sound without affecting the other participant’s audio.

Zoom makes it effortless for guests to participate, because it doesn’t require them to install any software. It also offers the benefit of a dedicated phone line, which makes it even easier for guests to join—and you won’t have to rely on their web connection.

Several alternatives are purpose-built for podcasting, though the audio quality is often no different from conferencing software. Also, these require your guest to use an unfamiliar interface or install new software.

Consider these options:

  • Zencastr offers free recording for two guests for up to eight hours per month. It also offers some editing capabilities.
  • Ringr is a handy mobile app in both iOS and Android, so it gives your guests the option of “calling” in via smartphone.
  • Cast is also a compact solution, enabling you to record, edit and publish your podcast in one location.

Manny Veiga hosts “Hacks and Flacks,” the March Communications podcast for PR and marketing professionals. He also helps clients develop and launch their own corporate podcasts.

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