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How do you record your podcast when people aren’t in the same room?

 

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How to record your podcast guests remotely

How to make your show location independent….

If your podcast features more than one person, whether it’s a co-host or guest, there’ll be times when you won’t be able to record in the same room.   In fact, if you’re putting together an interview show, schlepping your recording equipment around town will quickly become an unsustainable pain in the butt, particularly if your podcast isn’t pulling in any cash.

If you host your show with someone else I would suggest recording separately as a last resort (because conversational chemistry will always be better if you’re in the same room) but if you’re doing interviews, recording your guests remotely can make things a heck of a lot easier.

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So if you want to make your show truly location independent, here’s how to do it…

Record your show via Skype

People new to the podcasting game assume Skype wouldn’t be professional enough to record a show and that’s probably because they think of it as something they use to ring their parents, as opposed to a serious broadcasting tool.

The truth is Skype is not only convenient, it’s become the industry standard for a lot of the major interview-based podcasts out there.

ecamm call recorderSince the call isn’t recorded within Skype itself, you’ll need to download (and pay for) a separate program if you want to get your hands on the audio.

If you’re a Mac user you’ll need Ecamm’s Call Recorder (pictured) and if you’re a PC kid then Pamela is for you.  Both of these programs capture the video and audio of your conversation from the moment you press record.

As a Mac lover I’ve only used Ecamm but I find it works really well.  Plus it comes with its own set of movie tools so you can convert your files from .mov to .mp3 just by dragging and dropping them into the folder.

Essentially, as long as you’ve got a good internet connection and decent microphones you can record a professional sounding interview using the same thing you chat to your mum on.

Each person records their own audio

Whenever you’re recording someone on Skype, one person (the person recording the audio) will always sound better than the other (the person coming down the line via Skype).  One way to combat this is for each person to record their audio locally i.e. where they are.

This means both parties listen to each other and chat via Skype but record their audio via a microphone plugged into a portable recorder like a Zoom, or an audio editing program like Adobe Audition.  At the end of this process, you’ll have two separate audio tracks that will need to be synced up in the edit.

If you’re new to audio editing and the previous paragraph gives you heart palpitations, don’t worry.  This is more of an advanced option for audio nerds and most of the podcasts out there, getting millions of downloads and making millions of dollars, don’t bother doing any of this.  It’s purely an option if you want it to sound like you and your guest are in the same room.

If you want to experiment with it, make sure you record your guest (or your mum if she’s helping you test it out) clap so you have a visual way to line up the audio tracks when you’re editing them together later.

Record using Zencastr

Zencastr has stepped in to make the process of recording audio locally waaaaay easier. Designed specifically for podcasters, all you do is login to the website (your guest will need to login as well) and it records each person’s audio locally then places the tracks in a dropbox folder, ready for you to cut together.

The only limitation with this method is you can’t see each other which is ok (but not ideal) if you’re interviewing someone but a punish if you’re trying to bounce off a co-host.  An easy fix is to run Skype simultaneously with your mics muted so you can use the vision to interact while Zencastr does its magic in the recording department.

I’ve had mixed results with Zencastr so give the free trial a shot and see how you go.

Other recommendations

The other suggestions I’ve seen (but haven’t used) are Ringr and Cast.  Give them a burl and if you love them make sure you let me know!

Aaaaaand that’s all there is to recording your podcast remotely!

No doubt, as the tech improves, recording on opposite sides of the world will eventually sound like you and your co-host or interview subject are staring into each others eyes from the comfort of a professional recording studio.

Need some help getting started?  Download my podcasting guide.

Got a burning question you’d like answered in the podcast? Send me an email.

Read full show rundown

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. One of the questions I get asked more than any other is how do you record an episode of your podcast if the people on the show aren't in the same room. Sometimes your show can just be you as a host but you want to interview a lot of people and often those people will be not in the same city let alone the same country as you. So how do you go about recording that person? Or sometimes you and your co-host might need to do a show from separate locations so how do you actually manage that?

[00:00:33] Here are some ways that you can record your show so it sounds good even though you're not in the same room.

[00:01:14] Skype

[00:01:14] By itself Skype can't record the call so you have to download an additional program which is called Ecamm Call Recorder for Mac and Pamela for a PC. (You can just head to the show notes page at PodSchoolPodcast.com and I'll detail links to all of the things that I refer to in today's episode). So once you install that program it gives you a little record button that pops up every time your call starts on Skype and you can just record that and download it after the call is finished. Ideally, it would be great if your guest had a decent microphone not just their iPhone earbuds because that can be a little bit crappy but if they don't have one you can make do.

[00:02:05] The next step up from that, if you want it to sound like you're in the same room, is that you can get them to put recording software on their computer and you can both record your audio "locally," which means - where you're sitting and then you match up that audio after. ECamm gives you the option when you go into the file to split the tracks (one that was recorded locally and one that is the one that sounds like someone coming down a telephone line) and you just put the two local files together so it sounds like you're doing the show in the same room.Obviously having Skype there is great because you can still see each other and put your hand up if you need to talk and try and get as much of the chemistry that you would have if you were in the same room. If you're going to do that it's important to clap at the beginning because you're going to have to match up that audio later.

[00:03:37] Record locally on a recording device

[00:03:45] If both you and your cohost or you and your guest have a recording device e.g. Zoom or if you just record onto your computer straight into Audition you can both do that at your end, use Skype to look at each other and then send whoever is editing the file that you've recorded either onto your zoom recorder or whatever you use or into audition and then you can match the audio tracks that way. And again with that, you need to clap at the beginning so it's easier to match those files.

[00:04:18] Zencastr

[00:04:21] I have had good and bad experiences with Zencastr. This should be the absolute solution to all of your problems because essentially all you do is log into a website and it records you at each end so it will record both you and your guest locally and drop those files into a Dropbox folder when you're done. It will sync up the start of those files immediately so you don't have to clap just as soon as you press record from your end it will immediately create the two files starting at exactly the same spot so it is really simple. The problem is you can't see each other. But again you can use Skype to look at each other and then record using Zencastr. Unfortunately, I found in the past that I've either had great experiences with it where it's worked flawlessly or I've had some really bad tries where it's continually dropped out or I've been listening to somebody talking and it's gone silent. Then it sort of caught up really quickly and that can be very jarring. I've had good and bad experiences with it but it's certainly worth trying.

[00:05:38] I believe you can get a free trial of it for a short time. So it's definitely worth giving it a try and seeing if you like it. A couple of other suggestions are also put on the show notes page at PodSchoolPodcast.com are Ringr and Cast. I haven't used either of those programs but I've seen them recommended when people are asked about this same situation and usually those programs are recommended by people who haven't had a great experience with Zencastr. See which ones you like and which ones work best for you and then take it from there.

[00:06:15] I hope that's helped you get your head a little bit around how to record remotely. As I said I will put all of this in the show notes page so you can see it and read through it and digest it because I know when you're just being spoken at sometimes you think "I can hear words, but I'm not understanding their meaning." So if you want to check out more about that and really get into the nitty gritty please head to PodSchoolPodcast.com. There you'll also find links to my tech guide which will help you set up your own home studio if you haven't done that already and a way to get onto the waitlist for my online podcasting course PodSchool.com.au which takes you step by step through everything from coming up with an idea right through to monetising your show.

[00:06:58] If you've been waiting to record your episodes because you didn't know how to do it remotely go out there and start trialling an error-ing. Is that even a word? I don't know. I think it might be time for me to get out of here. I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

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WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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