PodSchool Podcast | How to record a podcast with people in different locations


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How to record high-quality podcast audio when you’re not in the same room as someone

Remote recording your podcast gives you more flexibility and also more choice because you can chat with people even if they’re on the other side of the world. But you want to make sure this convenience isn’t coming at the expense of the audio quality of your podcast.

So how do you make sure your podcast sounds the best it possibly can when you’re recording via a remote recording website or video conferencing software?

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Buy good microphones

This will make all the difference to the audio quality no matter what method of recording you’re using.

If you’re recording via video conferencing software (Skype or Zoom) your guest will sound much better if they’re using a decent microphone.  However, it’s important to note with this method, even with the best mic in the world, your guest will always be at a lower, phone-like quality because they’re being recorded through the software.

If you want to use this method but you want the audio to sound like you’re in the same room you’ll need to record each participant locally either by changing the settings in the back end (Zoom) or using an additional piece of software like eCamm Call Recorder or Pamela (Skype).

If you’re recording via a remote recording platform like Zencastr, Ringr or Riverside.fm a good quality microphone for everyone speaking on the podcast is essential.  This is because when you use these platforms all the audio is recorded locally.  So, if anyone has a bad microphone you’ll end up with a high-quality recording of bad audio, which isn’t great.

When it comes to choosing a microphone, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get great sound but it’s always a good idea to test the audio before you record the interview.  You can do this by recording your briefing chat or pre-interview to make sure it’s high enough quality to use for your show.

What are the best podcast microphones?


Buy pop guards and mic stands

“Pops” are the harsh sounds that occur when you say words starting with consonants like ‘p’ or ‘b.’  These sounds often happen if you’re talking directly down the barrel of the microphone or because you’re too close to it.

A pop guard or pop filter can put distance between you and the microphone to reduce ‘pops’ in your recording.  This is a good idea because they’re really annoying to listen to and an absolute punish to edit out.

Good microphone technique will also help you reduce these sounds so it’s a good idea to practice where you need to be in front of your mic to stop the popping.

Another thing you definitely want is a mic stand for every microphone you’re using on the show.

Getting mics out of people’s hands is so important because when people are holding them it adds a whole bunch of random sound to the recording that can muddy your podcast audio quality.

How many people should you have on your podcast?


Think about where you’re going to record

Your surroundings will have a huge impact on the quality of your podcast audio quality and even the best microphone will suck if there’s wind noise or a lot of echo in the room you’re recording in.

Avoiding hard surfaces like glass and tiles and sticking to rooms with carpet and curtains can help because you want the space you’re in to absorb the sound of your voice rather than reflect it.

How to record high-quality audio at home


Watch out for overtalk

Overtalk is a wanky way of saying more than one person is talking at the same time.

It’s a big no-no in podcasting for obvious reasons – you can’t hear a damn word anyone is saying when they’re all jabbering at once.

When you’re in the same room it’s easier to manage this because you can see when someone is leaning in to speak or winding up their train of thought.

This is why using a platform with built-in video, or running a program like Skype at the same time is essential because you want to be able to see your co-host or guest.

Should you use video when remote recording your podcast?


Turn off everything else on your computer when you’re recording

There’s nothing worse than listening to an interview where someone’s email notifications are going off every two seconds, so turn everything off and ask your guest to do the same.

As a habit, I’d suggest the program you’re recording into should be the only program you have open when you’re doing your show.

That way there’s no chance something will ping halfway through the interview and your internet connection can be solely dedicated to keeping your interview or chat alive.

How to make editing easier when you’re recording a podcast


Make sure you’re somewhere with a good internet connection

You want to avoid anything that interrupts the flow of conversation and nothing is more jarring than someone’s audio breaking up mid-sentence, except perhaps, losing them completely.

A crappy internet connection isn’t your fault but when you’re in the middle of a chat and have to keep stopping and starting your guest, it’s you who ends up looking unprofessional.

Some remote recording platforms can be a bit glitchy but because audio is being recorded locally this usually doesn’t affect the final audio.  However, if you’re missing bits of someone’s conversation it will affect the flow of the chat, which isn’t ideal.

How to record a podcast with people in different locations


Make the most of your headphones

When you’re recording audio, microphones pick up things your ears would never hear so you want to make sure you’re monitoring every little detail as you’re recording so you can fix things as you go.

Maybe you can hear the air conditioner where your guest is recording or perhaps their dog is panting under their desk and it sounds weird.  These sounds can be distracting for a listener (and make editing more difficult) so you want to make sure you’re listening out for them BEFORE you get to the editing stage.

The goal, when you record, is to get the highest quality podcast audio in the moment, so you’re not stuck with something you can’t fix later, or heaven forbid that you have to re-record entirely.

The more attention you pay to your podcast audio quality when you’re recording the better your show will be.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

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?

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


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.

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.

Record locally on a recording device

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.


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.

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.

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.

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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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!