Best Way to Record Remote Guests.
Updated: Jan 12, 2022
When having a guest on your show, it’s always important to stay prepared with everything you need. That means have any notes ready, have your questions ready, and any research you’ve done. It also means that you should be ready to get the best audio possible, and discuss ahead of time with your guests how you are going to be recording the audio. There’s a few ways to get great audio even if you are using a remote recording platform.
Record Separate Tracks
With almost any remote recording platform there is an option to record yourself separately from the other person, it might involve some research depending on which platform you use. I would highly recommend you do this for every interview. Not only can you edit the podcast much easier, after the fact, you can master the tracks individually as well, giving you the best chance at creating the best audio with what you are given.
If you or your guest accidentally coughs on mic, it will be a breeze to completely cut that out, without worrying about affecting the other’s voice. If one microphone is much nicer than the others, it will be no problem to effect the EQ and compression, to hopefully raise the quality of only one of the microphones.
Record Your Own Audio
Something that has really made a huge difference for me is, recording your audio separately from everything, just on your own computer. This will give the final recording a ton more quality, because now your audio is being pulled straight from the microphone instead of going through the major compression the internet does to it. All you would need to do is line it up in post where it needs to be, which is totally worth getting a major step up in audio quality.
If it’s possible, ask your guest to do the same thing. If they are going to be using the built in microphone on their computer anyways, ask them to start a voice memo on their phone. It’s going to sound much better, much cleaner and it will give the illusion that you two are in the same room having a conversation. If your guest is already a podcaster and has their own set up for recording, just ask them to start recording before the actual interview, and send it to you afterwards. This will absolutely crush the quality of doing it over the internet.
Before you start your interview, whether you are the guest or you are the host, make sure you have a solid internet connection. Being from a rural town, I normally suffer from slow internet, so I understand the challenge of this one. If at all possible, ask your roommates (nicely) if they can hold off on playing online games for an hour. Also, if possible try and get a solid LAN connection, instead of using WiFi. You may not be able to get a perfect internet connection, but you can at least ensure that you gave it your best shot to have the best connection possible.
Having a poor internet connection is especially bad if you are planning on using the audio from the internet. The audio will be cutting in and out, or just sound really warbly and weird. So make sure to stand in that weird corner of your house where you get the best WiFi, or ask your friends to shut up (nicely) and stop playing Fortnite, and get the best audio that you can!
Sync Video In Post
I see this a lot, someone posts an amazing interview they had with someone really cool, and the audio and video don’t seem to be even close. This may be just distracting for me, but I can’t stand when the mouth isn’t moving at the same time as the audio. Something you can do is upload that video in whatever video editor that you usually use, and separate the video and audio, and just move the video a few frames to the right or left. This is an easy fix, but will be a lifesaver to the snobby jerks like me, who get distracted by the littlest things.
If you made it this far, consider reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about great and creative ways to improve your podcast, or if you would like some help with your entire podcasting process, including launching your show, consultations, editing, or just a more personal conversation!