How to record a podcast remotely: 4 simple ways

Remote podcast interviews are a fact of life for creators since it can be complicated and expensive to meet every guest in person. 

Since you rarely get the chance at an interview do-over, nailing down your remote recording workflow is essential. 

We’ll show you how to prepare for and record a remote interview, so you get it right the first time — with some additional tips along the way to make sure all your bases are covered.

Record or import audio, make edits, add fades, music, and sound effects, then publish online, export the audio in the format of your choice or send it directly to your hosting service.
Create your podcast from start to finish with Descript.

Option 1: Record with a remote recording studio

One option that’s going to give you much better sound quality in the end is to use remote recording software. 

Our favorite remote recording platform is, obviously, Descript’s remote recording tool, powered by SquadCast.

Product image of the Squadcast and Descript integration

With Descript’s remote recording tool, you can set up your own remote recording studio that saves audio locally to your device and lets you record both your audio and video and your guests’ audio and video over the cloud. This ensures the recording is high quality and doesn’t produce that glitchy “remotely recorded” look and sound.

The SquadCast x Descript integration also has a ton of cool features, like:

  • High-fidelity audio recording to ensure that the sound quality is as clear as possible.
  • Each participant on separate tracks, making post-production editing easier.
  • User-friendly interface that enables hosts and podcast guests to see each other during recording.
  • Automatic backups to prevent data loss, providing an additional layer of security.
  • Progressive uploading, which continuously saves recordings throughout the session
  • Green room feature that lets participants test and adjust their podcast equipment and audio settings.

SquadCast has always been known for its reliability and pristine audio recording, which is why podcasts like This American Life and shows from NPR and The New York Times have used it. 

The best part? Remote recording is included in Descript’s podcast editing software at no extra cost. 

Learn more about Descript, and try it free ➡️

Some other options include:

  • Restream
  • Ringr
  • Alitu

The aforementioned tools all have integrations with Descript, ensuring you can record high-quality audio and easily import your recordings and get started editing.

Simply choose your remote podcast recording software of choice and create an account. You can easily start a recording session and invite your guest(s) to join. Then, record your audio and start editing in one click — if you’re using Descript, of course. 

Using all-in-one software like this to record audio (and, if you choose, record video), helps ensure you get a high-quality podcast episode every time. You can get studio-quality recordings that will fit in with all of the other professionally produced podcasts you’d find on Apple and Spotify.

Option 2: Record a Skype call, Zoom interview, or Google Meet

If you’re looking for a simple solution, conferencing software like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet are likely your platforms of choice. All three are easy to set up, simple for guests to use, and feature audio fidelity good enough for most audio and video podcasts.

Image of Zoom meeting 
Source: Zoom

Both Zoom and Skype offer built-in video call recording functionality, but Google Meet currently limits this offering to Google One Premium subscribers. There’s an additional caveat: the file format (.MP4 or .M4A) that each platform outputs may not be what you want, depending on your podcast production and editing workflow.

For maximum control over your final product, you’re better off using third-party apps to record computer system audio directly into the recording software of your choice rather than relying on their recording functionality.

If you’re on a Mac, BlackHole is a great open-source tool that allows you to route audio between apps, which means you can record the audio output from Zoom (or Skype, or Google Meet) directly into your preferred recording software. On Windows, Virtual Audio Cable offers similar functionality.

If you’re already using Descript to record, you won’t need to use additional audio routing software. When recording audio into Descript, open the Record panel, choose Add a Track, select your input, and choose “Computer audio.” Click the Record button whenever you’re ready, and audio from Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet will be piped into Descript.

Image of recording computer audio in Descript

No matter which remote recording setup you use, make sure you test it — and test it again — with a friend or colleague before you’re actually recording your podcast. Troubleshooting when you should be interviewing ranks near the top of everyone’s Least Favorite Things To Deal With, so make sure everything is in order before your guest is on the line.

Option 3: Record a phone interview with Google Voice

It’s likely phone interviews will never be your first choice, but being able to record an old-fashioned phone call will come in handy.

Recording phone calls can be tricky, but using Google Voice to make an outgoing phone call from your computer means you can use the same remote recording setup detailed above to record the call.

Follow Google’s instructions to set up Google Voice and then learn how to make an outgoing call. Once everything’s set up, you’ll be able to record phone calls with Google Voice just like you’d record an interview on Zoom or Skype.

Again, make sure to test with a friend and then test again before you interview guests.

Option 4: Record a “double-ender”

If you have a remote co-host that regularly appears on your podcast and you want to maximize the quality of your audio, a “double-ender” can get you the highest quality audio or video files for your podcast episodes. 

With a double-ender, each host or guest records themselves locally, and audio tracks are combined in post-production. 

A traditional double-ender recording sees each speaker recording their own separate audio track using their recording software of choice (Descript, Audacity, Quicktime, etc.), and then the host or editor combines each speaker’s recording into a finished product. Each speaker should have a decent microphone — if they’re using a laptop microphone to record, you’re more likely to pick up some background noise.

Alternatively, you can simulate a double-ender by using a recording platform like SquadCast, Zencastr, or Cleanfeed. These services record lossless audio from each speaker, upload each separate track to the cloud, and combine them automatically. They’re a great alternative to a double-ender when guests or co-hosts don’t have the time or wherewithal to fiddle with local recordings.  

These platforms do cost money, but if you already use Descript, SquadCast is now included in your subscription. 

Again, make sure each speaker has a decent microphone — otherwise you won’t reap the full benefits of lossless audio. You can find an affordable podcast microphone to send to all regular guests before you start recording.

Best practices for remote podcasts

Whether it’s your first or fifth remote recording, keep the following best practices in mind:

  1. Schedule a time that works for all parties. Use scheduling tools like Doodle, Calendly, or Google Calendar to coordinate availability. Confirm the time with all participants and add it to your calendar.
  2. Be prepared with questions. Putting together a rough outline of the questions you’d like to ask will come in very handy. Write down a handful of specific questions and key points, but keep your outline broad and high-level. That’ll allow you to more easily adapt to the flow of conversation.
  3. Create a backup recording option in case of technical issues. Use a tool like SquadCast that progressively saves your audio, so if you lose internet connection or your computer randomly shuts off mid-recording, you have the audio files saved. You can also set up a smartphone or another device to record audio as a backup. 
  4. Conduct a sound check and make necessary adjustments. When it’s time to record the interview, take a couple final preparatory steps to ensure a clean recording. Close all unnecessary software and set your computer to “Do Not Disturb” mode to make sure unwanted distractions don’t pop up (or worse: end up in the recording). Do a pre-recording test with all participants beforehand. 
  5. Edit the recorded audio to remove mistakes and add effects. Use podcast editing software like Descript to improve your audio quality. For example, you can toggle on the Studio Sound feature to remove background noise and sound like a pro. Or, add music and other sound effects to liven up your show.  
  6. Publish and promote the podcast on appropriate channels. With Descript, you can publish directly to any of its integrated publishing and social media platforms, like YouTube and podcast hosting services like Buzzsprout and Captivate.

Make remote recording hassles a thing of the past

Recording your podcast remotely isn’t painless, but once you get the hang of it — and nail down your workflow — it’ll become second nature. 

In the meantime, download Descript and give it a try. Not only will it streamline your remote recordings, but it might just change the way you think about podcasting and audio editing altogether.

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