So you want to start an interview show, but you have absolutely no idea how to record a virtual interview. The good news is that there are easy and affordable ways to record interviews and conversations with top-tier sound quality, every time: Zencastr and SquadCast. This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed by the following companies and there are no affiliate links. We just happen to love the amazing sound quality, and our clients love the ease of use!
Let's discuss what Zencastr and SquadCast actually are. These are platforms that allows you to have video conferences with anyone in the world at any time and record the audio and video in high quality.
Reliability: You can be certain that the audio will be recorded properly every time.
Simplicity: It’s as simple as inviting your guest and hitting the record button.
Ease of Use: It’s easy to confirm that everyone is using the right microphone, camera, and headphones
Separate Audio Tracks: Different audio tracks for you and your guest, making it easy for a podcast producer to edit audio tracks individually.
Backups of Recordings: Your recordings are kept in the cloud (meaning you’ll never lose them).
Now you know what these platforms actually do. Great! So, which one is better?
In our humble opinion, Zencastr is the best virtual interview platform. Here's why:
If you make a crucial mistake or say something you’d rather not have in the final recording, you can add a comment with a time stamp that requests that part to be edited out. If our clients want something removed from a zoom recording, they either have to be writing things down with pen and paper during their interview, or listen through the interview afterwards and then send us an email to edit something out. This is usually a hassle for all parties. Simply download the footnote file after recording and send it to your podcast editor.
2. Video recording made affordable.
Zoom allows you to record video, but the audio quality is nowhere near the level of Zencastr and SquadCast. SquadCast also allows video recording, but the price is double that of Zencastr ($40 per month), and you get half the monthly recording time, at 5 hours instead of the 10 hours you get with Zencastr.
3. The soundboard feature
You can upload sound clips (ie.: intro and outro) directly into your recording. This is something that we do for our clients, but if you are editing a podcast yourself, this could save you valuable time.
Regardless of what virtual interview platform you use, you’ll need to make sure you complete the following steps to get the best possible recording.
Step 1: Get the right equipment
There’s a saying in the audio world: garbage in equals garbage out. The key to getting crisp, warm, buttery podcast vocals is to get the right equipment. This could consist of a combination of the following: a microphone, an audio interface, a mic stand, a mic cord, and a pair of headphones.
Step 2: Record in the quietest room in the house
You don’t need a million dollar studio to get million dollar audio quality, but you shouldn’t be recording next to the washing machine while it's running. Try to find a space in your house where there isn’t constant ambient noise. If you can, buy some foam from a mattress store and place it behind your laptop or monitor when you record. That way, your voice will bounce into the foam and reflect less as a result. You can also place foam above you, and on any other hard surfaces that might reflect your voice as you speak.
Step 3: Headphones
Send your guests a message before you are scheduled to interview them and let them know that they need to have headphones in order to get the best sound quality. Without headphones, you can expect to have issues with echoing and background noise.
Due to recent circumstances, everyone (and their dog) knows how to use Zoom! This makes it especially easy to conduct interviews as your guest will likely already have experience with he platform. Zoom also records audio to separate tracks and records video, too. The downside is that the audio quality is compressed and, as a result, is of overall lower quality than its competition. It was created for live video conferences, not for recording, whereas Zencastr and SquadCast were specifically designed for recording.
We are lucky to have access to such amazing tools. All of these platforms are making it possible to collaborate with people all over the world and create meaningful and inspirational content for the masses during stressful times.
Overall, Zencastr provides the most bang for you buck, and truly makes the user experience enjoyable and stress-free.
After you’ve finished recording your episode, it's going to need to be edited and mixed so that it sounds smooth and professional. That’s where my company, Podigy, comes in. After your podcast is edited and mixed, we'll turn it into a blog post, and clip it in the most exciting spots for social media.