It’s no surprise that remote recordings have become a necessity in the podcast space for the past few months. Although many shows have been recording their episodes remotely for years, many that are used to in-person or studio set-ups have had to turn to virtual options in light of social distancing.
Although at OMH we miss our studio dearly, we wanted to share some resources that podcasters can use when it comes to recording your series remotely. Below is a list of the top platforms you can use to record remotely, the pros and cons of each, and some other useful information to help you make a final decision on what will work best for your show.
Although there are many benefits to getting the paid “Pro” version of Cleanfeed, if you’re unsure you can start with the free version and upgrade to paid whenever you wish.
The audio is clean and clear. As a user, all you need is a mic and your browser - Cleanfeed handles the rest.
As a podcast host, you’re the only user that needs an account so if you’re inviting guests, simply send them the recording link and they will be good to go whether they use Mac, Windows, Linux or Android.
If you’re having multiple guests on your recording, Cleanfeed can easily handle it. As the Cleanfeed account owner, you have the ability to choose how to record your guests - you can even separate each voice so they’re all on different tracks.
There’s an audiometer for you to monitor while you are recording to make sure you and your guest(s) stay at the right levels.
Both desktop and mobile-friendly.
Overall, it’s a simple program to use.
You can’t see other speaker’s audio feeds unless you are the host, which can make it difficult to jump in as a guest.
Cleanfeed doesn’t offer dial-in features for recording with your guests.
You will need to generate and send separate links to each guest.
Again, the paid version does have various benefits but if you’d like to start with the free version it’s simple to upgrade to the paid version when you’re ready. Zencastr is also offering some bonuses due to COVID-19 such as unlimited guests and recording time when usually you can only have up to two guests and 8 hours of recording time.
*Keep in mind that with the free version our team has had some difficulties getting more than 3 people on the recording.
You have the ability to separate tracks for each guest on the recording.
There’s a soundboard so you can live edit as you are recording your session (i.e. add intros, outros, transitions, etc.).
Zencastr offers audio enhancements to single mixed tracks when you’re exporting so less editing is required on your end depending on your show format and level of quality you would like (our team always recommends at least minimal editing to get the highest quality content).
There’s a Dropbox and Google Drive integration so your recordings can automatically be uploaded to your accounts.
There’s no audiometer during recordings, so you can’t tell if your audio is peaking (peaking is basically the warning signals used to tell the podcaster that their audio levels are too high - it’s usually seen in an audiometer and when it goes in the red that means you’re peaking).
The interface isn’t super attractive and easy to use.
This program occasionally has an audio drift (when the speakers become misaligned and out of sync during the editing process).
There are 3 different plans available with Squadcast, all of which are paid versions. However, squadcast offers a free trial for you, so make sure you test out the platform before committing to a particular plan.
Podcasters can schedule sessions for future recordings rather than creating/sending recordings as they’re happening (although this option is available too).
Video recordings are available if you want both audio and video formats.
Options for each guest to be recorded on separate tracks.
Users have libraries where they can access and organize all of their recordings.
There’s a “Green Room” for every recording that you book so you and your guests can test their look and sound before entering the session.
Squadcast has automatic backups during your recordings so you never lose your files.
No dial-in feature available.
We have noticed that Squadcast can have an echo from you or the guests, which can be frustrating during recordings and result in poorer audio quality.
Cast has no free versions available but does offer a one-month free trial for you to test out their platform before you decide to commit to a package.
Offers recording, editing and publishing services for podcasts, so pretty much an all-in-one solution.
No logins are required from your guests, simply send them a link to join the session.
There is a live text chat and show notes available during the recording for you to add to.
You have access to audio storage in your cloud for all of your recordings.
Cast has its own analytics platform for you to track if you have published your podcast through them.
There’s no option available to export your audio files in a lossless WAV format - only MP3 is available (WAV files are uncompressed whereas MP3s are compressed, meaning that WAV files reproduce the recording most accurately without losing any quality).
The platform’s interface is fairly confusing to use.
You can only edit within Cast, there is not an option to edit in your platform of choice.
Zoom is used for much more than just podcast recordings so some of the more expensive plans won’t be necessary for your episode. The majority of podcasts should be okay with the free plan that’s available. One thing that podcasters would benefit from with the “Pro Plan” ($20/month CAD) is the 24-hour time limit for your session. In the free version, users have a 40-minute time limit for sessions with more than 2 people.
Both audio and video options are available for your recording.
Simple to use once you have downloaded the software.
A dial-in option is available for your guests.
A live chat is available during the recording for you and your guest.
Zoom does not offer the best sound quality for your recordings. It is very obvious to listeners that it was recorded over Zoom and not in a professional environment.
You are unable to create separate audio tracks for each speaker.
All guests must also have the Zoom app downloaded to access the recording.
What Should You Choose?
Overall, there’s no top choice for platforms. As a podcaster, you need to choose which platform suits your needs best whether it’s from a monetary or functionality standpoint. Also be open to testing out multiple platforms until you find the one that you enjoy the most, it won’t be the same for everyone!
If you’re looking for assistance when it comes to producing a remote podcast, let us know!