Remote Interviews: Best Practices For Podcasters To Get The Highest Audio Quality Recordings

Hey everybody. I've noticed many discussions online about challenges faced during remote interviews across different platforms. As a remote recording engineer for my individual clients and Podfly, I've been part of over a hundred recording sessions, dealing with numerous setups and situations. Today, I'll share my insights and tips for achieving optimal results on your chosen platform.

1. Preparation is Key: Avoid troubleshooting just before recording. It's wise to have a pre-call with your guest to discuss expectations, resolve any technical hitches, and conduct a sound check. Aim for a brief test recording to confirm that there's no glitch in recording or uploading files.

2. The Device Dilemma: The most recurrent issue is the device being used, be it a computer, cellphone, or tablet. Different platforms have varying system requirements, so be aware of them. Some work only with Chrome or Chromium-based browsers, while others might be more versatile. Don't forget mobile and tablet compatibility might be limited. Also, firewalls, VPNs, security plugins, and pop-up blockers can interfere with recording. If you face any trouble during the test, disable these. Rebooting the device right before joining often resolves many issues.

3. Internet Connection: A direct connection via Ethernet is preferable, but Wi-Fi has become quite reliable. Monitor upload, download, and latency speeds, as they influence recording quality. If someone's connection freezes, suggest they disable their video to conserve bandwidth.

4. The Right Environment: Encourage your guest to choose a quiet, non-reverberant room. You can test acoustics by clapping in different rooms and noting the echo. Aim for spaces that sound muted.

5. Platform Settings: The leading culprit for poor audio is echo cancellation. Promote headphone use to negate this. Platforms like Riverside manage these settings automatically, but ensure echo cancellation is ON for those using speakers and OFF for headphone users. If noise reduction settings are available, turn them off for better recording quality.

6. Sound Check: From AirPods to standalone microphones, ensure your guest's mic is set up properly. Encourage them to sit comfortably, considering the length of the recording session. Adjust the mic's proximity for clarity, and guide them on how to position it off-axis for the best sound. Check audio levels for optimal recording volume.

7. Pre-recording Checklist:

Lastly, remember that post-recording editing can fix some mistakes, but it's always best to get the best quality from the start.