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How to Make Your Podcast Sound Great

Lesson 9 of 10

Recording with Remote Guests

Ray Ortega

How to Make Your Podcast Sound Great

Ray Ortega

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Lesson Info

9. Recording with Remote Guests

Lesson Info

Recording with Remote Guests

Recording remote guests. We talked about setting their microphone, how do we do that? The easy way is Skype recorder, Call Recorder on a Mac for Skype. Windows, again Audacity looks like 95 so does Total Recorder but I know a guy, he has a whole network of podcasts about horses, he makes a lot of money doing it, he's probably recording remote calls six hours a day, he uses Total Call Recorder reliably so I'm willing to say that's a decent one. I don't know why Windows is so behind on getting a nice Skype recorder. Windows, Skype itself has just started recording inside the app. I've been talking to developers, they're asking what podcasters need, it's not there yet, so you still need like a third party to get the best audio quality. is an interesting one because people like I can't put Skype on my computer, I work at a University, I can't touch the machine. let's you send them a link and it does the recording in the browser. Makes it supper easy for your end user and it...

doesn't matter if you're on a Mac or Windows. They're just in Chrome and a browser. A double-ender is more control. It's gonna be the best quality you can get but it's also the hardest to do. So a double-ender is hey I'm gonna record my side, I'm a podcaster, I've got all this gear. On my show I talk to podcasters, they're easily set up to record so I say can you record your side? And they say cool and then they'll send me the file afterwards and I put them together in post-production and it sounds like we're in the same room. Because that connection to each other, whether it's on the phone, or Skype, or Zoom, we're not recording the sound that is being, that's on that connection to the internet. So Skype has a lot of issues it can have. This takes it out. So I really only use this if I have a co-host who's in another city and every week we record. Then we set them up on a thing where they can record. You can pull up on a Mac, Quick Time records a simple audio file, it doesn't have to be hard. But that is, again, I wouldn't ask my guest to do that. It's too much, it's generally too much trouble. For guests, Zencastr,, It's cast, they have a funky URL. These are trying to do double-enders easily. So this does it in the browser and it just it does it for them, it records the audio. These are not reliable. I keep telling these companies, the first person to make this reliable wins. They're doing a good job, it's getting close I would want a backup recorder in this situation, but these can be really cool. Because it'll let you do that double-ender and you don't have to, you know your guest doesn't have to do anything except again, they get a link and they're in their browser. Make sure you know how to change the microphone settings in the browser, make sure you can guide them through that one though because they'll be like, it can't hear my microphone. Some best practices for being on voice, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, whatever you're doing. If you can plug in a good old fashion ethernet cable to your thing it's gonna be better than your wireless connection, just more consistent. I don't know if this is as relevant as it used to be but if I have ethernet I'm gonna plug in so I get that better consistent signal. It can help Skype. Close all apps that are not Skype that you're not using. Maybe you, even a browser. I mean if you look at my browser it's a to do list of tabs, right, that takes a huge toll on your computer. And so now you're fighting, Skype is fighting against your computer for resources. Only keep open what you need. Itunes happens to be open on your desktop that thing's like a hog for CPU, shut them all down. Only use what you need. No video, it's cool when you connect with your guests online, maybe you start with video to establish rapport, it's nice to you know, welcome somebody, hey thanks for joining us. We're gonna shut down the video and we're gonna give all those bandwidth resources to Skype, so try not to do it with video unless you're recording a video show. The levels in Skype, it's a little weird. To adjust your guest levels you go into preferences, it says speakers, that's their audio level. So when you use an app like call recorder it always seems to record loud, make sure you're not peaking that audio. Go into Skype, drag down the, use the speaker control to control your guests audio. It's not exactly intuitive, I mean they are the speaker but anyways that's where you're gonna find that. And no auto control, so sometimes Skype can have like auto gain control. So you've set your levels, you know where you want them, so when your guest stops talking Skype's like, there's no audio there I'm gonna try to raise that up and all it's doing is raising up the noise floor. We're podcasters and we're in control of our audio, don't let the system decide what it's doing, you've made those decisions. So just turn off the auto settings if they exist. Audio quality options. So this is when you're trying to hook up with someone online, I like to work them sort of like audio quality flow chart. So I'll start off, in my case I'll say hey can you records your audio on your own? And they're like nah I don't know how to do that. Hey no problem, can we use Skype, nah can't put that on my computer. Shoot man, we're not gonna get good audio, right? And they're like I gotta use my phone. I'm like alright, do you have an Iphone? Like yeah, cool, do you have FaceTime? Alright, so I'm using FaceTime. So essentially I've tricked them into using Skype but it's on their phone. Because if they're using just their phone it's going through the cell network and that frequency, that band, it doesn't sound as good, right? But we're now using an app, we're getting like HD audio quality. So if they have an app that you can use on their phone like FaceTime, use that. Sometimes Skype on the phone. They can't put it on their computer, they can put Skype on their phone. And of course if all they have is the phone, get the interview, right? Don't not do it because you can't. As long as your audio is good, we're used to this every day in the car, we listen to talk radio, the host sounds great and people call in. So people, you know, you're forgiving of that audio, you're getting the content, the content's what matters here. Get the good story. But just more people down that sort of quality flowchart. Like do you have this? No, we'll go to this.

Class Description

So you’ve bought, borrowed, or bartered all of your podcasting gear. Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out how to use it. In this comprehensive technical course, Ray Ortega will show you the ins and outs of how to record audio and process it for publication.

You’ll learn everything from how to connect your equipment to how to speak into the microphone to how to record the cleanest audio possible. By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence you need to embark on your podcasting journey and create a high-quality recording.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Record audio that’s clear and free of noise.
  • Connect your gear.
  • Use your microphone correctly.
  • Set recording levels.
  • Identify audio issues.
  • Add in recording effects.


Julio Lemmen Meyer

Great detailed information and technical best practices for the new podcaster. Ray is a great teacher. He explains complicated technical stuff in an easy to follow way. I got a lot of value from this class. I am sure that it will allow me to avoid and headaches and some time consuming mistakes in the future. Thanks Ray!

Chrissy Gabelman Dunham

Such a Great Course! Wish I would have had this before I started my podcast and bought the wrong equipment, twice, LOL! SO Good!

Michelle MartinF

Ray had a lot of information to cover in a short amount of time and he was generous with his hard-earned insights, well-organized and offered detailed information on hardware. He did a great job talking about the must-haves as well as the great-to-have-when-you're-ready items.