Recording a podcast from home can feel intimidating. Do I have the right gear? Do I sound ok? How do I pull this off with a guest in another location? If any of these questions have crossed your mind or held you back from pressing play — don’t worry. We promise you are not alone!
The Studios team here at Wistia dealt with these same exact questions when we pivoted to being a remote-first company (for now!). Despite the challenges, we were determined to adapt and figure out a way to move forward with creating shows from home — specifically, to launch our new podcast, Talking Too Loud.
After a good amount of trial and error, and a few missteps along the way, we fell into a routine that works and have managed to develop a few simple hacks to record solid audio content in a pinch.
Without further ado, enjoy our top remote podcasting tips, straight from the minds from the folks at Wistia Studios.
A microphone is like an ear. It doesn’t just hear your voice; it hears where you are. So, find a place to record that’s quiet. Kitchens, bathrooms, and offices with hard furniture are going to reflect a lot of sounds. But rooms with couches, beds, pillows, or closets full of clothing can be a great makeshift recording studio.
“A microphone is like an ear. It doesn’t just hear your voice; it hears where you are.”
If you’re stuck in your office because you don’t want to do remote interviews from your closet, there are a few things you can do to make your office sound better, like putting a pillow or a small pile of clothes right behind your microphone. No joke! Sarah Koenig produced the first season of Serial in a pillow fort in her house. And our very own Chris Savage (as seen below) used a blanket to create a simple sound barrier for a recent episode opening. You could also pick up a reflection filter, which creates a mini vocal booth wherever you put it!
Mic placement is the single most important thing you can do to improve your sound quality no matter where you are or what gear you’re using. So, before you hit record, make sure you have the mic in the perfect spot for your voice.
Most folks who are new to microphones or podcasts have their microphone on their desk a foot or more away from their face — but the further away your microphone is, the more of the room your mic will hear, and your voice will sound thin. You’ll get a much better tone and vocal presence by placing the mic 2–3 inches away from your face and just off-axis from your mouth.
“Mic placement is the single most important thing you can do to improve your sound quality no matter where you are or what gear you’re using.”
If you have more than one host or you’re conducting remote interviews, wear headphones! This is an absolute must. When you rely on your computer speakers to hear your co-hosts or guests, the bleed from the speakers will end up in your recording, which makes editing your podcast a huge lift.
Plus, remote conferencing software, like Zoom or Skype, has built-in technology that will disrupt your guest’s side of the recording if your microphone picks up their audio — it’ll make it sound like a terrible cell phone connection. If you find it hard to hear yourself with headphones on, just leave one ear off.
If you’re conducting interviews or have multiple show hosts, try to make sure everyone is recording on separate tracks. You can do this by doing local recordings for every participant with software like QuickTime or GarageBand. And if that’s not an option, some remote call apps, like Zoom, have this functionality built-in.
There you have it, our top remote podcasting tips. With a few simple adjustments and a little creativity, you’ll be able to capture crystal clear audio for your next show. Do you have any other recording-from-home tips? Share your favorite hacks below!