If you’ve been podcasting for a while, you probably have a firm handle on the basics of a stellar recording session.
Clear and consistent communication. Check. Facilitating a conversation. Check. Running a sound check. Double check!
But you might be looking for some technical steps to take your recording game to the next level. For the advanced podcaster seeking more strategies for remote podcasting, we’ve got you covered.
It all starts with taking the tech to your guest. Send your podcast guest a mic and tech kit, and line up an airtight process to make sure it’s the smoothest experience possible.
Ensuring your remote podcasting is top-quality
Spotify alone is home to literally millions of podcasts. (No wonder most people’s podcast queues are so long!) The competition for listeners’ attention is fiercer than ever before.
That’s why, as a podcaster, you need to do everything in your power to make every episode as amazing as possible. Of course, this includes recruiting the best guests and tackling the kinds of topics your listeners want to hear.
But making your recordings as high-quality as possible is another important way to keep listeners engaged. If they have to turn their volume way up or down to hear your guest or if they can’t catch all of your conversation, you’re going to lose your audience — fast.
Obviously, you can control your own recording environment. But it can seem tricky — or even impossible! — to control the quality of your remote guest’s recording.
Luckily, it just takes a few simple steps to send your guests the tech essentials they need to sound and look amazing. Best of all, once you have the kit on hand, you can use it over and over again by shipping it to other guests for future recordings.
Auditing your audio quality
Even though your remote podcast guest is in a different location, you can still equip them to record great audio.
If your guest is in an area with wood or tile floors, for example, you can ask them to relocate to a carpeted area. This will limit any echoes and quiet down any interfering noise.
If you notice that your guest isn’t using headphones, remind them to use headphones — preferably wired. Bluetooth headphones can work if they’re all the guest has available. But particularly for longer interviews, wired headphones of any kind or quality can limit latency and lag for a cleaner recording.
Beyond these beginner tips, though, there is a simple but effective step you can take to help your guest sound their best. Send them a microphone and other equipment to use during your recording. This best practice can change the game for your remote recording sessions!
One great source to check out is MicRentals.com. There, you can find the right microphone for your guest, and let MicRentals.com handle the logistics of shipping, handling and returning the tech. (PS: This shameless plug is #notanad! We just happen to love their service and recommend it to everyone.)
Can’t wait and need to get equipment to your guests ASAP? No sweat. Put together a quick audio kit on an online marketplace like Amazon. You can make a specific selection of the type of mic and headphones you’re looking for, and get the tech delivered to your guest at warp speed. (Or, at least, within two business days.)
You probably don’t plan on giving an audio kit as a gift to every single guest on your podcast. So you can have guests ship the audio kit back to you after the recording is finished. Provide them with instructions to do so, and you can send the same kit to future remote guests.
Pro tip: Put together a simple agreement for your guest to sign, on the off chance that they don’t return the kit to you for any reason. That way, you and your guest have a clear understanding in writing.
Reviewing your video needs
If you’ll also be capturing video for your podcast — especially if you plan to do so for multiple recordings — you should consider sending your guest the tech for visual elements too.
Invest in a video kit one time, and have it ready to ship to your guest. This can save you future stress by knowing that you have what they’ll need for a top-notch video recording on hand.
Here are our must-haves for your kit:
1. A cardioid microphone with a USB connection
This ensures your guest can sound great for the recording and plug into their machine.
2. Wired headphones
We already mentioned how important it is to wire in your headphones for the best recording quality. For a video kit, you might look out for a smaller pair that won’t stand out on camera, but any style will work!
3. A ring light or multiple LED lights
This equipment brightens up your guest and makes sure they look great. As an added bonus, if you send your kit to multiple guests, there will be consistent lighting across video recordings.
4. A webcam
While most computers have a built-in webcam, many only record at up to 720p quality. We recommend sending a 1080p webcam that records in 30 frames per second to ensure the best quality video.
Fine-tuning your process
If you haven’t sent your remote podcast guests a tech kit before, this can seem like a lot to keep in mind! But having equipment on hand can only benefit your podcast in the long run.
Here are a few more process improvements to keep in mind that will help things run smoothly.
✓ Include a prepaid shipping label
You want to make things as simple and easy as possible for your guest to return your audio and video kit. Providing a prepaid label removes the cost and limits the hassle of sending the kit back to you.
✓ Provide a list of what is in the kit
Including a short and simple checklist for your guest simplifies the recording and return processes. You should also include any instructions for care or use that might not be intuitive.
✓ Host a pre-production call with your guest
We get it: you’re busy. And so is your guest! But it’s important to make time to review expectations, answer any questions and confirm that all the tech you sent is working properly ahead of time.
And don’t forget to send an agreement for guests to sign to be sure you’re on the same page about the use and return of the equipment.
Podcasting doesn’t have to be stressful. Take the steps ahead of time to send each of your remote guests the equipment that they need. This will ensure that your recording sounds and looks amazing.
The right tools (including SquadCast) go a long way toward a great recording experience for your guest and a great episode for your audience. With a reliable recording studio and other equipment at your fingertips, you can make your next episode your best one yet.
Based in Dayton, Ohio, Amanda Jackson is a tech writer who moonlights as a painter, baker, and movie buff. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.