Blog

How to Record High-Quality Remote Video (2021)

Content

How to Record High-Quality Remote Video (2021)

Let’s be honest: in-real-life meetings, seminars or interviews aren’t happening any time soon, so it’s all glitchy webinars and patchy Zoom calls, for now. But does it have to be that way? 

What if we told you there was a way to create professional video-quality, remotely? 

That’s right, you could cut out all the faf with unreliable internet connections and grouchy employees who aren’t delighted to be in yet another virtual presentation.


What Types of Content Can I Record Remotely?

  • Interviews
  • Webinars
  • Tutorials
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations


What equipment do I need?

Camera

When it comes to choosing your camera, there are three factors to consider - quality, convenience, and budget. Depending on which of these is your priority, you will choose a different solution. 

If you’re keen on having the utmost quality, you can set yourself up using a DSLR Camera or a Camcorder. 

On the other hand, recording with a newer model smartphone, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android, still provides awesome 4K quality, while checking the convenience box, too.

If you don’t have a smartphone with a great camera available, consider purchasing an external webcam. There are plenty of budget-friendly options such as the Logitech C920.


Lights

The same decision metrics can be used for lighting. Are you looking for truly perfect, professional lighting? In that case, invest in a lighting set-up specifically for your videos. You could use the classic three-point lighting system to cast the right highlights and shadows. 

However, if you’re not ready for that investment or it’s simply not necessary, consider buying a small and simple light - one option is a clip-on ring that sits on the top of your laptop or desktop screen. 

If you opt for convenience, then just situate yourself in front of a large window, as natural light is best, or in front of a neutral-toned lamp. The main rule is to make sure the greatest source of light is in front of, not behind, you!


Microphone 

If you’re going to invest in one piece of gear for quality over convenience, make it a microphone. Research has shown that audio quality makes a bigger impression than video quality, and, of course, it’s the most important part of conveying your message. 

Whether you go for an entry-level, portable microphone like the Samson Go or level up a little to the Rode NT-USB, we recommend you go with an external mic (that being said, it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t, as long as the audio isn’t muffled and robotic!).


Editing Software 

Since you will be receiving several files from the various participants of your video production, you’ll need editing software to stitch them together and turn them into one, single video. Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry favorite, for amateurs and professionals alike. Alternatively, iMovie (native to Mac) or DaVinci Resolve (free download for PC or Mac) are completely free editing tools that are great for beginners and will still do a great job!


Recording Software 

Read further to learn what video recording software we recommend.


How Can I Record Content Remotely?

There are two different solutions that make this fantasy a reality. We’ll walk you through them, whilst listing the pros and cons of each. 

Solution #1 - The old-fashioned way: Separate recordings, stitched and edited in post-production.

This means getting each of your participants to record their part of the webinar, presentation, or interview on their own. This is also known as “double-ender” recording

They could use their phone or a camera, and you could ask them to record videos from a position that replicates a web-cam point of view. This way, you get high-quality footage from each participant, not reliant on an internet connection. 


Advantages

No internet-related issues 

Since every participant is recording their own video, offline, there will be no glitches, muffled, robotic audio, or pixelated visuals. Everyone can create high-quality videos from home.


Time and space freedom 

Rather than every participant needing to be present at one specific time, with one chance to perform as best as they can, participants can record more flexibly.

Better yet, their frame won’t be confined to wherever they can prop up their laptop or webcam. Participants can more easily pick a space that is visually appealing.

This also means that everyone can do multiple takes if they feel they could deliver their part better or that they missed something important out. Then, you can mix and match everybody’s best take for a clear and concise video.


More customizable visuals 

Rather than being at the mercy of zoom and however it decides to organize everybody’s tiles, you can create a conference call type visual, but choose whose tile to put wear, and generally arrange the screen in other ways that you prefer.


Disadvantages

Not live 

This video creation strategy doesn’t allow for your content to be broadcast live, which means participants can't bounce ideas off each other, and you miss out on real-time interaction, fielding questions, and creating connections with your audience.


More coordination and organization required

Managing video production is more complicated this way, as you’ll have to coordinate with various participants, monitor everyone’s quality, receive several different files and pull the heavy lifting in editing to bring it all together in a way that seems cohesive. 

On top of that, you’re asking everyone involved to put in some work to get the video together. While we love a bit of team spirit, it might not be super-efficient, effective, or all that appreciated by those who aren’t technically savvy and who just want to get the message out without a faff!


Inconsistent quality 

When you’re asking each participant to record their own video, there will inevitably be some discrepancies in how the visuals appear. Some participants may have high-quality cameras, while others may only have access to their smartphones, and the same applies to audio. Most of this can be eliminated by asking for a test shot, but it’s still something to consider.


Scripting is time-consuming 

Scripting your video in advance can be incredibly time-consuming, not to mention that it could lead to a very clinical, uninspiring video (on the other hand, it could do the opposite). It also leaves little room for dynamic conversation and going on useful tangents. 


Inconsistent skillset 

Not everyone will know how to screen record or set themselves up well (and if it’s an interview, you won’t know until your guests send you their files after, and you’re unlikely to request a retake for the whole interview).


Storage requirements 

Depending on how long your video is, recordings will take a lot of space, and every participant has to have the available resources and technical savvy to troubleshoot.


Solution #2 - The modern way: Digital, double-ender, remote recording. 

This involves using digital software to record your call/webinar/presentation, but it’s different from Zoom or Skype in that it records locally. Essentially, this means that, even though the internet is allowing you to see and hear each other in real-time, the recordings are taking place offline, so that you get HD audio and video, with no glitches, dropouts, or muffled audio. 

With Riverside.fm, each participant’s audio and video are being recorded separately, and will be automatically uploaded and available for the host to download at the end of the call. Even better, Riverside’s magic editor allows you to automatically stitch together the locally recorded, separate tracks, saving you many hours in post-production. 


Advantages

No internet-related issues/glitches 

As every participant’s audio and video is being recorded locally, the quality will be completely independent of the internet connection. Any patchiness that you may see or hear during your call will not be present in the file that you download at the end.


Less Coordination Chaos

Recording a high-quality remote video using a digital, double-ender software eliminates a lot of the stress and, potentially, the chaos of trying to coordinate multiple participants, all with different abilities, filming their own content. It streamlines the process significantly and cuts down on the inconsistency and room for miscommunication. 

Most importantly, it comes across as the most professional approach, and you won’t have to ask guests to figure out how to send you their large files at the end (they’ll likely have to create an account with software like Dropbox or WeTransfer), as you can download everyone’s content, at the click of a button.



Live Interaction

Since you’re recording your video with all participants in real-time, everyone can bounce ideas off each other, and even take live call-ins and questions and do live streams with Riverside.fm.


Up to 4K Video Quality, With Separate Files

With Riverside, you’ll receive totally uncompressed, separate .wav audio files for each participant, and separate video files up to 4K. This is a major advantage over recording a conference call on Zoom or Skype, where you can only download one, compressed file at the end, which will also include any internet dropouts and glitches. 


Monitor Participant Audio and Video Quality

Another major advantage over recording on Zoom or Skype is that platforms like Riverside allow the host to view and monitor participant audio and video input.


Disadvantages

Only one “take”

Since you’re recording live, you won’t have the option to use everyone’s best “take” and mix and match them at the end - everyone needs to be on top form at the moment of the recording.


How To Do It



So, Which Solution Is Right for You?

If you’re making a podcast, video tutorials, or a webinar with guests involved, a digital double-ender software is likely your best option. 

It cuts out a lot of the unnecessary technological set-up, offers an easy process for all participants, and straightforward tools like screen sharing and listener Q&As.

All the while recording locally, offering all the same benefits as asking each participant to record their own video and audio.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highly curated content, case studies, Riverside updates, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles

10

min read

The Best Video Editing Software for Every Level and Budget

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

13

min read

The Best Podcast Apps in 2021 for both listening + recording

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

11

min read

Best audio editing software for every skill level + budget

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.