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How to Record a Zoom Podcast in Higher Quality - Riverside.fm

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How to Record a Zoom Podcast in Higher Quality - Riverside.fm

Recording long-distance podcasts with a remote guest can be trickier than an in-studio setup. It’s important to find software that works for you and delivers the quality you need without too much fuss.

Many podcasters turn to Zoom because it’s something they’re already familiar with (especially after COVID-19 made it an essential part of work-from-home life). Zoom podcasting is an easy and natural first step into the remote podcasting world — but we’d argue that it shouldn’t be your final option, especially not if you’re looking to record in higher quality. 

How to Record a Podcast on Zoom in 8 Steps

It’s easy to see how Zoom could become a popular choice among podcasters merely because they’re familiar with it. The odds are good that you’ve used the software for a work meeting or a virtual get-together with friends at least once during the pandemic. 

Zoom has also been popular due to its above-average audio quality and internet consistency compared to Skype and other online conference software. It’s comparatively easy to use — and it also has a ‘Basic’ tier that is attractive to cash-strapped beginners.

To start podcasting on Zoom, simply follow the same basic steps you would go through when setting up a regular virtual call. 

To start podcasting on Zoom, simply follow these steps: 

Step 1: Log in and create a new Zoom meeting

First, if you haven’t already, create an account and install the Zoom app at Zoom.us. It’s completely free to sign up for an account, so no need to worry about costs if you’re sticking with Zoom’s free plan. Zoom’s basic plan is a bit limiting, though, and if you need a plan to host recording sessions over 40 minutes we highly recommend you upgrade to one of their higher plans. 

In order to create an account or log in, open the app and select the “Sign In” button. Enter your login details or sign up. You can also use your Facebook and Google accounts to sign up quicker. 

Once you’ve done setting up your account and plan you can select “New Meeting”. You can also select “Schedule” if you’d like to record at a later date.

Zoom options for creating a new recording meeting.

Step 2: Setup your Zoom podcast and test equipment

Before recording, you’ll be prompted to select your microphone and equipment (we suggest using an external mic for best sound — but Zoom gives the option to use your computer’s microphone as well). Select “Test Speaker and Microphone” if you’d like to check out your sound quality.

When you’re done testing your sound make sure to join your audio. If you’ve exited your sound test, simply click the headphone button “Join Audio” and then you’ll find the correct pop-up to press “Join with Computer Audio”

Your microphone should now be set up and if you’d like to adjust it, simply click on the arrow by the microphone icon on the dashboard and you can choose a different microphone if you wish.

Microphone and audio menu on Zoom

Step 3: Optimize your Audio with these Zoom Tips

While Zoom is easy to use, it doesn’t always produce the best quality audio or video. That’s why if you choose to use this platform, make sure to take advantage of these hacks in the hidden settings of Zoom to improve your audio as much as possible. 

Since you’re already in your studio, you can access your Audio Settings from the arrow next to the microphone button as described in the previous step. (You can also access this from the small settings gear icon on the top-right corner of your home screen dashboard.)

Once you’re in Audio Settings adjust the following:

1. Enable Original Sound

Zoom naturally tries to cut out echo and interference to help the quality of your call with noise reduction. However, if you’ve got a good setup, a quality mic, and a quiet space, you can change those settings to help keep as much of the original audio as possible. 

In the Audio settings tab, scroll to ‘Music and Professional Audio’. Here, make sure the checkbox is selected next to the “Show in-meeting option to enable Original Sound”.

Zoom audio settings for choosing original sound

Then, you’ll be able to choose this option to enhance the audio during your recording. You’ll find the ‘Original Sound’ toggle at the top of your recording screen and you simply need to click it to turn it on or off. 

This setting may not make much discernable difference to the output, but it’s worth a shot. 

Every little bit of retained audio will help when you edit for production.

2. Record Speakers Separately

Zoom has the option to record each participant on a separate audio track. Make sure you enable this setting to have more editing capabilities during post-production. Note: Zoom does not give the option to record each participant on a separate video track. 

For instance, if one speaker’s volume was too low or they had a loud noise in the background, you’ll want to be able to adjust their audio without interfering with the other tracks.

To check that this setting is turned on, head to your Zoom settings, and click “Recording”. Then make sure the box is checked next to “Record a separate audio file for each participant”.

Step 4: Invite guests to your Zoom meeting

Zoom allows you to invite guests by clicking the Participants tab and clicking “Invite”. You can then select a participant to invite from your contacts or via email. It’s also possible to send them a link directly if you press “Copy Invite Link’. Your guests will be able to join the call with a click.

If you have scheduled a recording for a later time, you can invite guests before entering the recording. To do this simply create a scheduled meeting and then copy the meeting’s invite link from your Google Calendar or directly from the Zoom dashboard. You can then paste this invite into any message format you’d like to send.

Copying a Zoom Invitation

Step 5: Go through a test run

It’s always a good idea to run through everything before actually recording live. This will allow you to see if your equipment is working well, and it can also help you assess your’s and your guests’ internet quality before recording. A reliable internet connection is important if you want to record in high-quality on Zoom. Zoom captures everything over the internet so if there are any issues, you could be recording glitchy content which is the last thing you want when recording a podcast.

We also suggest you make sure you’re in an optimal recording environment. While there are ways to make a podcast studio at home, essentially you’ll want to try to be in an environment that’s as quiet as possible. 

A test run also allows you to inform your guests of what to expect and how to go about their own recording setup before you go on to record live.

Step 6: Start your Zoom podcast recording

After your guests have joined and your Zoom podcast setup is ready, click the “Record” button on your dashboard to start recording your meeting. Note that if you are on Zoom’s free version and are hosting more than one guest in your online meeting, your recording can only last 40 minutes.

That’s all there is to it! Have your conversation as usual, then click “Stop recording” when you’re done. Once you end the meeting, Zoom will automatically convert the recorded section into audio files and save them to your computer.

Step 7: Edit your Zoom Podcast Recordings 

Once you’re done recording, you can find your Zoom podcast files in a folder created by Zoom on your computer. By default, this is saved in your documents under a Zoom folder. You can also adjust this before recording. To choose another location go to the ‘Recordings’ tab in settings. 

Your new folder will contain an mp3 (audio) file and an mp4 (video) file. You’ll need another program to do any additional edits. Some great audio editing software you can try includes:

  • Audacity
  • Garage Brand
  • Adobe Audition

Simply, upload your recordings to your editing software of choice and start polishing your podcast.

Step 8: Publish your podcast

Your last step is to finally distribute your podcast. You’ll have to upload it to a podcast hosting site of your choice, and from there you can push your show to podcast directories like Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts. We recommend publishing your podcast to as many platforms as possible so it gets the most exposure. 

It’s also always a good idea to promote your podcast on social media or through other methods. For video podcasts, we suggest using short clips on social media to draw in listeners, but you can also turn these clips into audiograms for audio-only podcasts.

Just like that you’ve learned how to record a podcast with Zoom. Want to learn more about recording with Zoom? Read our guide on how to record a Zoom meeting.

Bonus Tips for Zoom podcast recording:

  • Make sure you and your guests both have a reliable internet connection to avoid issues later on.
  • Run your guests through everything they need to know before recording live.
  • Record with a high-quality podcast microphone.
  • Make sure you are in a quiet environment.
  • Record a backup with your built-in screen recorder. This might not be the best quality, but at least if your internet is a bit glitchy you have a backup recording directly from your device.

Downsides to Using Zoom for Podcasts 

While Zoom is an easy choice for beginners who are already used to the platform for work or recreational calls, the software has several disadvantages. It isn’t reliable when recording studio-quality videos for professional distribution to your audience. After all, it was designed to make online video calls, not as a remote recording app.

Because Zoom prioritizes virtual conferencing, it sacrifices audio and video quality to optimize speed and ease of use.  Zoom’s program uses compressed audio and video, meaning it removes portions of the audio track to make the file smaller. 

Audio compression helps your video chat flow more smoothly since the transferred data is in a smaller package. But the resulting file is less-than-optimal for professional-quality recordings — meaning that you may not be using Zoom for podcasting for very long.

Another downside to the Zoom podcast is that it takes place over a live internet connection, meaning the audio and video recording depends mainly on the quality and speed of your internet signal. If you experience a lag or a disconnection, the audio or video file will be interrupted.

When it comes to recording a podcast in higher quality, Zoom might not be your best option after all.

Watch the video below to hear the difference between recording with Zoom vs a dedicated recording tool for podcasting.

‍Top Zoom Alternatives

Zoom might not be the optimal recording software for everyone. You might be looking for software with more features or something better suited to your recording needs. We’ve listed below some popular paid and free zoom alternatives to help you out. Note that if you’re particularly interested in recording podcasts it’s better to use specialized podcast recording software.

  1. Microsoft Teams (Free and paid plans)
  2. Skype (Free and paid options)
  3. Google Meet (Free and paid plans)
  4. Webex by Cisco (Free and paid plans)
  5. Riverside (Free and paid plans) 

Top Zoom Alternatives for Podcasters

So what’s the solution to recording podcasts in higher quality?

As technology has improved and standards continue to rise, several alternatives to Zoom have appeared on the scene to meet the podcasters’ specific needs. 

For instance, what about lousy wifi? Making a recording that isn’t reliant on a fast internet connection is preferred since you never know when your reception will be less than optimal. ‘Double-ender’ recordings, where each participant’s audio is recorded at their end, are especially useful for those recording interviews or remote podcasts.

Some professional podcasters have complicated double-ender recording setups requiring each participant to ensure the high-quality recording of their own feed. However, many podcasters are turning to remote recording software platforms that come with double-ender elements as their preferred alternatives to apps like Zoom. 

These platforms record every participant’s audio and video locally on their device and stores the recordings on the cloud in real-time.

The Best Zoom Podcast Alternative: Riverside.fm

  • Local recording: Everything is recorded directly on your device so no internet connection issues get in the way of high-quality podcast recordings.
  • Up to 8 participants in one studio no matter how long your record for.
  • High resolution: Capture video in up to 4K.
  • Download files: WAV, mp3, and mp4.
  • Cost: Free plan, with subscriptions starting from $15 per month.
  • Separate tracks: Download separate tracks for all participants.
  • Easy editing: You can customize your recordings, and edit audio in a few simple clicks with our Magic Editor.
  • All online: No need to download any additional software
  • Easy podcast distribution: Publish your podcast straight to Spotify and other platforms with Riverside’s integration with Anchor.

Benefits of Riverside.fm Compared to Zoom

Once you’re ready to level up from Zoom, you can’t go wrong with Riverside.fm if you’re recording a distance video podcast. Riverside is a high-powered studio-quality audio and video podcast recording software.

While Zoom recording software compresses audio and video to optimize connection speeds, Riverside is built for podcasting. It prioritizes quality and doesn’t compress or cut away portions of the audio or video feed. The resulting recording is crystal-clear — which means your audience won’t be distracted or turned off by glitches, echos, or any other audio problems common with Zoom recordings.

While recording using call software often depends on the quality and speed of your internet connection, recording using Riverside means each participant’s feed is being recorded locally. So dropped or lagging connections won’t affect the result because the recording doesn’t depend on your internet reception.  

Riverside.fm’s podcast recording software is also easy for participants to join. Unlike Zoom, which works best if each participant has downloaded the app, Riverside works directly from your browser. 

Simply send your guest an invite link, and they can click to join in seconds. 

Finally, Riverside has many additional benefits that Zoom doesn’t offer, such as:

  • Progressive uploading: Your recordings will be uploaded to the cloud as you go, meaning you don’t need to wait for it to upload before closing your browser after you’re done.
  • Separate video tracks: Riverside gives you a separate, locally-recorded video track for each participant, making it easier to edit and stitch them together in post-production.
  • Live call-in: Your audience can call in with video during the recording.
  • Producer mode: Producers can monitor the recording and communicate with the participants during the session without being recorded. 
  • Host controls. Manually set desired frame rates and video resolution. The host can also monitor and adjust audio levels during the live recording, including guests’ equipment and balancing.
  • Custom branding: Design your own branded greenroom where guests can wait before joining the show. 
  • Shareable ClipsRiverside gives you an easy tool to highlight key moments of your podcast by creating short clips to distribute all over social media. 
  • Mobile Apps:  Podcast on the go with the iOS host and guest view app and the Android guest app.
  • Automatic Podcast Transcripts: Receive automatic, accurate transcriptions straight after recording.

How to Use Riverside.fm to Record Remote Podcasts  

Recording a remote podcast using Riverside.fm is as simple as using Zoom or other call recording software. Sign up for free to check out the process for yourself.

Step 1: First, create or log into your account. In your dashboard, you will be prompted to create your first studio. Decide on a title for the studio and choose whether you are recording audio, video, or both. Check that your settings for the recording are the way you want them. 

(If you need help choosing a podcast name, we also have a podcast name generator to help you.)

Step 2: Enter the studio from your dashboard. The platform will check your connection speed and prompt you to input your name. Click on ‘Join studio’ to test your microphone, camera (and hair), and webcam. You can also do a mic test or webcam test before signing up.

The Riverside.fm green room where you can check your microphone and camera.

Step 4:  If you’d like to invite guests once you're in the studio, click on the Invite People button on the top left of your recording screen. You can then follow the prompts to invite guests either via a direct link or email.

Sending out Riverside recording invites

For best results, all participants should use external microphones and headphones.

Step 3: Your recording is ready to start! Hit the recording button on your dashboard when you’re ready to begin.

The host view when recording on the Riverside platform with two participants.

Step 5: To use some of the bonus features, head to your settings. You can easily set up live streams to social media by inputting your profile access information.

Step 6: When you're done recording, press stop and once all files have uploaded you can download or edit them from your Studio Recordings tab.

Once you’re done recording, Riverside will provide you with separate lossless tracks for each participant. You can download WAV, mp3, or mp4 files to use with your favorite editing software. You can also use Riverside’s Magic Editor to create Clips and a ready-to-publish podcast that you can share straight away to YouTube or Spotify.

FAQs on Recording a Podcast on Zoom

Can you do a podcast with Zoom?

Yes, you can record and make a podcast with Zoom. While this has become a popular option for podcasters, we suggest trying software that’s more dedicated to podcast recording. If you want high-quality audio and video it’s better to choose software, like Riverside, that offers remote recording features such as local recording.

How do I host a podcast on Zoom?

You can read our step-to-step guide above on how to host a podcast on Zoom. To summarize this is how you can host a podcast on zoom.

  1. Create a meeting
  2. Set up your equipment
  3. Optimize your audio settings
  4. Invite guests to your recording
  5. Start recording your podcast
  6. Download your recordings and edit them
  7. Finally, publish your podcast.

How do I get the best audio quality on Zoom podcast?

We’ve covered this in detail in the third step of our guide. For the best results, you should be using a microphone and recording its original sound. We also suggest recording in separate audio tracks for more post-production control.

Choose Recording Software that Meets Your Podcasting Goals

When you’re starting out as a podcaster, you probably aren’t a tech wizard who loves fiddling with sound levels and experimenting with the newest microphones. You don’t want to worry about complicated processes or pricey equipment; you want recording software that’s easy to use and dependable.  

Using Zoom as a podcaster recorder is popular for many creators because it’s simple and already widely used for internet video conference calls. While this video conferencing app does come with downsides, such as compressed audio, it can be a good choice for new podcasters who need a free platform that’s more or less reliable for maintaining a connection during a remote interview.

But when you’re ready to level up, consider software that doesn’t compress your audio or video. You’ll want to find a platform that’s just as easy to use as Zoom but provides many podcast-specific features. Riverside.fm is one of the best alternatives to Zoom. It gives you studio-quality audio and video, locally-recorded feeds that don’t depend on an internet connection and an intuitive in-browser experience that won’t leave you or your guests scratching your heads in confusion. With Riverside, you can easily podcast on the go with our mobile apps, and you can take your video content to the next level with easy editing tools and quick shareable Clips.

If you’re ready to level up your podcasting game, sign up for free with Riverside today!

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