Recording Podcast Interviews

Before embarking on this podcast journey I wanted to do ample research into the logistics of recording an interview. I definitely want to conduct some in person interviews, but in reality most will probably end up being remote.

I wanted to keep things simple and keep things cheap. It was important to that I took time to test out the various options before a real interview actually came.

Podcasting Equipment and Software that I Use

Computer: MacBook Pro

Editing software: GarageBand

Remote interview recording software: Zoom or Zencastr, but mostly Zoom

Mic: Logitech USB Headset H390 with Noise Cancelling Mic

Remote Interviews

I do anticipate doing in person interviews, but as of now, all of my first five interviews I have conducted (four have been released with the fifth coming in February) have been remote.

After a decent amount of research into what other podcasters recommend, I settled on testing out a few different recording software options. My lovely wife was the lucky one that got to test them out with me so that I could make sure I knew how to use them.

I decided to use Zoom and Zencastr as my two go to options. They work well and both have free options that I can make work for me and my show. The plus side of Zencastr is that the interview records each person on separate tracks, meaning you can edit each person’s audio individually. This is helpful if someone coughs while another is talking, etc. On the other hand, I would say the biggest positive for Zoom is its ease of use. You can enter a meeting via a web link or call in to a phone number on your own phone just like a conference call.

In four out of my first five interviews I’ve ended up using Zoom. The reason…? Ease of use. Only one of my guests had an actual mic, while the rest just called in on their phones and most used iPhone headphones to improve sound. I understand that as I grow in this podcast, I may learn things and implement new processes to improve sound quality, etc. But my focus right now is on getting quality guests who are willing to share their time. The last thing I want to do is over complicate the process for them. Zencastr on the other hand requires Google Chrome or Firefox browsers and I have run into issues with certain guest’s computers or internet service not being capable enough. I did record my fifth interview (that will go live on February 3rd) with Zencastr. It sounded great and the separate track setup was nice. But you know what wasn’t fun…? Editing two tracks. I’m no expert editor yet but I think I spent double the amount of time editing this episode compared to the ones recorded on one track with Zoom. The reason being that I had to match up the timing of the two tracks as I made edits and deleted segments, etc. With one track to edit, the editing is more straightforward and simple. For now my conclusion is that I’m going to make Zoom my top choice for recording remote interviews, and if anything better presents itself, I’ll try to be sure to have an open mind.

If you have an opinion on audio and or podcasting equipment or strategies let me know by commenting below! And don’t forget to check out the podcast by clicking one of the links below or searching Career Yak in your favorite podcast platform.

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