Recording on Zoom has become a widespread practice for podcasting, mainly because of the physical distancing measures put in place due to the pandemic. Podcasters, regardless of their skill level, have taken advantage of the user-friendly and accessible tool. I have personally been a fan of Zoom for a long time and use it exclusively for the Vida With Christie podcast. I find it to be a high-quality tool that has helped me immensely in my podcasting journey, especially since it has allowed me to connect with podcasters and guests in countries other than the one I reside in, Canada. Whether you are recording an interview with a guest or long-distance with your co-host, I recommend applying these best practices for using Zoom for podcasts.
Tips For Using Zoom For Podcasts
by Christie Lazo
1. Record On Separate Tracks
Recording on separate tracks is particularly important when your guest does not have a professional microphone or more background noise than you’d like. Separate tracks allow you to edit a single track, or one person’s voice, instead of the entire recording. By doing this, you can focus on adjusting the sound of one track without jeopardizing the other tracks’ quality.
Set Zoom calls to record separate tracks by checking off the box “Record a separate audio file for each participant who speaks” in Settings.
An additional recommendation comes from Crystal of Dem Black Mamas: “If you save to the cloud, it won’t save audio on different tracks. Be sure to set the settings to ‘Save to local computer’. Also make sure there’s enough space on your hard drive.”
2. Record Automatically
I was once interviewed by a podcaster who forgot to press record on the Zoom call, and we, unfortunately, missed out on a significant part of our conversation. It can truly happen to anyone! As a result, I recommend choosing the “Automatically record meeting on the local computer” option when setting up your meeting. You can see where to find this option below:
I also recommend letting your guest know that the call will be automatically recorded before they enter the meeting to ensure they are prepared and comfortable with this.
You may also choose to record your Zoom call automatically, as Lisa of Stitch Please Podcast does, to share it as a special bonus for your Patreon subscribers, “ I use the audio for my podcast and the full video as a Patreon feature.”
Read Next: Patreon Growth Hacks From Podfest
3. Select Accurate Mic For Recording
“Make sure the audio selected is from your mic and not the computer; also check with guests to do the same.” says Fernanda of Curlify The Outdoors.
Your computer will likely automatically set the sound to record from the mic that is already on the computer. You will want to ensure that the correct mic is selected when you start recording. I advise your guest or co-host to do the same. You can do this by expanding the mic options like I’ve done in the image below.
4. Provide Questions In Chat
When I interview guests, I paste the questions in the Zoom chat. This allows my guest and I to both see the questions. I can say them without having to look away at another screen. My guest can also see the questions clearly in front of them. I find my guests are usually very grateful for this, especially when they are not used to being interviewed or recording on a podcast. Additionally, you may find that guests may naturally flow from one question to the next. This will make your recording sound more like a conversation rather than an interview, giving it a more natural and organic touch.
5. Troubleshoot Signal
You may experience connection issues depending on how weak/strong your internet signal is — someone may freeze or, worst-case scenario, Zoom relaunches the meeting. If and when this happens, don’t panic. There are certain tips and tricks to avoid this, such as turning off camera views if they are not necessary or, like Veronica of The Feminist Agenda Podcast mentions, “Some days the Wi-Fi isn’t very strong, so the audio garbles; I close all other apps.”
Using Zoom to record podcast interviews may seem involved, but it is much more user-friendly than you think. After a few interviews, I do not doubt that you will maneuver the platform like a pro! If you’d like more tips on conducting remote interviews for your podcast, make sure to check out Best Remote Podcast Interview Tools and Tips.
Here’s another resource mentioned by the community.
Attn: podcasters/radio people (all others disregard this nerdy content)— Andrew Norton (@andrewtnorton) February 26, 2019
Here’s a graphic I made to send to interviewees that shows them how to record their own high (ish) quality audio with their iPhone while you talk to them via landline/Skype. pic.twitter.com/LO7Jwx9w5k
Are you using Zoom for podcast interviews? What additional tips would you add to this list?
Christie Lazo is a Peruvian-Canadian content creator and mother of one, living in Toronto, Canada. She is a digital marketing strategist by profession who exercises her creative flair through content creation in English and Spanish during her free time. In 2018, Christie launched Vida With Christie, a blog and podcast influencing parents to live their best lives as they raise aware and empowered children. Christie is a tea lover, beauty and makeup obsessed, an avid foodie, a travel enthusiast, and a mamá rebelde.