10 Best Practices for Glitch-Free Podcast Recordings

Glitch-free_podcast_recordings

Congratulations! You've booked a really important guest for your podcast.

It's important that you impress them and provide a great episode for your listeners.

Don't let simple tech problems get in your way.



Best Practices for Recording Over the Internet

1. Perform a sound check

Ask your future guest to do a quick test with you at least a few days prior to the actual interview.

Not only will it make them more comfortable, you will be able to coach them through the setup and to be ready with headphones/earbuds.

Tip: Schedule the test exactly 1 week prior to the interview. Your guest is more likely to remember you will meet at 3pm ET next week because you did a test at 3pm ET this week.
(You also ensure they have the right time zone in mind).


2. Send reminders

Send your guest a happy email 24 hours before the interview.

Send another one the day of — reminding them to wear headphones or earbuds.

People get busy and things happen. If something drastic changes, the reminder will nudge them to re-schedule. (It's better they re-schedule than for you to wait 30 minutes and feel ghosted).

Tip: In the email, use their name and give them the links to how you will connect online.
Make it hard for them to NOT be ready 🙂


3. REQUIRE EARBUDS!

Wearing headphones or earbuds solves SO MANY problems with recording interviews over the internet.

Services like Squadcast.fm, Zencastr.com, and even Zoom.us have noise-cancelling features.

However, if your guest is hearing you through their built-in speakers and begins talking at the same time as you…then somebody is going underwater.

PLEASE urge them to wear earbuds. I beg you!

Tip: Let your guest know that you want to make them sound incredible, and the way to do that is to wear headphones/earbuds.


4. Run software updates

A few hours before recording, make sure all Windows updates are done.

Some of these processes take a while, so get it done long before you are scheduled to record.

Tip: Check for system updates as early in the day as you can…like just before you take a shower. It could be a while.


5. Reboot 1-hour before

Similar to the tip above, restarting your computer shortly before the interview will clear out the cache and help shut down unnecessary processes.

Tip: Always save your work. Frequently.


6. Close everything

You want to give your computer every chance for a glitch-free recording, so shut down everything that could get in the way:

  • Virus scan
  • DropBox or Google Backup & Sync
  • Unnecessary browser tabs
  • Unused programs

Tip: Create a second Login account on your computer that only has programs that are used for recording podcast interviews. There is no need to have access to your tax software when recording a podcast.


7. Get everyone off Netflix

It's almost time to record. You want every MB of streaming to go to your computer, not to the kids watching Disney+ again.

Tip: Plan ahead to get the kids out of the house just before recording. If they can't go out, set them up with a DVD or have them make Mac & Cheese (all kids love Mac & Cheese). ANYTHING to keep them busy and off the internet.


8. Hard-wire to your router

Run an Ethernet cable directly to your router. It is much more reliable than WiFi.

Search Amazon and you'll find dozens of 50ft Cat 7 Shielded Ethernet cables for less than $25.

It's INCREDIBLE!

Tip: If you are hard-wired to your router then you could turn off the WiFi in your house. This ensures random devices don't start sucking up the bandwidth in the middle of your recording.

I probably wouldn't go that far, but if you gotta then you gotta.


9. Check your mics

We are almost there! Your guest showed up and it's almost time to record.

VERY IMPORTANT: Check to make sure your mics are working.

It happens to EVERYONE a time or two.

You record an awesome interview, only to find out later that your webcam was selected as your microphone.

AVOID THIS by scratching the head of your mic. DON'T TAP – because other recording devices in the room can pick up taps and fool you.

Say to your guest, “Hey Mr. Guest, I just want to make sure my mic is on. Can you hear this?” [scratch the head of the mic]

Your guest says, “Yes, I can hear your mic.

Great. Now let me test yours, Mr. Guest. Can you scratch the head of your mic for me please?

Tip: Test your mic first, because it makes your guest feel less awkward when you ask them. Plus, it's your non-podcasting guest who probably has no idea how the software/service settings work. ALWAYS do this!


10. Turn off distractions

It's time to focus on your guest.

Silence your phone and put it away…preferably out of reach.

Also turn off notifications on your computer. Avoid as many unnecessary distractions as possible.

Tip: Silence your phone or turn it off. Do not set it to vibrate. Vibrations can travel through hard surfaces, including the surface your mic is set on.


Best Practices for Recording in Person

Do you have the chance to record an in-person interview?

  • Record in a “soft room” (where sound doesn't echo around the room)
  • Face your guest
  • Position the microphones so they are directly opposite each other
  • For notes: Use a tablet instead of computer or paper. Mouse clicks and cooling fans introduce unwanted noise, as well as shuffling papers

I hope this helps you record a glitch-free interview!

Unboxing: The Heil FIN