Dreaming of having your own podcast?
There’s never been an easier time to start! If you have an idea for a podcast you can get started whenever you like, thanks to user-friendly technology. You don’t need to be a recording expert or have a professional studio. You can record and produce a great-sounding podcast in your own home, with just a few pieces of equipment.
One of the easiest ways to record a podcast interview is to use Zoom. This software was designed for video conferencing, but it also has several features that make it great for podcasting. Whether you are recording a solo podcast, an interview or a group discussion, Zoom makes it very simple.
In this article, we’ll show you the steps to using Zoom to record your podcast.
Benefits of Using Zoom to Record Your Podcast
What are some of the perks of using Zoom as a podcast recording tool? Here are some of the main advantages.
- Physical distance is no longer a barrier. You’ll be able to interview guests who live anywhere in the world.
- You won’t have to worry about Covid restrictions – you can interview as many people as you want without risk of infection.
- It’s simple to use. Your podcast guest doesn’t need to have a Zoom account or download any software. All you need to do is send the link, press record and talk.
- Since you’ll be able to see your podcast guest on video, you’ll get a better interview because you can read their body language and expressions.
- You can also record a video version of the podcast interview, which you can then post on YouTube or share on your website.
The Steps to Recording a Podcast on Zoom
Recording a podcast on Zoom is super easy. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:
Step One: Download Zoom
The first step is to download the Zoom app onto your laptop or other device. Visit the Zoom website to create your account, then tap on the “Download” button and follow the steps. You can download the software and use it for free, and you’ll have the option of upgrading to a paid account.
How much does Zoom cost? Well, there’s a basic tier that allows you to use the app free of charge. With the Basic account, you’ll only be able to make group calls for up to 40 minutes. So, if you plan on recording a longer podcast, you may want to consider opting for the paid version. The Pro plan allows you to have group meetings that last 24 hours, which is MUCH more than you’ll need for any podcast. It costs $14.99 per month.
However, the 40 minute time limit only applies to calls with more than two people. If your podcast only consists of you talking, or interviewing one other guest at a time, then the free version may be all you need!
Step Two: Set Up Your Microphone and Headphones
Zoom can run using the microphone and speakers that are built right into your device. However, while it’s possible to record a podcast with just your device’s default microphone, you will probably want to invest in a higher quality microphone.
No one listens to a podcast because it has superior sound quality, but if your sound quality is terrible it will make people stop listening. It would be a shame to put a lot of thought and effort into your podcast content, only to record it with a poor quality microphone. There are plenty of great podcasting microphones available for under $50, so it’s definitely worth the investment.
Here’s a helpful list of affordable, high-quality podcasting microphones. Be sure to choose one that has a pop filter, which will help eliminate the harsh “p” and “b” sounds you’ll make when speaking into mic.
To change your microphone in the Zoom settings, click the arrow beside the “Mute” button when you are in a meeting. You’ll see a drop-down menu with all the microphones available listed under “Select a Microphone.” Just click on the microphone you want to use and switch your audio input.
You’ll also want to wear headphones while recording your podcast on Zoom, so that your guest doesn’t hear an echo as their voice comes through your speakers and is picked up by your microphone.
Step Three: Eliminate Background Noise
No one wants to listen to a podcast with a lot of annoying sounds going on in the background. Before you hit “record”, you’ll want to make sure that your recording environment is as quiet as possible. Here are some important things to remember before you begin:
- Turn off your air conditioning, fan, space heater or any other noisy, humming appliances.
- Remove any noisy kids, roommates, dogs or cats from the area. Hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to let others know not to interrupt you.
- Close the windows and doors to avoid noise from the outdoors, such as wind, traffic, birds, sirens, etc. .
- Avoid rustling papers or moving items around your desk while you are recording.
- Install noise cancelling software. A noise cancelling app such as Krisp will identify background noise using an algorithm and filter it out. You’ll be left with only the clear sound of your voice.
Step Four: Set Up Each Speaker as a Separate Audio Track
Did you know that you can record separate audio files for each speaker? This is a smart thing to do and makes it a lot easier to edit your podcast afterwards.
Go to Zoom settings and click on the “Recording” settings. Then, select the option called “Record a separate audio file for each participant who speaks.”
Once the call finishes, you’ll have a folder that contains the three standard files – the joint audio, the video and the chat transcript. You’ll also get an additional folder called “Audio Record” with a separate M4a file for each speaker.
Step Five: Brief Your Guest Before You Begin
It’s a good idea to give your guest a quick rundown on how to use Zoom and what to expect, especially if they have never done this before. Before you start the podcast recording, you can give them some tips on how to use Zoom. For example, let them know that they can press the spacebar to mute themselves at any point if they need to.
You should also give them an idea of how long the interview will be, and a rough overview of the topics you’ll be asking them about. Allow for a bit of extra time so they can get their microphone and headphones set up and you can test the settings.
The good news is that your guest will not have to download Zoom themselves to do the interview. They can simply click on the link and enter the call with you from their own browser.
Step Six: Record The Call with Zoom
Now that you and your guest are ready, let the conversation begin!
When it comes to actually recording the podcast on Zoom, it’s quite simple! Here are the steps to follow:
- Click on the “New Meeting” button to start your call.
- Click on the “Invite” button at the bottom of the screen in the meeting.
- Choose “Copy Invitation” and copy the ID and passcode for the meeting.
- Paste the link and passcode into an email or message and share it with your guest.
- When your guest joins the call, click “Manage Participants” on the bar at the bottom of the screen.
- You should see a list of all participants. Make sure all microphones are working and everyone’s voices are coming through crisp and clear.
- Start the podcast episode!
- When you’re done, click on ‘End Meeting” and then “End Meeting for All.”
Step Seven: Edit the Audio File
When you record an interview on Zoom, you will get two different file type versions. There will be an M4a audio file, which you can drop straight into your audio editor. This type of file can be used with software such as Audition, Audacity or Alitu. You’ll also have an MP4 video file, which can be edited and uploaded to YouTube or social media.
If you have recorded separate tracks for each speaker, you’ll have one M4a audio file for each speaker. The file name will include the name of the person, so it’s easy to identify which is which.
You can edit the podcast in your audio editor software to add an intro and outro, cut out parts of the interview and add music, sound effects and more.
Don’t let technology intimidate you from making your podcast idea a reality. Producing something that sounds great is a lot easier than you would think! Try using Zoom to record your podcast interview, so you can get your ideas out into the world!