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Remote Recording Options for Pro Podcasters

Emmy Award-winning producer Ben Ratner walks podcasters through available low-cost and free solutions for recording video and audio from remote guests in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

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Learn more about webcast production at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Ben Ratner: Let's talk a little bit about remote recording. This is obviously, I don't know if any of you have heard, but we've been going through a global pandemic, which has required people to be at distances from people. Some of these are options that work with both audio and video.

Skype is free and easy. You can upgrade using software called Ecamm. That'll help you get your individual audio recorded channels. I don't love Skype. It Does a little bit too much audio compression for me, and to record video with Ecamm it's only 15 frames per second. It's not great. You don't have too much control.

Let's talk about Zoom next. With Zoom, you're going to want to do a paid zoom plan. Those costs about $15/month for the simple ones. It's nice, because they will give you isolated audio tracks after the recording. They won't let you do that live yet. That's just not a feature, so I don't love it for that, and they don't give you isolated video tracks. So if you're trying to make a video podcast on YouTube or whatever later, Zoom is not great for that, unless you just have everyone on the sixth screen or whatever.

Zencaster has shown up in the last couple of years, and it is great. It's free right now. Otherwise it starts at $20/month. It does high-quality recordings through basically two methods. One is pretty good quality over the actual stream itself, but it also records a local version of that your guests' recording and your recording. What that means is, you're listening back and forth on the stream, but it immediately uploads an uncompressed, non-internet-ruined version of that podcast. So it'll be synced up and perfect and you'll have good quality even if their internet dies. Zencaster is great and they do video now in beta.

They have a competitor called Zoom ISO by the makers of Zoom. OSC will produce isolated from Zoom. I did not know that. SquadCast is another one. Okay. I learn things too. This field is expanding so quickly that I can't even keep track.

StreamYard and Restream. Streamyard has basically been the thing that has powered live streaming video for people who don't have infrastructure over the last year or so. If you've seen a bunch of people on a screen with their name in the corner and they're video able to zoom in and out, you've probably seen something from Streamyard.

Both Streamyard and Restream--which has a similar studio surface--let you get those isolated audio tracks afterwards. If I haven't said it explicitly, the isolated audio tracks are important because that's what gives you the ability to edit those things in post. If someone coughs, or you need to isolate individual things, it's important for that.

Last thing, most people are in this world are using Macs because you can have them record right into QuickTime. Just make sure you set that QuickTime to higher quality. They will need to email you that file afterwards but that is a free, good recording-quality thing. You just can't explicitly monitor it. So it's not the best.

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Emmy Award-winning producer Ben Ratner discusses I/O interfaces and recording devices used effectively in podcast production in this clip from his podcasting tutorial at Streaming Media East Connect 2021.