Learning how to make a podcast? SquadCast may be the best solution for recording you, your co-hosts, and your guests, remotely. Here’s how the service can help you.
Avoid This Nightmare Podcast Production Scenario
What is your ideal podcast recording solution to avoid the following nightmare scenario?
Imagine taking the time to outline your episode with podcast topics, book a guest, schedule a time that works for you, your co-host(s) and guest(s), start a podcast recording, record a great show, only to find your recording failed?
After experiencing various feelings – disbelief, anger, guilt, finally to accept your recording is inaudible or beyond fixing, what would you do? Would you crawl back to your contributors and beg for a re-record?
This is the ultimate nightmare for a podcast host. Yet it happens more often than you might expect.
As a big consumer of podcasts, I wouldn’t be able to detail how many times I’ve listened to episodes where the hosts start off with the news that this is their second time recording the episode due to gear failure or a user error. They apologize, share some details of the ordeal, then tell you they’ll do their best to replicate the energy levels and content of their failed recording. That’s just a sad way to start. First of all, I’d advise them to deal with the loss of their first attempt on their own. Don’t even mention the failed recording.
Second, I wouldn’t let it happen again. I’d ditch the old recording process and try SquadCast, a recording and interview solution that runs in a browser window and records and uploads in the background.
Here’s what I like, in order or importance:
1. While recording a podcast, audio files from each participant are auto-saved and progressively uploaded to the cloud.
Each participant’s audio is recorded - in the background - to that participant’s computer AND uploaded to the cloud. Upon completion of a recording session, the files are rendered and available to the host to download as separate tracks that can then be lined up and edited in a multi-track editor.
Recording separate tracks on separate machines is a technique used by many podcast producers. This allows for all participants to record their best audio quality without internet bandwidth issues. However, separate recordings have produced countless issues, including “audio drift.”
Medium notes: "Recording audio on multiple devices in real-time will typically lead to audio drift when mixed & played back. Listening to the beginning of the mix will sound normal, but as the playhead advances the individual recordings will start to drift out of sync & overlap. This leads to hours of wasted engineering time & money in Post-Production."
With SquadCast’s technology, you’ll enjoy the best audio quality as a result of separately recorded files, with none of the headaches associated with audio drift.
SquadCast touts, "With Progressive Uploads, everything is captured at the source, so even complete power loss won’t result in a recording catastrophe."
More positives for recording separate audio tracks for each participant:
"Clean, process, or mute sections of each track to easily produce and polish audio and video content. Correct volume levels during editing for adjustment-free listening."
Keep in mind you will need to use your own multi-track audio editing software of choice to work with multiple audio files.
2. Hosts and guests meet in a Zoom-like environment where they can see each other’s faces and react to visual cues.
Many podcasts are conducted remotely, with hosts and guests recording from different locations. Recording over the internet introduces at least two issues. First, without seeing a face or faces to react to, these recordings are often stilted and awkward due to one or more participants talking at the same time. Without facial cues, it’s hard to know when someone is finishing a thought and it’s time for someone else to start a new one.
SquadCast introduces videoconferencing for all-important facial cues and emotion-bearing expressions, and prioritizes audio over video. See the next point for more.
3. Instead of lossy audio in Zoom recordings, SquadCast records uncompressed audio.
In fact, quality audio recording is weighted above everything else. Our testing yields 48,000 HZ, 16-bit WAV files.
In point 2 (above), I alluded to another issue introduced with recording from different locations. Recording over the internet usually means introducing audio delays and glitches. This just adds to the stilted, awkward sound of bad timing due to internet delays. SquadCast solves this by providing a videoconferencing interface and prioritizing audio quality. So while you can see other hosts and guests and interact in real time, what you hear live, and background audio recordings are prioritized. Video feeds may become pixelated because SquadCast prioritizes the audio that all the participants hear.
4. Easy Guest Experience
As the podcast host and SquadCast account holder, your guests need only a session link you generate within SquadCast – no software to install. Email them the link and they can join your session. They need only a web browser. (Currently SquadCast does not work with Safari.)
After guests click the link you provide, they enter a private “Green Room” where they input their name and pronoun(s) that will display to everyone else in the session. Guests also select their microphone, camera, and headphones - and test. After all is good, each guest can join the session, where likely everyone will be able to see and hear each other. Then worry-free recording can commence!
These are our four favorite SquadCast recording features. We look forward to following up with a blog post about specific processes and best practices that we use every time we record.
SquadCast Questions or Suggestions?
Do you have questions about SquadCast, or a suggestion on an even better podcast recording solution? We’d appreciate the opportunity to help you choose the podcast recording environment that’s right for you. Contact us and tell us about your plans and concerns, and we’ll be happy to discuss SquadCast or any other solution you might be considering.