You read our 2020 Guide to Creating a Successful Podcast: Setting Up a Home or Office Studio post, and you now have your studio ready to go. Perhaps you’ve even recorded your first episode, and now it’s time to bring in guests for the next one. Where do you start? There are a couple of things to consider. You may have guests join you in your home/office studio, but chances are you’ll have them join remotely, either because you’re social distancing or because they’re based in a different city. Let’s tackle both scenarios, starting with remote guests.
You have many options for bringing virtual guests into your podcasts using your computer including services like Zoom, Skype, Goto Meeting, and Google Hangouts. Using these services to bring guests into an episode is absolutely possible, but it can be a little tricky. I recommend experimenting with a couple of different platforms before it’s showtime.
Almost all of these platforms have the ability to record a session in the cloud, which you can download after. However, the quality of the internet connections on both ends will dictate how the finished product sounds and may result in poor sound quality at times. Once downloaded, the audio can be edited in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, ie: Audacity, Adobe Audition, Garageband, Hindenburg, ProTools etc, see Part One) to create the final mix of your episode.
Don’t fret! The good is there are several services that are now making the process of remote recording your podcast so much easier. With platforms like Zencastr, Ringr and SquadCast, you invite guests to join a session and each person’s audio is recorded locally then saved for you to bring into your DAW for editing later, making them sound as if they were in the studio with you or at least close to it. Of course, the quality of your guests’ microphones will play into the final sound. If you have a remote co-host, it will be worth them investing in a USB microphone (see Part One for suggestions), preferably the same one you purchased.
If you’re going to consistently bring guests in from the outside or even in person, Rode Microphones has come to the rescue with a moderately priced podcast production studio specifically designed for, you guessed it, podcasters! The Rodecaster Pro is an easy-to-use studio that will connect to your Mac or PC via a USB port. Here’s how the manufacturer describes the Rodecaster Pro: “The RØDECaster Pro™ is designed to simplify podcast production whilst delivering superb audio quality. It supports up to four presenters, as well as offering easy connection to phone, USB and Bluetooth™ sources. Eight programmable pads offer instant playback of sound effects and jingles. Podcasts can be recorded directly to microSD™ card, or to a computer via USB. Ease of use is assured, with intuitive controls and large full-colour touchscreen.” By connecting through your smartphone’s Bluetooth, you can easily bring a guest into the conversation. Not to mention you can connect up to four XLR microphones (like a RodeProcaster or Blue Microphones Yeti Pro Condenser Microphone) for “in-studio guests.”