Podcasting Tips

Remote Recording is the Future

By Arielle Nissenblatt, Community Manager at SquadCast.fm

The backstory

When I got into the podcast space, I didn’t expect to become a creator. I started a newsletter that shared podcast recommendations with listening enthusiasts around the world. I still run that newsletter to this day. I’m a HUGE fan of consuming entertainment through my ears. But, 5.5 years later, in addition to being a curator, I’m also a podcaster. It happened.

When I started my podcast recommendation podcast (that went along with the newsletter) in 2019, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d been giving advice to podcasters for about two years at that point but hadn’t walked the walk myself. So I decided that it was time. 

It started as a solo podcast. Just me talking into the mic every week – essentially an audio version of the newsletter. But I got bored of that. So, I can only imagine that others did, too. So, I pivoted. I began interviewing my newsletter’s podcast curators. The way the newsletter works is that each week is curated by a different person. They choose a theme and find podcast episodes on that theme. I started chatting with curators about their favorite podcasts, what motivated them to choose that theme, and what they hope listeners get out of their podcast picks.

Remote from the start

Never once, when planning out my podcast, did I think that I’d be a studio renter. Honestly, I worked as a podcast studio manager at the time in Los Angeles. It was a ton of fun. I met a lot of people with various recording needs and at different levels and genres. But I knew firsthand how expensive it was. And I learned that it can also be inconvenient. Sure, there *are* benefits. I won’t get into them here but it can definitely be nice to really look into the eyes of the person you’re interviewing. I get that. I do.

But I was always going to remote remotely.

And somehow, I knew, innately, that I wouldn’t be using Zoom for my podcast. I’d been a guest on a number of podcasts at the point. Some used Zoom to record entirely. Some used Zoom to connect, but had me record my side of the conversation on QuickTime or some other tool. These options usually left sometime to be desired – they weren’t totally seamless and required a bit of collaging. Even as the guest, I had some work to do once the recording was finished to ensure the file was good to go for the host of the show.

So I knew that when I started my remote recording, I’d be using a service like SquadCast. I began recording my podcast recommendation podcast’s interviews remotely.

The counter-programming of it all

But this all really came together when I started a pandemic distraction-cast with my friend, Shira Moskowitz, in April 2020. I was in Los Angeles at the time and she was in NYC. Our podcast, Counter Programming with Shira and Arielle, was a remote podcast right from the start. Even when, later in the run of the show, we lived only two miles from each other, we continued to record on SquadCast. 

Full disclosure: I loved my recording experience with SquadCast so much that, later in the summer of 2020, I actually applied for a job there and work there now as the community manager!

Shira and I were obsessed with remote recording so much – the ease of it, the excitement of it – that we did unsolicited ads for the concept of it on our show, pretty much every episode.

Here’s what we liked so much about remote recording:

  • Mixing files easily: SquadCast allowed us to record and the mix our separate files right there within the app. Two years-ish later, I have upped my game. Now, I download the files separately and edit them that way. I find that it’s easier to cut out cross-talk this way. But as a newer, independent podcaster back then, mixing files was HUGELY time-saving for us.
  • The guest experience was seamless: Shira and I really focused on our co-host relationship and didn’t have guests on the show all too often. But when we did, we made sure the experience was stellar – both for the guests themselves, and for the eventual listener. This was very easy to do on SquadCast because whenever we needed to invite a guest, we just sent them a link to join a session. We didn’t have to ask them to download anything. 
  • SquadShots: Now that I work with the SquadCast community, I’ve started calling these “SquadShots.” Back then, we just called them “screen grabs of our conversations.” Shira and I made sure to capture our recordings every time so that we could share them with our audience on social media! Now, SquadCast’s latest version has simplified the process. We no longer have to manually hit command + shift + 4. Now, we just hit the camera button and SquadCast makes it super easy to then share directly to social.
  • The team: I’d met the founders of SquadCast (Zach Moreno and Rock Felder) a few years prior at Outlier Podcast Festival in Los Angeles. Because of that existing connection, I was so excited to let them know about the wonderful experience I was having with their product. Now that I work at SquadCast, I’m so glad to be on a team that so genuinely cares about the people we serve. I see it and experience is on the daily.

Why you should consider going remote

It is obvious that I’m very into remote recording? Ok, good. That’s the goal of this blog post!

Luckily I don’t have to denounce in-person recording in favor of remote recording. But if I *did* have to choose one method for recording my podcast interviews going forward, I’d go remote all day long. 

Why? I’m a big fan of accessibility in podcasting in all its forms: for listeners, creators, editing and production teams, and for hosts. Let’s make this process as easy as possible while still prioritizing audio quality. Dedicated remote recording platforms like Zencastr, SquadCast, Riverside, Boomcaster, Welder, and more allow us to reach anyone, anywhere, and at anytime, and to record in studio-quality. 

As much as the experience of looking your guest in the eyes can be pretty sweet, I love the flexibility of booking a guest from New Zealand, China, or Switzerland! I’m not going to New Zealand anytime soon, but you can bet that I will be seeing them on SquadCast next week!