Skip to content

Or for more help...

Courses & Coaching?

Automated Editing?

How to Record a Podcast

Recording on your own, with a group or an online call? Here we'll cover equipment setups, software, tools & techniques which make for top quality and super easy podcast recording.

START HERE

A primer for How to Record a Podcast

recording podcast online

Best Tools for Recording a Podcast Online: Interviews, Co-hosting & Groups

Whether you run an interview show, or have a remote co-host, you need to know how to record a podcast online.

Traditionally these types of recordings have taken place over Skype. But a few new tools have appeared on the scene these past couple of years.

Things like multitrack recording and local file storage with cloud backup have become popular demands amongst podcasters nowadays. And some of the newer tools on the market are offering these features, and more.

As call recording apps compete to become the top choice in their field, we'll undoubtedly see more innovative features and capabilities being unveiled in the near future too.

Before we get to the roundup though, it's important to qualify an important point.

What Call Recorders CAN'T Do

The quality of any recording depends largely on equipment, environment, and mic technique.

You could use state of the art call recording software and it would still sound terrible if your guest was recording on a laptop mic in their bathroom.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a master audio producer to get the above things right. Or, to be able to coach your guests to get optimal sound quality from them.

Check out some of the best entry-level recording kit for podcasters, and also how to optimise your recording space. That'll help get you set up on that front!

Best Tools for Recording a Podcast Online

So what are the best options for recording a podcast online right now? Things change fast in technology, so we'll be updating this post whenever necessary.

And remember, recording software is just one part of the bigger picture. To see the big picture, check out our main Podcast software article for everything from recording, to editing, to scheduling, to planning.

If it's recording software you're after right now, though, here are our picks…

Recording With Skype

Skype and podcasting have a long history together. And despite the many other options that've become available over the years, Skype is still the most popular place podcast interviews are recorded.

The connection can be variable, and even when it's perfect, you're still recording a internet-compressed ‘phone' call. But, in many cases, perfection is the enemy of consistency, so it can be a good option!

Using Skype to Record – Free Option

In mid-2018 Skype introduced its own dedicated call recording feature. For the first time, this meant that podcasters didn't need any third party software to capture their interviews. On the down-side, the recording options are a bit limited – no split channel, and only one format type. But, it's super-simple!

Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype – Mac Option

Ecamm's Call Recorder allows you to record Skype calls on your Mac. At the time of writing, it's one of the most popular ways of recording podcast interview online.

  • Mac/PC – Mac
  • Cost – $39.95 One-off payment
  • Files – MOV (can be turned into MP3 with in-app converter)
  • Guest Requirements – Skype account
  • Records video – Yes
  • Independent channels? The call records in stereo with the presenter on one side and the guest (or multiple guests) on the other side. The stereo track can then be split into two separate mono tracks with Ecamm's in-app converter.

Get Ecamm Call Recorder

TalkHelper Call Recorder for Skype – PC Option

A Skype call recorder for your PC. TalkHelper is a very similar program to Pamela. It costs a fair bit more, but it actually works!

  • Mac/PC – PC
  • Cost – $49.95 One-off payment
  • Files – MP3 and WAV
  • Guest Requirements – Skype account
  • Records Video – Yes
  • Independent channels? You need to go into the app's settings before recording your first call and change the default setting from ‘stereo' to ‘mono'. That way the call will record in stereo with the presenter on one side and the guest (or multiple guests) on the other side. The stereo track can then be split into two separate mono tracks in Audacity, Adobe Audition, etc.

Get TalkHelper

What About Pamela for Skype?

The Pamela tool is a bit of a veteran in the interview recording space, though at time of writing, it isn't fully compatible with the latest Skype update. For a PC Skype recording option, we'd recommend you use TalkHelper instead.

Standalone Podcast Recording Tools

If you're looking to move away from Skype altogether then there are plenty options on the market right now.

SquadCast – Our Top Pick!

With SquadCast there's here's no setup or install needed for Hosts or Guests. Audio is recorded locally while uploading progressively & backups are recorded in the cloud.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – unlimited $20/mo or $200/yr ($5 an hour ‘Dabbler' tier available too)
  • Files – WAV & MP3
  • Guest Requirements – Google Chrome & headphones
  • Video – Yes with realtime presence including city, time, network speed, & battery life
  • Independent channels? Yes with 1 Host & up to 3 Guests

Get SquadCast

Ringr

RingrRingr is an app which enables you to record calls on your mobile or desktop. One of the best options out there if you want to podcast with your smartphone.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Basic – $7.99 per month
    • Premium – $18.99 per month
  • Files – MP3/OGG/FLAC
  • Guest Requirements – None
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes. 2 participants can be recorded independently with the Premium package.

Get Ringr

Use the coupon code podcraft when you sign up for a paid plan for 10% off monthly or 25% off annually! 

Cleanfeed

Cleanfeed enables anyone to send, receive and record live audio using only a browser.

  • Mac/PC – Both (Chrome)
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Standard – Free
    • Pro – $34 for commercial use, $22 for non commercial use
  • Files – WAV for all recording types, including mulitrack.
  • Guest Requirements – Click a link either sent via email, or sent directly by the studio operator.
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes – there is a varied number of available recording and routing options available in both the standard and Pro tiers.

Get Cleanfeed

Zoom

Zoom.usZoom is a conference call app capable of hosting unlimited participants for unlimited durations. One of the big pluses of Zoom is its simplicity and reliability. The trade off is that the audio quality can be poor at times.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Basic – Free
    • Pro – $14.99 per month
    • Business – $19.99 per month
  • Files – M4A (video or audio)
  • Guest Requirements – They just need to click a link and download the Zoom Launch application.
  • Video – Yes
  • Independent channels? Yes

Get Zoom

Cast

trycastCast let's you record your podcast without the need to download or install anything outwith your own browser. It also doubles up as a media host service, so you can upload and publish your podcast with Cast too.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Hobby – $10 per month
    • Pro – $30 per month
  • Files – MP3
  • Guest Requirements – Using Chrome browser
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes. Up to 4 participants can be recorded independently.

Get Cast

Zencastr

ZencastrZencastr allows you to record two or more people from inside your browser on independent channels without even needing to download or install anything. They also offer a post-production feature for your recordings.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment with free option
    • Hobbyist – Free
    • Professional – $20 per month
    • Network $250 per month
  • Files – MP3 (Hobbyist) and WAV (Professional & Network)
  • Guest Requirements – Using Chrome or Firefox browsers
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes – each participant is recorded independently. You can have up to 2 with the Hobbyist account, but as many as you like with the Pro or Network packages.

Get Zencastr

Use coupon code THEPODCASTHOST for 20% off the first three months of a monthly Pro subscription with Zencastr.  If used for a yearly subscription, it will be 20% off for the entire year!

Summary: What Tool Should I Use for Recording a Podcast Online?

If you need to go free, then try Cleanfeed‘s free tier, or consider the alternative option, talked about below.

If you're able to dedicate a small budget towards your podcast, then I'd definitely go with SquadCast.

There are a lot of really good online recording tools listed here, but I've been most impressed with SquadCast. It's a really simple and intuitive tool to use, and it can give you great sounding interviews.

An Alternative Option – “The Double Ender”

Participants Record Their Own Audio

If you'd like to know how to record a podcast without extra software, then let's have a look at the ‘double-ender'.

In this method, each guest or co-host takes responsibility for recording his or her own audio at the source.

That might be opening up their recording/editing software, and running that to record their voice as they talk to their fellow participants.

Or it might be using a completely separate mic and digital recorder, to eliminate the risk of loss of audio due to computer issues.

In any case, with all being well, the producer will have quality recordings of each participant on independent tracks to work with in post-production.

If you're doing this, just remember to run a back up recording on something like Skype or Zoom. That way, if someone forgets to hit record, all isn't lost!

What About Editing?

Best Podcast Editing Software AlituOf course, once you've recorded a call, you still need to edit and publish it.

And for that, you might want to check out our “podcast making” tool Alitu, which practically builds your episode for you.

Alitu is really simple to use, and will take care of the processing, editing, and publishing of your podcast, without the need for any actual editing software. You can even record the solo parts of your episode in there too!

So whether you’re a complete beginner, or an experienced podcaster looking to drastically cut down on your production time, why not let Alitu do the heavy lifting, so you can spend more time on the content and promotion?

Need More Help With Your Podcast?

Having somewhere to record your podcast online is great. But it's still just one piece in a very large jigsaw.

There's other considerations too, like how do I actually conduct a good interview? Or how do I hone my skills as a host or presenter?

Then there's stuff like equipment and editing. And once your podcast is sounding good you'll want to think about promotion, audience growth, and maybe even eventually, monetisation.

Inside The Podcast Host Academy, you can get help with all of this and more. We have dedicated courses for each of these areas, and on top of that we run regular live Q&A sessions too.

It's the one-stop-shop place for launching and building a successful podcast.

Finish Here
Create Home Studio

How to Create a Silent Home Studio & Improve Your Podcast Audio

Obsessing over sound quality should never prevent you from actually launching your show and getting episodes out there.

Content and consistency are definitely more important than your actual audio. However, that's not to say the sound of your show isn't important – far from it in fact.

As your podcast grows and matures you will start to strive for a more professional sound, and that's where your home recording environment becomes pretty important. It's not all about what mic you use!

Sound Proofing, Or Sound Treatment?

Firstly, it's worth clarifying something that many podcasters tend to get confused over.

There's a big difference between sound “proofing” and sound “treatment”.

To “sound proof” a room means you are isolating it from any unwanted external noise elsewhere in the building.

There's a misconception that by putting up some foam acoustic tiles on a wall that you're “sound proofing” the room. But that isn't going to have any impact on noise bleeding through from outside.

To “sound treat” a room means you are going to improve the way sound sounds within that room. So why might you want to do that?

Acoustics & Reverb

Buying a top of the range microphone is all well and good, but if you're recording your show down a well or in a cave it's still going to sound bad.

Excessive reverb or echo on your voice can make your show sound amateurish. A room with a lot of hard and bare surfaces will have your voice bouncing around like a pinball machine.

On the other hand, a room with a lot of soft and furnished surfaces will prevent that from happening. Think of the way your voice sounds in the bathroom, compared to in the bedroom.

Finding the best sounding room or area in your house is a great starting point if it isn't possible to create a dedicated podcasting space. For most people, improvisation is key…

Improvising

There are numerous reasons why you might not be able to dedicate an entire room to becoming a podcast studio. Whether you share the house with your family or flatmates, or you simply don't have the space, a permanent setup isn't an option for everyone.

So what are your options?

  • The Duvet Podcast Studio

    The Duvet Podcast Studio

    Use a pre-existing area. This might simply be the best sounding (softest furnished) room in your house, or it might be a walk-in wardrobe full of hanging clothes.

  • Localised treatment. Instead of worrying about the sound of the room, create a small ‘studio' around yourself and your mic. This might be anything from popping your mic into a cat bed, to draping a duvet over a clothes rack. Okay, you might look a bit silly when you're recording, but remember, we're working in audio. Whatever setup you put together though, just make sure it's comfortable enough to actually record a full podcast episode with!

Semi-Permanent Setups

If you've got a bit more room in your house you can set up a recording studio that can still be used for other non-audio related purposes.

You can buy or make sound treated baffling boards or partitions on stands. These can be set up to form a mini ‘deadroom' around your recording area, and can be tidied away afterwards – though you'll still need a reasonable amount of room to store them.

Another option is to use acoustic blankets or curtains which can be hung on rails or hooks.

Though these are easier to tidy away, they are a bit more permanent in the sense that you're probably going to have to attach something to your wall to support them. For more on this, check out our review on using acoustic blankets for podcasting.

Permanent Setups

Podcast Home Studio

My Home Studio

If you do have the luxury of commandeering a spare room or walk in cupboard, then life immediately becomes a whole lot easier.

I converted a walk-in cupboard in my house into a vocal booth a couple of years ago. I measured the walls, ceiling, and door, before ordering an equivalent amount of 12″ x 12″ acoustic foam tiles.

I deliberated over how I was going to attach them to the wall. There were a few different options.

  • Velcro tape – not the cheapest, and I had visions of the tiles falling off too much.
  • Specialist adhesive – designed specifically for these tiles. Quite expensive and a bit too permanent.
  • Glue – far too permanent. If I move house I want to take my tiles with me, without leaving bits of them all over the walls.

We were decorating the rest of the house at the time so I tried some wallpaper paste. It worked a treat holding the tiles firmly in place, and when I peeled one off it left very little foam stuck to the wall.

None of the tiles have fallen off (over 2 years later), not even the ones on the roof.

Sound Proofing a Room

Maybe you do have a spare room that you plan to turn into a permanent recording space. Before you go ahead and dive in though, there's a few things to consider.

Will sound treatment alone be enough?

Unless you're custom building a room from scratch, sound proofing is very much about prevention, rather than cure…

External/Internal Noise Considerations

  • Are any of the walls of the room external or joined to your neighbour's house? Does your neighbour tend to play the drums, watch the television at a high volume, or have a dog that never stops barking?
  • Is there a window in the room? Does it back on to a busy street with lots of noise outside?
  • Does the room have anything in it that might make noise? By this I mean anything that can't be moved. A boiler, a gas meter that clicks sporadically, that sort of thing.
  • Are you recording near a loud fridge? You can turn it off, but it's almost certain that you'll forget to turn it back on. One great tip for this comes from Ric Viers (The Sound Effects Bible) who suggests putting your keys or wallet in the fridge when you unplug it. This is always a good one to have to explain when someone else inevitably finds it in there.

Though you can deaden a room from reverb, external noises are a different thing altogether, so take this all into consideration before you go and buy £200 worth of sound treatment.

If the bulk of unwanted noise comes from outside then you might get away with blocking up the window. But if the building his paper thin walls that bleed sound then you'd probably be better off just recording in your car, or even outside.

Summary – Considerations

With all that in mind, you need to decide what best suits you, your home, your budget, and your podcast.

Is it vitally important that you have no reverb or background ambience at all? This might be the case if you're running a business show and you want it to sound really professional, or if you're recording something like an audio drama.

If not, then recording in your bedroom with a few cushions propped around the mic will do just fine for most.

If you need to get the cleanest sound possible, but have no permanent space, then it's going to add a bit of time to your podcasting schedule to allow you to set up and dismantle your temporary ‘studio'.

External and internal sounds that you have no control over can creep in to your recordings so you need to decide which ones you can live with, and which ones you'd really rather not hear in your podcast.

Finally, do you have any money to spend, or do you need to use household items (duvets, sheets, etc) for your sound dampening? The latter can be just as effective, even if they don't look as good, so don't worry if you can't afford a few boxes of acoustic tiles.

Need More Help With Your Audio?

You can get support, resources, and advice from us on sound quality, or any other aspect of podcasting, inside The Podcast Host Academy.

In there we've got courses on everything from audio editing and voice training, to promotion and monetisation. On top of that we run regular live Q&A sessions too. It'd be great to work with you in there.

Info

Here's a course that might help

Podcast Launch Series

The Launch Series: from Zero to Live in Simple Steps

Our 3-part Launch series is designed to hold your hand through the entire podcast launch process, from planning your show to making it live on the web. For a step-by-step, in-detail, no-jargon guide to getting your show out into the world, start here!

Check out the Launch Series
Arrow

most popular

How to Split Sides of an Ecamm Skype Call Recorder Interview

4 Top Tips For Getting the Best Audio Quality in an Interview

How to Reduce Intermittent Background Noise in Podcast Recordings

Tool

Here's a tool that might help

eCamm Call Recorder

eCamm is a long established recording tool for Skype and one we use regularly to record calls for our own interviews. Get high quality, split-track interview recordings really easily.  eCamm is Mac-only. For PC, try Talkhelper instead! *Both affiliate links, but we write about eCamm because it's great!

Check out eCammArrow
podcast equipment