Riverside.fm Review: At-a-glance
- Many aspiring and early-stage podcasters record on Zoom because it's familiar to them.
- But, there are dedicated call recording tools for podcasters that can help take your sound (and your workflow) to the next level.
- One such tool is Riverside.fm.
- With Riverside.fm, you can record up to 8 participants on multitrack audio and video.
- Your audience can tune in live to episodes being recorded. You can even have them call in to the show.
- You can also livestream your interview to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch simultaneously.
- Read on for the full Riverside.fm review…
As 2020 smashed into Earth like the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, video conferencing and call recording tool Zoom swiftly became one of the most used services on the planet.
From hosting work meetings, to family quiz nights, it's no surprise that many aspiring podcasters decided to launch their shows via the platform too.
If using Zoom has helped you get your podcast off the ground, then, great. But many podcasters, having learned the basics of content creation, are now looking to take things to the next level.
Remote recording is far from a new thing. It has been popular amongst podcasters for the past 15 years. Connecting with a guest or co-host online and recording great-sounding audio has certainly become a lot more accessible recently, though.
A quick heads up that we use an affiliate link in this Riverside.fm review, so would earn a small commission if you were to sign up via it, though at no extra cost to yourself!
What is Riverside.fm?
Riverside.fm is a platform that lets you record high-quality audio and video calls. Here are its key uses:
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A Double-Ender Recorder
Riverside.fm is what is sometimes referred to as a “double-ender” recording tool. This means that each participant's audio is recorded locally (on their own computer), rather than online.
Why this matters is that your recording won't suffer from a poor internet connection. Yes, your guest may drop out temporarily when they are talking. But, it isn't the call itself that's being recorded. It's each participant, individually, on their own computers.
So even when the wi-fi gremlins strike, you should be able to sync these recordings together after the call, and it'll sound like you were all sitting in the same room together, free from glitches, dropouts, and stuttering audio.
A Multitrack Recorder
I've talked about multiple guests or co-hosts, because Riverside.fm enables you to have up to 8 people (including yourself) on the show.
Now, I would say that if you want to run a podcast episode with 8 people on it, you'd need to have a very good reason for it. But it's much better to have the option than not.
I've also heard of Riverside.fm being used to great effect amongst fiction podcast and audio drama casts, who can act together as if they were in a studio. In these instances, it's not uncommon to have 7 or 8 people involved in an episode.
A Video Recorder
With this approach, you don't necessarily just upload the entire video of your recording. But you might take little 2-3 minute ‘nuggets,' and publish them as short shareable clips that point back to the full audio version of the show.
In any case, Riverside.fm will let you record high-quality videos of up to 4K resolution. They do stress that this depends on the webcam of each participant though. Which brings me to an important point…
What Makes Audio Great?
Any recording software is a tool that can help you get the most out of a good setup. But, there's no point paying for a service like this, if you're all using built-in laptop mics, and recording in noisy echo chambers.
Fortunately, you don't need to be an audio engineer or a millionaire to put a good sounding setup together. Check out our guides to podcast equipment and treating your recording space if you need some help on this front.
It's important to coach your guests on this too, especially if they're not used to recording audio. If you need some help with this, send them a link to our guide on how to be a great podcast interviewee!
Riverside.fm Review: Recording a Call
Zoom is often praised for its simplicity, but you could easily argue that Riverside.fm is even simpler (have you ever fallen into that black hole that is the Zoom audio settings section?).
To record a call on Riverside.fm, you simply create your session, and send out the link to each participant, so they can join in. Chrome is the recommended browser for everyone involved.
There's a waiting room where you can easily see everyone's gear setup. You have control over their sound levels, and the option to mute people or message them privately. There's also a screen-share function for any “show and tell” scenarios.
Everyone's audio track will be recorded at WAV 48 kHz 16-bit format, which is more than enough for spoken-word audio. After the call has ended, all the audio tracks are uploaded to your dashboard automatically, so you don't need to worry about your guests having to send them to you.
Once you've downloaded all of the audio tracks, you can edit them and sync them together, using a tool like Audacity, Adobe Audition or Alitu. See our full podcast editing software guide for more on the post-production side of things.
Live Streams & Listener Call-Ins
With Riverside.fm, you can let your audience tune-in to recording sessions and listen along live. Beyond that, you can even allow them to call in and contribute to the discussion, if this approach suits your content.
You can also livestream your interview to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch simultaneously. These features make Riverside.fm more than just a good call recorder, but a tool for listener engagement and audience growth, too.
How Much Does Riverside.fm Cost?
You can try Riverside.fm's full range of features free, for one hour. You don't even need to enter card details to give it a spin.
If you're looking to sign up, then you can start using Riverside.fm for as little as $9 a month ($7.50 if billed annually). This ‘Basic' tier gives you access to all the features mentioned here. The only limit is the amount of monthly recording time.
- $9 Basic – Record up to 2 hours per month
- $19 Standard – Record up to 5 hours per month
- $29 Pro – Record up to 20 hours per month
If you go over your limit once or twice, Riverside.fm say you won't get cut off. But if it happens regularly, they'll reach out to you to discuss upgrading.
Summary: Riverside.fm Review
If you run a remote interview or co-hosted podcast, then one of the ways you can stand out (aside from your unique content), is to have great quality audio.
Fewer listeners are willing to put up with grainy phone-esque recordings these days. Fortunately, recording pro-level sound is accessible to all, due to recording tools like Riverside.fm. There are others on the market, of course, so check up our roundup if you'd like to shop about a little more.
Where Riverside.fm stands out is in its video recording, and multitrack recording for up to 8 people. The listen along, call-in and live streaming features also make it an excellent tool for audience engagement.
A final reminder, too, that your recording software alone can't make your show sound top-notch. Use our guides to podcast equipment and treating your recording space, to make sure you're stacking conditions in your favour on the audio front.
Hopefully, you've found this Riverside.fm review useful. Remember, if you need more help with anything from recording calls and interview skills, to editing and promotion, then we run weekly live Q&A sessions in The Podcast Host Academy. In there, you'll also get access to all of our courses, templates, checklists, and downloadable resources. You'll find all the help you need to launch and grow a great podcast.