The Coronavirus Pandemic and ensuing quarantine has taken podcasters and broadcasters out of the studio and onto Zoom. Just a few months ago, Zoom was a conference call app just like Skype, GoToMeeting, and WebEx, but weeks into the quarantine Zoom has proven to be the teleconference app of choice.
Zoom’s easy recording function and superior sound quality have attracted producers, like myself, who are typically skeptical to video interviews.
How to Record?
Zoom has conveniently placed the “record” button prominently on the primary toolbar. Upon ending your “Meeting” – the audio file should load directly onto your laptop. Simple as pie.
It’s important to remember that Zoom was originally created for conference calls, meaning Zoom planned for multiple parties to be speaking into internal mics & Bluetooth headsets in their cubicles. This matters because Zoom’s interface naturally performs noise cancelling, reverb, and other audio adjustments to your conference call.
Podcasters likely have external mics or an in-home studio. In order to get the standard quality of your podcast equipment, go to “Audio Settings” then click “Preserve Natural Audio.”
Always have a backup.
As a rule of thumb, ask your podcast guest to record the meeting along with you. If I’m recording a podcast in person I will record with two mics just to be careful. Even if both you and your guest are recording on Zoom, consider recording both of your audio tracks on your laptop for safety sake.
In recording, I try to be as careful as humanly possible. During this pandemic, I recorded an episode of my podcast using my iPhone and a microphone because I was worried about Zoom’s reliability.
Basic vs. Pro
If you need to use Zoom consistently, you may want to consider upgrading Zoom from the “free” basic settings to the Pro settings. The free settings allow you to have 1 on 1 Zoom calls for 40 minutes and works just fine. If you need more guests or more time, the $15/month plan may be a better fit.
Once you’ve recorded all your podcast audio, simply export it to your editing software and make your masterpiece.