The Best Streaming Setup for recording podcasts over zoom.

Recording long-distance podcasts can be a tricky process. How do you collaborate with your team? How do you interview quests over the platform? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed about the entire process. The good news is that it’s quite easy to find the most ideal software and gadgets that deliver on both convenience and quality! In fact, a good number of podcasters are using zoom as they’re already familiar with the platform.

A Quick Overview of Zoom and Podcasting 

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Zoom emerged as a vital work-from-home tool. So, it’s no surprise that it’s now providing a natural and easy first step into the world of remote podcasting. Zoom also gained popularity due to its stellar internet consistency and audio quality. This platform was also easy to use, and its basic' tier feature made it a particularly attractive choice among cash-strapped podcasters. 

With that in mind, you don't need much to produce a captivating, well-customized, and engaging stream on Zoom. You simply need the will to start and some of the most budget-friendly podcasting devices. 

What Do You Need To Remember Before You Start?

Now, we have suggested a lot of devices meant to improve your stream below. However, before you make any purchase or investment, it’s important that you identify what you'd like to focus on. Do you want your podcast to be live-streamed or recorded? Which topics will you be discussing? Lay down the basics! 

You could start by brainstorming different podcast ideas based on the audience that you wish to target. There may be over 2 million podcasts, but your audience is waiting for you to just start. 

Here are some effective tips to help you come up with interesting podcast ideas: 

  • Discuss issues you’re interested in
  • Establish and focus on your target audience 
  • Share enough stories
  • Ask the audience questions and give feedback 
  • Always stay on topic!

How To Start A Podcast On Zoom

Currently, over 78% of Americans are aware of podcasts. Some of them are your potential listeners! Starting your Zoom podcasting experience is fairly affordable and  simple. Here's a step by step guide: 

Step 1: Set up a Zoom account on Zoom.us and then install the app. 

Step 2: Open the Zoom app and go to 'new meeting.' Here, you will be prompted to choose your equipment and microphone. We recommend that you use an external microphone for better sound quality. 

Step 3: Familiarize yourself with the dashboard. From the call screen, there's a dashboard with different controls such as 'invite' and 'record.' 

Step 4: Once you’re ready, click on the ‘record’ option to start your stream or recording!

How Can You Optimize Your Audio Quality On Zoom?

Although most people that use Zoom praise its simplicity, the platform has on occasion failed to produce quality videos files or audio recordings. This is because zoom tries to reduce interference and cut out echoes to enhance the quality of the recording or stream. We recommend that you enable the original sound option so that you conserve as much of the original sound as possible. 

This is pretty easy to achieve as you only need a favorable setup, quiet space, and quality microphones. First, navigate to Zoom setting’s drop down menu, on the 'Audio' option, and under 'Music and Professional Audio.' You should then select the checkbox adjacent to the 'show in-meeting tab to switch on the original sound. Unfortunately, this setting is not always effective on the quality of the final output, but it's definitely worth giving a shot!

The same applies if you'd like to adjust audio in your Zoom meetings. Zoom offers you the option to record each participant on individual audio tracks. So, ensure that you switch on this setting to make use of more editing features during the post-production process. You should, however, note that zoom doesn't provide an option of recording every participant on different video tracks. So, if the volume on one speaker was too low or a loud noise popped up in the background, you will have to adjust the sound without impacting the audio on the other speakers' tracks. 

What Are the Best Podcast Streaming Equipment for Your Remote Recordings

The good news is that producing quality live streams and recordings on Zoom doesn't require a fortune! You just need the right streaming equipment, and you're good to go! In this section, we have compiled some pocket-friendly options for all podcasters. 

For starters, we reviewed the best mics to help you record clear, broadcast-style audio files and found the perfect audio recording headphones that won't leak any sounds. Apart from headphones and mics, we also checked out additional accessories, such as audio interfaces, mixing stations, and mic arms. Let's dive right in! 

  • A Powerful And Fast Computer 

It’s so amazing how you can even host remote podcast interviews on your smartphone. However, it is easier, quicker, and more professional to stream content on a laptop or personal computer. It doesn't matter whether you choose to use a Mac or PC, as many of the modern desktops and laptops are fast enough for audio and video recording. 

Not sure which model is the best for your audio processing and recording needs? Take a look at some of our favorite laptop device options.

  • MacBook PRO 13

The MacBook PRO 13 is arguably, one of the best laptops for podcasters. Even second-hand MacBooks can handle the intense load required in running the podcast software needed for editing podcast video and audio files. This MacBook Pro 13 2012 year model from eBay is fairly cheap, 100% functional, fully tested, and ready for use. It has a RAM capacity of 16GB and a fast processor speed of 2.50GHZ, that's enough to meet your remote interview and podcasting needs.

  • Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Chip

Tests show that Macs embedded with the M1 chip are faster and more efficient, unlike the Intel-based models. They offer plenty of power needed for podcast editing software and even surpass the MacBook PRO 13. That said, it's not just the performance that makes these models a trusted option. This 2020 model is also energy efficient and can last for close to 20 hours, giving you enough time to stream and record content. 

  • Audio Gadgets For Podcasting 

Audio and video quality can make or break your podcast. If you take a hard look at the successful podcasts, you’ll notice that they don't compromise on audio components. So, before optimizing your audio on zoom, ensure you have the best headphones and podcast microphones. 

Currently, most of the mics built into phones, headphones, and laptops can handle zoom recordings. Unfortunately, they aren't suitable for podcasts, streams, or recordings. So the easiest way of improving your podcast recording sound quality is using high-quality audio gadgets, and we've got you covered!

  • USB Microphone 

USB microphones are the simplest way of improving the sound quality of your podcast. Once you plug it into your computer, it records audio seamlessly and with high efficiency. However, although there are many suitable device options, low-quality, off-brand models still exist in popular sites such as Amazon. Personally I love going with brands that are tried and true. The Blue Snowball and JLab Talk, which are quite affordable and fully functional devices for beginners. They also come in high-end models, known for their enhanced capsules and better onboard processing. 

  • Audio Interface 

Now, if you wish to talk to many people at once, you have no option but to get the best audio interface. These are simply external audio cards, which can be plugged into a laptop or PC using a Thunderbolt or USB connection. Once plugged in, they allow you to use standard non-USB microphones. A good number of them also have headphone jacks so that you can listen as you stream or record. 

Our top pick is the Focusrite Scarlett, which has microphone inputs and sounds amazingly good enough for almost all available applications. However, if you’re searching for something super-fancy, try the Rode RODECaster Pro. It's largely used in many engaging podcasts not only on Zoom calls and recordings but also on YouTube shows. Pair that up with a Rode PodMic for an incredible dynamic duo.

  • A Portable Recorder 

A reliable field digital recorder comes in handy when you're recording multiple people. Our top recommendation is the Zoom H4N Pro which allows you to adjust how loud your microphone records as well as its sensitivity to different sounds and background noise.   

  • A Pop Filter 

A lot of microphones have built-in filters that prevent p sounds from popping up on the mic. If you don’t have one, consider buying an affordable pop filter, which you can easily install on a mic stand or your desk. We also recommend that you keep the mic far enough from your face or place it on the side when you’re streaming content. Most importantly, make sure it points at your mouth as pop filters can block your view. 

  • Suitable Headphones 

Do you really need good headphones in your Zoom podcasts? Well, having an amazing pair of studio-designed headphones will definitely make you appear cooler, but there's more to that. Headphones allow you to listen to your podcast as you record it. They also have a noise reduction feature that blocks out background noise especially if you don’t have a recording studio. We particularly like the Audio Technica M50XBT due to its wireless feature and sound. They have also proven to withstand the test of time, and even today, the old, non-Bluetooth M50X is still being sold in studios across the world. 

  • A Mount or Mic Stand

Several USB microphones have built-in stands. If you, however, decide to use non-USB microphones or wish to place your mic at a particular location, you need to get a mic stand. Some of the trusted options include the InnoGear Mic Arm and the Neewer Mic Adjustable arm. They are especially useful if you’re using heavy microphones. I have used the Neewer mic arm for about 7 years now and its been nothing but good to me. Be careful though when using it if you hit the table or desk hard you will hear the vibrating springs on the mic.

  • Video Devices For Streaming Zoom Podcasts 

You should note that high-quality videos are integral to a successful podcast. This is why you need to get the best cameras, tripods, and lenses. Here are our top video devices.  

  • A Good Webcam

Our favorite pick is the Logitech Brio 4K, which comes with a captivating wide-angle field of view and a brilliant, sharp picture. It's also popular among experienced podcasters who use action cams and other more appealing photo gear. I have been using this for years now and my image quality has been amazing. The next step up after this is getting a DSLR involved with a camlink. When you break into this setup you're spending near 1000 dollars. The brio is great for just about everything and if you light up your face with a ring light or box light its going to impress.

If you have a GoPro or any other mirrorless camera, you can use it as a suitable webcam replacement. We have, however, noticed that GoPro's user interface is somewhat wonky and mirrorless cameras are not always fully equipped in shooting long views when their sensors are open.  

  • A Strong, Robust, and Flexible Tripod 

A small tripod capable of holding your smartphone or camera is important for accurately framing shorts. Yes, there are several trusted and inexpensive options, but this Foldable Tripod Bracket Stand Adapter Kit for DJI Osmo Pocket from eBay has everything you need. It is designed to give you a larger preview and can be used separately, meaning that you can use each part with different accessories. 

  • Smartphone Lenses 

Truth be told, most smartphone lenses aren't cheap. They are, however, designed to improve the flexibility, convenience, and added quality of the podcast when using your smartphone video camera. For instance, if your podcast has a static host or if you're using an old phone camera, the KEYWING Phone Camera Lens is a remarkable option as it’ll help you capture everything. 

  • Consider the lighting 

A few LED lights can make all the difference in your video quality. Yes, finding quality lights is time-consuming, and they're often expensive, but you can't afford to compromise on them. The Pixel G1s RGB Video Light comes highly recommended as it offers ideal brightness and temperature levels. It also comes with long-lasting batteries a great diffuser and the ability to use the RGB settings.. 

Some of the other tools you’ll need include;

  • Audio editing software for audio clean-up
  • SD card to store hours of recordings
  • A built-in webcam if you're using a computer.

You're Ready To Start Your Zoom Podcast!

50% of all households are podcast fans. That's more than 60 million homes! Don't overthink it… just begin. Even the most popular podcasts started from somewhere, and their hosts weren't tech 'gurus.' They likely didn't enjoy fiddling around with audio levels and experimenting using the latest microphones, but they hacked it. Now that zoom is rapidly gaining popularity among podcasters; it's a great option if you're just starting out. 

Just ensure that you get the right audio and video gadgets for a successful recording and streaming process. Remember to choose the right cameras, lenses, and microphones, as these devices automatically determine the quality of your podcast. Once you get the basics covered and have bought the right equipment, there's nothing left other than to go for it!