Remote recording solutions

Recording a double-ender or tape sync used to require a local reporter visiting an interviewee, recording their side of a phone call with the interviewer, then sending the recording to the producer of the story, who finally had to stitch the two ends of the conversation together. While this is, in non-pandemic times, still a good way to get high-quality sound, many web-based solutions now promise to simplify this process. They offer a happy medium between frustrating Skype calls and costly tape syncs.

Overview

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Cost Platforms Audio Lines Video Local Recording Extras
Cast
Cleanfeed 0-34 USD/month Chrome opus (up to 320 kbps stereo) :x: wav (host only, 44.1 kHz 16 bit) connection log
ClearCast
ipDTL
RingR
Riverside 15-49 USD/month Chrome 7 :white_check_mark: wav (48 kHz 16 bit) listener call-in, livestream
Soundtrap
SourceConnect Now free (beta) Chrome opus (8 kbps mono to 512 kbps stereo) 10 :x: wav (44.1 kHz 16 bit) chat, push-to-talk, network monitor
SquadCast
Studio Link 0-10+ EUR/month Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS opus 6 :x: flac (48 kHz) call phone lines via 3rd-party SIP, livestream, DAW plugins
Zencastr
Zoom 0-15+ USD Windows, macOS, Linux HD 100+ :white_check_mark: m4a (32 kHz) chat, screen share, hand raising

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Details

Cast

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Cleanfeed

With Cleanfeed, all recording happens in the browser of the host, which means no manual syncing of individual tracks. On the other hand, the lack of local recordings from the other connected parties means there’s no backup if internet hiccups mess with the live transmission. The free version produces good-quality results, while the paid option offers multitrack recording and more control. Guests are invited by a custom URL.

ClearCast

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https://clearcast.io

ipDTL

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https://ipdtl.com
see also: Podcast Producer’s Complete Guide to ipDTL

RingR

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https://www.ringr.com

Riverside

Recently launched, Riverside doesn’t have the track record of its more established competitors, but comes with some unique advanced features. Guests can be managed in a green room. A video conference feature can come handy for audio podcast recording, but you can also livestream video to Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

Soundtrap

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https://www.soundtrap.com

SourceConnect Now

SourceConnect Now doesn’t include a feature for the host to record every participant, but you could achieve a mixdown recording by Using virtual audio devices. If you prefer local recordings created by each participant, SourceConnect is an interesting option, because you can dial down the sound quality for the live transmission to save bandwidth if the guest has a poor internet connection. A chat window helps communicating off the air. Push-to-talk is helpful when the guest doesn’t use headphones. Entirely free during beta, it seems like there’ll always be a free tier, limited to 1 line and 128 kbps.

SquadCast

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Studio Link

Studio Link (Website in German, software in English) currently requires a software download, but a web-only version has been announced. Each participant is able to create a multitrack recording (iOS, Android: 2-track stereo recording). Most notably, Studio Link offers a free plugin for DAWs and doesn’t limit recording length or quality for free accounts. The plugin and desktop standalone versions integrate with 3rd-party SIP providers to enable calling and recording phone lines. More: Introducing Studio Link

Zencastr

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https://zencastr.com

Zoom

This is an outlier, as Zoom is not made for podcasting per se. Its big advantage is that many people have it and are familiar with it. Despite Zoom claiming “HD Voice” capability, the audio isn’t great, but Zoom offers local recording in a better quality. To make use of this, each participant should tick Record a separate audio file for each participant in Zoom’s preferences. Once the meeting has started, the host needs to give participants the right to record the meeting, before everyone starts their recording. This only works with desktop clients.

1 Like

Thanks. This is really useful, Thomas.

  • Neil Sandell

Costly tape syncs? I don’t think US$150 is a lot … and, in non-viral times provides a lot of us with valuable income. Not to mention the interest of meeting new people & visiting places you’d otherwise never get to go.

Diane

2 Likes

Good point. It depends on production budgets, I guess. Some podcasts might not have the money to pay a tape syncer. So, “more/relatively/comparatively costly”, maybe? (Feel free to edit the post)

I don’t want to discourage tape syncs at all and personally would always prefer them over these other solutions - among other reasons because most people don’t have decent microphones and no matter the quality of the connection or local recording sound bad due to crappy headsets or even internal mics.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Is there a directory of tape syncers?

3 posts were split to a new topic: Best built-in smart phone microphones

Here it is a rate guide for tape-syncs
https://airmedia.org/tools/rate-guide-tape-syncs

This guide is used as a reference in the “Sally Herships’s International Directory of Tape Syncers” (shared in another topic, see below)

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