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  • Sterling Skye

Podcasting with Zoom? Change These Zoom Settings Now for a Better Podcast

A few quick changes within Zoom's preferences can drastically improve your podcast. Important when using Zoom for podcast interviews.

Audio dropouts, voices recorded directly over each other, and overly aggressive, quality degrading noise suppression are a few of the notorious issues associated with podcasts recorded with Zoom. That's not to say Zoom shouldn't be used for podcasting. The fact that Zoom can be used for free up to 40 minutes makes it a great program for short format podcasts or for those just getting started.


I've discovered that it only takes a few adjustments within Zoom's settings to achieve higher quality podcast recordings. Let's look at how to properly set up Zoom to record better podcasts.


Audio Settings:


A recent Zoom update brought some clarity to the two audio profiles available to choose from - Zoom Optimized Audio and Original Sound For Musicians. Most podcasters are better off selecting "Zoom optimized audio", so I'll be focusing on those settings in this article. However, you might consider selecting the original sound for musicians profile if you're recording in a sound treated space with quality equipment. This audio profile disables the noise reduction algorithm and high-pass filtering. There's also an option to enable high-fidelity and stereo audio.


Start by disabling automatically adjust microphone volume. Keeping this options enabled will change the level of your microphone while recording. This may sound like a benefit, but it really just makes post production editing more difficult. Use the input volume slider in Zoom or the mic gain on your audio interface to adjust microphone levels as needed.


With Zoom optimized audio checked, you'll want to set background noise suppression to Low. This will minimize the chances of Zoom abruptly cutting off your recordings in an attempt to reduce background noise.



Before moving on to the next section, you'll want to check your echo cancellation setting. Scroll down to the bottom of the audio tab and click Advanced. Ensure Echo Cancellation is set to Auto.






Recording Settings:


Let's start with the most important setting here. Check the box next to Record a separate audio file for each participant. This is extremely important if you're working with an editor or performing any post production work. Enabling the Display participants' names in the recording option will help distinguish between the separate audio files.


For file organization, check the box next to Choose a location to save the recording... Zoom will display a pop-up at the end of your meeting that gives you the option to save your recording into a unique folder instead of the default location.


If you're recording a video podcast and plan on performing any post production editing, you'll want to enable Optimize for 3rd party video editor. This option slightly increases the recording quality.



Video Settings:


If you're recording a video podcast, you'll want to check HD video. Without this option, your videos will be recorded at a very grainy 360p.



That's it! Now you're all set to record high quality podcasts with Zoom.


Final Thoughts:


Changing these Zoom settings will surely improve your podcast recordings. If you're looking to upgrade to a higher quality recording service, check out either squadcast.fm or riverside.fm. But remember, no matter what software you use to record your podcast, a great recording starts with a controlled environment and quality equipment.


I highly recommend checking out my 10 Tips for Higher Quality Remote Recordings article to improve your recording quality even further!


Know of another podcaster that records with Zoom? Be sure to share this article so they can improve their recordings. Don't forget to share these settings with your interview guests!


- Sterling Skye

 

Download Zoom: https://zoom.us/download

 

Resources and Additional Learning Materials:


Zoom Pricing Plans: https://zoom.us/pricing


Zoom Video Tutorials: https://support.zoom.us

 

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