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How to Set Up Double-Ender Recording for Podcasts and Remote Interviews

How to Set Up Double-Ender Recording for Podcasts and Remote Interviews

Do you want to produce crisp podcast material, even when your guest is on the other side of the world? Are you tired of interview guests sounding muffled? 

Well, the best way to get high-quality audio from a podcast or remote interview is to use double-ender recording.

Although it includes a few more steps, you can get much better results with double-ender recording. This is because they let you create the best possible listening experience for your audience.


What is the Double-Ender recording method?

The double-ender recording method is simply a way of recording the audio of people in different places, thus, making it sound as if they are in the same place or a room together. 

Every person in the interview will set up an audio recorder to record their voice locally. Then, the audio files will be synced together in post-production.

One of the most easy-to-use audio recorders is the handheld audio recorder, considering how it allows you to adjust recording settings and has a separate storage space just for the job. 

However, there are other solutions we will be discussing at the end of this guide in case you can’t afford to buy more hardware.

Equipment needed for Double-Ender Recording

In this guide, we will show you the basic method for double-ender recording, and to make this work, the host and guest will need some equipment to record their voice during the conversation. 

Remember that both the host and guest will need the following equipment listed below:

  • Handheld audio recorder
  • An external microphone (not necessary)
  • A Computer or mobile phone
  • Conferencing software

If you want to invest in some gear, Zoom audio recorders are an excellent choice considering how simple they are to use and work without being connected to a computer. 

If you’re the type who interviews guests regularly, getting a portable recorder for just $100 or a little more may be worth it, especially for high-quality 24-bit/48kHz WAV files.

The advantages of Double-Ender recording

A lot more steps are involved when setting up a double-ender recording, so why should I go through all the trouble? What’s the essence? 

Well, there are multiple benefits to it, but the main point is that the audio quality will be better to a significant extent.

The list below will give you a quick summary of the advantages of using the double-ender recording method:

  • It results in high-quality, uncompressed audio recordings
  • Options for 44.1kHz—96kHz sample rate and 16/24-bit depth
  • It also gives you full control over recording settings
  • Sounds like you’re together in the studio
  • There’s no risk of losing the audio stream if in case the internet drops out

The biggest trouble here is surely having to instruct a guest on how to set up an audio recorder. 

Moreover, there is no guarantee that a guest will have the basic tech skill to record their audio, but seeing as it’s not complicated, it is worth giving it a go.

How to Record Using the Double-Ender Method

Below we’ve outlined simple step-by-step instructions for recording using the double-ender method. 

So, use this guide to make your first recording or share it with a guest to help them through the basics of setting it up.

Set Up the Audio Recorder

Planning and setting up your workstation right will help to make the process much easier, so make sure you take your time to get everything ready.

Start by getting a good location for recording a conversation. You should look out for a place where you won’t be disturbed or interrupted and that doesn’t have too much background noise.

Get into a convenient position at a table or desk, and sit the audio recorder where it can easily pick up your voice. 

An excellent way to do this is with a tripod or microphone stand. Otherwise, you can place the recorder on a stack of books, or similar which will also do the trick.

In case you’re using Zoom or Skype for the interview, be sure that your laptop or mobile phone is set up within reach but not in between your voice and the recorder.

Prepare the Video Conferencing Software

Next, you have to prepare the conferencing software you are using for the call.

Even though we will be recording the audio separately, there’s no reason why you can’t also record the audio and video on Zoom or any similar software. 

The worst that could happen is a guest simply forgetting to press the record button on their end, so it will give you a handy backup in an emergency.

Test Audio Levels

After properly setting up your laptop and audio recorder, the next step is very important: testing your equipment to make sure that everything works. 

As soon as the audio starts recording, you can’t make any changes to the settings or adjust the position of the recorder. So, you have to properly go through this step.

Start by sound-checking your audio recorder; if it shows the input levels in decibels, then you want your voice to reach between -18dB and -6dB. 

Averaging around -12dB is an excellent target and will give you plenty of headroom if you need to turn up the volume in post-production.

Next, do a sound check in Zoom or any other software you’re using, and make sure that your laptop microphone can pick up a good level.

Create a Marker for Syncing

Now you’re ready to start recording! After you’ve made sure that the audio is being recorded on both ends, all that’s remaining is to create a marker for syncing.

Relax, it’s really simple. You just have to let your guest know that on the count of three, you will both clap at the same time. 

This will create a loud spike in the audio recording that you can use when aligning the two recordings in post-production, to ensure that the conversation is perfectly synced.

Finishing Up

Once you’re done with the interview or podcast, let everyone know they can safely stop the audio recording. 

Before ending the meeting, remind your guests to send you the audio files for editing. 

  • Tell them to send you the audio files they recorded after the call is finished.
  • Gather all the audio files from the call and import them into an audio editor like Audacity or the preferred DAW you want to use for editing the files together.
  • Once the audio streams show up in the audio editor, find the clapping sound at the beginning of the recording and adjust the audio files until the sound lines up perfectly.
  • Finish up the editing as you would normally.


Other solutions

In case you don’t have a handheld recorder, you can use a mobile phone with an audio recording app. 

There are lots of great Android apps for recording podcasts and interviews on the Google Play Store. Using a plug-in smartphone microphone will help you get even better results.

Before using a smartphone, make sure you have a lot of available space, several gigabytes if possible, and keep your device connected to a charging cable so that your phone will make it through the long hours of the interview.

Another option for those who already have a podcasting microphone is to record audio using an audio editing program like Audacity.

Studio Quality Audio With Double-Ender Recording

No doubt, the Double-Ender recording method is one of the best ways to record high-quality remote audio. 

Now, our simplified guide makes it easier when trying it out yourself. 

Remember to also send this guide to a guest in case you need to explain how to set up a double-ender recording for podcasts and interviews. 

As a cheaper option, a smartphone or free audio editing software can do the trick too.