A friend and creative master of all that is podcasting is Jen Edds from Brassy Broadcasting Company. I don't get to see her too often, but when I do it's always a lot of laughs. Jen is one talented individual – she's funny, she's a talented musician and singer, and she's one of the most experienced podcasters I know. So, it wasn't a surprise when she shared a new tool with me that may be of interest to you folks – Zencastr.
If you're a veteran podcaster, chances are that you have a mixer board and a great set of microphones and headphones. If you're a newer podcaster, you might have a digital mixer. The complexity begins when you want to bring in remote guests. We've outfitted our Indianapolis podcast studio with a Mac Mini and a couple USB audio interfaces to output Skype or any other audio into our mixer.
While that solves the technology, you then have to wire your mixer or program your digital mixer to output your in-studio folks to a bus out to your online folks. And you have to ensure not to patch back your guest's voice otherwise, your online guests will hear an echo. Not only do you have those issues, but many online communication programs (like Skype) clip and downgrade the audio. It's akin to hearing someone dialing into a radio station on their phone.
Did you get all that? Yea… it's been very frustrating at times. I worked with local audio engineer Brad Shoemaker and Behringer engineers to get it all working right and we've experimented with a bunch of audio platforms for cleaner online recording.
Of course, you don't need any of this since Zencastr is here! While there are other online platforms for recording – like BlogTalkRadio (we left because we could not record quality audio online), Zencastr provides high-quality recording and is built for a podcast that may have several guests from different locations.
Zencastr is like having a recorder in the clouds, and even has limited mixing capabilities:
- A Separate Track Per Guest – Zencastr records each voice locally in pristine quality. No more dropouts due to a bad connection. No more changes in quality during the show. Nothing but crystal clear audio.
- Record in Lossless WAV – Don't compromise on quality. Zencastr records your guests in lossless 16-bit 44.1k WAV so you get the best possible audio to work with.
- Soundboard for Live Editing – Insert your intro, ad, or other audio live as you record. This saves you the time it takes to edit these in during postproduction.
- Built-in VoIP (Voice over IP) – No need to use a third-party service like Skype or Hangouts. You can voice chat with your guests directly through Zencastr.
- Automatic Postproduction – Generate a single mixed track with curated audio enhancements applied to turn your recording into a professional mix ready for publishing.
- Cloud Drive Integration – Your recordings are delivered automatically to your Dropbox account for easy editing and sharing. Google Drive coming soon.
Hey… and if you are just getting started, Jen has put together a complete course on starting your own podcast that's a must!