How To Record a Podcast on Your Phone In a Few Simple Steps
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need a professional studio and tonnes of recording equipment to make a great podcast. If you’re just getting into podcasting, or you’re more experienced and looking for a super-compact setup for podcasting on the go, your smartphone is a perfectly acceptable recording tool. Below we’re going to show you how to record a podcast on your phone in just a few simple steps.
Use an External Microphone
First, you need a smartphone to record with. All phones feature internal microphones that, if you’re in a pinch, can record audio for your podcast. However, these aren’t capable of high-quality sound capture; and with a format like podcasting where audio is the focal point (or any media, for that matter), people will tune out quickly if your recording is poor.
The single easiest way to significantly improve your audio when recording into a phone is to use an external microphone. The RØDE range offers plenty of options that will deliver crystal-clear audio and plug directly into your phone.
For an easy-to-use solution for an iPhone, the VideoMic Me-L, or VideoMic Me if you have an older model, are perfect. These ultra-compact microphones clip right into your phone’s Lightning or headphone input and will capture crisp, clear audio that is focused on what it's pointed at while reducing background noise.
If you’re looking for a more versatile option, the VideoMic GO II is perfect for recording high-quality audio on your smartphone. The VideoMic GO II plugs directly into the USB-C or Lightning port on your device and will automatically be recognised and set as the default microphone, so you can just pick it up, plug it in and start recording. It’s also powered by your device and combined with the Tripod 2, gives you the perfect setup for recording a super high-quality podcast on your smartphone whenever and wherever you like. You’ll also have access to advanced features via the RØDE Central Mobile app, such as a high-pass filter, high-frequency boost, pad and input gain control, which are perfect for fine-tuning your audio.
Another great option is using the AI-Micro ultra-compact audio interface to record a professional-quality two-person podcast with absolute ease. It features two high-quality inputs that allow you to seamlessly connect virtually any 3.5mm microphone to record your podcast, including lavaliers, VideoMics, and wireless systems such as the Wireless GO. It also has a headphone output so you can easily monitor your audio.
The AI-Micro is compatible with both iOS and Android devices via its universal USB output and comes with cables for connecting to phones with Lightning or USB-C ports. Both the AI-Micro and the VideoMic GO II are compatible with the RØDE Reporter app, which allows you to record broadcast-quality audio on any smartphone, with complete control over the input level of each microphone, the headphone output level, and access to advanced features like a high-pass filter.
Monitor Your Audio with Headphones
One of the coolest features of the VideoMic Me, VideoMic Me-L, and AI-Micro is the headphone output. This allows you to monitor your audio before and during recording to ensure everything is sounding good, and listen back to your audio after you’re done. We highly recommend having a pair of headphones on hand at all times if you're thinking about recording – even a pair of earbuds will do!
Use an App To Record Your Podcast
Finally, you’ll need to download an app to record your podcast. There are a number of purpose-built mobile podcasting services, such as Riverside or Anchor, that allow you to easily record and edit a podcast, and distribute it to popular platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Tips For Getting Great Audio When Recording a Podcast On Your Phone
Once you’ve got all the tools you need, it’s time to start thinking about recording. Here are a few tips for getting great audio:
Record in a quiet place – If possible, record your podcast in a quiet room with minimal background noise that could be picked up in your recording. This includes traffic or pedestrian noise, air conditioners or fans, music or noisy housemates. Also, choose a room with minimal reflective surfaces, as this will introduce a distant, echo-y quality to your audio, which will be unpleasant to listen to. Carpet, rugs, curtains and bookshelves will all help reduce these reflections and make your podcast sound more professional.
Mount your phone to keep it secure – Don’t hold your phone while recording, as any knocks, bumps or vibrations will be picked up by your microphone and be audible in your podcast. We recommend using a tripod and grip to secure your phone in place.
Consider microphone placement – Thinking carefully about where your microphone is in relation to your mouth is very important, particularly when recording on a phone, as you will have less control over your recording than if you were using a console like the RØDECaster Pro. If you’re too close to your microphone, your audio may become distorted; too far away and it will sound distant. To get a rich, professional sound, ensure your mic is pointed directly at your mouth, roughly 20-30cm away.
Watch your audio levels – Most audio recording apps will have a level meter that indicates how loud the incoming audio is. Before you start recording, do a few tests to ensure your audio is clean and clear. Keep an eye on this while doing your test. If the meter is hitting the orange or red section, your audio is too loud and may become distorted. Simply back a few centimetres away from the mic until the level meter is sitting just above the halfway point and make sure your voice is balanced while you’re talking.
There you have it! Podcasting on a smartphone is super easy with a RØDE microphone and a little know-how. If you’re looking for a super-compact rig for mobile recording, or you’re just getting into podcasting and want to test the waters with a recording device you have on-hand, check out the VideoMic Me or VideoMic Me-L, and the rest of the RØDE podcasting range.