Recording Remote Interviews

 

Record Remotely with Descript’s Multitrack Recording Feature

Have an interview with a remote guest? You can record your tracks separately in Descript. When you finish recording, Descript will automatically create a combined transcript with speaker labels and you'll be able to make edits to the individual tracks. 

 

Setup

To get started, create your new project in Descript, then go ahead and launch your remote meeting software and connect with your guest. We'll use Zoom in this tutorial.

Zoom Setup

Have your guest click on the zoom.us icon in the menu bar, select Preferences, then click on the Audio tab in the left-hand sidebar.

Open-Zoom_Audio_Preferences.gif

 

Set the "Suppress background noise" option to Low.

Supress-Background-Noise.png

 

Click on the Advanced tab at the bottom of the menu, then set "Echo Cancellation" to Auto. Click the checkbox for "Show in-meeting option to 'Enable Original Sound" from microphone" then check both boxes for "Disable echo cancellation" and "High fidelity music mode."

Advanced-Tab.png

 

Repeat this process in Zoom for the host as well, then once complete, switch back over to Descript. Click on the Record button at the top of the screen and then on the Recording Settings (gear) icon. Choose your microphone from the list of options, then click on the Track Label to set your speaker name.

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Next, click on the Plus (+) button to add a new track for your guest and add the speaker label. Then click on the input source dropdown and select Computer audio. You may receive a popup notifying you that some third-party applications need to have their output settings changed in order to work. Click OK to close the popup.

Set-Recording-Guest.gif

 

Start a test recording by clicking on the red Record button, then navigate back to the Zoom. In the audio settings, locate the speaker selection dropdown, and make sure it's set to Descript Loopback Audio (this can also be set in the Audio Preferences page).

Descript_Loopback_Audio.gif

Note: It is recommended that you use headphones for input monitoring in order to prevent an audio feedback loop (high-pitched screeching) from your computer speakers and your computer microphone. 

 

After that, you should see both your audio recording, as well as that of your guest. If you have automatic transcription enabled in your Recording Settings, the transcription will appear automatically as you record. Optionally, you can uncheck the option to automatically transcribe by clicking on the gear icon and unchecking the box. This must be done before beginning the recording.

 

While the transcript will look like it's just a single track, Descript actually creates a Sequence, so you can edit the tracks individually. This is nice for editing out crosstalk or coughs. To enter the Sequence editor, right-click on the Timeline and choose "Edit sequence". 

 

Alternative Solution: Ensuring the highest possible sound quality

If you want the highest possible quality recording for your guest, you can optionally have your guest record themselves on their own computer during your remote interview, either using Descript or another digital audio workstation.

Afterward, they can send you the file and you can drop it into the project, or you can share the project with them and have them add their track to the Media Library themselves. This will then allow you to delete the lower-quality guest track afterwards in place of the high-quality track they provide.