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. 

To set this up, we used Loopback on Mac (try Total Recorder on Windows), which is a handy tool you can use to set up special routing so that the output of an application on your computer can be used as a recording input in Descript. 


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

Launch Loopback and click the plus (+) button in the Sources section. Select your microphone source from the list at the bottom. 


Remove the virtual cable that goes from your microphone source to the Output Channel's "Channel 2 (R)" by clicking on it, then pressing "Delete". This will assure that your microphone's audio is only routed to Channel 1 (L). Stereo microphones can optionally have both Left and Right channels set to the Output Channel's "Channel 1".


Add a new Source by clicking on the plus (+) button on Sources again, and this time add Zoom. You will want to set both of Zoom's channels to the Output Channel's "Channel 2 (R)" by deleting "1 (L)". Afterward click on the empty dot and drag a new virtual cable to the Output Channel's "Channel 2 (R)". This will assure that Zoom's audio is only routed to Channel 2 (R).


Now you will want to add input monitoring so that you can hear yourself and your guest. You can do this by clicking on the plus (+) button on "Monitors" and select your monitoring destination. 

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. 


Once you’ve set up Loopback, press the Record button in Descript. Click the gear icon in the menu and set your "Microphone Input" to Loopback Audio

On Track 1, click to add a speaker label with the name of the host, and choose Input 1 on Loopback Audio. Then, click the  +   button to add a second track and and add the name of your guest and select Input 2.

At this point you can launch the meeting with your guest, then click the Record button to begin recording in Descript, making sure to not mute your microphone while capturing.

When you stop recording, Descript will automatically transcribe the recording and it'll be ready in minutes. 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.