Interview Sound Quality

I am a physician who launched a podcast 6 months ago. Have only done solocasts because when I use zoom, my sound quality always sounds underwater or in a tunnel maybe. Just not good. Then I edit so much it sounds alien! Because I am new and my goal is to share healthcare and parenting information, I did not spend money on equipment besides ATR2100 mic and my computer.

What are some tricks I can use to make my remote interviews sound better?


What are you using to record solo? The ATR 2100 via USB? And when you record interviews the ATR 2100 into the Zoom?

Underwater sounds could be a sign of up-sampling a low sample rate recording. Check the bit rate that the zoom is recording in and that you are editing in, it might be that if it’s recording a low quality being converted to a higher sample rate that could be the issue.

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Yes indeed. USB ATR2100 with Zoom.
A low sample rate recording? Hmmm, new learning to do. Will need to google how to find that setting in zoom to be able to change it. Thanks for the lead.

Hello @drmommasays and welcome to the community! Thanks for making your first post in here.

I read this a couple of times and think there’s a “zoom” confusion here @markdenholm. I was also thinking about the Zoom portable recorders but I think @drmommasays you are using the online recording service to record. Is this correct?

I’ve not used it myself but, from what I hear, the audio quality is really not that great. This would explain the underwater/tunnel sounds. I think @Izabela may have something more to say about Zoom as she works with quite a few clients that also use it.

My suggestion would be, if a video recording is not important, to look at a different service provider that places audio quality as a priority.

I’ve been using Zencastr (audio only) recently to record and it’s really good. It’ll record both sides of the call in high quality and then mix them together afterwards in the cloud.

I’ve also heard many good things said about SquadCast but not tried them myself yet. They also support video recording so that may be a good option to consider.

@drmommasays Debby Zoom is unfortunately awful. I have done a lot of research into this for some clients I work with on podcast production and sadly Zoom is simply not a great service if audio quality is important. They compress files SIGNIFICANTLY in order to make them smaller in size and easier to handle. To give you the extend of how much compression is happening - 60 min interview is compressed to be 20MB in size… good quality WAV recording should be around 500MB mark for that audio length. The question to ask is how much audio degradation has to happen in order to strip 500MB file to only 20MB. A lot!

The only way to improve is to switch to alternative service - Zencastr that Mike has mentioned is a good option. There is also - both focus their product on audio quality - which is what you need :wink: hope this helps and ask away if you have any further questions.

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Thanks everyone! This makes much more sense. Zoom the recorder vs Zoom the online sound crusher! I will look into some of the options you mentioned. Have a great weekend!

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