Multitrack recording is exactly what it sounds like: you record each person’s audio simultaneously on individual tracks (or audio files).
So what does this actually mean and why is it important?
I interviewed Joe Casabona on a recent episode of Podcast Bytes about building a podcast website. He was recording from his studio and I was recording from mine. Remember, I record podcast guests with my Zoom H6 using a mix-minus setup. This allows me to multitrack/ record us on separate channels.
This matters because you have more editing control over each person’s’ individual audio. For example, both Joe and I have kids. If my son busted into my studio and started asking to play Fortnite, it would be recorded.
With multitrack, my son would only be recorded on my channel and it could be easily edited out, even if Joe was in the middle of talking. However, if everything was being recorded on a single track, there is no good way to remove the background noise while the other person is talking (I discuss more examples in the episode).
Is This More Work?
Yes, it’s a little more work and often takes a little more time in post-production. However, the quality and control will be infinitely better.
I scoffed at multitrack recording for a long time. My first podcast was often had 4 people all recorded onto a single track and I used auto-editing tools like Levelator to help clean it up. It was good for what it was but we still could only go so far in terms of quality.
Now that my agency is producing podcasts fulltime, I couldn’t imagine doing anything but multitrack.
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