The biggest names in podcasting don’t stop with audio. Podcast interviewers like Joe Rogan and Grace Helbig are recording complementary video in their podcast studios, and production powerhouses like Wondery Network and The Ringer are also creating YouTube versions of their popular podcasts. In doing so, these podcasters and networks reach hundreds of thousands of audience members beyond what they could reach through audio alone.
Despite the growth of video podcasts, the competition in the space is still minimal compared to that of traditional audio podcasts. This means it’s a great time to create your own live or recorded video podcast for YouTube or elsewhere — reaching new fans, setting yourself apart from other content creators, and providing a new way for audiences to engage with your show. And thankfully, building a multicamera video setup in your podcast studio or space is easier and less expensive than you may think. You probably already have most of the gear that you need. Let’s get started.
Gathering your video podcast equipment and gear
Choosing a podcast camera
Let’s start with the obvious. To create a multicam video podcast, you’ll need multiple cameras. Switching among multiple angles during your video podcast adds a dynamic feel and perspective that you can’t get from a single angle alone (although, if you’re just dipping your toes in the water, single-camera video podcasts can be a great place to start).
Thankfully, if you’ve got access to a couple of iPhones or iPads, you already have multiple cameras ready and waiting. Some video podcasters rely on DSLR cameras, but that requires buying not only multiple DSLRs (insert cash register drawer sound here) but also accessories like HDMI cords, capture cards for each camera, and a hardware switcher board, which alone can run you hundreds of dollars. iPhone cameras are incredible these days, and you can sync them over Wi-Fi using software called Switcher Studio, which lets you then switch angles and edit your podcast video while you’re recording or streaming. We’ll address how to get Switcher set up a little later in this post.
Setting up your podcast cameras
Where you place your cameras will depend on your podcast recording space and the structure of your show. Some podcasters have a dedicated studio, whereas others record in their offices, and others yet record in closets. A few basic shots that work well for a podcast video include:
- Wide shot: Add context by placing one of your iOS device cameras in a spot that captures your entire setup.
- Main shot on each podcast host and guest: You’ll want one good shot of each speaker — whether that’s just you, you and another host, you and a guest, etc. Place these cameras so that each speaker is framed similarly. You don’t want a zoomed-in shot on you and a zoomed-out shot on your co-host.
- Overhead shot: If you want to add a behind-the-scenes feel, position a camera overhead. The view from on high will capture what you’re doing with your audio mixer, iOS device running Switcher Studio, or computer.
- Remote guest shot: OK, this won’t be captured with a camera in your studio, but it’s something to remember at this point. If you have remote co-hosts or guests, you’ll also want a way to bring in real-time footage of them. More on how later.
To achieve these shots, you may want to pick up a small tripod or mount for each iOS device. Use those to position your cameras accordingly. For the overhead shot, you’ll likely want a gooseneck or adjustable phone stand.
Arranging lights for your video podcast
To get clear footage, you need sufficient lighting. And once you place your cameras and determine your shots, you’ll be able to tell where you may need to add lighting and where you may need to reduce it by covering windows.
Adding light can be as simple as strategically placing a few small lamps that you already have on hand. Alternatively, you could invest in an overhead drum light for a diffused glow, a flattering ring light that attaches right to your camera or tripod, or even a studio light kit, which usually includes two or three lights and stands.
As a rule of thumb, aim for three-point lighting, which involves lighting each speaker from the front (key light), from beside (fill light), and from behind (backlight). This will give your video podcast a 3D look. Opt for soft lighting, which is more flattering, and a consistent color temperature among bulbs. In the same way that you don’t want mismatched framing of your speakers, you don’t want a blueish light on one speaker and a yellowish light on another.
Hooking up your podcast microphones and/or audio mixer
This is a podcast after all, which means you want clear sound. If you’re introducing a video version of an existing audio podcast, you likely already have microphones that you love. You can connect almost any podcast microphones to the iPhone or iPad on which you’re running Switcher Studio and producing your video podcast. (The exact connection method just depends on whether your iOS device has a headphone jack, a lightning port, or a USB-C port.)
If you’re still in the market for mics, you may want to check out Saramonic Blink 500 system. These wireless mics come in a two-pack — one for you and one for a co-host or guest — and their tiny receiver plugs directly into the iOS device running Switcher, bringing pro-quality sound right into your video production sans wires.
If you choose to connect your new or existing mics with Switcher directly, then after your video podcast recording (or livestream), you’ll want to export the audio file from your Switcher video. You can then import it into Adobe Audition or your audio-editing software of choice to do your typical audio editing. (In this case, be sure to record your video in Switcher’s Director Mode to make sure you get the highest-quality audio.)
There’s one more option for those podcasters who already have the super popular Rodecaster Pro Podcast Production Studio at their disposal. You can hook your Rodecaster directly to both your computer (USB-out) and your iOS device running Switcher (TRRS-out). This lets you record audio on your computer at the same time that audio is being recorded as part of your video, which is perfect for podcasters who want to keep their current audio-mixing and editing process even after they introduce video.
You’re probably starting to realize that there are several different ways you can handle audio for your video podcast, and you’re right about that. This is ideal since podcasters tend to be audio nuts. You get to choose the route that works best for you. Get it, route? Like audio routing? Just a little podcast humor for you.
Decorating your video podcast set
Feel free to let your microphones and other tech be visible in your podcast video, Joe Rogan-style. This creates an exclusive behind-the-scenes feel, retaining the format of the audio podcast — you don’t have to create a television show — while giving added perspective into the conversation. In addition to gear, consider what will be present in each camera’s shot. Set decor could include:
- Background: The existing background of your studio or space often creates the feel you’re going for. But if you want to create a special background, you can try a seamless paper roll draped from above to create a clean, professional look.
- Shelves: Simple styled bookshelves in your podcast space also make a great background, adding warmth, giving you a chance to display gifts from listeners, and letting you easily change up the decor for various episodes and seasons.
- Screen: You may want a computer or TV screen displaying your logo or any photos/videos you’re discussing during your show. You can leave your screen as part of the background or bring it into Switcher Studio as a video source so viewers of your video podcast can get a better look at what you’re seeing.
- Table or desk: If you’ve got your gear set up on a table or desk, it will feature prominently as part of your set. Consider pulling your table away from the wall to avoid a cramped feeling.
- Artwork: Show the personality of your podcast by curating posters or artwork to display behind you or your guests.
- Trinkets: In general, choose fewer larger pieces rather than more smaller pieces. A couple of trinkets or your desk or bookshelf can add personality, but too many start to look cluttered.
- Mugs: Gotta keep that throat on its A game as you’re talking. Video podcasters often have an array of glasses, cups, and plastic water bottles scattered around their spaces. You can keep things looking neat, cozy, and even branded by using mugs with your show logo.
- Sound blankets: You may also consider adding some sound blankets to your space to absorb ambient sound. These may be off-camera or draped behind speakers, pulling double-duty as sound dampeners and background.
Producing and editing your multicamera video podcast
Choosing a video podcast software
As mentioned earlier, Switcher Studio is the video podcast software that lets you connect your iPhone and iPad cameras (up to nine) over Wi-Fi. (You can start a free trial here to test it out for your podcast.) Though Switcher is often used for livestreaming video, many podcasters also use it for recording and live-producing video podcasts that they then post after the fact. Here are a few reasons Switcher is ideal for streaming or recording video podcasts:
- Use less gear: As mentioned above, Switcher runs on iOS devices, so there’s no need to buy expensive cameras and no wires to trip over.
- Free up your computer: It’s rather taxing to a computer to run a video-switching software, audio recording software, and remote interview software simultaneously. Switcher handles the video-switching and interview part, freeing up your computer to handle audio or to display comments as they roll in.
- Brand and live-edit your show: There’s no post-production for your video podcasts because Switcher lets you change angles, add in graphics and b-roll, display text, and share your screen all while you’re recording or streaming.
- Stream live or record for later: That’s right, you can do either one.
- Share your screen: If you want to show a website, a game, or anything else on your computer in your video podcast, it’s easy to share your Mac, PC, or phone screen right into your Switcher production.
- Bring in remote guests directly: You can invite remote guests to join your podcast right in the Switcher app using Video Chat. Their webcams or smartphone cameras instantly become part of your production. More on this in a moment.
- Connect to the biggest platforms: Switcher integrates directly with YouTube (ruler of the video podcast empire), Facebook, Twitch, LinkedIn, and more.
- Export quality audio: Switcher eliminates the need for video post-production, but if you want to edit your audio the standard way for its audio version, you can easily export the audio file after recording.
Bringing a remote guest or co-host into your video podcast
Though there are tons of solo podcasters making amazing shows, most podcasters have co-hosts or guests, which is why it’s so important to consider how you’d bring a remote guest into your video podcast (especially during the days of COVID, when guests can’t join you in-studio). If possible, you’d like to avoid choosing a video podcasting software that you then have to integrate with a separate video calling tool. Look for software that does both.
Switcher’s Video Chat feature lets remote guests join your podcast video from any computer or smartphone camera. All you have to do is send your guest a URL to join your Switcher Video Chat room from their browser. They don’t need to make a Switcher account, download any apps, type in any access codes, or wait for admission to your room.
Depending on your Switcher plan, you can invite up to five remote guests at a time. You can also choose whose cameras are part of your stream or recorded video (easily switch throughout the video or show multiple at once with multiview layouts), and you can mute and unmute individual guests as needed, which is perfect if you have a series of guests in one podcast.
Creating your video podcast
Now that you know the video podcast equipment and software that you need, it’s time to get started producing the thing! Start your free 14-day trial of Switcher Studio to create your first multicamera video podcast. Be sure to tag us in the video description with #madewithswitcher. And feel free to join our Facebook group for new Switcher users to learn from Switcher experts about how to create amazing multicamera videos.