Recording with Riverside.fm

Whenever I take on a new client we usually spend the first week or so optimising their recording process. Part of this process is encouraging them to stop using video conferencing services to record their content and to start recording their content locally. This usually requires a bit of training but the increase in quality is definitely worth it. Where this becomes a bit tricky is getting their guests to do the same thing.

 

Thankfully, there’s another solution that will allow you and your guests to get the most out of your remote recordings.

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Thank you for your support!

 

Give Riverside A Try!

https://riverside.fm/?via=richard-newton

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Affiliate Disclaimer

 

I’m an affiliate partner for several websites, platforms and software companies. Some of the links in this description are affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This will not be an additional cost to you.

 

Thank you for your support!

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Transcript

Richard James Newton  
Hello everyone, Richard here, and today I'm joined by the head of marketing at Riverside, Abel Grunfeld. Abel is going to give us an introduction to Riverside, as well as provide us with some general insight as to why the platform is such a useful tool. Abel, thanks for joining me, how's it going?

Abel Grunfeld  
I'm very good. And I'm genuinely excited to be talking with you today.

Richard James Newton  
Well, I'm excited to have you here! Just to start us off, can you tell us about the initial idea behind Riverside and how it's developed into the platform it is today?

Abel Grunfeld  
Riverside essentially a recording solution to conduct high-quality interviews with remote guests. It can be audio-only, but we also record video. The main thing is that everything works from the browser.

  
Before diving into the details of the platform, let me give you a bit of the background story. So, initially, Riverside was founded by two brothers from the Netherlands as an online debating platform to host debates for politicians, and at the same time, find a way for the audience and the voters to engage in a meaningful way and to ask questions. We had a dutch equivalent of Joe Biden on the platform discussing very intense one on one debates. Although the product was working very well and we got a lot of positive response, there was no way to monetize it. So, to sufficiently further develop the platform, and that's why at some point about a year ago, the founders decided to make a pivot and the use case of recording remote interviews came very natural since we developed the underlying technological infrastructure for the online debating platform, giving us an edge when it comes down to recording audio and video from the browser. So, long story short, we made the change and we officially launched end of March, so almost a year ago. Since then we've attracted a lot of different users, a lot of different types of content creators, podcasters, media companies, YouTubers and small businesses using it for internal communication. So it really is a central hub for any recording needs being conducted remotely.

Richard James Newton  
That's an interesting story. I'm quite surprised to hear that you launched in March last year. I only found out about you this year. So January 2021. Very glad that I did find you, through YouTube, a very good advert on YouTube, by the way. So I think, to keep us moving. Can you tell us more about how the process works? What kind of quality can we expect from the Riverside platform?

Abel Grunfeld  
So normally, when you record over the internet, there are a couple of issues. One of them is the quality you get will depend on the strength of the internet connection. So, we thought, what if we can record locally, meaning we record directly from the source on each end, and then afterwards, we upload it to the server. The recording quality doesn't rely on the stability of the internet connection. That is a process we built and we automatically do that. That results in audio that is uncompressed and up to 4k video. We give you the raw material directly from the source, rather than having to ask your guests to record themselves and afterwards send you that file, we automate that entire workflow. So that you get the benefits of what is called a double-ender technique, we then digitise it and automate it so that it's directly available on your dashboard.

Richard James Newton  
Awesome! And then just a note for anyone who is watching, everything you see and hear on this video has been captured through the Riverside platform. So that will give you a pretty good idea of what you can get from the platform. For practical reasons, I decided to capture the video at 1080p, but if you felt the need, you can, as Abel mentioned, go up to 4k with the video. Okay. I think just to move on, how does Riverside capture these high-quality recordings through a web browser without relying on a stable internet connection?

Abel Grunfeld  
Each participant needs to use a computer or a laptop with a Chrome browser. That infrastructure allows us to use a specific technology, which records on each end offline. So it is as if you're using QuickTime or as if you're using FaceTime offline. You need to have an internet connection just for the uploading of the files, once you stop recording.

Richard James Newton  
Just a follow-up question to that. What would happen if I completely lost my internet connection or accidentally closed my browser?

Abel Grunfeld  
When you have a degrading internet connection, we do a couple of things. First of all, we can temporarily disable the live video feed without impacting the recording of the video. So what happens is just to smooth out the live conversation, we decrease the requirement of bandwidth that you need to have the conversation. But because we record offline, so independent of the internet, that offline recording just runs as it would with perfect internet. So afterwards, once the recordings are uploaded, you get silky smooth recorded files. The second point is suppose you have a complete drop off of internet. Because we're uploading progressively. So without making it overcomplicated. We record and upload in very small chunks, which results in an automatic backup system. So suppose your internet cuts off, you'll never lose more than one very small chunk.

Richard James Newton  
Very clever. And then, while I was setting up our interview, or rather at the end, where when I was about to send the invitation out, I noticed a few options. One option that I found very interesting was the option for "producer". Can you tell me more about that?

Abel Grunfeld  
It's something called the producer mode. It essentially enables you to have an audio or video engineer or producer attend the recording to be in control of the recording without recording him or herself. What it means is that we try to make collaboration across a team possible within the browser. So if I'm a producer of a show, I can create the session, and then just send the guest links to my guest and my host. I can monitor everything, I can see everything. I can even communicate to give advice to one of the participants. But afterwards, when I access the recordings, it is as if I was not there, as if I was absent.

Richard James Newton  
That's really cool. That makes me think of my old background. So I'm from the live entertainment side of things. I used to run live shows. So the producer mode kind of makes me think of those days of being the guy behind the scenes, just making sure everything runs smoothly.

Abel Grunfeld  
Let me ask you something. You're producing many shows. What has been one of the major challenges for you as a producer, in terms of making sure that interviews over the internet with remote guests as well as with remote hosts run smoothly?

Richard James Newton  
I always encourage my clients to do a test recording before they record an interview. And then there are times where they say, listen, this one is really important for me, and I really want to make sure that it comes out right. So I say, okay cool, send the test recording over to me, I'll throw it through the template, and then we'll have a listen to what the final product sounds like. 


But now, when we talk about producer mode, I think being able to even offer that to a client, just to say, listen, when you do these really important ones, where you've got a high profile guest, and you want to make sure it's right the first time. I mean, if you get a high profile guest, you're very seldom going to be able to get them to give another hour of their time away, right? So it's pretty important that you get it right the first time. So producer mode would be a game-changer for someone like me and for clients.

Abel Grunfeld  
That is super interesting. And that is what we're facilitating with producer mode. You get a lot of information. You can see the camera resolution, you can monitor the microphone that each participant is using, and you can also see the uploading status of each recording feed. So you know that everything is running smoothly, which gives you peace during the conversation. There are a couple of other benefits we're working on in terms of post-production, but I think these are the most relevant ones for now.

Richard James Newton  
Very clever idea. What I did want to ask is, obviously, we're limited in terms of recording capabilities. How many people can be recorded simultaneously?

Abel Grunfeld  
You can have up to seven guests. So you can record up to eight people in total per session. And do note that if you have people joining through the producer mode, they're not recorded and so they don't count when we're talking about eight people.

Richard James Newton  
That makes sense. So I noticed the platform has live streaming and live call-in capabilities. Can you tell us more about that?

Abel Grunfeld  
In terms of live streaming, there are different options. Option one is you can live stream on the Riverside platform. The second option is to stream to external platforms. So you can stream to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Twitch. And you can also use a custom RTMP if you'd like to stream it to platforms beyond those four. 


And then where it becomes really cool is, and this ties in with the history and initial idea of our platform, being an online debating platform, we wanted the voters to be able to use the chatbox to communicate with the politicians, but also to call in with video to ask a question during the live debate. And so this is a unique feature that only Riverside has. And how it works is that when you go live on Riverside, and your audience members are watching, they can request to call in with video, they insert their name and their question. And then it's up to the host to accept them into the session, which basically is as if an additional participant is temporarily joining.

 

Abel Grunfeld  
So we're really trying to make your life as a creator easier by giving you all the tools that you need to not only create and record your show but also to grow it.

Richard James Newton  
I must say my first impression of Riverside is that you guys have definitely thought about the layout and just making it user friendly. Number one, and number two, you've really given content creators the tools that they need to entertain their audience and produce high-quality content. And then just one more thing that I wanted to clarify was just in terms of your plans. So you've got the basic, the standard, the pro and the enterprise plans. They all offer a certain amount of hours that you can record per month. What I wanted to clarify was that let's take this interview as an example. So we should be at about 30 minutes in terms of total recording time. What I wanted to ask is because we're recording on separate tracks, would that count as two 30-minute recordings? Or would you calculate it as a 30-minute session?

Abel Grunfeld  
When we're recording with the two of us now for 30-minutes, it as if we're recording for 30-minutes, if suppose we would be four participants recording 30-minutes, it would still count as 30-minutes.

Richard James Newton  
Awesome. That makes sense. So I think just to finish this off, can you share some interesting use cases with this?

Abel Grunfeld  
Our users are very creative. It's super cool to see the different use cases. So starting as more of a podcast focused platform, and gradually expanding into being a platform for any content creator. We not only see remote interviews, but we also see, for example, virtual events, being pre-recorded or keynote speeches or event panels. One very cool use case, for example, there was a virtual conference and there would be a round table. At the same time, the live call-in feature was used to make it a live Q&A session between the panellists as well as the attendees of the virtual event. So it's very cool to see that.

Richard James Newton  
Great. Well from my side I can definitely say that I'll be encouraging my current and future clients to make use of the Riverside platform. Is there anything that I've missed, or anything that you'd like to add?

Abel Grunfeld  
I think we covered the essentials. We have a fantastic support team. So if you have any questions, feel free to just hit us up. We're very communicative. We also publish regular videos on the YouTube channel and on our blog to make your life as a creator easier. I think that is a message that is always good to convey.

Richard James Newton  
Well, thank you so much for joining me, Abel. I really think Riverside has a lot to offer anyone who's looking for a remote recording solution that doesn't compromise the quality of their content. If you'd like to give Riverside a try, head over to Riverside where you'll be able to sign up for a free trial and put it to the test. Again, Abel, thank you so much for joining me and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

Abel Grunfeld  
I will thank you so much. It was a pleasure.

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