Technical Guide: Preparing for a Riverside Recording Session

First time appearing as a guest or interviewee on the Riverside platform? Use this guide to help you set up your computer, equipment and recording environment before your session. Make sure you follow these steps and recommendations to make sure you sound good and look good!

Step 1: Preparing your recording device

  • Use a desktop or laptop with at least 6-10GB of free space. The files are being recorded in the temp folders during the session and uploaded in the background. Do not use iPhones, iPads or mobile devices as there is a high chance of files being lost in the process.
  • Use the best audio microphone you have available. A USB microphone or a headset with in-built microphone works well when position correctly. Avoid using in-built laptop mics or webcam mics as they would usually be positioned too far away from your mouth.
  • Use a webcam with at least full HD resolution for better video quality. In-built webcams in laptops not more than three years old should meet the requirements
  • Make sure you have a pair of headphones or earphones for the session. Speakers must not be used during recording to hear the host / interviewer as this would create feedback or echo and reduce audio quality.

Step 2: Preparing your recording environment

  • Audio considerations: Pick a space with the least “echo”. Try speaking out loud at your recording position and see if you can hear a long reverberation after your last word. Meeting rooms with bare walls and glass panels would have too many reflective spaces and hence not ideal for recording. Try using well-furnished rooms with carpets, sofas, shelves, furniture etc. 
  • Video considerations: Have sufficient lighting and remove any unwanted clutter or sensitive materials from your background. Use a ring light if you want, but beware of the reflection on your glasses if you are wearing one.

Step 3: Preparing your web browser

  • Use Google Chrome. The software is optimised for Google Chorme, so ensure you are using an up-to-date Google Chrome browser
  • Reboot browser before recording. Reboot your computer and browser before the session. Close all unwanted tabs except for Riverside to reduce background processes taking up internet bandwidth.
  • Avoid Incognito Mode. Do not use Incognito window for recording.

Step 4: Optimise Your Internet Connection

Check Internet Speed. Stable and fast internet speed is needed for best recording. Perform an internet speed test to see if meet a minimum speed of 5-10 Mbps.

  • Use Ethernet if available. Using ethernet over wifi can boost the signal stability and speed.
  • Close unneeded applications. Close email clients, chat apps, and video conferencing tools. Pause syncing for cloud storage apps like Dropbox or Google Drive. If using a VPN, consider pausing it to avoid slowing down your internet speed.

Step 5: Joining the Recording Session

  • Click on the Provided Session link. Your host should have shared a link to join the session. Click on it to enter the green room.
  • Request Permissions. If it’s your first time using Riverside, click “Request Camera Permissions” when prompted and allow Riverside to access your
    microphone, camera, and screen (if you plan on screen sharing).
  • Select the right equipment when entering the recording session.  Pick the correct external microphone and camera you are using via the dropdown list.
  • Enter your name and headphone status. Enter you name and indicate that you are wearing headphones. Remember, you need headphones to ensure audio quality and reduce feedback or echo.
riverside recording settings options

Step 6: After the recording

  • Wait for Upload ConfirmationDo not leave the session until you receive a confirmation that your recordings have been uploaded.
  • Manual Upload (if needed).  If you leave the session early before the upload is complete, or have issues uploading, go to to manually upload your recordings.

Final Thoughts

If you follow the above steps in getting the setup done before the session, fingers crossed, you would likely have a good recording experience without much hiccups.

Or at least, these are the variables that are within our control for a smooth recording.

We are all at the mercy of the recording platform working well in the cloud end of things. No one can prevent any outages from happening or interent connections going down at the more inappropriate times.

If that happens, stay calm and enjoy a cup of coffee.