Measuring audio input levels is measuring decibel levels.
What are decibel levels, and why should I care when recording my podcast? Here’s the long form definition of what decibels are from Wikipedia. The short form answer is that;
If the decibel levels are too high, the audio will crack. If they are too low, It’ll sound like a clock radio recording. But if they are right, the audio quality booms and editing is much easier as well.
For remote recording purposes it’s complicated to get the levels correct when pulled direct from each mic. As it relates to hardware, you and your guest may not have what’s needed. I do, but my guests generally don’t, so I found a software solution for them.
I found this software (figure 1.0 below) which provides a stream of constant mic decibel levels from my guests mic. I can view their levels through Zoom or a similar software. While we’re recording, I can see all levels with confidence.
An important point. Recording with confidence is step 1 of a great interview.
This is the Chrome extension I currently use, the Sound Meter.