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Recording Skype Conversations for Broadcast/Podcast

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Recording Skype Conversations for Broadcast/Podcast

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:16 am

For one of the podcasts I make on behalf of a charitable organisation I frequently need to record telephone interviews with people all over the world.

I currently use a standard telco working through a small mixer and recording the results onto a decent digital recorder at 24-bit 44.1KHz. I encourage people to be available on a landline phone, on the principle that the qulaity is likely to be better.

This works well and the results are more than satisfactory.

However, I'm increasingly being asked - particularly by those in distant climes - if we can conduct the interview via Skype. I confess that I've never got into Skype in any way yet.

So, assuming that I'm only interested in the audio, some questions:

1) Presumably, unless the person at t'other end is using a headset mic I'd have lots of problems with the room acoustics muddying the clarity of their voice?
2) From a technical perspective, how does Skype bandwidth compare with a typical PSTN? Or is that a naive question to which the answer is 'it depends'.
3) Using the telco, I can get good separation between my voice and the other person's and can balance levels in the mixer. Would I be able to do that with a Skype call?
4) Presumably if this is a flyer then I'd get a headset mic that connects via USB and everything is controlled/balanced withinn software?
5) I know there are software packages available that enable you to record Skype calls as WAV files. Any comments or recommendations on these?
6) Overall, to keep up quality and intelligibility would I better staying with landlines and the telco?

Any comments from those who have been there and done that would be particularly welcome.

Thanks. Mike
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Re: Recording Skype Conversations for Broadcast/Podcast

Postby MadManDan » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:21 am

Skype can actually sound pretty decent. Esp if you skype them, to their land line. But I guess that's moot if they are insistant on using a 'puter on their end. At the risk of stating the obvious, I'm assuming you simultaneously track your end with a nice condensor mic. Then if you two manage not to talk over each other you can edit out the skype track in favor of yours during your parts.
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Re: Recording Skype Conversations for Broadcast/Podcast

Postby Marcin_Siejka » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:57 am

Hi...

I use ScreenFlow from Telestream and it dose exactly what you're asking for (Mac OS X 10.6.8)

When you looking around be careful as I've heard bad things about few developers i.e. GeoVid Ltd with their IMCapture (formerly – SkypeCap)

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Re: Recording Skype Conversations for Broadcast/Podcast

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:21 am

MadManDan wrote: At the risk of stating the obvious, I'm assuming you simultaneously track your end with a nice condensor mic.
Yes; realised after I'd posted that I hadn't said that I'm only using the PSTN line - not a handset. I use a Rode Procaster into the mixer and headphones to listen. The 'far-end' gets a 'mix-minus' (everything except themselves) signal from the mixer via the telco. That means I can record the conversation 'as live' wih my voice not sounding telephonic. Think live radio prog where the presenter interviews someone over the telephone on air.

I should also have said that I'm PC not Mac.

Thanks for the comments/ideas so far... keep 'em coming!
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