At Podcast Academy last year, by far the most informative session (for me) was Doug Kaye’s session on “Recording Phone Calls and Live Events”. He taught me everything I know about how to do a decent recording of a phone or VoIP/Skype call, and got me on the right track to be able to do it well.
Here’s an excerpt from the summary:
The phone is a fairly complicated piece of technology, Kaye explains. Speakers’ voices can be captured at different points via couplers, hybrid interfaces, or ISDN hardware, each of which can be processed with varying degrees of control. Kaye shares “Uncle Doug’s Cheap Trick” for recording in a conference call style so that all speakers come through at similar levels. More expensive gear such as a telephone hybrid can produce a professional sound using a “mix minus” approach to separate individual speaker tracks.
I use “Uncle Doug’s Cheap Trick” to simulate “mix minus” on my mixer at home, for Skype calls. I end up with my voice on the left channel, and the callers’ on the right channel, making post processing and fixing levels a breeze.
At work, I use a handy-dandy little box from ARTcessories called “MyMonitor”. It’s meant for musicians, but just happens to simulate the effect of “mix minus” (sending your voice but not the callers’ back down the line to them), at a cost of $60 (compared to a specialized telephone hybrid device like the Telos One at $700).
If you’re a podcaster and/or anyone who has ever wanted or needed to record a phone or VoIP conversation, don’t miss this IT Conversations podcast from Doug!