I use Skype to record most of my audio podcasts.
This may not be a big deal to you, but most people who have any passion for audio and recording are gasping in disgust at this admission. For over 375 episodes (since 2006), I have relied mostly on Skype to record these weekly conversations with leading business thinkers. And, while I take a more "indie" approach to my production (instead of the pristine clean that you get from NPR and the like), I have learned some very powerful tricks about using Skype to create a high quality audio conversation worthy of broadcasting to the world. The truth is that for under two thousand dollars you can mack out your audio recording studio with a proper mixing board, pro digital recorder, dynamic microphone, pop filters, mic boom stands, studio quality headphones and more. Personally, I'm just not that interested in the production side of things and prefer to have something simple and portable. So, I plug the MiC by Apogee directly into the USB on my MacBook Air, fire up Audio Hijack Pro and record my Skype conversations - from wherever I may be in the world.
The problem is that Skype (and other VOIP programs like Google Hangouts) can be very finicky. From garbled conversations to dropped calls to moments that sound more like a scene out of The Max Headroom Show (wow, I carry around a lot of useless pop culture references from the eighties in this cranium of mine!). There are some tricks, and they're not just for those who are attempting to record and broadcast their Skype conversations. These tricks will - without question - improve the overall quality of your conversation in many more ways than you can imagine.
Here are 6 ways to get the best sound possible out of Skype:
You feel like you're there.
The end result is that the conversation sounds like you are sitting together in a quiet space, where the only thing that matters are how the words are flowing and how connected both parties are to the conversation. That not only makes for a great sounding podcast, but it also makes for a much better and deeper business partnership.
What are some of the best tips ad tricks that you use for creating a better Skype chat?
The above posting is my twice-monthly column for The Huffington Post. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure, but you can check out the original version online here:Tweet
If either party is a lot louder than the other check your audio input(their mic) and output(your mic) settings on your computer before you mess with Skype's settings.
On a Mac just hold the Option key and click on the volume icon in the top menu to get to the sound preferences. That fixes 99% of uneven volume levels.Reply
For our podcast, we do it differently:
We each record separately in our own homes and go on a conference call via Skype. We have a recording program (Audacity in our case) and hit record before starting the show. After the show, we send all our audio files to the guy who's going to post-prod of the show so he can stitch up all the files together.
It is a bit tedious to do but the results are great, since you get to preserve a lot of audio quality, which is lost when using VOIP programs.
You can try and have a listen here for our episodes as a sample (it's a gaming podcast but we do a lot of in depth discussions about the industry as a whole): http://www.omgeek.net/podcast/Reply
I use Skype, too! I use a Blue Yeti mic and Screenflow for recording. I then convert the files (separate for each voice) with Total Video Converter Lite and send to my guy who does post production to mix them appropriately.
The keys really are having external mics and headphones. I've had so many potentially good shows ruined because a guest didn't have one or either of these.Reply
Guess you guys have never heard of another FREE app - Callnote Skype Recorder ? It integrates seamlessly with Skype and sends your Skype Conversation Recording to your Evernote Notebook. There is a Free (REG) app and a PAID App. The Free App records audio for up to 8 participants. The Fee based App captures Video too.Reply
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