Recording Skype Calls

This is not meant to be a definitive list, but just a list of possible software solutions for podcasters to consider when they want to record a Microsoft Skype call.  These have been mention to me in the past by a podcaster who at the time said they worked for them.

For Windows:

For Macintosh:

For Linux:

  • TBD

Personally I've only used Audio Hijack Pro and then I do all my editing in Audacity (Mac, Windows, Linux).

New Version of Audacity and Pointer For Conference Recording

Audacity_IconThere is a new version of Audacity v1.3.7 (beta) and I've loaded it up on my Mac Book Pro. I used it to mix down the Jersey Boys Podcast #66 without any issues.  I've been using the previous version - v1.3.6 (beta) - without any major problems, and I consider this release to be production quality.

Some of what I think are the most important fixes and updates include:

  • Fixed periodic exported stereo files issues
  • Fixes for Nyquist effects, Compressor and Noise Removal
  • Fixed WAV corrupted issue related toi overwriting the same file
  • MP3 and WMA now export correctly with all supported metadata
  • Platform-specific bugs for: Vista, Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Improved F11 Full Screen mode
  • Improved Windows DirectSound API support
  • Improved latency correction using fixed correction value

Another Audacity related item of potential interest, is that the audio for my presentation at the New Media Expo 2007 has been posted to the Podcast Academy site.  Here is a link to the PDF slides and a screencast QuickTime movie of the slides.

You might have a pretty good online training experience listening to the audio from the Podcast Academy site and watching the QuickTime Movie at the same time.

New Media Expo - Getting Started With Audio Editing Session

I will be presenting at the New Media Expo 2008 (August 14-16, 2008) a "Getting Started With Audio Editing" session using Audacity from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in room N245 on August 14, 2008.

I have created a set of WAV files that will make up my examples and demos that folks who are attending might want to download if they plan to try to follow along during the presentation.  The link is here (34-MBs .zip file).

I also have posted a copy of my Audacity 101 DAU eLearning 2008 workshop slides in PDF format, and a link to a Blip.TV movie that includes the screencasts that are embedded in the presentation. Unfortunately the movie is not sync'd with audio so you have to work your way through them without narration.

NOTE: I will be doing my demos at PME 2008 using the Audacity v1.3.5 (beta) release.

One Option For Recording Phone Conversations

There was a question the other day on the New Media Expo Pathable Community mailing list about how to record phone conversations via POTS connections. 

I use a Telos-One-R (R = rack mountable) that I picked up on eBay and this is a diagram of my setup:


The Telos One comes highly recommended from two very smart audio gurus at IT Conversations: Doug Kaye and Paul Figgiani

Paul has posted some great resources about the topic over at Podcast Rigs especially this post "Telos One, Talkshoe and Skype." There is also a great podcast with Doug Kaye (MP3) over at Podcast Academy that covers this topic.

Both Paul and Victor Cajiao at the Typical Mac User Podcast helped me setup the configuration of my unit - which is done manually with a small screw driver. I also borrowed Paul's unit diagram of a Telos One for my picture.  Thanks Paul!

I am pretty happy with how this is working now, but I would recommend doing some post production processing on the phone track (usually your guest) with something like SoundSoap.

New Media Expo 2008 - Getting Started With Audio Editing Using Audacity

Online registration is now available for the 4th annual New Media Expo 2008 in Las Vegas, NV from Thursday, August 14 through Saturday, August 16, 2008.

I will be presenting an updated version of my "Getting Started With Audio Editing - Hands-on With Audacity" interactive session at this conference.  This presentation is in the "Track 1: Audio and Video Creation 101" series, and will be held Thursday, August 14, 2008 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm.

If you are new to podcasting, audio editing, or to the open source multi-platform Audacity audio editing and production tool, then this will be a great session for you to attend.  This year's expo looks to be as good or better than previous years. 

If you can't wait for New Media Expo 2008, here are some references that I've done on the topic of audio editing with Audacity:

The audio for my PNME 2007 presentation is available via Podcast Academy.

NOTE: There is an audio version of my Podcast Academy 3 presentation in the archives of Podcast Academy, but those are being transferred from GigaVox Media at this time and are offline.  As soon as link becomes available, I'll post it.

New Version of Audacity For PC and Linux

A new version v1.3.4 (beta) of Audacity has been released for Windows and Linux.  The latest version for the Macintosh is still v1.3.3 (beta).

This new version has a host of new features and user interface improvements.  According to a press release here are the major ones:

  • New Welcome Screen with introduction to Audacity.
  • New 'Mix and Render to New Track' command.
  • Support for VAMP audio analysis plug-ins.
  • More keyboard shortcuts and navigation.
  • Reworked solo/mute handling.
  • New preference: Select all audio in project, if none selected (on by default).
  • New preference: Beep on completion of longer activities.
  • Envelopes: Many fixes when copying, pasting, or repeating.
  • Many translation updates.
  • Metadata editor added for OGG, FLAC and WAV/AIFF exports.
  • Metadata import improved.
  • Muted tracks are no longer audible in the exported mix.
  • Improvements to latency correction.

I have installed this on two Vista PC systems without any major issues, but I do most of audio production editing on a Mac Book Pro so I have not completely run this new version through the paces.

FIT Halloween Special - Some Thoughts On The Audio Editing Experience

The's TechNewsRadio show is part of the great FriendsInTech (FIT) group.  We have been doing special Christmas and Halloween productions since 2005.

The latest one is called "It's the Great Server Chuck and Kreg" and it was posted on 10/24/07.  It is family safe and only about 12 minutes long.

This year I volunteered to be part of the post production and helped with the mix down of scenes into the final version with Kevin Devin.

I learned some great lessons:

  1. Work with the best people possible. The FIT team is giving, helpful, encouraging, insightful, and very talented. It makes the project very enjoyable and you'll have fun doing it.
  2. I did all my editing of my parts (the outside scenes) in Audacity.  I didn't have any major problems or issues other than at times the scenes mix downs were very complicated with 24+ individual segments.  I ended up in situations like this to do 3 intermediate mixes with each one having ~8 individual segments.
  3. Having a vast special effects (SFX) library of audio is very helpful. Using sites like freesound is good, but some of the royalty free material other FIT members had was very impressive.
  4. When recording lines in a remote situation take at least three takes for each line.
  5. It really helps if you can do your remote lines recording with another person saying the other lines around your lines.
  6. Use a wiki to develop the first drafts of the script, but then migrate to a script writing tool for final production.
  7. Scripts file names and titles within the document should have version numbers or clear dates on them so you know what you have is the most current one.
  8. Tools like BIAS SoundSoap2 for cleaning up audio are pretty important if someone makes their recordings in a noisy environment.
  9. All the spoken word parts of a production should be processed with the same RMS settings.  We also ended up running them in bulk through The Conversations Network's Levelator.
  10. Using MP2 files for distribution during post production is very efficient and doesn't diminish quality.

PNME 2007 - Audacity Presentation In QuickTime Format

Thanks to fellow Friends In Tech member Kevin Devin I have posted my Getting Started With Audacity Presentation in QuickTime format (126-MBs) from the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) 2007. This is the output form Apple's Keynote with the embedded screencasts that I presented during the session. 

There is no audio yet of the actual session so you will not get to hear in the movie what I said during the screencasts or slides right now.  If you are a conference attendee you should have gotten an email with details on how to get the audio.  If you weren't a conference attendee then my recommendation is that you subscribe to the Gigavox Media's Podcast Academy channel.  It should be released over the next 6-8 months.  I will link to it when it does come out. 

More information in general (including PDF slides) about the presenation has been posted here.

PNME 2007 - Getting Started With Audacity Slides

The Podcast & New Media Expo (PNME) 2007 slides from the "Getting Started With Audacity" session have been posted. 

Some notes:

  • These slides are a PDF output from Apple's Keynote. 
  • There is a QuickTime movie version of the presentation that will be posted soon but it will not have the audio recorded during the presentation sync'd in.  The movie version has all the screen casts used during the presentation.
  • The audio for the presentation is still under the control of PNME. If you were a conference attendee then you should get a link to the audio as part of your conference fee. Ultimately the audio for all the sessions will get posted over the next 8-9 months to Gigavox Media's Podcast Academy channel.
  • Sometime in the future, complete screen casts of each topic will be produced and posted.
  • More information on the PNME Forums and previous post.

Feedback, comments, suggestions, etc. appreciated: