Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Recording a Skype Interview with Audacity...

I know that alot of podcaster would like to have a TWIT type of Skype interview but recording it seems like a very complicated thing. Some of them will go with a recording software and none of them seems to be free.

Well i think i found i way to record Skype interviews with Audacity. Most of you podcasters knows Audacity. It's a free sound recording (multi track) software. It is probably the best free audio tool on the web right now.

To record a Skype interview, you'll need to open 3 things. Your Volume Control (Start/Programs/Accessories/Entertainment/Volume Controls), Your Skype software and your Audacity software.

Step 1 - First step is to set Skype not to handle the sound devices automaticly. To do so, open the option window (Tools/Options). On the left, click on the Sound Devices section. There you will uncheck the "Let Skype adjust my sound devices". Then save and close the option window. Skype is now ready...

Step 2 - Open Audacity. Open the preferences window (Edit/Preferences...) or (CTRL-P). Then select the Audio I/O tab on top. Uncheck these two options: "Play other tracks while recording new one" and "Software Playthrough (Play new track while recording it)". Those two box has to be unchecked. The first one will confuse you if you have to do pickups or several takes and the second one will do feedback if checked.

Then in the main window, select the Stereo Mix as your input in the dropdown menu. It should be right beside the input slider.

Step 3 - You will have to set the volume of your Skype caller and your microphone. To do so, start a test recording in audacity. Open your volume controls and set your microphone levels while talking in it. You'll see the spectrum of your voice while you record. Make it so it doesn't blast.

Step 4 - As the test recording goes, open a skype call. I made my test with the Skype test Call. then adjust the WAVE slider in your volume control. Make sure that the spectrum of the skype caller also respect the levels in audacity.

If you see that you don't have enough margin, you can lower the input level in audacity (that's the slider right beside the little microphone icon in Audacity). This controls the overall.

So in short, your mic has to be controled with the microphone slider and the skype call has to be controled with the wave slider of your volume controls.

All this was not tested with a normal call. I all made these test at midnight with no one than the Skype Test Call but, i think it will work. You can try and correct me if i'm wrong. I'll get back with some more test on this technique later...

3 comments:

SpecialDelivery.Mark said...

Hey Yuzzy..I record my Skype calls with PowerGramo http://www.powergramo.com/

The free version seems to work really well. It records in a custom format, but it has an export function.

Yuzzy said...

Looks cool. Would have to try it. But it says that it wont record multiple call people conferences. Only the pro version does it. But for a 1 to 1 interview, seems very nice!

I also came across something called Pretty-May. It's a freeware that has many feature like answering machine, and recording calls... does it work with multiple calls conference? I'de had to check...

Thanks bro! You are my first comment on the blog... If i had any T-Shirts, you would win one for sure!! ;)

Vargas said...

I'm getting ready to record my first interview in a few weeks. Thanks for the tutorial. I'll try and see if it works!