If you record interviews with callers for Podcasts

I’m proud to say that I’ve come a long way in a short time with regard to recording audio, podcasting, and post-production.  We’ve discovered recently that it’s not always good to use free tools…and that blogospherical experts can be extremely generous with their knowledge. 

  1. We have been using www.FreeConferenceCall.com to record live interviews.  This service provides a conference call phone in number and records each call if you’d like for download.  Our results were OK maybe 1 or 2 times.  Then, I started having serious audio call quality issues.  Additionally, when I tried to begin recording the call, I’d get "Not authorized" or "Not Available" type error messages.  Sometimes it would take me 10 tries to start the recording…while my client was on the other line.  Not good.  Also, it’s completely my fault for not reading the details…but they don’t "store calls" for you.  After you make the call, you MUST download it before doing another.  I found out the hard way since we’re doing 2-5 interviews a day right now.  (Can we do that perfect interview one more time?) I have now leveraged the pay service from our friends in Fairfield, Iowa Conference Calls Unlimited.  $.07 for each caller that calls in on a normal toll phone number.  They store calls for XX days as well, have a "pay per use" model with no contracts, and leverage real phone lines. 
  2. Ideally, I’d be using Skype to digitally record calls right?  Even if the inbound caller doesn’t have Skype, they can call my "Skype In" phone number.  My side of the conversation should be fantastic (as good as digital studio at the office can get) and the caller will be slightly better than the typical phone call.  Also, this medium allows you to independently record each side of the phone call making for much better whiz bang editing on the back end using free software like CallBurner.  The price is right (only a few cents per minute for the inbound Skype in call) and I’d have total flexibility. 
    I could not get my studio mics and mixer to work with Skype for the life of me and asked for assistance from Russ Turley over at The Podcast Studio.  After some email exchanges, Russ dedicated a post to my issue.  Apparently, Skype doesn’t yet understand Firewire devices and my FCA-202 Behringer Podcast rig is exactly that…Firewire (not USB).
  3. One of the most informative screen-casts I’ve ever seen is embedded below.  If you’ve wanted to leverage Skype for podcasting or business interviews…this is a MUST see.  It gets into specifics about how to maximize the quality of your calls, record them, and produce them.  This is really the Cadillac of Skype call recording explanations.

Thanks to EVERYONE out there helping us to get better at what we do.



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