Getting great quality from a Skype recording.
September 29, 2008 6:04 PM   Subscribe

How do I get the best audio quality out of Skype, specifically for recording?

I really want to dip into using Skype for podcasting interviews, but the results I've been getting so far are all over the map.

First and foremost, most of the time I'll be calling people who don't have Skype, so it'll be me Skyping into their landline.

I've done this about a half-dozen times (using Pamela Call Recorder), and I'm consistently frustrated by the results. If the call sounds good in my headphones, then one party is inaudibly quiet in the final file. I've putzed around with the sliders, and nothing seems to be predictable - one time it's a little better, next time it's atrocious.

What I'd love is some way to actually watch/monitor/tweak both party's levels while in the middle of a call. Is there a plugin that does this?

Any other general tips on getting great audio recordings from a Skype conversation? Any must-have plugins?
posted by jbickers to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
#1 has the answer for you
posted by zachxman at 6:28 PM on September 29, 2008

which would have been great if I had caught that landline part. sorry
posted by zachxman at 6:29 PM on September 29, 2008

I'd say look into real VoIP solutions if you're technically inclined and will be doing it "lots".
posted by jeffburdges at 11:40 PM on September 29, 2008

I use Skype in our cell phone testing, and we've always found the quality to be good, as long as their is plenty of bandwidth available. That seems to be the key; if you are on a DSL connection, turn off everything else (or work out how to prioritize the Skype traffic on your router) so there is as much bandwidth as possible available.

We then use SkypeOut to make the Skype>landline connection. We've had few problems with audio quality on this setup; we get the odd drop-out, but generally speaking, it's pretty much perfect. I think that again the key is having plenty of bandwidth.

To record the call, we use Virtual Audio Cables (VAC), which creates a sort of virtual patch bay that any program can connect to, with one cable for incoming and another for outgoing. That way we can inject audio into the connection and record incoming audio as required.
posted by baggers at 5:54 AM on September 30, 2008

You'll want to be able to record your side and their side separately, then fiddle with the mix later.

A quick search shows that other people do this by recording one person into the left channel and the other into the right channel. There seem to be a number of different programs available that can achieve this (such as Total Recorder for Windows, or Call Recorder for Mac).
posted by robcorr at 5:03 AM on October 1, 2008

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