Recording Skype calls with Audio Hijack Pro
June 11, 2014 8:07 AM   Subscribe

As part of my doctoral research, I will be conducting interviews with Skype for transcription and analysis. I've heard good things about Audio Hijack Pro as a tool to record audio from Skype -- both from online reviews and from faculty mentors. I've installed the latest version of Skype on my MacBook Air and am currently using the trial version of Audio Hijack Pro (I expect to pay for the full version if I can get the demo working). It works, BUT, I am consistently hearing a horrible echo and feedback when I am hijacking the audio on my Skype test calls. Help! (

The echo and feedback happens to a moderate degree when I use my basic earbud headphones, and horribly when I use the laptop speakers. There is no echo when I'm just using Skype; it only happens when Audio Hijack is recording. The recorded audio does NOT have the echo...but hearing it while talking makes doing the interviews impossible. I've looked around online support forums and haven't found exactly my problem described. So far, my best bet seems to be to try using a USB headset/microphone -- so I've ordered on one those.

But I'm wondering if there are other issues too. Some of the forums discussed problems using Skype via wireless Internet -- and suggested being plugged into an ethernet connection while Skyping. Is that a thing? Could the Soundlfower I installed a few months ago be causing any problems? Any experience or good troubleshooting resources you can point me to would be much appreciated. Thanks!
posted by pantarei70 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I record Skype calls because I am a journalist, and I've tried a few different programs. One of them gave me a terrible echo, though I honestly don't know if it was Audio Hijack Pro or not. On the other hand, I've never had any trouble when I use Callnote. My money is on the software being a problem, and I'd suggest giving Callnote a try.
posted by mermaidcafe at 8:19 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would dig into your audio settings, particularly if you have a "mixer" as part of your audio card setup. In Windows 7, if you right-click on the volume control down by the clock, there's probably an option to "Open Volume Mixer".

I'm not familiar with Audio Hijack Pro, but generally what these types of software do is creates an imaginary "microphone" input that is simply a copy of the audio output. If your audio mixer turns on new audio inputs to output the audio out to the speakers by default, now you've got that "everything comes through the speakers twice" problem. You *should* be able to control the audio path through the audio card's mixer, without disabling your ability to record the audio.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:42 AM on June 11, 2014

Audio Hijack Pro has worked flawlessly for me using your exact setup. Seconding AzraelBrown's suggestion to check whether you have some kind of mixer activated. It sounds like you have feedback from some audio output coming back into your laptop's microphone. (Headphones are essential, and use an external mike if possible.)

I seem to also remember that to work best, Audio Hijack Pro requires an extension of some sort to be installed. This may or may not be part of the free trial version. (I think if the extension is installed, it should require you to close and restart Skype if you click "Hijack" when Skype is already running.)
posted by mariokrat at 8:46 AM on June 11, 2014

I have recently implemented two-way video and audio using ecamm's Call Recorder (no affiliation). It does simultaneous HD video on my MacBook Pro, used a MacBook Air and the video slightly lagged (FYI).

Also has an audio-only option. Worth a try and IMHO well worth the $30.
posted by scooterdog at 9:24 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ditto mariokrat: I used Audio Hijack Pro a lot with Skype on wireless Internet and I have never had this problem. I wonder if audio from your earbuds is leaking out and causing feedback?
posted by adrianhon at 1:51 PM on June 11, 2014

Thanks for the help! I tried a few more go-arounds with Audio HiJack Pro and my new headphones and external mic. I tried just about every modification to input/output settings and the "mixer" and could just not get rid of the echo -- even though I know this setup has worked well for others

I finally downloaded the latest version of eCamm's Call Recorder and it worked right away. Bam.

Thanks, all.
posted by pantarei70 at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2014

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