Remote Interviewing Equipment Suggestions
December 30, 2017 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm recording lots of folks who are all over and using the recordings for a podcast. Tape sync (where I pay someone else to record the interviewee in person) isn't affordable, so I'm exploring what equipment I could send the interviewee in advance. Could it be as simple as sending them a USB mic (so I'm not relying on audio recorded on my end via google hangout or Skype)? Would any software be needed to capture the audio on their part?

Obviously, there won't be any monitoring of levels, which is a risk. Letting go of that, I was thinking of mailing a USB mic, pelican case, postage paid. And doing this over and over again.

Is this a terrible idea?

posted by brynnwood to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Rather than a USB mic, a portable audio recorder like the Zoom H2n might be a better option. No need for them to fiddle with installing software that way.
posted by Candleman at 9:15 AM on December 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

Sending a mic is easy. Even a cheap USB mic will be better than no mic at all — a friend of mine who does a podcast offers to send his guests a USB mic gratis, just so the sound quality is acceptable, and I can't imagine he's spending much more than $20 each, if that.

If you do want to record both ends, I think the tricky part of this would be managing the software on their end (and making sure the recording got sent to you). Here's an article from Current, adapted from an episode of their podcast, that talked about doing just this.
posted by brentajones at 9:37 AM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Candleman, thanks. I could send a recorder but then I've got to wait to get that back before I have the audio unless I want to ask them to offload and send the file. It's a possibility, I suppose. Also, in my experience, the Zooms aren't really great for single voice (versus ambient) recording.

Whoa, brentajones, that is really helpful! I'd never heard of an ipDTL. Of course such a thing exists, hooray!. Seems like a mic is still necessary, tho. None of the people I will interview will have any of their own equipment, unfortunately, so this might be as expensive as tape syncing if we're talking mailing a mic and potential loss and using the ipDTL. It seems as though the ipDTL is relatively fiddly to install, too, though I'm going to look at this really closely.
posted by brynnwood at 9:50 AM on December 30, 2017

I only record interviews for transcription, but I use Call Recorder for Skype and the quality is generally excellent (particularly if they're also on Skype using a headset, but even if I'm calling their phone). I would at least experiment with this if you haven't yet.
posted by pinochiette at 10:25 AM on December 30, 2017

Pinochiette, I also use call recorder for transcription.)) Great tool for that purpose.
posted by brynnwood at 4:54 PM on December 30, 2017

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