Best way to video record a conference call for later editing
June 7, 2020 6:07 AM   Subscribe

I am a video editor looking for the best way to record a video conference for later editing? I assume something like Zoom and a camera phone but how do I do that combination and get good audio via an external mic? Will zoom compress audio? Anyone had success with this in general? I'm open to any tools/apps Thanks so much.
posted by captainscared to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe OBS? It's what gamers use to record and/or stream video games.
posted by smcameron at 6:25 AM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

The absolute ideal is to have everyone be recording their own audio and video locally, as well as maybe recoding the conference call for reference. For the local recordings, most people's phones are good enough at this point that they'd probably be fine, although a mic can help with audio quality. The phone just needs to be positioned such that people are looking in its direction while on the call. They also REALLY need to wear headphones or earbuds, with the volume at a level that it isn't being picked up by the camera.

You'd just want to do a sync clap or a slate or something at the start of the call so that you can sync up everyone's local recordings later.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:09 AM on June 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

What are you trying to capture? Most just a single, local presenter or a mixture of lots of different people? If it's the latter, to get really good quality, you need to have local copies of each one made and then edit them together.

Will zoom compress audio?

Yes. If you're recording non-local audio, there will also be network caused glitches and dropouts.
posted by Candleman at 8:06 AM on June 7, 2020

This graphic might help.
posted by Think_Long at 9:07 AM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

You can do all of this on your PC without the need to use a phone.

Use a screen recording application - on MacOs I use QuickTime Player, which can do screen recordings. For Windows there are apps such as Camtasia.

To get the audio, you can connect your PC's headphone output jack to a microphone input jack. The two tricky things are that Zoom is also expecting to use the microphone and that since you're plugging something into the headphone jack you won't be able to listen to the call while you're recording it. To solve these you can get a headphone splitter to allow you to also plug in a pair of headphones, and a USB sound card that gives you an extra audio input port. Then just configure your screen recording software to use the USB sound card as it's audio input and you're good to go. Sound quality will be quite good.
posted by duoshao at 9:48 AM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here's an article that covers a lot of different options.

Zoom's paid plans have recording functionality built in (discussed in the article linked above).

In general for recording computer audio you probably don't have to route physical cables; Soundflower for Mac and VB-CABLE for Windows are two free options to provide virtual audio i/o.

If everyone is recording on their own phones, laptops, etc. (which is probably the best option for highest quality) be prepared for a smorgasbord of frame rates and formats. I'm editing a project right now with 30+ different 'home-made' recordings and am seeing fps like 30.2 and 22.19. I use Premiere which can generally handle disparate frame rates, but have had to kick a few files over to my Mac (edit machine is Windows) to transcode as Windows codecs were freaking out a bit. That said I had no input on the production side for this project so maybe those kinds of issues could be mitigated if you can provide more guidance.

edit: if you have the $$$ budget I've heard good things about OpenReel. I know of some places using this software and putting together 'self interview' production kits with lights, mics, preloaded iPhones, stands etc.
posted by soy bean at 2:29 PM on June 7, 2020

I don't follow why you mention a camera phone.
posted by turkeyphant at 5:03 PM on June 7, 2020

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