Suggestion to podcast interviewers: record both sides!

I’ve been listening to a few podcasts recently, which were obviously recorded using Skpye or another VoIP technology. Probably Skype, judging from the bad voice quality – my SIP phone sounds much better than that, but of course SIP is not always practical.

The problem is that it’s usually the interviewer who records the conversation, so it’s the interviewee’s voice quality that suffers, although it is in most cases the one that we want to hear.

How about recording both side’s voices locally, and mixing the two at post-production time? That’s a bit more work, but aligning the two tracks on an initial pulse or beep should make it easy to get the timing right, and depending if the recordings can be reasonably isolated, not much more processing would be needed. Worst case, you’d have to adjust each track’s volume according to who is speaking.

That wouldn’t work for interviewing people who don’t have a clue how to record their own voice, but geeks should manage ;-)

3 Responses to Suggestion to podcast interviewers: record both sides!

  1. Mike says:

    You can use MiaRec (http://www.duxoft.com) for recording voip calls.
    It supports all major voip protocols, including SIP, Cisco SCCP and H.323.
    It will record your interviews and save calls in WAV (uncompressed) or MP3 (compressed) file format.
    The resulting file is saved in stereo format.
    Interviewer’s and interviewee’s voices are separated from each other. One is in left audio channel and other is in right channel.
    So, an operation of removing of interviewer’s voice from recorded file takes only a couple of mouse clicks.

    Recordings have digital quality. MiaRec decodes the call directly from network traffic. So, the resulting file has the quality exactly as you have on the phone.

  2. Rich Bowen says:

    I’ve had wildly differing results recording stuff with Skype. The most recent Feathercast, the quality was discouragingly bad – probably the worst I’ve had yet. :-(

  3. bdelacretaz says:

    @Rich, I guess recording with Skype is unpredictable, due to the way it uses (hijacks?) supernodes of various reliability on the way. Maye some of the Flash-based conferencing services that are around would be better?

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