5 screw-ups you can make recording a skype to skype call

We record the Photo Share Podcast using a Skype to Skype call; I make a Skype call to my podcast co-host Sandra and record the conversation, editing and mixing the audio file (.wav) later. We do this because it’s convenient and cheap (Skype to Skype calls are free), but there’s a bunch of problems that can crop up. Here are my top 5 potential screw-ups when recording these calls:

  1. You forget to hit the record button on your software. Yup, I’ve done that, and it’s kind of easy with the software I use, Audio Hijack Pro from Rouge Amoeba. Recording the audio from a Skype call is a two step process: first you “hijack” then you record–two different buttons. For some reason I was distracted and forgot to hit the record button, only discovering it when I went to edit the file.
  2. Forget to channel all the audio into Audio Hijack Pro. Using a Mac and Audio Hijack, an application called SoundSource is also needed to move the incoming audio from the Skype call into Audio Hijack, otherwise you’ll only record one side of the conversation. Yup, I’ve done this too. This one is even easier to do than forgetting to hit the record button.
  3. Forget to turn your computer speakers off. I’ve found that leaving my speakers on results in a nasty hum on any recording, and because of this I turn off any electronic equipment I can. It’s probably overkill, but I rather prevent a problem than have to go back and re-record.
  4. Make sure the person with the highest speed connection initiates the Skype call. The better your bandwidth, the less likely you’ll have dropped calls and the quality will be improved. I recently did an interview with someone that had a DSL connection (I have cable), and the quality suffered.
  5. When recording a Skype call try to get the best headset or microphone you can. I have a good headset, but when talking with someone who has a quality microphone I noticed the difference.

My best recommendation is to keep a Skype recording checklist next to your computer, that way you don’t repeat the same mistakes that I do!

Tell me, what mistakes have you make when recording a Skype call?

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