I tend to travel a lot. It’s a major part of my job, so I don’t get to have a regular podcast studio setup. So I record almost all of my podcsats over Skype. I love Skype for what it is (and I will talk about what it is – and isn’t – at a later time), and without it, I would have a much harder time recording my shows.
For my initial recordings, I use a program called Audio Hijack Pro. I can’t say enough about AHP, and they people who make it have some really useful programs. Audio Hijack Pro allows you to record the audio output of any program or source on your computer. From the Rogue Amoeba site:
Record any audio – three simple words to explain Audio Hijack Pro. Record from applications like iTunes, Skype or DVD Player. Record from microphones, Radiosharks and other hardware. If you hear it, you can record it.
They aren’t kidding. Audio Hijack Pro can record straight off your browser, into many different formats. And at $32 US, it’s dirt cheap for such a helpful program. But for our purposes here, we are recording a Skype call.
First, you want to set up AHP to record your Skype call on two separate channels of your audio file. This will give you your audio on one side of the stereo file you wind up with, and the caller audio on the other. Skype mixes all incoming calls together, so there is no way to break out separate incoming calls into individual tracks.
You can see on the image below that I have the Skype recording area open, and the input tab selected at the top of the window. Click on the ‘Advanced….’ button, and you will be presented with a dialogue box:
Go ahead and set it up as shown, with the output on the left channel, and the input on the right channel. If you would prefer to have your audio on the left channel and the caller audio on the right, just swap which channel the input and the output is on.
Now you can record your session. Clicking record will launch Skype (even though AHP can hijack the audio if Skype is already running, it is best to launch AHP first, and let AHP open Skype). Recording will start when the Skype call starts, and stop when the call ends. If you want to start recording a new file, you can stop recording and start again, or push Split, and AHP will start a new recording in a new file.
I tend to watch the meters in the Effects tab of AHP, just to see what the volume looks like. You can always edit the files later to adjust each individual track.
After the recording, you will be able to find your new file in the Recording Bin. I have a lot of files in there right now, and should really clean them out.
There are several other tools for recording Skype calls out there, but this is the one I use (partly because it does so much more as well). If you use something else, can you leave a comment below? I will try to do a round up of tools available soon.
Next tutorial, I will show you how to split this new file into two separate tracks, so you can edit it individually. Hope this helps!