Want to start a podcast? If you have a Skype account, we’re giving you tips on how to podcast with Skype and start creating content.
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The world has become a smaller place. One of the many reasons that it is shrinking in relative terms is the advancement of high-quality, yet free online communication systems.
There is no more excuse not to be in touch or to be informed. Because people don’t just go online to communicate.
We create. We collaborate. We podcast!
If you happen to have a Skype account, podcasting is even easier and simpler. Skype is free and most people already use the messaging app.
What most of them may not know, however, is that Skype can be used for podcasting too. In this article, we’ll discuss how to record a podcast with Skype in 4 different ways!
Podcasting with Skype is quite common these days. It’s no surprise that it is a more common format than other podcasting, including solo. VOIP (1) makes it super easy to collaborate with other people to create great content. I mean, how else could two people or more from different sides of the world work together on a regular podcast? Even if you and your guest live a couple of blocks away, VOIP is still way easier than traveling to collaborate.
In addition, when using Skype for podcasts, you get as good quality as those dedicated to Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) (2). Sure, it does not always work flawlessly, but podcasting is free. Plus, the audio quality is surprisingly good! So, if you are just starting out, you can surely get away with recording your first Skype podcasts via the microphone on your laptop.
Speaking of laptops, you’ll have to pair them with a decent USB mic and a pair of headphones for better-quality recording. Nevertheless, podcasting with Skype gets you up and running in no time without having to spend more money on anything else.
Now… onto the main topic!
4 Ways to Record Podcasts Through Skype
1. Record Straight from Skype
Previously, Skype couldn’t record calls. However, that changed in mid-2018. Now, it is capable of recording Skype calls for podcasts and other applications. As mentioned earlier, you can start podcasting using only Skype without the need for any additional equipment or third-party software.
So, how do you do it?
You just need to make a Skype call, the same way you normally would. Once connected, you need to click the “+” symbol from the bottom-right screen of the call window.
Click on the “Start Recording” button so your call is recorded. Your guest will also be notified when you are recording the call or not. Make sure to notify your guest that you’ll be recording the call as a sign of courtesy.
To stop the recording, you can simply end the call and the recording will stop at the same time. You can also stop the recording before ending the call.
The recording should appear in your text chat section of the Skype call window. From there, you can choose to save the recording on your computer or forward it to someone.
In general, the file will be saved as MP4, even if you have been running an audio-only call recording. You can simply convert this to audio by using podcast editing software.
Skype records all calls as mono files. This means both sides of the conversation mesh into one. This is not always ideal since it reduces the flexibility of your podcasts. For instance, you’ll have to clear up the call and balance the volume levels during post-production.
- Easy and simple to record without the need for additional equipment or software.
- Good quality audio
- Mono recording only
- The video files need to be converted to audio
2. Use a Recording Software
Using recording software is an improved and easier way on how to record Skype calls for podcast. You only need to install recording software to record your Skype calls and make your call as normal.
TalkHelper is a simple call recorder designed specifically for Skype. In addition, it allows you to manage and save your Skype video messages or voicemails easily, making it one of the more popular Skype addon for business and/or personal use.
With this software, Skype video calls and screen shares are stored as AVI files with XVID codec support. Meanwhile, audio calls can be saved in WAV or MP3 format with a mono or stereo option supported. This software also features a 7-day free trial without functional limitations.
To use this software, you simply install it on your computer. Whenever you want to record a call, open TalkHelper and Skype. Make a call on Skype and click “Record” on TalkHelper.
Call Recorder, the Mac equivalent of TalkHelper, was created by Ecamm. It is a good package and works exactly the same way as the TalkHelper.
Both software options are paid products, however, they offer free trials. Still, they do not cost a lot, and won’t charge you over $50.
The only problem with this approach is that recording software relies entirely on your computer and the software itself. So, if something goes wrong during the recording, let’s say your computer crashes in the middle of podcasting, then the whole recording won’t be saved.
Just imagine that happening when you just snagged the biggest interview of your life.
- No barriers to recording.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Improved recording
- Paid products
- No options to control your call recording.
3. Record with Audacity
Another way of recording Skype calls for podcasts is via Audacity. In general, it is much like option #2 but with extra benefits.
Audacity (5) is an open-source and free digital audio recording and editor application software that is available for macOS, Windows, Linux, and other Unix-like OS. This software is mostly used for the “double-ender” technique of recording.
Double ender requires your interviewee to record his or her own side of the convo and send it to you afterward. Both files are then synced together in post-production. If both sides are recorded properly, then the finished recording will sound as if you are in the same room. In addition, if Skype drops out while you are recording, it is not going to affect the audio that you have both recorded up until such point.
So, how do you record a podcast with Skype and Audacity?
It is important that you and your guest download and launch Audacity. Plug in your microphone and choose the USB microphone from the drop-down menu to the right side of the microphone icon. Then, look for the other microphone icon above that and pull the slider all the way to the end. This ensures a hot signal from the microphone.
You also need to set it to Mono recording. The last drop-down menu should be set to the same USB microphone if you plug your headphones into your USB microphone or to the speakers of your computer if you’re plugging it into your regular computer input as you would normally do when listening to audio.
Also, at the bottom of the window, make sure that both you and your guest have the same bitrate at the Project Rate. Once you are ready to start recording, both of you click the “record” button. A track should appear, showing waveforms as you speak.
Before the actual interview, you can do a “clap sync” to help sync your recordings together by creating a big spike in the audio on each file and easily align them during post-production.
After the interview, you can stop recording and have your guest save their recording and send it to you.
- Excellent audio quality
- Same-room studio-quality recording
- Technical expertise required.
- Heavily reliant on your guest
4. Record with an External Mixer
The last and most powerful method of Skype podcast recording is to use a mixer. It requires a bit more effort to set up. However, it should give you more flexibility and control.
Using a mixer to record a podcast on Skype allows you to control volume levels for both you and your guest. Not only that, but it also allows you to monitor yourself without delay, so you can instantly know if there’s an issue.
In addition, you do not have to hack the settings in order to record your own voice. Instead, you will be bringing in both Skype and your mic separately, combining them in the external mixer and outputting them to your digital recorder.
Since it is a dedicated audio device, using a mixer for your Skype podcast means that there will be no latency. There are no echo problems and you will hear yourself in real-time, which allows you to monitor the audio quality.
What’s more, is that you can also live produce your podcast while your guest is on the line. It allows you to play recording music, intros, audio, outros, ads and more. This can help in cutting down your post-production time after the interview. In order to do this, you will need to use a mix-minus set up.
While using a mixer is a great way to record a Skype podcast, it does come with several downsides. For one, it is costly. Plus, it has a steep learning curve. A decent mixer will have lots of buttons and knobs to operate and configure. However, once you figured it out, it will be a huge advantage in your podcasting projects.
- Reliable method
- Capable of live production
- Flexible and full control
- No echoing
- Costly equipment
There you have it! These are the 4 common methods on of using Skype for podcast.
If you’re wondering which of these methods are right for you, it will depend on several factors.
How easy or complex of a setup are you willing to deal with for your Skype podcasting? If you need an easy, no-frill Skype podcasting, then you can record right away via Skype.
How much are you willing to invest? For starters, you can simply start by purchasing recording software. Or, you can go all-out and invest in a mixer for greater flexibility.
Are your productions already enough for most people? We recommend that you start with the simplest solution possible. You can get comfortable with this option first and slowly scale to the more advanced and complex methods of recording a Skype podcast.
So, which of the above 4 methods of Skype podcast recording will you try? Got any more questions? Maybe you know other ways to record a podcast with Skype. Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!
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Hey I’m Allan, founder of Dotcom Dollar. I started my own successful online business and quit my job in 2015 to travel the world. I started Dotcom Dollar to help aspiring entrepreneurs like you create a successful online business.