Tech talk: recording phone interviews

Podcasting:I've never been happy with computer inhouse/desktop interviewing as it requires the other to have your program or that you can get a good access to landline via SkypeOut or the like.

I've never found that. I know that this is an issue for some debate but I have gone with speaker phone and recording direct from that "in the air" as it were.

I just got the SCM -PRO mic from Visivox*with the intention of running this stereo two mic setup with recording into separate channels as a means to better record my interviews.I use a speaker phone which I got for $AUD23.00. It's our home phone in fact --although all teenagers in the house are addicted to their mobiles..

This is an extraordinarily good microphone which-- despite its twin leads --captures audio at a lecture superbly. The rationale for two mics running their audio into separate channels is to be able to edit them as required -- one voice at a time -- as you could with any interview setup.

The recording does have the telephonic sound which you can play with by using equalization but this is high utility recording that delivers the main thing -- content -- without stressing out your interviewee or falling foul of tech drop outs and foldback.

I record with my iRiver ifp 795.

I guess it is 'low tech' and even 'old tech' but I think the other option is to narrow your reach out to a layer who are Skype savvy, computer situated or who will put up with any tech hassles you may be prone to.

I think, for instance, this limits BicycleMark's interview circuit(although it is an el cheapo way to talk overseas).

A few months back Rob on Podcast 411 -- no stranger to podcast interviewing I'm sure -- did an important interview with Adam Curry and two others for his show and it was extremely inaudible in many places. If thats' the price you have to pay on occasion for such a digital setup then it's got hairs on it.

Other podcasts I listen to will tell their audience that they had to deal with x number of dropouts during the call/exchange but that later edits made the best of the recorded material available.

I'm still a bit fresh playing with this approach and I haven't worked out the wherewithal of the edit but I grabbed a sample from my first attempt so you can get a feel for it -- the good and the bad.It's pristine without any post editing --although next time I will alter the position of the second mic relative to the speaker phone.
Audio: Example


The main thing is that you have the words and the drama and format of the exchange even if you don't get 'in-the-next-room' sound. You are 'on the phone' after all. Since I do print journalism -- for me, content is the main thing as after spending the time transcribing the interviews-- as well as editing the audio --you get to appreciate the main attributes.

Benjamin Walker uses a lot of phone chats in his TOE --and they are obviously phone chats. But it's what people say that grabs you and the way that Walker edits his material.
*This Visivox mic has a handy, if cumbersome, clip for lapels and such for person to person interviews too. In quality of sound it leaves my Sony electret for dead AND it doesn't have the terrible handling noise that the Sony mics are renowned for.These mics use plug in power which is also an attribute of the iRiver ifp.

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