Perhaps a quick listen would redeem some of your faith in me
You had me with your email address.
Your pieces didn't fit. Your sound quality management was completely dreadful, but your interview technique and program flow worked just fine. What's wrong with this picture?
That oddball microphone is just one way to do it—sort of desperation method. "Here, record this phone call. You don't have enough money for a broadcast doubly-balanced hybrid ($$$$) and the Radio Shack "Phone Recorder" is terrible." It works less well with a cellphone. The radio interference swishing can be objectionable.
You can also cheat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU8hXDim-1s
Looks like a stunningly well-managed Skype transmission, doesn't it? It's not. Each singer recorded their own performance and sent it to Josh (Lower Left). He's The Producer. My joke is that Josh cut the show together via thumb drives and Parcel Post—and that's one of the options. If you know the person at the other end is going to be a regular, you can send them a small recorder and they can do a first-person recording from thousands of miles away. The coordination can be by Skype, but not the sound.
Attached 1 is a 50 second voice test of a tiny USB Drive/Recorder. http://www.tmart.com/8GB-UR-08-USB-Digi ... 26947.html
It's sitting on a cloth place mat on my desk just over a foot away from my face. If I got it closer, the noise would be less objectionable.
Attach 2 is a segment with 12dB noise reduction applied. I can actually do better than that with some custom filters and effects, but you get the idea.
So my studio, with no exaggeration is about the size of my thumb. But that's only for local recording.That still won't record the far end from your house.