Echo Issue Upon Playback

I recently conducted my first remote interview for my podcast using DVDVideoSoft Skype Recorder (Audio Only). While I recorded, the audio was crystal clear for both parties. I had my headphones plugged into my Blue Yeti mic and had no audio issues whatsoever. When I finished the Skype call and listened to the recorded audio clip, my guest had an extreme echo on his voice. Again, this was not detected during the recording.

Can someone let me know what I might have done wrong, or if this is a common issue with the Skype Recording software that I used? Also, is there ANYTHING I can do in Audacity to fix this issue in post production?

Thanks in advance.

if this is a common issue with the Skype Recording software that I used?

It’s a common issue with Skype recording software.

Skype got to be world famous for reliable communication by its ability to completely take over a machine and all the software running on it—usually including any recording software. At the end of the day, Skype works no matter how messed up your computer is. And it worked, right? Your conversation was crystal clear.

I’m curious did your recorder have any instructions as to sequence of application such as start the recording software after Skype is already running?

Can I assume the recorder delivered a stereo show with you on one side and the guest on the other? That’s best for post-production editing and correction. WAV? MP3? Can you post some of the work? The instructions change depending on the show format.

Chances are overwhelming that the far-side voice is not recoverable, but final say will be after you post.

I did it by the entirely unfashionable but reliable way of having two computers and small mixer. I let Skype have its way with the computer on the right.


Thank you Koz for your quick reply. It looks like your setup is a bit more advanced than mine! The recorder software did instruct me to start it prior to opening Skype. I believe I followed the instructions perfectly, but still had the issue. I have attached a minute long clip of the file in both .mpa and .aup formats. You will be able to easily identify the issue with the guest’s voice in contrast to my own.
AudioClipEchoProblem.aup (4.49 KB)

That’s an MP3, not MPA, and the AUP is an Audacity project manager text file, not sound.

But that’s OK. I’ll listen to it when I get back to the house.

Maybe another elf will jump in. If you play your cards right, I’ll tell you my CompuServe address.


Ha! Thanks again Koz. Honest typo on the .mpa vs. .mp3, but did not realize that .aup was only a text file. Perhaps I should change my username to “NOVICEPodcaster” for extra emphasis! Any help is appreciated.

You have several shortcomings straight away.

Audacity is not commercial software and has a few oddities. So it’s good to get your hands dirty straight recording before you jump into anything complex. Making a straight, uncomplicated voice recording is one of the first steps in the Overdubbing/Sound-On-Sound tutorial. Before you get into technology up beyond your eyebrows, let’s see if you can record your voice—full stop.

You created an Audacity Project. A Project is a _DATA folder containing the sound in snippets and an AUP file to keep track of it all.

So if you have the _DATA folder, you have the show in perfect, uncompressed format and it would be a snap to create a WAV file from that.

I see you went straight to MP3 for sound files. MP3 is good for end-product posting, ACX AudioBooks and listening on your Personal Music Device, it doesn’t work so well for theatrical voice production. MP3 is a compressed sound format and contains, however well disguised, sound damage. That would only be bad, but it gets worse the more copies you make and production/editing you do. Archive work should be File > Export: WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit. That’s an uncompressed, perfect sound format and it matches the high quality sound format on an Audio CD.

It is big, so it’s going to take up more drive space and that can be a shock. MP3 is very efficient and that’s it’s siren call.

It’s not obvious until you get this far in the production, but it’s insanely handy to have your voice on one track and the guest on the other. You can create a mixed show later. We can’t split up a mixed show into individual voices (or instruments or sounds) for editing. So even if there was a good way to fix the guest voice (there isn’t), we wouldn’t be able to apply it to his voice only. If he were on the left (for example), it’s a simple matter to apply different filters, effects and corrections to just his voice through Audacity splitting left and right to their own tracks.

See where your voice is slightly lower than his? That a trivial correction if your voice was by itself.

As a guess, I’d say the recording software was recording your voice (even Audacity can do that), but recording the guest error correction, noise suppression and echo cancellation instead of the actual incoming voice. That seems to be a fairly common complaint.

Our go-to Skype capture software package for Windows used to be Pamela paid software, but we have postings where even they threw into the towel recently for not being able to keep up with what Skype was doing.

This is where I tell you how to fix the capture process.

I got it to work with two computers. This is an engineering test. It’s totally not a finished podcast. Denise and I are on opposite US coasts. The left-hand computer is recording the podcast in Audacity and playing the music into the mixer from iTunes.

There are at least two other podcasts doing it that way.

I wish I could push a button and Everything Would Be OK. It’s actually getting worse as some of the older reliable software packages stopped working. If you know someone who got it to work, post back. Be warned that there are Celebrity Unicorns. Chase fired up Audacity and Skype and is (or was) turning out show after show with no problems at all. He’s looking at the rest of us like we’re nuts. No, we’re normal.


It could be said that “The KozCo Connection” is an ideal podcast. It consists exclusively of us scheduling the next podcast. “Tune in tomorrow when Koz sets up a connection from the picnic table!!”

I have a Conspiracy Theory.

If you listen to radio news, you will hear people connecting their stories via Skype.

“John Sorrenson has more details on the European Union story from Paris via Skype.”

Wait. “Via Skype???”

Have you ever heard anybody calling into a network news show via their iPhone?

I suspect Skype is offering a product or service where they guarantee a good voice connection. You have to promote the product…sign here.

All other get what you got.



Do they have a response line or help forum?

Did Google help any? I found a Google trick. Search term: “DVD Video Soft Complaints.” If you just Google for the software or help, you’re likely to get the company itself promoting their own product. No, it probably will not cure cancer and secure world peace. But if multiple people have similar problems, pay attention.


I sincerely appreciate the thoughtful and detailed responses Koz. I am bummed to hear that I can’t fix the echo on this audio, but at least I have some direction to prevent this from happening again. I did look into the Pamela software, but saw many mixed reviews. I suppose I am getting what I paid for with the free DVDVideoSoft Skype Recorder software! The .wav suggestion seems like my best workaround for now. My podcast has gone on for nearly a year and has built a moderate following, but I just do it as a fun hobby. I’m not sure I want to invest in a mixer and second computer for a something that doesn’t generate any revenue.

Regardless, I appreciate the tips and confirmation that I can’t do much to fix the current clip. Saves me hours of struggles! Thanks again for your help!


My podcast has gone on for nearly a year and has built a moderate following

How? Are you posting the echoes?

I’m not sure I want to invest in a mixer and second computer

The computer on the left is there because I happened to have it and I wanted to inject Music and record Voice at the same time. One and Done, No Editing. The original capture is pretty much of a disaster because of my bad coordination, but the sound quality worked. That computer can be anything that records such as one of these.

And you don’t need the mixer, either. I record telephone calls (similar split direction problems) with a special microphone.

That plugs into your ear underneath your earphone. It’s shows plugged into computers, but it’s designed to go into a Personal Recorder.


How? Are you posting the echoes?

A fair question! To this point, I have not conducted a remote interview, hence the issues and rudimentary understanding of the process. I usually just discuss current news/topic in the swimming world with my co-host. We always record in the same location. Swim Bros Podcast is the name of the show. Perhaps a quick listen would redeem some of your faith in me, or perhaps it would further the perception that I am completely unqualified to be in front of a mic! I will tell you this though, I am more knowledgeable now than I was before these interactions…and for that sir, I thank you!

If it is as simple as a portable recorder and an ear microphone, maybe there is hope for me yet.


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.

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.

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.


Could you expound on your comment:

Specifically in regards to “pieces didn’t fit” and “sound quality management was completely dreadful”…are there some specific things I can do to improve the sound quality? I posted a link to my show below. I know this is outside the scope of my first issue of remote interview echoes. You’ve certainly given me plenty of tips and suggestions to this point, so no worries if you need to move on to other problems. Just want to do what I can to improve the show within the scope of my limited abilities and resources.

Thanks Koz. No doubt about it, you know your stuff!

This is Hollywood. I can simulate knowing what I’m doing for short stretches.

Your relaxed style and good conversational flow are completely at odds with the far side sound quality.

I did miss one obvious possibility. The far side sets up to record their own voice on their phone. I only have pieces of this so far, but I installed Garage Band and I have to take the process through to completion. I know there is a trick to it, for one example, the iPhone microphone is on the back.


Digital movie cameras screwed up a perfectly serviceable inside joke. “I can simulate knowing what I’m doing for 11 minutes.” Then they have to stop and put fresh film in the camera.