Hearing other person on therapy recording session

VA Support says that due to privacy concerns, VA Video Connect doesn’t support recording. Since most people connect hands-free, they recommend taking a stand-alone sound recorder or voice recording app on your phone with you and leave it running on the table or desk during the call.


Hi there,

Unfortunately, most forums are not allowed due to HIPAA/privacy/confidentiality issues (like zoom, skype). Also, we cannot have an external recorder because then we’d have to somehow upload that audio file and the VA firewall prevents that- everything has to be done within the VA-compliant environment. A few follow-up questions:

1- Would you recommend both people being recorded are hands-free (no headset)?

2- Is it definitely true that none of the dropdown menus in Audacity help with audio quality (e.g., Windows WASPI, MME, Windows Direct Sound)?

3- I had a practice session and when I had the microphone plugged in I could only hear

Sorry my previous post got cut off

My last question is:

Would ME having an external microphone enhance their audio quality?

Again, please see below about the testing session I had because this may shed some light on the issue:

-When I did not have the microphone enabled and the other person did not have a headset, I could hear them fine and could NOT hear me in the playback
-When I enabled my microphone, I could only hear myself and NOT them in the playback
-When I had had no microphone and the other person had a headset: I could only hear myself in the playback

There’s no question I can make recommendations to improve the voice quality in the session. That is, make your voice clearer and more pleasant to the client and make their voice clearer and more pleasant to you.

None of these recommendations is going to provide a two-voice recording.

Let me know.


Hi there,

I did want to follow up on these questions below:

1- Would you recommend both people being recorded are hands-free (no headset)?
2- Is it definitely true that none of the dropdown menus in Audacity help with audio quality (e.g., Windows WASPI, MME, Windows Direct Sound)?
3- Would person recording having a microphone help?


That is unlikely to make much difference.

That is unlikely to make much difference.

That is unlikely to make much difference.

The thing that would make a difference is: Hearing other person on therapy recording session - #6 by steve
You said: “it’s just not feasible unfortunately”.
Perhaps you can find a way to make it feasible.

Both people being hands-free is the least stressful given what you do and with usually OK quality.

No question the best hardware decision is put both people on headphones. Not headsets. Just headphones.

Screen Shot 2021-01-27 at 1.10.19 PM.png
During a full hands-free session, VA Video Connect has to actively manage room echoes and destructive feedback at both locations, perfectly, and in real-time. With plain old two-muff headphones most of that sound management task vanishes. You can expect most if not all of the honky, swooshy, talking into a wine glass or milk jug effect to vanish in favor of clear speech.

You affect each other. Your headphones will make you sound better to the client and vice versa. So if all you did was buy good headphones, that would help them a lot.

Having said all that, if the client is sitting at the kitchen table, they are still going to sound like talking in a kitchen. It’s just one layer of voice distortion will vanish.

There is an internet note here. My internet downlink works OK (Youtube cats, etc), but my uplink barely supports voice. So I can hear you, but you will not be able to hear me no matter what.

There is no recommended microphone. Not that it wouldn’t help, it’s just glance over the forum questions and see how many of them have to do with microphone trouble.

How to I get my microphone to work?
My voice is really low.
My voice is distorted.
My computer won’t recognize my microphone.
My voice is tinny and hissy.

Headsets have their own problems. Many gamer headsets are pretty awful. Mine is in a box in the garage. USB headsets have built-in echo because of the data management. Run the other way.


The “professional” solution is to use more hardware: 2 computers and a mixer. Use one computer for the call, and the other for recording. The mixer handles routing the signals.

I just went back over the notes and I think this is a good time for you to flesh this out a little.

I got the impression that we were making a recording so you could more easily review a session so to better provide care.

But that’s not the case any more.

we’d have to somehow upload that audio file

To whom and for what? It sounds like we just tip-toed over the line into surveillance and security. If you are providing a valuable service for other departments or people, it seems to me VA management or IT should be providing this service, not a free audio recording program.

Further, Audacity recently got a note from Dell Computer concerning possible security problems and vulnerabilities.

So between that and HIPAA, this could be seriously uphill, even past the technical problems.


I like koz’s idea, although I don’t see that “other technologies” excludes Audacity. Also, see next post.

I wasn’t sure if this was possible, so I did a concept test. I am not familiar with cakewalk - but it is free (now), so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I set up cakewalk to record my laptop microphone (MME) while simultaneously playing a familiar song on youtube, which I listened to via earbugs on my laptop. Meanwhile Audacity was recording stereo mix (MME). I then exported the audio (WAV) from cakewalk and imported into Audacity. It was a simple matter for me (since I knew the words), to line up the two audios (via the Time Shift Tool=F5).

This was only a concept test. I have not tried this with Skype or VA Connect.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

I have not tried this with Skype or VA Connect.

…Or Zoom.

As I suggested in this post…

…the “chat” programs work by insisting on absolute and complete control of the computer. It’s not fuzzy, there’s nothing left over, and the service will, on occasion, change with an update. That’s what killed Pamela for Skype a while back. Suddenly, across the globe, Pamela conference recording quit working.

They were down for quite a long time while the Pamela programmers reverse-engineered the last Skype update.


Thanks, koz. :smiley:

Hi, the problem must be with the mic. Change it or try to record and play on a simple platform. You can use Adobe software to make it more audible.

Do you realize which forum you are posting to? :open_mouth:

This is all very helpful and I agree- all would be solved by an external recording device or internal recording device like cakewalk or blackhole. All parties signed consents and we “upload” on a protected server, all which patients are made aware of prior to starting. These recordings are for fidelity purposes. I guess the question becomes can you download those programs (cakewalk, blackhole) on a VA protected laptop- likely no given you can’t install anything that’s not already pre-installed.

When you say “change it and try and record on a simple platform”- what platform might that be? Sorry, completely green to all this. Also, how would Adobe help?

Thanks so much!

Hi folks,

stumbled across this thread as I have more or less to accomplish the same task: Record the full audio of one-to-one sessions, regardless which software (Zoom, Teams, Jitsi…). Currently I’m using OBS Studio for that purpose, but as this really great piece of open source software is designed for streaming and recording video, it creates much too large files and I need to separate the audio track afterwards - so I hoped Audacity would do the trick! Why not? OBS Studio records any sound source simultaniously in decent quality on a business laptop…


The OBS Studio developers put all their time and effort into producing an app for video recording and live streaming.
The Audacity developers put all their time and effort into producing an app for multi-track audio editing and processing.
Both applications are totally free to use.
Neither were developed specifically for voip recording, though “Pamela for Skype” was (but that’s not free or open source).

Hey, no offense intended, I really appreciate your work for other purposes! As a senior dev I know how consuming those projects rapidly get.
Are there any perspectives to introduce something like a software sound mixer, e.g. assigning different recording sources per track and start recording simultanously? Would that be possible as a plugin?

Not at present, though it could be in the future.

I don’t think it’s possible with a plug-in, but Audacity is likely to become more modular, which opens up the possibility for things like this to be developed as loadable modules.