Just learning all this–am using mostly SKYPE and “Skype Record” to landline or cell phones to record podcast interviews, then editing recordings with Audacity. Skype to Skype records beautifully; Skype to phone has huge disparity in volume of phone-er vs. phone-ee. Is there a way to edit volume of one voice only in Audacity? (I can play with the external (snowball) microphone settings so my voice is quieter, but I’d rather bring up the volume of the voice on the other end, since the current volume of my voice is fine.) And I’d really appreciate your thoughts on the whole issue of recording phone calls for podcasts (I researched external equipment, but nothing priced for the non-pro seems to result in recordings that at least aren’t embarrassingly poor quality. Skype seemed like a good solution…) Thank you!
<<<Skype seemed like a good solution…)>>>
Skype and the other digital “telephone” services are an excellent way around this problem because the two directions are already separate. A copper phone line has to put both voice directions on one set of wires and splitting the two directions up reliably is what costs all the money.
There’s no good solution. A competent auto-nulling Telephone hybrid can run a thousand dollars or more. The Radio Shack phone recorder or other cheap solution just jams a tap across the line and your local voice is always enormously louder than the far end and there isn’t squat you can do about it.
One cheesy way around this is use a speakerphone and put the live microphone half-way between you and the speakerphone. Jocky the positions of everything until the balance is about right. I’ve known people to call the actor on a cellphone, but they talk back to the recorder on a copper phone line. Put the handset under a pillow or get a phone you can disconnect the handset without dropping the call.
Jacking into your cellphone is another good way to split the two sides up, with the disadvantage of dropping the call or bubbly voices in the middle of the show.