Recording skype calls with Audacity

Is it possible? Seems like it should be…perhaps I just haven’t found the right formula?


It’s difficult because of the way that Skype aggressively manages the sound system. Skype tries to grab exclusive control of the computer sound system so as to provide reliable voice over ip (voip), but in doing so it can interfere with Audacity. The easiest solution is to use a third party application that is designed specifically to work with Skype. Some possible solutions here:

interesting…I have been looking at these software options and in fact I tried a couple. Yes they do work. I was - and still am - wondering about cutting out the “middle man,” so to speak, but maybe not worth it. I am really dealing with the broader question of how to get the best possible sound quality in recording a call, Skype or no Skype…and I feel like I haven’t found the perfect solution yet - i.e., one that is doable by a “semi” techie like myself.

What would make me happy is if I could find one of those voice recorders, such as those on your list, that also allow you to monitor and adjust audio levels during the call. If you know of any, or any thoughts about that, I’d very much like to hear them. But I realize that’s technically not necessarily an Audacity issue, so perhaps off topic.

Thank you,


Not directly no, but that’s not how I did it. I used the Hardware Solution.

I used two computers and a sound mixer. One computer (on the right) is running Skype and it thinks it’s King of the World and I let it think that. I provide separate Send and Receive pathways to a small sound mixer.

The computer on the left is recording the mix in Audacity and playing music into the show (from iTunes, if you’re counting).

I made a mix of the composite show, but I didn’t have to. I could have assigned my voice to left and Denise’s voice to right and mix them later. I could have put the music in any time.

This is an engineering test. Far from polished podcast. I wanted to see how close I could get. There is a ringer or two. Both Denise and I are broadcast professionals. In English, that means we’re both wearing headphones. We live on opposite coasts.


I didn’t need the left-hand computer at all. The only requirement is a stereo recorder. The mixer is a little magic. I used FX Send as a separate mixer to feed Skype the “microphone.” I needed a total mix for the show, but I couldn’t send Denise back to herself. The broadcast people call that Mix-Minus.

It’s important that the recorder and Skype run on different machines.