Hey guys, been recording a podcast for over a year now; and since this quarantine, I want to venture into virtual, or over the phone podcasting.
I know Skype is an option but the general consensus is that it’s poor quality. I’m looking for an alternative, assuming the interviewee has access to a phone and a basic microphone, that’s also free (or very cheap).
The Skype technique is not available to you because that only works if both sides are on Skype. It’s an All-Skype data publishing service.
There is one way to do this with a special purpose microphone. I use an Olympus TP-7 or TP-8. It goes in your ear and picks you up through bone conduction and the far side with a plain microphone. It works with anything you hold up to your ear, cellphone, touch-tone or rotary dial.
The TP7 plugs into any Olympus recorder, or with a special adapter into a computer Mic-In. The TP8 is designed to go into the MIC-IN of your computer.
How old is the Mac? If it’s too old, you don’t have a Mic-In and have to make one.
I can tell by the stunned silence, I didn’t get even remotely close to what you had in your head when you asked that question. What was in your head?
Multi-point remote podcasts are not simple. The more simple they sound, the more complicated they are.
There is a stunningly complicated way to shoot a multi-point podcast, assuming everybody is in on it. Each person records their own voice and shovels the sound files to you who integrates the files into a single show. This works on most conferencing and communication apps because local microphone almost always records. It’s the far side that gets messed up. If you do it this way, there is no far side, no matter where you start from. With a little work, everybody sounds like they’re sitting in the room with you.
Getting good sound quality for “phone ins” is difficult. Even the BBC find that difficult and they have many amazingly good sound engineers and state of the art equipment.
Probably the easiest way to record a “phone in”, is to receive calls on a speaker phone and record that with a microphone. The sound quality is likely to be poor, but it may be good enough given the current situation.
For best sound quality, each participant needs to record their side of the conversation, then someone edits the recordings together. This is time consuming, but the results can be very good.
Well, it all depends on your interviewees… How knowledgeable are they of geeky stuff? If you have a podcast with journalists and IT professionals, you can use more complicated arrangements that require more from them. If they are not that knowledgeable, don’t have IT guys around (or teenage kids), or have a much higher status than you, you want to have simpler setups for them, with many more limitations.