Slight echo - maybe a setting? Help with podcast


I just downloaded and started using Audacity the other day, I think its great, especially for a free program. I do have one question however.

My co hosts and I just recorded our first podcast the other day, and here is the process. We (three of us) opened audacity and then initiated the Skype call. Then we counted to 3 and all hit record at the same time, recorded the podcast, and then stopped. Exported to WAV and uploaded to Google Drive.

I downloaded the 2 external files and uploaded the audio to Audacity, and my own. Merging them was a snap. But then I crept up on an issue.

I noticed on 2 files there was a slight, very slight, almost inaudible “catch” on each file, where we “caught” and could hear the other hosts talking on our individual audio recordings. Two of us used Logitech Skype headsets (h540) and I used a Yamaha cm500 headset. Now I was easily able to get the echo down on two of us, me and on of my hosts, the other guy, though, his “catch” of us two talking was significantly louder, and it took me 7 hours to get it all to vanish (mostly). The hardest part was when one of us said, like, ‘oh ok’, or ‘i agree’ while he was talking, and the echo was difficult or impossible to get rid of without generating silence on his needed audio.

So the question is, is it possibly just a setting? Because it was 3-4 times louder on his file than the other two, where it was barely noticeable unless you strained your ears.

I was leaning towards using Spreaker to host our media, and I know they have a studio that links to Skype, but I figure why pay them extra if I can get this echo to go away on his file with changing a setting or two in Audacity. We had one thought of having him use Skype on his phone and using a traditional phone headset tucked under the Logitech headset and recording that way, so that Skype does not feed that outside audio into his file. But again, maybe it is something easy.

Thoughts? Thanks!!

It sounds like it is spill-over from speakers / headphones into the mic.
You will need to do some testing.

If you skype with just “the other guy”, can you hear the echo of your voice while making the call?
Ask the other guy to take his headphones off and check that there is no sound coming from his laptop speakers.
If he moves the headphones away from the mic, do you hear less echo?

I’m not a fan of the Logitech headsets. They have a large tube connecting the microphone to the body of the headset leading to leakage and the boom isn’t long enough to do a good job in collecting the voice.

Did you know there’s a Logitech driver for that headset? I suspect they’re trying to “fix it in software.” No, I don’t agree with the review that said they were good for recording everything. I put mine in the garage.

I expect the Yamaha to do a much better job with its longer, thinner boom.

Fair warning I have a head-mounted, directional microphone where the microphone inside the foam ball rotates for best environment cancelling. Consult your instructions.

I agree the one poster with the terrible leakage probably has a speaker up somewhere. It’s easy to lose coordination when you’re on headphones. It’s also possible they’re the one that didn’t use the Logitech driver software and that’s what the headset really sounds like.

This is a sound sample I shot with the head mounted microphone and separate headphones. Denise was using her laptop built-in microphone in a quiet room and was on headphones.

This is an engineering test to see if we could do it, so the coordination is all off and this clip is heavily cut to make it sound like we know what we’re doing. But the voices are real and not processed.

It’s possible you can only do that with Macs, but still. If you continue to have troubles, it’s worth investigating.


What you’re doing is highly recommended as the voices in the podcast never go through Skype. Each performer voice is locally recorded at highest possible quality.

But it does give you the “Marching Cats” problem. The show quality is limited by the quality of the worst technical performer.


The AutoDuck tool possibly could enable you to do that post-production quicker :
use the track of “us two talking” to duck the other person.

And that’s where you win if you have everybody on their own track. If this was a mixed show, you’d be arranging for a reshoot.


I’m also kind of wondering why you don’t shift the clip timings so all the leakages line up? The performer is hearing that voice in their personal real time and that represents Time Zero for them. What are you doing to the voices to throw that off?


Great suggestions, thank you all, and yes Koz I did try to move the audio over to line it up, I was unable to get it to line up perfectly. Probably because I’m a newbie.

@trebor I’ll give that a shot as well as the other suggested troubleshooting.

Any feedback on the spreaker studio desktop ap?

Any feedback on the spreaker studio desktop ap?

I use the unconditionally stable two-computer method.

We were waiting for you to tell us.


Probably because I’m a newbie.

Or more likely, the recording was in a bare room with echoes and reverb. In that case, nothing you do would ever line up.

The current style of bare, highly polished wood floors and featureless white walls is an aggressively hostile recording environment.


Even a pro will curse when getting a set of long recordings made like that.

There’s no sync between your three recordings. Every recording will drift a tiny bit from the others.

Not a problem with a 5 minutes recording. BIG problem with a 2 hour recording.

No remote solution, unless you’d install something like Audinate’s Dante (audio over network). But that will certainly clash with Skype.

Koz’s multiple computer setup is what’s used everywhere. Any old laptop will do for recording and you just need another one that’s Skype capable. Even that doesn’t need to be performant. I use a 2009 Mac, with just a core2duo processor and it does that fine. Hec, even a nearly 20 year old G4 Powerbook does the job, but Skype doesn’t run on it.

Another solution is: don’t use Skype. There are numerous VOIP solutions out there that give complete control over your audio. But not with Skype. Of course, this is overkill, especially since the future guests probably have used Skype and aren’t used to a SIP-client.

You could also look into voice capabilities in HTML5. Your browser is an audio tool these days, capable of playing back and recording at least 8 channels. There are sites offering this kind of recording. Don’t have any examples at hand. These seem to come and go.

were going to try spreaker tomorrow nite, but also going to hope we can try spreaker and audacity at the same time, and use what’s best. i’ll experiment and report.

hope we can try spreaker and audacity at the same time

That’s the one where everybody calls into Spreaker and they make the mix and recording, right? I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Audacity will record your voice which is a service of the computer and available. Headphones mandatory.

Totally do post back if you get it to work. You can be the Spreaker SME on the forum.