Your Podcast recording expert is unavailable – now what?

What do you do if your recording studio expert’s unavailable – for personal reasons? This is what happened to me, in preparing the recording podcast solution for Web Talk Radio (Web Talk Radio). It’s for the Teeing It Up radio show (Teeing It Up).

The Skype Solution

Image representing netTALK as depicted in Crun...
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I found a good video on recording Interviews with Skype video at Skype broadcast quality .

Please note that this was done in 2007 (i.e. excellent way back then) – Skype is now in 2011

This video a couple good points, which I will use:

  • They recommend a USB headset. I purchased one at Walmart.
  • They also recommend Call Burner. Since it gives a free 30 day trial – plus has some good same MP3 recording feed (i.e. see Call Burner) – I’ll go with it.

Call Burner only records audio. For video, they recommend Vod Burner


Most folks don’t know about this VOIP technology out of Israel at SoliCall . It filters out noises and such and they now have a pro version that costs $42 (i.e. $50 with all bug fixes). It can be configured with Skype and my USB HP headset. I also did some recording on Skype as a decentralized hub and Free Conference Call as a central hub.

I’m now running Skype out, coupled with an HP USB headset, and SoliCall Pro software filter (SoliCall ). I’ve tested this combo with both Net Talk VOIP and a cell phone on the other end. Keep in mind my Internet speed. I run Comcast cable and I’m 10 miles from their Elmhurst hub. I’m compared the sound quality to some Web Talk Radio podcasts and it’s just as good.

Free Conference Recording

Free Conference Calling
I think the recording software for Free Conference Calling is very good. This can be the central hub with my computer being a secondary hub.

I’ve also tested recording a brief conversation between NetTalk and Skype (with SoliCall), with Free Conference Calling as the bridge. The conversation was recorded both a Free Conference Calling and on Skype via Call Burner.

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I’ve chatted with Free Conference Calling. They have tradition phone centers in Iowa and Minnesota. The advantage of using their service is obvious. If my Internet is ever down, I can conduct the interview via cell phone. They wouldn’t go into detail how they make money. But you can use most VOIP services to tap into their system.

I’ll dispense with the recording software for now. I’ll probably get another set of USB HP headsets from Walmart, so I’ll have a backup system on computer two. Let’s just look at an even $200 for the recording hardware and software setup. This would include the software upgrades for SoliCall pro 1.7.

My final solution came after some fine tuning – using Skype, USB Port headset, Call Burner and Free Conference Calling dot com. I was able to get an excellent recording, both at the free conference call end and my computer site.

Photo of a recording studio control room durin...
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I think we should keep the Call Burner on one computer and SoliCall/Skype on two computers. This is part of my philosophy of alternative and backup planning. The final solution only costs $211 and it’s worth every cent. It took a day or so for the USB driver software to “settle in.” Here’s the final cost breakdown:

  • 2 SoliCall Pro software with 1.7 updates – $50 each – $ 100
  • 1 Call Burner software – $ 50
  • 1 USB HP headset (I can swap it on 2 computers) -$ 30
  • 1 Skype out subscription – $ 31
  • Total – $ 211

I was wrong about one thing. Solving the recording solution is not something we need recording studio expertise. It’s something we need software and hardware expertise in VOIP, Packets, Internet speed, filtering, etc. I guess I had the right background for the recording aspect all along.

It should be noted that both Free Conference Calling and Call Burner record in MP3 format. This is the same format required by Matrix Media. At the time I’m writing this, I’m also making progress with SoliCall and Lame (Lame MP3 Encoder).


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