How to Record a Skype Call Using Software for Your Podcast

By Tee Morris, Chuck Tomasi

Recording using software or hardware — once again you’re faced with choices. Which route is best for your podcast? Software solutions are typically less complex to set up and use and cost less; however, they can put more load on the computer’s CPU. If the CPU is too busy, it could impact the quality of the recording. Here are some cover some software options for recording Skype calls.

Call Recorder

Call Recorder for the Mac from eCamm Network is a handy little piece of software with a simple interface that allows you to record Skype audio and video and save it to one of many formats for later editing. The only downside of Call Recorder is that the file is recorded as a robust MOV file.

To reduce its size (for archiving purposes or to produce a smaller MP3 from), you need to run it through a media player like QuickTime Pro, producing a streamlined AIFF or WAV file. However, this step isn’t necessary if you’re using GarageBand or Logic Pro. If you don’t have the money for a mixer and second computer (or portable recording device), the $29.95 investment is a great deal.

SoundTap

For Windows users, SoundTap, from NCH Swift Sound, lets you record just about any audio that plays through your Windows computer. Simply install the software and turn it on, and then all sound played on or through the PC, including Skype calls, will be recorded as WAV or MP3 files. All audio is tapped by a virtual driver, so the process is perfect digital quality. Current pricing for SoundTap is $29.99.

WireTap Studio

WireTap Studio from Ambrosia Software lets you record just about any audio that plays through your Mac and allows you to record from a second source such as your mixer, iTunes, or another media player.

As for the steps involved in recording a Skype interview with WireTap Studio, it’s a piece of cake:

  1. Launch WireTap Studio and make sure the Controller window is visible. You can access it either by choosing Window →   Controller or by pressing ⌘  +0.
  2. From the Controller’s top menu, select one incoming source of audio. From the menu underneath it, select your second input source.
  3. Choose File →   Preferences to access the Preferences of your WireTap Studio Pro application.
    The Preferences window appears.
  4. Click the Source button at the top of the Preferences window. Have your interview subject (on Skype) talk as you check your own levels (on the mixer, USB microphone, and so on).
  5. Click the Format option to select an audio format.
    You can record your audio as an AIFF, a WAV, or another uncompressed digital audio format or it can go directly to MP3 to the compression settings of your choosing.
  6. Close this window and then return to the Controller. The large, dark circle is the Record button. Single-click that to begin recording.

    Automatically WireTap Studio pulls up a window with the waveform of your newly recorded audio. Here you have tools available for editing, creating loops, and creating basic audio effects. For more on the capabilities of these tools, review the online tutorials for WireTap Studio.

  7. When your recording is ready, you can select it from WireTap’s Library window and then click either the iTunes or the Local Disk button from the Send To options at the bottom of the window.

    If the Library window isn’t displayed, choose Window →   WireTap Studio Library to display it.

    Your WireTap recording is then sent to your desired location either for ID3 tag editing or for further editing.

WireTap Studio is the pricier of the software options at $69, but when you consider its capabilities of mixing in two separate audio sources, editing, ID3 tagging, and exporting options, it’s an easy and reliable recording resource for those important Skype interviews.

Skype uses VoIP (Voiceover Internet Protocol) to do what it needs to do to help you host and hold audio and video conferences. If you have a good Internet connection and want an all-in-one solution, consider looking into Zencastr as a possible solution for recording interviews. It will require that your interview subject on the other side of the website has audio hardware hooked up on her end, but the result is audio so cleanly recorded, you would think both host and guest are in the same room together.