A Skype Two-Ender

by Bruce Stewart

O'Reilly editor David Battino recently pointed me to this interesting tip on how he improved the audio of a recorded Skype interview for one of his podcasts. From Digital Media Insider Podcast 11: Synth Mania, Part 1:

Because Paolo and I live on separate coasts, we decided to do the interview by Skype and record it with Ecamm Call Recorder. To maximize the audio quality, I used a Rode Podcaster USB mic instead of my usual Logitech headset. (The Rode is what I use for the show's main voiceover.) I recorded into Call Recorder using the highest quality AAC compression setting.

But we also tried a radio trick called a "two-ender" to boost the quality further, and it worked great. Paolo set up two mics--one feeding his Skype computer and another feeding Sound Forge on another computer. After the interview, he sent me the local recording, and I substituted it for his side of the Skype recording. (One of the great things about Call Recorder is that it saves each side of the conversation on a separate track.) Not only did the direct recording sound fuller, it avoided the clipping distortion in the Skype signal, something I encountered on my previous Skype podcast as well.


Randal L. Schwartz
2007-05-17 04:38:14
If you have the most recent version of Audio Hijack Pro at both ends, you can also do a double-ender trivially as well. Option-click when selecting "record", and you can record the "input" and "output" for the hijacked application to left and right tracks. Very nice and simple.