Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to record podcasts for free.

While I'm taking some time off from making content (do to me being back in Latvia for Easter) I figured why not give my fellow just-starting podcasters some tips.
Lets get to the point. If you've done some research you probably know that voice-chat programs like Skype have programs that you can use to record the conversation, but it seems all of them cost money (or are quite unreliable). Other voice-chat programs might have in-built recorder, but the quality of the voice recording will probably be much lower than you could have with skype.
Anyways so here's what applications I recommend, all free by the way:
Skype or Google+ Hangouts for voice-chat.
Audacity for recording the conversation.
That's pretty much it.

Now to get to the good stuff.
First of all, plug in your headphones, because you will hear everything that's coming out of your computer and everything that's coming out of your microphone. You don't want to get echo.
So now go to the Control panel >> Hardware and Sound and under "Sound" select "Manage Audio Devices". From there select the "Recording" tab, find your microphone, and click "properties" on it.
Select the "Listen" tab and check the "Listen to this device box". Click OK and go back to the "Recording" tab in the "Sound" window. From there, check if you have the computer audio output (for Realtek cards it's called "Stereo Mix") in a ready state. If you don't see it, right click somewhere inside the white box (but not on a device) and select show disabled devices. Now you should see it. Enable it, but don't set it as your default recording device, leave that on your microphone.
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The final step is to open your audio-recording device and select the input device as your computer audio output device (most often "Stereo Mix").


And that's it. Get your friends on a call, and start recording. Suggestion though, test how loud each person is speaking and adjust the audio levels. You can also adjust your own microphone audio levels in the Volume mixer (you'll find it in the tray (A white speaker icon near the clock on the toolbar) click once on it, and the select mixer, so you can see individual devices/programs).

I hope this helps someone.
You should be able to do something similar on a Mac or a Linux system, and if you know how, please leave a comment below describing how to do it.

P.S. Get used to hearing your voice while you're talking. Nothing you can really do about it.

P.S.S. You can upload your podcast on various sites (mostly not free), but the free solutions would probably be iTunes, Youtube, and Blip.TV(though in this case it must be a video(just add a static picture to the audio and that should do it)).

© The H Show, the-h-show.blogspot.com , feel free to distribute, but only with this copyright notice.

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