You may have read my recent article called Meet the Hindenburg family of audio production/editing tools, which is a three-page introduction. So far, I have used many diverse tools to produce audio interviews and co-hosts with Skype. In this article, you’ll learn of three killer Skype audio production features which —to my knowledge— are not available in any single currently available audio program for Mac OS X, beyond Hindenburg Journalist PRO.
In this article:
- SIDEBAR: Clarification of Skype-to-Skype, SkypeIN, and SkypeOUT
- SkypeIN, aka Skype Number
- SkypeOUT, calling from Skype to a standard phone number
- Feature 1: Direct access to Skype contacts from Hindenburg Journalist PRO to initiate or end a Skype call
- Feature 2: Play an audio clip/sound bite to your Skype caller
- Feature 3: Skype multitrack recording
- Conclusions & my only related request
SIDEBAR: Clarification of Skype-to-Skype, Skype-IN, and Skype-OUT
There are multiple ways to make audio calls with Skype, including Skype-to-Skype, Skype-IN, and Skype-OUT. Here are some details.
Skype-to-Skype calls are always 100% free, and can be made between Skype contacts on any of the multitude of devices where a Skype app (application) exists, which include : Android, iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), Linux, Mac, Windows, and Windows Phone. In addition, Skype is beginning to offer Skype on the web with a plugin, and says that in the future, it will work even without a plugin. I often use this type of Skype call to produce a high-quality Skype call for audio production, as long as I know that the interviewee or co-host has both a good microphone and a good Internet connection. Whether or not you understand the language being spoken, if you want to hear the quality that one can achieve with Skype-to-Skype when both parties have a good Internet connection and a good microphone connected, you may listen to CapicúaFM’s episode 6 during the tease or the first segment where I discuss the Castilian verb hay with Ale Fantozzi. I was in Coral Gables/Miami, Florida, US, and she was in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Above you can click to play episode 6. For more info, visit CapicúaFM.com
SkypeIN, aka Skype Number
As an optional paid service, you can have an incoming number associated with your Skype account. Then, people who only have a POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) will be able to reach you on your Skype account. I don’t use this service, and I am only including it here to differentiate it from the below service, SkypeOUT.
SkypeOUT, calling from Skype to a standard phone number
For a low price per minute (or included unlimited use to certain numbers with certain Office365 plans), you can call from Skype to standard POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). I have used this many times to call interviewees, either when they didn’t have a good Internet connection or when they don’t have a good microphone to connect to Skype. In my opinion, a good telephone call is much better than the echo generally associated with using Skype in a hands-free “speakerphone” mode. Examples of the quality that can be achieved using SkypeOUT can be heard in CapicúaFM’s episode 3 —where I interviewed Spaniard singer-songwriter Sole Giménez on a mobile phone in México City using SkypeOUT:
Above you can click to play episode 3, where I interviewed Sole Giménez via a Mexican mobile phone using SkypeOUT. For more info, visit CapicúaFM.com
and episode 2, where I used SkypeOUT to call two mobile numbers simultaneously: one in the US, and one in Colombia, South America.
Above you can click to play episode 2, where I interviewed the two Ospina brothers, one on his mobile phone in the US and the other on his Colombian mobile phone, using SkypeOUT conference call. For more info, visit CapicúaFM.com
Feature 1: Direct access to Skype contacts from Hindenburg Journalist PRO to initiate or end a Skype call
Unlike other currently available Mac applications, to my knowledge, Hindenburg Journalist PRO is the only one that has direct access to initiate or add a Skype audio call to a recording directly from Hindenburg Journalist PRO. The Skype application must be running in the background, but there is no need to switch to the Skype application to initiate or end a Skype call.
Feature 2: Play an audio clip/sound bite to your Skype caller
Playing an audio clip/sound bite to my Skype interviewee or co-host for immediate comment is something that is extremely valuable. I have done this before Hindenburg Journalist PRO, but it has been much more cumbersome to accomplish. Now, with Hindenburg Journalist PRO, I am able to click-and-hold any audio clip that is in any of the Hindenburg Clipboards or Favorites, and the Skype caller and I will both hear it perfectly. For a complete explanation of the Hindenburg Clipboards and Favorites, see my article: Meet the Hindenburg family of audio production/editing tools. I used this feature for the first time in Hindenburg Journalist PRO during an interview with Spaniard bestselling author Ana Nieto Churruca for my CapicúaFM program, since I needed to play a portion of the Google spot for the new .soy TLD (Top Level Domain). I did it both for for Ana’s comment and for the audience’s information.
Above you can click to play CapicúaFM’s episode 5. For more info, visit CapicúaFM.com
This is an extremely valuable feature for which I am very grateful to Hindenburg Journalist PRO’s developers, although I have requested an improvement upon it, as I’ll explain in the Conclusions section of this article.
Feature 3: Skype multitrack recording
Other Mac OS X applications like Call Recorder from eCamm, Piezo from Rogue Amoeba Software (limited to compressed formats only—no AIFF or WAVE), and Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba can record two-track from Skype for the signal from your microphone to be on one track and the Skype caller(s) be on the other. But what if you have multiple local microphones that you want to maintain on independent tracks? To my knowledge, Hindenburg Journalist PRO is the only currently-available standalone Mac OS X application that has direct access to Skype (without using any additional third-party help, or any external audio mixer) and is also capable of multitrack. So with Hindenburg Journalist PRO, all of your individual local microphones can be on its individual track, and your Skype callers can be yet on another one, which gives you the maximum control to edit, mute, level, and equalize each one independently in post. Of course, “in post” is within the same friendly application, Hindenburg Journalist PRO.
Conclusions & my only related request
As it already stands, Hindenburg Journalist PRO is indeed the most powerful Mac application I have ever used to produce audio interviews via Skype, for the reasons explained in this article. However, as of the publication date of this article, when you play a clip as described above during a recording, although both you and the Skype caller can hear that clip perfectly, it does not become recorded in the project/session. Ideally, I would like to see those clips played back live be recorded on their own simultaneous track. Currently, during editing, it is necessary to add the mentioned clip(s), which is exactly what I did in the example with Ana Nieto Churruca. It is not terrible to have to do it later, but it would save time in post if it were already done. It is possible that the developer will add that feature in a future update. In the meantime, I will cover workarounds in my upcoming article A return to multitrack USB audio on Mac, with catches.
Pending related articles
- A return to multitrack USB audio on Mac, with catches
- My audio confession
- The ascension of audiobooks to the next level of glory
Upcoming articles, reviews, and books
Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, and books. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here.
Si deseas suscribirte a mi lista en castellano, visita aquí. Si prefieres, puedes suscribirte a ambas listas (castellano e inglés).
Books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his CapicúaFM program at CapicúaFM.com in iTunes or Stitcher.
My latest book (paperback + ebook)
My most recent book is available in two languages, and in paperback as well as an ebook. The ebook format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, Android tablets, Mac computers, and Windows computers. Although generally speaking, Kindle books are readable on smartphones like Androids and iPhones, I don’t recommend it for this particular book since it contains both color photos and color comparison charts. The ebook is also DRM-free.
In English, it’s The Castilian Conspiracy. Click here and you will be automatically sent to the closest Amazon book page to you based upon your IP address. Or request ISBN–10: 1456310232 or ISBN–13: 978–1456310233 in your favorite local bookstore.
En castellano, se llama La conspiración del castellano. Haz clic aquí para llegar al instante a la página del libro correspondiente a tu zona y moneda en Amazon, según tu dirección IP. De lo contrario, solicítalo en tu librería preferida con los ISBN–10: 1492783390 ó el ISBN–13: 978–1492783398.
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
Copyright and use of this article
The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!
Filmmakers go-to destination for pre-production, production & post production equipment!