Archive for September, 2009

Recording Skype on Mac OS X

Posted in General on September 21, 2009 by jkiparsky

As part of the journalistic part of my life, I’ve found myself needing to record phone conversations. Here’s what I’ve done to make this work on Mac OS X.
This is a method I hacked together this afternoon, using a few pieces of free software.
The recording is done in Audacity, and I’m using Soundflower, SoundSource and LineIn as well. Since there is no documentation to speak of for any of these programs, it’s hard for me to say what’s doing what, so here’s a configuration that got good sound:
In SoundSource, output and input, and system are all set to SoundFlower 2ch.
In lineIn, input from my headset (USB VoIP device) is out to Soundflower. “Pass through” is selected – this is key!
In SoundFlowerBed, both 2ch and 16 ch are set to “off” (???)

In Audacity, I’ve set the preferences as follows:
Playback: USB VoIP Device
Recording: Soundflower (2ch) (2 channels)
I’ve checked all four options – play other tracks while recording, hardware playthrough, software playthrough, do not modify audio device settings.

In Skype, I’ve got audio output set to Soundflower (2ch) and input to USP VoIP Device.

Under System Preferences, both input and output are set to SoundFlower 2 ch, which may be an effect of one of the other programs’ settings.

Other configurations I’ve tried have given me useless results – massive volume differential between my line and the voice on the other end, for example – or only recorded one side of the conversation.
This one gets both, with pretty good balance of voices, although sound quality is only as good as you can expect from Skype.
I’m posting this mostly for my own use, to save myself a lot of work resetting this for my next interview. With any luck, it’ll be useful to others, who might even be able to offer some streamlining.