It has been about 8 weeks since I kicked off recording my new podcast – The Yaminade – using the Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder. Previously I have posted about how I use the voice recorder to capture my voice, and the voice of my guests in person using the Behringer XM8500 and Audio-Technica AT2005USBmicrophones. In person this set up works brilliantly!
But for the past three episodes of the podcast, I have interviewed people that I couldn’t sit down with face to face. For example, with the episode where I interviewed Stan Garfield from Deloitte about how they use Yammer as part of their knowledge management strategy – because he lives in Chicago and I live in Australia, I had to record it over Microsoft Lync, or Skype. Sure, I could have used a call recording application for Skype… but to be honest my biggest fear was if the app crashes half way through an interview. I wanted to use the ZoomH4n so I had a robust hardware based recording solution. So how can I record a Skype call using a hardware based voice recorder?
One way I discovered online was to use a very clever hack using the Audio-Technica AT2005USB.
First – plug in the USB cable you received with the Microphone and connect the microphone to your computer. This basically sets it up as your skype Microphone. Which means the person you are interviewing will be able to hear you.
Second – plug in the microphone using your XLR cable into the #1 input on the bottom of the ZoomH4n. That will enable the ZoomH4n capture your voice when you are on the Skype call. Your voice is going both to your PC or Mac for the Skype call, but now also to the ZoomH4n to be recorded.
Third – because there is a headphone jack on the microphone (so you can hear what you are saying) your PC or mac treats the Audio-technica USB/XLR microphone as both a microphone, and a speaker. Which means you can use a CMS105 1/8 inch TRS to 1/4 Inch TRS Adapter Cable to connect that headphones jack directly to the second input on the bottom of your ZoomH4n. This will enable you to record the voice of the person or people you are interviewing on the Skype or Lync call.
Finally – we need to be able to hear the person talking! Plug your headphones into the headphones jack on the ZoomH4n, and hit the record button once so you can test your levels and hear the people on the other end. When you are ready to record (with the permission of the people on the call)… hit record again!
Here is the YouTube video from Ray Ortega which inspired me to buy this gear, and has enabled me to quickly record some great guests on the podcast