Long Distance Interviews
There are many services on the www that allows you to hold a conversation world wide, with several other participants, at the same time. These services are referred to as VOIP. (Voice over Internet Protocol). While these services are great for communicating with friends and family, they are extremely unsuitable for doing professional interviews. There are several reasons for this.
- VOIP uses compression for their audio. In order to DE-compress the audio, you will need to invest in hardware that starts around $700.00 for one line.
- You will be subject to Audio Fade, Power Outages, Computer Crashes, Software Crashes as well as Service Providers going off line. These are just a few things that could effect your recording.
There is a very easy way to do a long distance interview, with very little equipment needed. You can still use Skype, Google Hangouts and programs of this type, to talk with each other. The most important thing is to have each person involved, record their side of the conversation, then mix and master all the tracks down to the mastered audio file.
If the other person does not have the professional recording equipment needed, to record their side of the conversation, don’t worry. Have them use their smart phone. Yes, their smart phone. Let say that you are having a interview with someone across the world, and you want to use Skype to hold this conversation. Even if the connection on Skype starts to fade in and out, it will have no effect on your conversation being recorded, if the other parties are recording their end, separate from the Skype call. If it sounds complicated, it’s not!
Example 1. If someone wanted to interview me and use Google Hangouts, I would record my end of the conversation as I am set up to record audio. I would record into my external digital recorded as the primary and into Reaper as my back up. Once the interview was over, I would send these files to the person doing the interview, so they can mix and master the audio down and then prep it for distribution over the www.
Example 2. If someone wanted to interview me and use Google Hangouts, and I DO NOT have the equipment needed to record my end of the conversation, I can use my smart phone. I would be talking on Google Hangouts using my Logic Headset, purchased at Wal-Mart for $29.00. I would have my iPhone sitting on a small box, about 6 inched from my mouth, positioned about 3 inches below my mouth, to reduce the plosives. Once the interview was over, I would send this file to the person doing the interview, so they can mix and master the audio down and then prep it for distribution over the www.
By doing the interview this way, I have just removed all the things that could go wrong, as mentioned at the beginning of this article. How well does it work? If you set up your smart phone properly, 100% perfection, every single time! Few people realize that is just about impossible to make your smart phone recorder peak, even in extremely loud environments.
There are many free file storage programs on the www at this time. I recommend using Drop Box for your file uploads. They have a free basic service that allows you to store up to two gigs. What I did was simply create a folder called “audio uploads” and then made it “private”. This now allows me to assign a link to this folder, that I can now e-mail to whomever I interview.
All they have to do is click on the link I sent, it will take them to my Drop Box page that has a “Browse” button. They click that button, then go to where they have the audio file on their system. They select that file and click “upload”. Once they do this, I will receive an e-mail telling me their files are there. I retrieve their files and start my mixing and mastering process. It really is simple to do.
If nothing else, you have one more method you can use, to help you product the best sounding audio file, under these conditions. Give it a try with your own phone and you may just make this your “go to” method for recording, your long distance interviews.