Recording both sides of your Skype call at a consistent volume     

Skylook records what you say and hear through Skype.  In order to get the best sounding recordings, you need to make sure that your underlying Skype call sounds as good as it can be.

To ensure that you record your Skype calls at a consistent volume on both sides of the call (your side, and the other side), follow these steps:

1.       Wear a headset instead of using your PC speakers.  Wearing a headset (even a cheap one) can make a huge difference.  If you need a headset, see our range.

2.       Make a few tests calls to one of your Skype contacts. Listen to how the audio sounds during the call and then play back the recorded Skylook file and listen to the audio levels in the recording. Tip: If you can’t find anyone to do a test call with, try calling “echo123″ – Skype’s Call Testing Service. If the audio is still not sounding consistent on both sides, see the Skype Sound Setup Guide, or contact us for help.

3.       Once you have the Skype settings just right for recording, adjust your Windows volume controls for listening comfort (these do not affect the level at which Skylook records).

4.       Once you have Skype setup so you get great sounding calls, you can tweak Skylook to record your calls at higher or lower quality bit-rates & file formats.  We recommend you follow steps 1-3 before trying this step as the best way to get great sounding calls is to make sure the underlying Skype call is as good as it can be.  Out of the box, Skylook is configured to record your Skype calls at a bit-rate & file format which gives lots of clarity without taking up too much disk space.

How to configure whether Skype calls will be recorded automatically or when required     

Follow these steps to configure whether you want your Skype calls to be recorded automatically or when required. (These steps assume you have Outlook, Skype and Skylook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Skylook defaults to automatic recording of all calls when you first install Skylook.

To change this setting click the Skylook “Options” button:
Skylook Options Button

Then click the “Recording” tab and the following will be displayed:
Skype Recording Options

2. Un-check the option “Start recording automatically when each call starts” (on the top left of the dialog box above).

3. Click OK in the Options dialog.

4. Record Skype calls using Skylook as you normally would – calls will now be recorded in the format you selected.

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help. Contact Us for assistance.

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  • How to Record Interviews by Phone or VoIP for Podcast or Broadcast     

    This article shows you how to record phone or VoIP interviews, with high quality, for Podcasting or Broadcasting, with a standard PC, no expensive audio equipment and no prior training in audio production.

    These steps assume you have Outlook installed (see Skylook prerequisites for details). They guide you through:

    • Setting up Skype so that you can make phone and PC-to-PC calls from your PC
    • Setting up recording of calls using Skylook
    • (Optional) Editing of the resulting audio using Audacity

    1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

    2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

    3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to set up Skylook the way you want.

    4. Click this button on the Skylook toolbar:
    Skylook Options Button

    then click the Recording option page and set the options as shown:
    Skype Recording Options

    The key options are: Allow call recording, Start recording automatically when each call starts and Store raw audio in addition to the audio recorded in the format above. The Raw audio folder option defaults to a folder in your “My Documents” directory.

    Setting the options this way means you will get two WAV files for each call, one which is a recording of your voice and one which is a recording of the interviewee. Each WAV file is a digital recording of the actual sound that was picked up by the microphone and played through your headset during the call, and is therefore the highest quality possible for a Skype call.

    If you don’t need ultra-high quality and would prefer to save disk space and/or editing time, leave the Store raw audio… option unchecked instead. This will give you a single MP3 file with you and the interviewee combined. This is sufficient for many purposes.

    If you need high quality but you don’t need yourself and the interviewee split into different sound files, leave the Store raw audio… option unchecked, and instead click the Change button and in the window that appears, set Format to “PCM” and Attributes to “48 kHz, 16 Bit, Mono 93 kb/sec” then click OK.

    Click OK to save your settings.

    5. If the interviewee has Skype, your best option in terms of quality is to conduct the interview over a Skype-to-Skype call. However, in many cases your interviewee won’t have Skype, in which case you will need to conduct the interview by calling a standard land-line or mobile phone using Skype.

    If you need to make a call to a standard phone you will need to purchase Skype Credit. You can buy SkypeOut credit here. If you need to take a call made from a standard phone line, you will need a SkypeIn number. You can purchase a SkypeIn number here if you do not already have one.

    6. Start your phone call or PC-to-PC call, either from Outlook or directly from the Skype application. (Skylook will still record calls that you do not start from within Outlook). (NOTE: Recording this way also works for incoming calls, and for conference calls started directly from the Skype application).

    7. Recording will start automatically, as indicated by the Skylook call window, which will appear at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen:
    Skylook Call Window

    8. You can see more detail about the recording by clicking the “Show Details” button:
    Skylook Call Window - Medium

    9. Conduct the interview, and when finished, hang up the call. (NOTE: It is recommended that you do a small test interview to make sure everything works correctly before conducting a full-scale “real” interview).

    10. In Outlook, click on the “Skylook Conversations” folder. Your conversation, with the attached MP3 or WAV file is listed as an item in the folder.
    Skylook Conversations Folder

    (Can’t find it? Choose “Go > Folder” from the main Outlook menu, then choose “Skylook Conversations” from the list).

    11. To listen to the interview, click on the item. A “Play” button appears in the toolbar:
    Play Button

    Click it to hear the recording.
    Call Playback

    12. If you chose the Store raw audio… option above, click the “Browse” button in the Skylook toolbar:
    Browse to Skype Recording

    This will take you to the folder that contains the two WAV files, one for you and one for the interviewee. (The files are called “This Side.wav” and “Other Side.wav” respectively).

    If you did not choose the Store raw audio… option above, just open the Outlook item and save the attachment somewhere for use in your Podcast or Broadcast. (You can skip the remaining steps as they discuss how to edit and combine the two WAV files. Your attachment already contains your voice and the interviewee combined).

    13. All that remains is to edit the audio ready for podcast or broadcast. There is a free product called Audacity that allows you to do this. Download and install Audacity from here.

    14. Start Audacity, choose File > Open… from the main menu, and choose the file “This Side.wav” that you browsed to above. Your Audacity window should look something like this:
    Audacity 1

    15. Now add the other side of the call by choosing Project > Import Audio… from the main menu, then choosing the file “Other Side.wav”. Your Audacity window should now look something like this (expand the window if you cannot see both audio files):
    Audacity 2

    16. You now have two “tracks” which can be edited independently or together. Usually the main editing you will need to do will be to remove superfluous parts of the interview (e.g. preliminary chat, closing goodbyes). To remove parts of the interview from both tracks, do the following:

    • Click in the top track at the point where you want to delete from.
    • Hold down the SHIFT key
    • Click in the bottom track at the point where you want to delete to. (You can also drag to adjust this point)
    • The selected range is highlighted in both tracks. Click the Play button to listen to the selected section.
    • Press the DELETE button on your keyboard, or the “Cut” icon on the Audacity toolbar

    17. When you have finished editing, choose File > Export as WAV…, File > Export as MP3… or File > Export as Ogg Vorbis… to save a single audio file with both sides of the call combined, using the format of your choice. (NOTE: To export as MP3 you will need to install a separate free program called LAME – Audacity will guide you through this process).

    If you have problems, refer to the troubleshooting tips here, or contact us for help.

    How to limit the space taken by Skype call recordings     

    By default Skylook records calls to MP3 at 32kBit/s, 24kHz. This provides a good trade-off between file size and recording quality.

    However, if you can afford a reduction in quality, and would like the recordings to take up less disk space, you can alter the format that Skylook uses to record calls. Just follow these steps:
    1. Click the Skylook “Options” button:
    Skylook Options Button

    then click the “Recording” tab and the following will be displayed:
    Skype Recording Options

    2. Click the “Audio Format > Change…” button to display the following dialog:
    Skype recording audio formats

    3. Alter the “Format” and “Attributes” settings to the format you desire, then click OK. Choose a format with a low kBit/s. (Note: not all formats are able to be converted from the Skype audio format. If the format you select is not able to be converted, you will be told when you click OK below. If this occurs you will need to select a different format.)

    4. Click OK in the Options dialog.

    5. Record Skype calls using Skylook as you normally would – calls will now be recorded in the format you selected.

    How to record Skype calls to disk instead of an Outlook folder     

    By default, Skylook attaches recorded audio to an item in Outlook.

    If you prefer to store recordings to a folder on your hard disk, follow these steps:

    1. Go to “Tools > Options” from the Skylook toolbar.

    2. Click the “Recording” tab.

    3. Check the option “Store each recording in a folder…”.

    4. Click the “Browse…” button and select the folder into which Skylook should store each recording.

    5. Click OK.

    Ensuring the best possible Skype call recording quality     

    To ensure the best possible recording quality when using Skylook, follow this checklist:

    • Do not run other CPU-intensive applications during recording. (It’s fine to have other applications open, but if any application is doing anything particularly heavy over a period of more than a few seconds this can affect recording quality, as well as the actual Skype call quality.)
    • You can configure Skylook to record at a higher quality. (Note: This will typically result in a larger file size). To see how to do this, click here .

    What to do if the other side of the Skype call is not recorded…     

    If your recording contains your voice but not the other side of the call, check the following:

    • Go to “Tools > Options” in the Skylook Toolbar. Click the “Recording” tab and make sure both options labelled “Record all voices” are checked.
    • If you have other Skype recording products installed, try temporarily uninstalling them. Some Skype recording products are known to interfere with Skylook recording.

    What to do if recording does not work     

    If your call recording is working, but you are not happy with the quality, click here.

    If recording is not working at all, this is usually due to software that you has been installed on your PC previously, that has made adjustments to your Audio codecs and has stopped the default MP3 codec from working correctly. Specialist audio and video products (e.g. capture cards) commonly change the audio codecs during installation.

    If you are happy to use a format other than MP3, or if you want to use a codec other than the default MP3 codec for conversion to MP3, go to “Tools > Options > Recording > Advanced Recording Options > Audio Format > Change” . Choose another format from those available on your machine. When you click OK to close the options dialog, Skylook will check whether conversion to that format is possible. If it is not, Skylook will tell you to try another format.

    If on the other hand you wish to keep the default settings, and use the default MP3 codec that is installed with Windows, follow these steps:

    1. Close Outlook.

    2. Look in your Windows\System32 directory for the file l3codeca.acm (NOTE: That’s a lowercase L at the start of l3codeca.acm, not the digit “one”). If the file exists, go on with Step 3 below.

    If the file does not exist, and you are running Windows XP, install Windows Media Player (via Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Add/Remove Windows Components). If Skylook recording still does not operate, return to this page.

    If the file does not exist, and you are running Windows 2000, install Windows Media Services (via Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Add/Remove Windows Components). If Skylook recording still does not operate, return to this page.

    3 Start the Control Panel.

    4. Open Sounds and Audio Devices.

    5. Click on the Hardware tab, and select Audio Codecs.

    6. Click the Properties button, followed by the Properties tab.

    7. If Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec is listed, proceed with Step 8. Otherwise skip to Step 10.

    8. Click on Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec, then click Properties.

    9. Click on Do not use this audio codec, then click OK. Keep clicking OK until you are back at the Control Panel.

    10. Click the Windows Start button and choose the Run option.

    11. Enter cmd then click OK.

    12. Type C: then press the ENTER key.

    13. Type cd \windows\system32 then press the ENTER key.

    14. Type regsvr32 l3codeca.acm (NOTE: That’s a lowercase L at the start of l3codeca.acm, not the digit “one”) then press the ENTER key.

    15. Follow steps 2 to 5 again.

    16. Click on Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec, then click Properties.

    17. Click on Use this audio codec, then click OK. Keep clicking OK until you are back at the Control Panel.

    18. Start Outlook and test the Skylook recording functionality.

    If you are still having issues, contact Skylook technical support.

    What to do if you can’t find your Skylook recordings     

    By default, Skylook places recordings in a folder called “Skylook Conversations” in your default Outlook mailbox. Also by default, all calls are recorded, but only your side of each call is recorded. All of these defaults are changeable by selecting “Tools > Options” on the Skylook toolbar.

    If you cannot find the Skylook Conversations folder, try selecting “Go > Folder…” from the main Outlook menu. The Skylook Conversations folder should appear in the list.

    When browsing the Skylook Conversations folder, you should see one item for each call that you made since installing Skylook. If you do not see any items, this may be because:

    • Your free trial period has expired (see “Help > About Skylook” in the Skylook toolbar)
    • Your options are set to store conversations to a different folder (see “Tools > Options > General > Save Items To” from the Skylook toolbar)
    • Outlook was not running when the calls were made.
    • Outlook was closed while the call was in progress.
    • The call was a missed call or voicemail / auto-answered call – these appear in the Outlook Inbox folder.

    Each call item in the Skylook Conversations folder has an attached MP3 file by default. If you have call items but there are no attachments. this may be because:

    • Skylook had a problem creating the recording. Read these instructions for resolving recording issues.
    • Skylook is not configured to automatically record all calls (see “Tools > Options > Recording” from the Skylook toolbar: the options “Allow call recording” and “Start recording automatically when each call starts” should both be set, if you want to record all calls. Alternatively just check the “Allow call recording” option to manually record selected calls).
    • Skylook is configured to save recordings to a folder on your hard disk rather than as attachments to your Outlook items. (see “Tools > Options > Recording > Store each recording in a folder”).