Need help figuring out a failsafe solution for recording a phonecall interview!

I have tried using all kinds of apps but they are all unreliable or something is wrong with my phone, I don’t know. So I need a setup which will work under the following circumstances:

  1. The person is calling me on a phone (either mobile or a landline) because they do not have internet access while on the road

  2. I need to get a high quality recording of our conversation

  3. I am in a silent room and have access to a number of things:

  • Internet
  • A mobile phone (it’s a bit dodgy, so I never rely on apps on it working properly)
  • a laptop
  • a microphone
  • a headset
  • Bluetooth speakers (good quality)

How do I set up something that will not fail with additional options A. B. C so there is no way this can go wrong?

@alberto @matthias @johncoate ?

I’d try the following:

  1. Connect the headphones connector of the mobile phone to “Line In” of the computer. This needs an adapter cable. In the simplest case a 3.5 mm audio jack cable male/male will do. If the computer has no “Line In”, get a USB audio interface that adds this, or try going into “Mic” instead. This should work but only if you set the speaker volume on the mobile phone low enough to prevent clipping.

  2. Connect your headset to the computer. If you used the “Mic” input in step 1, you can either use a Bluetooth headset instead, or get an Y adapter to mix the two inputs going into Mic (but that will make it more difficult to adjust the audio levels relative to each other).

  3. Adjust the computer’s sound settings. You need to make at least the following adjustments:

    • Audio input. Record from the mix of both the “Line In” and “Mic” inputs at once. Or just from Mic, if you routed the mobile phone to “Mic” in step 1.

    • Sound levels. Speak in a loud voice into the headset, and have somebody call on the mobile phone and speak with a loud voice. Record that and make sure the waveform does not hit the top while doing that. If it does (“clipping”), adjust the input volume down. If volume is too low, adjust up.

    • Monitor output. There should be a setting to allow you hearing the “Line In” or “Mic” input at the same time as recording it, on your headset. That’s needed, as the phone’s speaker will not work, thinking it is in headset mode.

  4. Record with Audacity. Audacity is a great open source audio software. There are more ways to record, of course. Note that you’ll speak into two microphones at once: the headset, from which the computer will record; and the mobile phone, for the call.

I’ll bring some sound adapter cables tomorrow. Maybe we find what you need in there …

If you do this stuff more often, investing in a USB audio interface for multi-channel recording would make sense, and simplify this setup.

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What time do you plan to be there? My call is at 7pm

Will be tomorrow at ~16:30 at The Reef.

No guarantees that I’ll have the right cables, though. Best effort basis only :slight_smile:

:slight_smile: do you have a photo of what the ones I need look like? will go and buy some just to be 100% sure.

If both your computer and phone have 3.5 mm audio jack connectors, then you want a cable that has these plugs on both ends:

If either computer or phone have a different socket than for these plugs, then you want an adapter cable that fits.

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