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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #1
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Recording audio over the phone?

I have a client who may want sound bites for a video from various offices around the world. There is a VERY SHORT turnaround time on this and there is a degree of uncertainty if any of the offices have access to a digital recorder to make the recordings and email mp3s or any other audio files.

Can anyone recommend hardware that might provide decent audio over a phone line (call in)?

Thanks

Reed
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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #2
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You could start here:

RadioShack.com - telephone recording search results

Or....you could use PhoneValet - it's a message system and may be overkill for what you want....

PhoneValet Message Center

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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #3
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Be VERY VERY careful not to run afoul of wiretapping laws. They are stringent can carry Federal penalties. And they are NO JOKE.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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The best and very affordable solution I have found is from Dynametric. I have their TMP-636S and have used just about all of their gadgets. Very good sound and easy to use. There are a variety of configurations and you can plug most right into a laptop for quick recording.


DynaMetric Offers Telephone Recording Equipment and Other Phone Recording Device - Home
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Be VERY VERY careful not to run afoul of wiretapping laws. They are stringent can carry Federal penalties. And they are NO JOKE.
This is not for covert purposes. The folks on the other end are basically giving a phone interview to be used in a video.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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If they are being recorded, it's always a good thing to ask permission to record them at the beginning of the recording, even if you are 100% sure that they will say yes. It's a good habit to develop.

Regarding equipment, beware the cheap stuff. We bought a 2-3 hundred dollar phone interface for our live, remote corporate meeting/presentations. We had electrical (not just acoustic) feedback problems integrating it with our live sound system. At one meeting everything was rolling along fine and we got a big BANG and their line went dead. We now have a $2,000 box used by radio stations and we finally have good sound. I believe that it's from JK Audio, but I don't know the model number offhand.

Reliability won't be a crucial for you if you're not doing a live event, but you'll want a good unit for sound quality reasons. I'd look for stuff designed for radio station use.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I was looking at some of the JK gear. Basically, the folks calling in will be calling in specifically to add their "voice" to the project. Not unlike when my son phones in an audition for voice-over work.

I just want to be sure the quality does not sound too much like a 'tinny' sounding phone.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #8
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Not sure about the quality but if you called over SKYPE I believe Audio Hijack Pro could record the conversation. Maybe someone else knows for sure.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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SKYPE is a GREAT way to do this, and the quality of audio (dependent on their mic of course) is WAY better that a voice line. If you do use a telephone line, the Telos One is one of my favorite phone hybrids. It's about $1200, but it has balanced XLR in/out and constantly optimizes the quality between send to caller/caller output. The JK stuff is good, and Gentner make many good phone couplers (one way) and hybrids (two way).

Another thought would be the SlingBox/SlingCatcher. You can even get video to go with your audio with this combo...
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #10
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I use a Gentner hybrid coupler for phone feeds.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #11
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Recording a telephone conversation, via traditional telephone landline, will always sound "tinny" as the phone passband is 300 to 3300 khz, iirc. So any means of communication that has a wider bandwidth would sound better in that regard. OT, it annoys me how many radio spots have people on phone-filter effects, trying to sound like they are being "interviewed". Nobody cuts radio spots over a phone... (gripe finished) /Battle Vaughan

PS: try B&H Photo or Markertek for various phone-patch and hybrid devices at any number of different prices and qualities.../bv


Edit: doh, that should be 300 to 3300 hz, not khz. But it is a very limited audio passband at any rate. /bv

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; March 13th, 2010 at 01:01 PM. Reason: correcton
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #12
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Thanks Battle

I'm fortunate enough to live within 30 mins drive of B&H. Well, maybe fortunate is NOT the right word as I usually spend more than I need to! I'll check out their offerings next week.

I'm still hoping I can get the client to send in files but if not, I'll settle for the phone-in.

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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #13
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For starters, make sure you are using landlines, not cell phones.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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If your on a budget, the Rolls PI9 is probably the cheapest 'pro audio' interface. JK Audio also makes a number telecom interfaces starting at under $100usd.
Like Marco said, "use landlines"... On both ends if possible.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #15
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The cheapest $5 "computer microphone" or headset and Skype beats all but the most expensive traditional telephone-circuit solutions. The internet data connection bandwidth is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE greater than anything you can push through a traditional audio telephone circuit.
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