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Old May 19th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #16
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Re: Recording from telephone

I don't need full duplex at all. As for the sound quality of recording off a phone line, I will leave that to the producer to decide. I've explained the problems in quality there to him. I'm waiting to hear back from him. Like most things, this will come down to budget, I suppose. Thanks for all the tips from everyone.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 11:32 AM   #17
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Re: Recording from telephone

Olympus makes this $20 mic:

JR.com: Olympus TP-7 Telephone Adapter Multipurpose Earphone/Telephone Pickup in Cell Phone Headset Accessories

Which you wear in your ear while talking on the phone, to pick up both sides of the call. It requires low voltage computer style phantom power which can be provided by a zoom h1 or I just verified that it woks with my Sennheiser G3 wireless transmitter.

It probably isn't appropriate for the situation the original poster is talking about, but can be useful in more run and gun situations as well as when finding a cable for cell phone audio is difficult.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #18
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Re: Recording from telephone

Ever since cellphones all went digital, the audio is wretched at best.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #19
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Re: Recording from telephone

I'm going to try to make sure land lines are used.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #20
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Re: Recording from telephone

A unit with an adjustable null is also handy.
I keep a Gentner in the studio for phone patch direction for my VO work, and for recording political tags when in season. I always cringe when I have to use audio from a POTS line. But hey, it is what it is.

Good Luck!

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Old May 20th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #21
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Re: Recording from telephone

And now I'm told by the producer that the phone in will require full duplex. Fortunately, this will not take place at the same time as the main commentary I'll be recording. My goal at this point is to make sure they are all on land lines, at least. I've told them that my preference is to skip the phone thing, and actually record them in person, but they are stuck on the phone in idea, so I'll just make the best of that and let them know what to expect up front.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 09:50 AM   #22
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Re: Recording from telephone

When you say "them," I hope you plan to record just one incoming call at a time. Trying to do more will be a serious problem.

If you need full duplex, in order to feed program audio to the "talent" and simultaneously record their comments, then you need something with a very sophisticated hybrid circuit that will balance or "null" as well as possible. In that case, you're talking Gentner or Comrex and big bucks.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 11:45 AM   #23
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Re: Recording from telephone

Yes, I'll be recording one caller at a time, but the director would like to be on the phone with them and record both his voice and the caller's voice. I can just mic him up at our location, though. Here's what I'm looking at on the cheap end...
Rolls Corporation Rolls PI9 Phone Patch Telephone Audio Interface Phone Interface & Dist. at Markertek.com
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Old May 21st, 2011, 02:20 PM   #24
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Re: Recording from telephone

You will also want to feed a mix minus signal back down your phone line.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 03:08 PM   #25
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Re: Recording from telephone

Andy, it appears that coupler connects directly to the incoming "POTS" telephone line, and not to the earphone terminals of the telephone.

If that is the case, then the director's (outgoing) voice will be recorded at a much higher level than the talent's (incoming) voice. Because of this imbalance in levels, you may also have problems with the mic in the local (director's) telephone picking up stray noise in the room, etc. And you will not be able to feed program audio out to the talent at the same time you are recording his voice.

For your particular situation, a coupler is barely adequate... you really would be better off with a hybrid type of device, which has an input for your (outgoing) program audio, and an output for the (incoming) record audio. More complexity = more $$
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Old May 21st, 2011, 03:35 PM   #26
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Re: Recording from telephone

Thanks Greg. This is the hybrid device I'm looking at...
JK Audio JK Audio Auto Hybrid Telephone Audio Interface Phone Interface & Dist. at Markertek.com

Its really going to come down to what they want to spend on this, I'm afraid. I'm trying to push them in the "quality" direction, as opposed to "cheap", but who knows how that will end up. I'm not getting paid for this gig. Its a favor to the director of a feature I worked on. I'll get to keep whatever ends up being bought for this, though, so I guess in a way, I am getting paid. It would be nice to be able to have a piece of gear that I could use again if needed. Something else to add to my gear list and help sell my services.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 08:11 AM   #27
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Re: Recording from telephone

That might be a step in the right direction... I'm not familiar with that brand.

It does have separate input and output jacks, and states it has a 20dB loss through the hybrid, so it's certainly a lot better than using a one-way couplers with a traditional telephone.

It is a passive transformer hybrid, so the null will probably not be as good as with an active circuit like a Gentner or Comrex. As long as the director and distant "talent" don't talk over each other, you can fix it in the mix. Good null is more important with live broadcast applications (e.g. call-in shows).

Of course the director will have to use a local studio mic, through a mixer... the mixer's line level out will feed into the hybrid. The return audio from the hybrid will have to be amplified, then recorded, as well as fed to the director's headphones.

You are going to be doing a lot of work for free! If the hybrid is your only pay, you should push for Gentner or Comrex, IMHO!

Good luck with it all.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:24 AM   #28
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Re: Recording from telephone

Thanks for the tips, Greg. Yeah, this is for a feature I did location sound on which is going into distribution on DVD. I figure, I'm getting 2% of the DVD sales, so what the heck. Also, this same director has another feature he's going to be shooting this fall, so I want to be in extra good with him so I get that job as well.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 12:46 PM   #29
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Re: Recording from telephone

That's great, Andy.

BTW, a friend of mine (in Richfield, NC) has suggested I consider moving to Asheville or Davidson for "semi retirement." I would actually like to remain active doing audio and/or radio work, just retire from other more mundane things. I know this is OT but if you care to send any comments as a PM, I would be interested.

Thanks.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #30
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Re: Recording from telephone

Even using a really good hybrid like the Telos One that I have, it is for all practical purposes a necessity for everyone on your end to listen with headphones and not loudspeakers in the room.
Not only because the phone is duplex and the null or mix-minus may not be perfect, but so they can hear anything wrong they are doing, like breath pops, or bumping on the mics or mic stands.
Oddly, many people object strongly to this, so make sure they know it ahead of time and that you have the ability to adjust each person's monitor mix individually.
This adds a monitor mixer, headphone amps, multiple headphones (or sports type headsets with mics), headphone extension cables, etc. etc.
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