August 21, 2014
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The making of a podcast (part 4): The final piece of the puzzle Dateline: RIT, Podcasts

This is the long-awaited final segment in a series of Tiger Beat Blog posts on the making of a podcast (specifically, “Dateline: RIT – The Podcast”).

First, a refresher. Last time, I described how the purchase of a Marantz PMD660 portable digital recorder helped overcome audio quality challenges. Remaining, though, was the dilemma of how to enhance poor telephone audio quality (remember, I merely sought good phone quality, not perfect).

After experimenting with myriad configurations utilizing a Griffin iMic and RadioShack recording control/telephone pick-up device, less-than-desirable telephone audio quality persisted. Although I hold out hope that an elusive 1/8″-female-to-XLR mic cord might help achieve better phone audio quality, the ultimate solution was surprisingly simple:


Skype is a VoIP—or, Voice over Internet Protocol—broadband telephone service used to place phone calls from a computer. With some finagling, I’m able to record the voices of those I call directly onto my Marantz recorder. You might wonder why I don’t record directly into GarageBand, the audio-editing software that I use. That’s because Skype isn’t configured to easily record phone conversations into audio-editing software programs. So, instead I grab the telephone audio from my computer using my iMic, record into my Marantz, transfer the .wav files to my computer (via the USB port), and drag the audio files into GarageBand. Though it may seem complicated, it’s actually quite simple. Best of all, the resulting telephone audio quality is great.

As of this month, Skype is no longer free, but it’s still quite reasonably priced. So, sign up and ‘Skype me’ sometime!

A final note about “Dateline: RIT – The Podcast”: After much searching, the source of the hugely popular wire-service teletype machine sound-effects audio bed was It was the best $6 I ever spent! (Plus, I love the Web site’s name :-)

See you on the pod!

  1. Ralph Whitbeck
    Jan 19

    I'm not quite sure I understand what you are doing using Skype to call land lines? Are you interviewing people over the phone? Why not ask them to install skype in that case? A skype to skype call has far superior quality then a skype to landline call.

  2. Mike Saffran
    Jan 19

    Yes, I'm making Skype-to-landline calls. Squeaky clean. But as for asking profs to install Skype, it's much easier for me to simply pick up the Skype phone and call them, rather than needing to explain what Skype is (even though this is RIT, some undoubtedly would be unfamiliar with it) and that they need to download and install it so that I can call them on their computers. Plus, although I think Skype's great, it ultimately is their decision about what programs to put on their computers. "Can I call you?" is all that I ask of them.

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