Recording both sides of your Skype call at a consistent volume

CallBurner 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 CallBurner 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 CallBurner records).

4.       Once you have Skype setup so you get great sounding calls, you can tweak CallBurner 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, CallBurner 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.

Ensuring the best possible Skype call recording quality

To ensure the best possible recording quality when using CallBurner, 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 CallBurner 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 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, CallBurner will check whether conversion to that format is possible. If it is not, CallBurner 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 CallBurner.

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 CallBurner recording functionality.

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

How to configure a periodic tone to inform party(s) on a call that the call is being recorded

CallBurner can be configured to automatically play a tone to the other parties on a call when the call recording commences.

Follow these steps to inform other parties on a Skype call that the call is being recorded.  (These steps assume you have Skype and CallBurner installed.  If you don’t have CallBurner installed already, you can download it here).

1. Open CallBurner by double-clicking on the CallBurner icon in the Windows System Tray.

2. Click on ‘Options Tab’, and click the ‘Configure’ button:

CallBurner Options Button

3. On the Options dialog, click the ‘Recording tab’:

Skype Recording Options

4. Check the ‘Make other party(s) aware that you are recording (they will hear a periodic tone)’ option and click ‘OK’.

5. Record Skype calls using CallBurner as you normally would and the other part(y)s on the call will now hear a periodic tone to inform them that the call is being recorded.

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at callburner@callburner.com for assistance.

Audio formats which CallBurner can record Skype calls to

Follow these steps to record Skype calls, using your choice of format and bitrate. (These steps assume you have Skype and CallBurner installed).

1. CallBurner defaults to MP3, 32kBit/s, 24kHz. You can alter this to use other formats and bitrates supported by the codecs installed on your machine. (Windows comes with a number of codecs preinstalled. Other products you may have installed on your PC may have installed other codecs. You can also obtain codecs – some for free, and some for a fee – from other vendors/web sites.)  

Note: This article is based on the codecs that were present based on a clean install of Windows XP with no service packs applied.

To alter the format and bitrate, click the CallBurner “Configure” button:

CallBurner 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. CallBurner comes with the following preset configurations.  To access these presets, click on the drop down button under the ‘Name’ title in the above ‘Select an audio format’ window.  When the drop down button is clicked, you are presented with these presets:

Audio Format Presets

Note that the preset options are:

  • CD Quality
  • Radio Quality
  • Telephone Quality

If you click on each of the presets, you can see the relevant recording format and attributes for each.

4. If you click on the drop down button next to the ‘Format’ title in the ‘Select an audio format’ window, you will see the following range of format options.

Note: this list will vary depending on which codecs you have installed on your computer:

Audio Formats

Note that MPEG Layer-3 (or MP3) is the default selected format.

5. If you click on the drop down button next to the ‘Attributes’ title in the ‘Select an audio format’ window, you will see the following range of Attribute options (note: this list will vary depending on which codecs you have installed on your computer):

Audio Attributes

Fine tune the “Format” and “Attributes” settings to the format you desire, then click OK.

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.

6. Record Skype calls using CallBurner 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 – just email us at callburner@callburner.com for assistance.

How CallBurner’s Anti-Drift recording keeps your Skype recordings in sync

CallBurner has built-in “Anti-Drift” technology to keep both sides of the call synchronized.

Often, the speakers and microphone device drivers on a PC have their own separate internal clocks.  Although these all run at approximately the same speed, there are slight variations.  These variations can build up over time and on long calls can become quite significant, causing the recording from the microphone (your side of the call) to drift out of synchronization with the recording from the speakers (the other side of the call).

If you are recording long interviews, e.g. for podcasting, this can be a significant problem.

To overcome this, CallBurner has “Anti-Drift”, which monitors the clock speeds and automatically adjusts for any variations, by making small, virtually undetectable changes to the audio recorded for either side of the call.  You can see if this is occurring on your system by going to the “Stats” tab and looking at the “Pads” and “Trims” statistics during a call.

“Anti-Drift” is enabled by default – there is no need to turn on any options.

Got a question about Anti-Drift?  Leave a comment on this post and we will get back to you.

How to record each party on a Skype call to a separate file

Follow these steps to record each party on a Skype call to a separate file.  You can use this CallBurner feature if you require each party to have their separate audio track.  One reason for recording each party to a separate file would would possibly be in the event of an interview (such as on a podcast for example) where the interviewer would like to edit the conversation in a later stage during post-production. Having each party in a separate file, gives you a lot of control and flexibility when it comes to editing the call later (i.e. one side of the call could be a too loud or too quiet and you can easily adjust the volume levels to make the overall conversation more audible).

These steps assume you have Skype and CallBurner installed. Do you need help with installing CallBurner, or perhaps installing Skype?

To configure CallBurner to record each party on a Skype call to a separate file, follow these steps:

1. Click on the CallBurner chilli icon in the system tray to bring up the CallBurner Call Monitor window as shown below:

2. Click on the ‘Options’ tab (4th tab from the left) as shown below, and then click on ‘Configure…’:

CallBurner Options Button

3. When you see the ‘CallBurner Options’ dialog, select the “Recording” (as shown below):

Skype Recording Options

4. Note the ‘Advanced Recording Options’ panel of the Recording Options dialog.  In this dialog, you can configure audio encoding options, audio format options etc.  More information on audio encoding and audio format options.  To configure CallBurner to record each side of the call separately, you need to check the ‘Store raw audio in addition to the audio recorded in the format above’ checkbox.  When this option is checked, CallBurner will record a single file with combined audio to the file format specified in the ‘Audio Format’ section, and an additional two .wav files – one for your side of the call and one for the other side.  The separate wav files contain raw audio (as in, uncompressed audio) which can be then edited in your post production software of choice.

Note: CallBurner names each of the wav files with the following names, in the directory specified in the ‘Folder to store recordings in’ setting:

  • ‘This side.wav’ – This file contains audio only from your side of the Skype call
  • ‘Other side.wav’ – This file contains audio only from the other side of the Skype call

CallBurner can record ecah party to a separate file on the the following types of Skype calls:

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at callburner@callburner.com for assistance.

How to record phone calls made from ordinary phones (landlines and cell phones) to your SkypeIn number

Follow these steps to record calls made from an ordinary phone (landlines and cell phones) to your SkypeIn number. These steps assume you have Skype and CallBurner installed. Do you need help with installing CallBurner, or perhaps installing Skype?

1. You will need to purchase a SkypeIn number if you don’t already have one.  A SkypeIn number is a Skype feature which allows people to call you from a normal phone.  SkypeIn works just like a standard phone number – i.e. for the USA, you could have a SkypeIn number such as +1 987 555 5555 for example.  When someone calls that number from an ordinary phone, it rings through to your computer where you are signed in on Skype.

Tip: On the SkypeIn page (link above), you can select from a range of different SkypeIn numbers in different countries.  The best part is that you can select a local number in your local exchange so that people can call you on Skype for the cost of a local call.

2. Click on the CallBurner chilli icon in the system tray to bring up the CallBurner Call Monitor window as shown below:

3. Click on the ‘Options’ tab (4th tab from the left) as shown below, and then click on ‘Configure…’:

CallBurner Options Button

4. When you see the ‘CallBurner Options’ dialog, select the “Recording” (as shown below):

Skype Recording Options

5. Note the ‘SkypeOut and SkypeIn’ subheading on the above dialog. The following options pertain to both SkypeOut calls (calls made from Skype to ordinary phones), and SkypeIn calls (calls made from ordinary phones to a Skype account):

  • Record my voice only – This option will only record your side of the call (as in, your voice) in the event of a SkypeIn call with another party calling your SkypeIn number. If you select this option, you will only be able to hear your voice during call playback. This option is sometimes used by sales companies who want to record their side of the conversation for training purposes.
  • Record all voices – This option records both your side of the SkypeIn call and all of the other parties in the call.

6. This dialog also allows you to configure advanced CallBurner options such as which audio format to record to, which audio encoding to use etc. See our How to record Skype calls using your choice of format and bit rate page for more information on these options.

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at callburner@callburner.com for assistance.

How to record phone calls made from Skype to ordinary phones (landlines and cell phones)

Follow these steps to record Skype calls to ordinary phones (landlines and cell phones).  These steps assume you have Skype and CallBurner installed.  Do you need help with installing CallBurner, or perhaps installing Skype?

1. You will need to purchase Skype Credit to make Skype calls to ordinary phones if you don’t already have credit.  The term for making calls to ordinary phones with Skype is known as SkypeOut.  SkypeOut calls are relatively inexpensive compared to making calls on ordinary phones (especially when it comes to making international calls).  Here is Skype’s list of SkypeOut calling rates for your convenience. Tip: On the SkypeOut calling rates page, be sure to select your local currency from the “Show rates in” currency drop down box.

2. Click on the CallBurner chilli icon in the system tray to bring up the CallBurner Call Monitor window as shown below:

3. Click on the ‘Options’ tab (4th tab from the left) as shown below, and then click on ‘Configure…’:

CallBurner Options Button

4. When you see the ‘CallBurner Options’ dialog, select the “Recording” (as shown below):

Skype Recording Options

5. Note the ‘SkypeOut and SkypeIn’ subheading on the above dialog.  The following options pertain to both SkypeOut calls (calls made from Skype to ordinary phones), and SkypeIn calls (calls made from ordinary phones to a Skype account):

  • Record my voice only – This option will only record your side of the call (as in, your voice) in the event of a SkypeOut call with another party, or a multi-party Skype call (i.e. a Skype Conference, SkypeCast etc).  If you select this option, you will only be able to hear your voice during call playback.  This option is sometimes used by sales companies who want to record their side of the conversation for training purposes.
  • Record all voices – This option records both your side of the SkypeOut call and all of the other parties in the call.

6. This dialog also allows you to configure advanced CallBurner options such as which audio format to record to, which audio encoding to use etc.  See our How to record Skype calls using your choice of format and bit rate page for more information on these options.

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at callburner@callburner.com for assistance.

How to configure CallBurner to store your recorded calls on to a shared network file server

CallBurner can be configured to store the recorded calls you make on a central shared network file server. If you are using CallBurner in a business with multiple computers, you can configure CallBurner on each computer to centrally store the recorded calls. For more information on what a shared network file server, or a “network drive”, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308582.

To configure CallBurner to store the recorded calls you make on a central shared network file server, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Options menu in CallBurner and then click Configure.
  2. Click the Recording tab and then click on the Browse button on the right side of the Folder to store recordings in text box.
  3. Select a Network Drive and path that you would like to store the CallBurner recorded calls on to from the Drives drop-down menu.