Skype Requirements for Guests

SkypecastWe´ve been experimenting with Skyping into the Cyber Sound studios in order to improve the quality of our podcasts. We´ve had good results with Skype — there´s an increase in audio quality and a reduction in travel.

In order to make using Skype the optimum experience, here are a few suggestions which will be useful to you:

  1. Headsets are preferable to microphones. The distance between the speaker and the microphone remains constant, and the podcast guest can listen to the conversation through the headphones rather than speakers, which will nearly eliminate the danger of feedback.
  2. If a selection of microphones is available, one with a unidirectional (cardioid) polar pattern should be chosen. Omni directional or bidirectional (figure-eight) microphones should be avoided.
  3. When non-headset microphones are used, guests should be aware of their distance from them and attempt to maintain that distance throughout the conversation. Doing so will avoid fluctuations in timbre, reverberance, and volume. For most microphones, an ideal distance will probably be between six and twelve inches.
  4. If the option is available, guests should choose a quiet room for the recording. Furniture, curtains, and carpets will all help reduce reverberations and echoes. A few things to avoid would be tiled rooms, places with loud appliances or A/C, barking dogs, etc.

  5. Guests and their microphones should be as far as possible from speakers and computers. Speakers should be turned up only as loud as necessary to hear the other participants in the conversation. Podcast guests should turn off cell phones or other wireless devices during the recording. (Switching a cell phone to silent isn’t sufficient because it’s not necessarily the ring we’re concerned with, but the annoying (and very loud) sound of radio interference being picked up by the computer).
  6. Computer alert sounds should be muted during the recording.
  7. Skype’s own notification sounds can be switched off using the application’s preferences panel.
  8. Podcast guests should also close all other applications running on their pc or laptop other than Skype itself.