Saturday, June 28, 2014

Handy Phone Recording Rig Improves Webinar Audio

Sometimes high fidelity takes a back seat to content. In this case, a company that does a webinar series asked for my help in cleaning up and streamlining their audio. I heard their previous webcast and, wow was it bad! Way too much data compression. Intelligibility was suffering. Surely I could do better.

I was asked to record the panelists in different cities in advance of the event, sequence their audio with other voice recordings and create a master .wav file that would be the bulk of the presentation. There would be a live Q&A and a pre-recorded good bye. The webinar would run a little less than an hour. I was also hired to be on site for the show to help the producer.

There are lots of ways to get audio off a phone line. Perhaps the easiest is a phone hybrid and I just happened to have a JK AutoHybrid in my bag of tricks. The phone line plugs into the hybrid and although it has XLR in and out, it has no level adjustments.

Between the hybrid and Pro Tools, I put a Sound Devices MixPre-D so that I could adjust levels as needed. I could have used the MixPre-D's USB out to get into the computer, but chose my RME ADI-8 DS A/D converter. It uses ADAT optical to get into my Digidesign DIGI003R.