Review: Call Recorder

Written by: Chris Christensen

Categories: Reviews

CallRecorderI have a podcast that includes an interview almost every week. None of those interviews have been done face to face and some of them have not even been done from the same continent as the interviewee since my show is a travel show. I record all of my interviews using Skype. Sometimes I am doing a Skype to Skype connection or sometimes I am using Skype out to call a normal phone number. My hardware setup is a headset microphone (Plantronics) and a laptop. I do not have an external mixing board.

One of the problems I have had is that if I don’t set the sound levels correctly balancing my sound level and the guest’s sound level then I can create a lot of extra work for myself in post production. In the worst case while the guest is speaking I am doing my Darth Vadar breathing because my sound level is two high relative to the guest.

At MacWorld I picked up a new program that helps solve this problem: Call Recorder from ecamm network. Call Recorder installs itself in Skype and allows you to record a Skype connection or call but to put each side of the conversation on a different track. So later on when you are editing the conversation you can change the volume of the two tracks independently.

First the good news. It works and seems to work reliably from my experience with the program so far. It records the conversation to a Quicktime .mov file with two tracks.

Now the bad news. It does work, but will only record two tracks even if you are in a Skype connection with 3 people. Your voice will get recorded on one track and all other users will be recorded on the other track.

If you want to add the audio to a sound editing program like Garageband you have to first split the movie into two different movies (one per track) using an included utility program. Then you will need to convert each of these movies to mp3 or aiff using yet another utility program.

But, if you want a reliable software solution to do dual track recording you might want to check out Call Recorder. The software has a free demo and currently sells for $13.46.

There are 8 comments on Review: Call Recorder:

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  1. Dave | Jan 30 2007 - 06:46

    Your right this is a very cool piece of software. To bad it records in .mov format instead of .mp3 or .aiff but I guess we should just be thankful it works at all. Its also to bad that you can only record 1 or 2 callers with it at a time. Otherwise podcasters can run into some expenses getting all the right equipment for recording mutiple people at once. Guess you’d have to use a audio mixer with multiple inputs. Maybe some Apple shareware developer will discover a work around for this problem. Being able to give each caller their own voice track. Everything has it limitations I guess but,its probably great for recording one on one interviews though.

  2. Alex Curtis | Jan 30 2007 - 08:28


    Great review. What is the bitrate of recorded audio? Is it higher quality than say the built-in recording in GizmoProject?


  3. chris2x | Jan 31 2007 - 01:51

    It looks like the highest is 1424.82 kbits/sec. Wow, no wonder those files are large. There are a number of different settings for sound quality. The default setting is no compression.

  4. Dave Cryer | Jan 31 2007 - 07:25

    Nice review Chris, many thanks.
    I have been looking for a solution too and considered giving WireTap Pro from Ambrosia Software a try, though not sure if this’ll record Skype conversations.

    Anyone know of any other solutions to recording Skype to MP3 files?

    Dave Cryer, UK

  5. maccast | Jan 31 2007 - 10:37

    For all my Skype recording I use Audio Hijack Pro and I can say I love it. It has easy setup for Skype recording and applies filters that deal balancing out the sound and levels. I believe it also has an option to separate the tracks into two (like Call Recorder), although I don’t use it.

  6. Jack Hodgson | Feb 04 2007 - 07:30

    I’ve been using Call Recorder to record my podcast “Uncontrolled Airspace” for 6 months now, and I like it a lot.

    I’ve had conference calls with as many as three incoming callers recorded this way.

    The recording to .mov file thing is a pain in the neck, but I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to “export” from Quicktime Player as an aiff file. In the “Options” setting dialog, set “Channels” to “3 discrete channels”. I then import it into Audacity where I delete the third channel, which is, oddly, a duplicate of the incoming phone connection.

    I had a good talk with the ecamm guys at Macworld. I pitched them on the feature of having every connection in a conference call be on its own track. They liked the idea, but said it would require the cooperation of Skype to accomplish. They said they would look into it.

  7. Wizardgold | Feb 05 2007 - 03:48

    I saw the posting and I just had to give it a whirl. Nice quick download and easy install. Best thing though is that it works a treat.
    I got the 7 day trial version of the Call Recorder and whether I buy it or not is a no brainer at that price.
    Looking forward to doing some interviews now for my Podcast on Forex trading.

    On the subjecy of Forex trading I have to use Windows software to do that within a Parallels machine running on my iMac. Why is it that there is nothing out there for trading forex on the Mac. I did find one Forex broker with a java based trading platform but no way did it work as well as a proper program.

    Is that what we can look foward to in general when the software people say lets just do it in Windows because the user can go and get Parallels or Bootcamp.

    I don’t like the idea of Bootcamp as I want to run Mac software and having to reboot to be able to get at it and close any software like the Forex trader I am using. if I was going to do that what is the point of having a Mac?

    If you have an interest in Betfair trading or Forex trading check out the Wizardgold Podcasts – You can find me in iTunes.

    Right I am off to interview someone for the podcast with that new Call Recorder……..

  8. chris2x | Feb 05 2007 - 03:29

    Jack, I talked to the ecamm guys about one track per connection also. Now if we can get everyone else to bug them…