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Record a VoIP Call

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have a 2012 MBP with Mountain Lion, voip.ms service, Zoiper, SoundFlower, a USB Headset and Audacity.

When I try and record phone calls, all I get is the other person's voice.

Does anyone know how to configure my Mac's Sound Preferences and SoundFlower to capture the entire conversation?

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #2 of 23
Just so you know, if you are recording conversations without the other persons permission you're probably breaking federal wiretap laws. You will need to audibly "warn" each caller or ask for their permission.

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post #3 of 23
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
Just so you know, if you are recording conversations without the other persons permission you're probably breaking federal wiretap laws. You will need to audibly "warn" each caller or ask for their permission.

 

No, see, he works for the NSA, so those laws don’t apply to him.

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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, see, he works for the NSA, so those laws don’t apply to him.

I'm guessing DoubleDee is a 'she' from the name Debbie being appended to the post and also from the profile picture, which I would hazard a guess has some link to the username.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee 
Does anyone know how to configure my Mac's Sound Preferences and SoundFlower to capture the entire conversation?

If you go into /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup, there's a way to add multiple inputs. Click the plus and then create an aggregate device. Select built-in mic and soundflower, this is the aggregate input. If you have headphones, you would want to create a multi-output too with headphones and soundflower selected. In system prefs > sound, you'd set the output to be your multi-output and input to be your aggregate input. In say Quicktime, set the recording input to your aggregate input. You can test it by just playing a Youtube video or iTunes music while you talk into the mic. You can adjust the relative volumes in the audio MIDI setup app by opening the triangle and choosing each input/output.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Just so you know, if you are recording conversations without the other persons permission you're probably breaking federal wiretap laws. You will need to audibly "warn" each caller or ask for their permission.

I am conducting interviews for a news article, and Yes, I know about that, but thanks anyhow.


Debbie
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

I am conducting interviews for a news article, and Yes, I know about that, but thanks anyhow.


Debbie

Alright. Just wanted to make that clear...y'know, for the kids.

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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, see, he works for the NSA, so those laws don’t apply to him.

I'm guessing DoubleDee is a 'she' from the name Debbie being appended to the post and also from the profile picture, which I would hazard a guess has some link to the username.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee 
Does anyone know how to configure my Mac's Sound Preferences and SoundFlower to capture the entire conversation?

If you go into /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup, there's a way to add multiple inputs. Click the plus and then create an aggregate device. Select built-in mic and soundflower, this is the aggregate input. If you have headphones, you would want to create a multi-output too with headphones and soundflower selected. In system prefs > sound, you'd set the output to be your multi-output and input to be your aggregate input. In say Quicktime, set the recording input to your aggregate input. You can test it by just playing a Youtube video or iTunes music while you talk into the mic. You can adjust the relative volumes in the audio MIDI setup app by opening the triangle and choosing each input/output.

Yep, I'm all woman!! 1wink.gif

As far as your advice, I found a tutorial online - which I lost when FireFox crashed - that said the same thing.

I tried that, but it still doesn't work.

I must say on a side note that Mac's have the most FUBAR'ed way of doing sound that I have ever seen?! 1oyvey.gif

(This would have taken 60 seconds in my old PC...)

Since I am out of work and broke, I hate to ask this, but is there maybe a more "professional" way of doing what I want that would be less hassle?

If things are this complicated for recording off of a USB Headset and Zoiper, I can't imagine what is involved if I had a Conference Call or I wanted to interview someone on a Microphone at my side while also interviewing someone on VoIP, or some other likely scenario?!

Is there a way to attach screenshots on this forum?


I feel soooo disheartened about all of this, because it is so hard to try and describe things and troubleshoot things over the Internet. (I think if someone was hear sitting next to me, it would be so much easier, but alas, that isn't an option...)

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #8 of 23
Sorry to read about you being unemployed, Debbie. I typed this ("how to record multiple audio sources mac voip") into Google and got some good hits. Try it.

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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

As far as your advice, I found a tutorial online - which I lost when FireFox crashed - that said the same thing.

I tried that, but it still doesn't work.

You sure you did it the way I described? If it's not setup exactly the same way, it won't work. The way I described lets you record both mic input and software audio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

Since I am out of work and broke, I hate to ask this, but is there maybe a more "professional" way of doing what I want that would be less hassle?

You could try an app like audio hijack:

http://www.rogueamoeba.com/audiohijackpro/

It says it does VOIP recording.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

If things are this complicated for recording off of a USB Headset and Zoiper, I can't imagine what is involved if I had a Conference Call or I wanted to interview someone on a Microphone at my side while also interviewing someone on VoIP, or some other likely scenario?!

The sound aggregator should do that. Soundflower just takes output and puts it into an input. The aggregator mixes multiple inputs and if you set Quicktime and system prefs input to the aggregate, it should record all the sources.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If you go into /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup, there's a way to add multiple inputs. Click the plus and then create an aggregate device. Select built-in mic and soundflower, this is the aggregate input. If you have headphones, you would want to create a multi-output too with headphones and soundflower selected. In system prefs > sound, you'd set the output to be your multi-output and input to be your aggregate input. In say Quicktime, set the recording input to your aggregate input. You can test it by just playing a Youtube video or iTunes music while you talk into the mic. You can adjust the relative volumes in the audio MIDI setup app by opening the triangle and choosing each input/output.

Marvin,

I have followed your instructions above and had no luck.

Not sure if this will work, but I am attaching screenshots of what I have...

Audio MIDISettings: Aggregate Device

(I tried setting things to my LogiTech Headset as well, and that didn't help either.)


Audio MIDISettings: Multi-Output Device



Sound Preferences - Input



Sound Preferences - Output



Audacity Settings



Saying Hello

When I speak into my Headset, I can see the "power indicator" moving to the right, which indicates that at least the Sound Preferences are picking up my voice. However, all I get in Audacity is a "straight line"...

I also re-booted my mac, but that didn't help.


One last thing...

This may sound dumb, but I just tested things out speaking into my LogiTech Headset with Audactiy on. (I did not turn on Zoiper because you didn't mention anything about it in your post above...)


Zoiper Preferences



I am not sure what these should be set at?!

Here is hoping that all of this can be figured out?!

I have tried my best, but I just can't figure out the logic of things when it comes to my Mac's Sound Setup?! 1frown.gif

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

When I speak into my Headset, I can see the "power indicator" moving to the right, which indicates that at least the Sound Preferences are picking up my voice. However, all I get in Audacity is a "straight line"...

If you open Quicktime Player (Quicktime X) in /Applications and go to file > new audio recording, does that record your audio ok?
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

When I speak into my Headset, I can see the "power indicator" moving to the right, which indicates that at least the Sound Preferences are picking up my voice. However, all I get in Audacity is a "straight line"...

Don't I have to If you open Quicktime Player (Quicktime X) in /Applications and go to file > new audio recording, does that record your audio ok?

Earlier you said, "In say Quicktime, set the recording input to your aggregate input. "

How do I set the Preferences for QuickTime Player?

I don't see any place in the menu options - most of which are greyed out - to be able to set the Input/Output that you mentioned above...


Debbie
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

Earlier you said, "In say Quicktime, set the recording input to your aggregate input. "

How do I set the Preferences for QuickTime Player?

Once you hit make new audio recording, there's a white triangle on the window to the right of the record button.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

Earlier you said, "In say Quicktime, set the recording input to your aggregate input. "

How do I set the Preferences for QuickTime Player?

Once you hit make new audio recording, there's a white triangle on the window to the right of the record button.

Oh gee, it was right in front of me!!

Say, before I finish answering your QuickTime question, could you please let me know if I set up everything correctly above in my screenshots?? 1hmm.gif

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

could you please let me know if I set up everything correctly above in my screenshots??

You might need to check the USB headset in the aggregate input but other than that, it looks ok.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
This has to be the most painful set up on my Mac I have ever endured!!

Since my last post, I have made the following changes...

Audio MIDISettings: Aggregate Device



Audio MIDISettings: Multi-Output Device



Zoiper Preferences



SoundFlower Menu



Per your advice, I tried recording using QuickTime Player.

First I did a test with me just speaking into the headset and that seems to work.

Next I tried recording some music from VLC and that seems to be okay.

Next I tried speaking over some music off of VLC and that is okay.

Then I called Dell Computers and let the automated lady talk and then interrupted her and spoke and then she responded back and that seems okay.

Some small progress...

But here is the sticking point...


I still cannot get Audacity to work?!


Audacity Settings - Scenario #1

(This will record music off of VLC, but not my voice as I speak into my headset...)


Audacity Settings - Scenario #2

(This will record my voice as I speak into the headset, but will not record music off of VLC...)


I also tried setting Audacity's Record Device to "SoundFlower (2ch)" but that doesn't help either?! 1frown.gif


Yes, I could just use QuickTime Player, however, Audacity is more familiar to me, and it is much more robust, and so I would just assume capture VoIP conversation in Audacity so I can edit and manipulate the conversation in one place!!

How can I fix this??

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

I still cannot get Audacity to work?!

Yes, I could just use QuickTime Player, however, Audacity is more familiar to me, and it is much more robust, and so I would just assume capture VoIP conversation in Audacity so I can edit and manipulate the conversation in one place!!

How can I fix this??

You'd have to contact the Audacity developers and see if they can fix it. Recording in Quicktime should be ok though and just open the audio file in Audacity for trimming it.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

I still cannot get Audacity to work?!

Yes, I could just use QuickTime Player, however, Audacity is more familiar to me, and it is much more robust, and so I would just assume capture VoIP conversation in Audacity so I can edit and manipulate the conversation in one place!!

How can I fix this??

You'd have to contact the Audacity developers and see if they can fix it. Recording in Quicktime should be ok though and just open the audio file in Audacity for trimming it.

Are you sure that I just don't have things set up correctly?

It doesn't seem like it is Audacity's fault, but who knows?!

(I just don't understand why Apple has such a FUBAR architecture for how audio works?! On a PC this would be plug-and-play!)

Can you think of anything else I can do to get this to work with Audacity?

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

Are you sure that I just don't have things set up correctly?

It doesn't seem like it is Audacity's fault, but who knows?!

It's set to the same input as Quicktime. These cross-platform open source apps rarely use OS APIs properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

(I just don't understand why Apple has such a FUBAR architecture for how audio works?! On a PC this would be plug-and-play!)

Looks like pretty much the same deal in Windows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm8zNeHtXeo
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
So I ended up using QuickTime to record phone conversations, because I cannot figure out how to get Audacity to record both people's voices...

Here is one other issue that is driving me crazy...

When I am speaking on my headset to someone else on VoIP, their voice sounds normal, and people on the other end are basically saying my voice sounds like it os coming from a normal phone. Check.

However, when I go back and listen to the recorded VoIP conversation, a lot of the time when my voice comes on, it sounds... Distorted, or I hear echoing, or it sounds like I am gurgling.

The distortion is fairly bad, and I would say this happens maybe 75% of the time when it is me speaking. (Yet I can't hear these distortions during the actually VoIP call?!)

Do I nee a better headset?

Should I ditch SoundFlower and and buy something like AudioHiJack, or something professional?

Is Zoiper the problem?

Or is my Hotspot just not providing enough bandwidth to successfully do VoIP?

My end goal is to be able to record VoIP conversations in good enough quality so that I could turn them into a Podcast...

Please help!

Sincerely,


Debbie
post #21 of 23
Debbie, one thing I know the pros do is have everyone record audio on their side to get the best quality, then send audio files to you (in this case) to be merged and mixed in audio software later (like GarageBand).

If you need more help you may want to consider either watching instructional videos you might find on Youtube or take a class at an Apple Store.

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post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Debbie, one thing I know the pros do is have everyone record audio on their side to get the best quality, then send audio files to you (in this case) to be merged and mixed in audio software later (like GarageBand).

If you need more help you may want to consider either watching instructional videos you might find on Youtube or take a class at an Apple Store.

Thanks for the reply, but a few things..

1.) I am trying to record interviews over VoIP, so it isn't realistic to expert others to record things on their end.

2.) GarageBand is as amateur as it comes.

3.) Anything in an Apple Store is beyond amateur. (Sorry, but it's true!)


Debbie
post #23 of 23
OK, now you're just being a snob. Regarding points 2 and 3 especially. I'm able to achieve studio-quality audio recording and mixing using GarageBand and an iPad.

At some point, you must stop blaming the tools and reconsider how you are doing things. If you are unable or unwilling to be creative with what you have available then the problems are not limited to the equipment. Good luck.

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