How to Record a Phone Call
Capturing Quality Phone Call Recordings for your Podcast
08.13.18 | Podcasting | By: Jacob Bozarth
Some questions that we’re often asked are related to the best way to record phone calls for podcasts. The reality is that this is a very common scenario with podcast recording. While the most ideal recording scenario is having your guest live, in person and in the same room, that’s just not always feasible. So what do you do? Well, a simple solution to this problem is having a call over the phone, but recording a phone call can present some unique challenges. Capturing a high-quality, listenable recording can seem impossible. But thankfully there are some simple solutions you can utilize to make the process pain-free. Because this is such a common question we wanted to create a resource that helps podcasters know how to record phone calls in a professional way. In this video we review the equipment needed to record phone calls for your podcast and the best way to capture a great phone call with your guest. Just as an aside, we are using the equipment we recommend for the process but some of the hardware can be swapped out for other, similar pieces you may already have, for similar results.
Tools for recording your call
- ⅛” to ¼” cable
- An iPhone or smartphone with 1/8″ output
- Mic cable
- Zoom H6 handheld recorder with combo connectors
- Pop filter
- Microphone stand (with boom arm)
The set up – Before the phone call
To start the recording process you’ll need to plug the ⅛” end of your cable into the ⅛” output on your iPhone or smartphone. You’re then going to take the other end (the ¼”side of your cable) and plug it into the Neutrik (combo) input on your handheld recorder. A great recorder to use for this process (and our recommended hardware) would be the Zoom H6. There are other great recorders available, but we recommend the H6 because it’s reliable and simple to use.
Next, take your microphone and plug it in to a separate input on your handheld recorder and then plug in your headphones to the recorder. Make sure your handheld recorder powered on, then go ahead and put your headphones on. Once you put your headphones on, you are ready to record enable your microphones’ input by pushing the coordinating numbered button on the front of your recorder and the input number for the input coordinating for your phone’s input.
Make note of your reading level and adjust your gain to avoid it peaking. This is very important as a level that is too hot will distort the audio. A level that is too low will reduce the quality. Locate the volume knob on your recorder and adjust your gain so your levels are about at -12.
Gimme the digits – Recording the call
To start recording simply push the record button on the recorder. Whenever you start recording you’re going to see the timer start counting on your recorder. You’ll want to adjust the input level of your phone call from your phone input. To do that go ahead and make a test call so you can hear something. You could also play some music just to get a basic level reading and see the level moving up and down. Adjust the gain input on the coordinating input for the phone.
From here, there is little maintenance that needs to be done other than making sure you have good, consistent mic technique and your levels aren’t peaking or dropping.
Wrapping it up – Ending the call
Once your phone call ends hit the stop button and you’re recording will automatically save onto the SD card on your handheld recorder. From there you can take your SD card out or plug in your handheld recorder via USB to your computer and upload your files for post-production.
It’s really as simple as that. With a few pieces of equipment you now know how to record a phone call for your podcast. We realize that there may be some variations to this process based off of the specific equipment you use but we hope this resource is helpful. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us by emailing [email protected]
- How to Record a Podcast
- Podcast Microphone Technique
- The Best Podcast Recording Set Up
- Podcast Recording Equipment
By: Jacob Bozarth
As President & Co-Founder of Resonate Recordings, Jacob leads the team & oversees all sales & marketing initiatives. Jacob can often be found recording, producing, & mixing many well-known podcasts when he is not spending time with his family in Louisville, KY.