Phone Recording Device? Help Needed with Phone Interview

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeathStar1, May 9, 2002.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I posted this in the TV Section, but figured it might get a better response here.
    I scored a phone interview with the creator and main backer of the TMNT animated series Fred Wolf. However, I don't have any decent way of recording the thing for later transcription. I have two cheap ways of doing it.
    1)Is to put a computer microphone next to it, and hope it dosn't fall over and create a loud staticy noise during the interview, but this would be tough to hear.
    2)Is to record it over the computer using Net 2 Phone. But, I have an analog modem and if that cuts out, it could prove a major hassle.
    So, I'm open to any other suggestions. I had a phone interview with Earle Hyman(played Bill Cosby's father on the Cosby show and voice of Panthro from Thundercats), and thought my memory could tanscribe it faster than I could forget it from nerves. It didn't do it justice [​IMG].
    Thanks!
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Neil,
    Radio Shack sells phone recording devices, both stand alone recording units and boxes which can send a minijack output which you can record onto a computer or into a minitape recorder.
    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=43%2D473
    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=43%2D476
    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=43%2D1236
    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=43%2D228
    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=44%2D533
    Actually- if you have an older phone that you can unscrew the ear piece, you could "MacGyver" a workable solution with some duct tape or chewing gum in like 5 minutes (if you happen to have such a phone, let me know and I'll post details)...
    Funny, I just constructed a telephone with an XLR microphone output a week ago for fun... using a phone I bought at the thrift store and a $15 direct box.
    -Vince
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    the only time i did this was when i was doing a phone-interview with a radio-station dj for a school project.

    luckily, at the time i had one of the older answersing machines by phone-mate (?) that used the two-tape system. it had the capability of recording whatever was being spoken on the phone. worked perfectly.

    maybe you can somehow get your hands on something like this?

    i don't know if today's digital answering machines have a similar capability. i don't think mine does...

    i wonder if radio shack may have something that'll work?
     
  4. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    I've done interviews over the phone using my answering machine to tape the call. My machine used tapes, so it worked great. My new answering machine is digital and only holds 15 minutes, so that doesn't work!
     
  5. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    My dad has an old thingie for recording calls. Its a cable, with one end a plug to go into a tape recorder and the other end is a little suction cup with a microphone in it. You just suction it to the handset and start recording on the tape recorder.

    Also, some modems have the capability of recording calls. You may be able to find some shareware software that will intercept the call and record it to a wav file on your computer. This is different than net2phone in that it doesn't use the internet to make the call, it uses the standard phone line.
     
  6. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    I haven't tried this, but I have pondered it. What I considered doing was to have a phone with a jack for one of those hands free devices, running an rca cable from it to the audio input on the back of the computer, and using Goldwave to record it. Like I said, I haven't tried it, but I don't know why it wouldn't work.
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I checked the handfree jack on my phone- the connector is not a standard 1/8th inch headphone type plug- it is a smaller, specific plug type.

    So, finding a cable to interface with the phone would probably be difficult.

    -Vince
     
  8. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Vince,

    I believe there are adapters that would take care of that aren't there? I could have sworn that I seen some in Radio Shack or some place like that. It had adapters that you could go from the headphone jack size to the smaller size. Of course, I could be mistaken, but I thought I saw them.
     
  9. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Vince,
    After I posted I thought I might be loosing it...so I went to Radio Shack's webpage and you can find the adapter here Glad I haven't lost it...[​IMG]
     
  10. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Another word of caution:
    Check the legalities in your area. In most cases it is illegal to record a phone conversation without the others consent. Some areas require that a beep be sounded every so often to notify the other party that it is being recorded.
    Dont know if it what kind of $$$ you want to spend but
    tigerdirect has some long play digital recorders at a reasonable price. I think some have USB.
    Bill
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Interesting- your "handsfree" kit must have a different connector than mine. That adaptor you linked to was a simple 1/8th female to RCA male- which my phone has neither a 1/8th connector nor an RCA. The hole for the "hands free" kit looks like a 1/8th at first glance, but seems to be closer to a 1/16th jack- but i tried a 1/16th from an AC adaptor, and it was too small.

    So, again- I guess it depends on the "handsfree" type you have. I have never seen one with an RCA connector- so I'm not sure exactly how that adaptor would help.

    -Vince
     
  12. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Been meaning to reply ot some of these but never got around to it
    >>I've done interviews over the phone using my answering machine to tape the call. My machine used tapes, so it worked great. My new answering machine is digital and only holds 15 minutes, so that doesn't work!
    >>>
    My answering machine could hold quite a bit, but it's provided by the phone company, and requires a number dialing to reach it, so that's out of the question. Wouldn't be able to talk to a live person while doing the interview [​IMG].
     
  13. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>Check the legalities in your area. In most cases it is illegal to record a phone conversation without the others consent. Some areas require that a beep be sounded every so often to notify the other party that it is being recorded. >>

    Yep, they know. They even gave me time to buy a recording device.
     
  14. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>Also, some modems have the capability of recording calls. You may be able to find some shareware software that will intercept the call and record it to a wav file on your computer. This is different than net2phone in that it doesn't use the internet to make the call, it uses the standard phone line. >>

    Well, lets start off by saying that I have a US Robotics PCI Fax Modem. Would that be able to record a phone call without connecting to the Net? If so, I'll have to wait till we go down the shore and use the phone down there. It has the proper connections both ways.

    As to Shareware, would just searching for 'Phone Recorder' bring up anything?
     
  15. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    I have done phone interviews with both a suction cup mic device from Radio Shack and my modem.

    The modem method is by far my favorite. My Powerbook allows me to choose the audio input from several devices, including the Internal Modem. I got an old fashioned terminal program that allows basic modem commands, such as ATH for taking the line off the hook. Then I got an audio program that records straight to my hard drive.

    I dialed the phone manually, then I used the terminal program to take the modem off the hook, and then I started recording with the audio software. I listened to the conversation through headphones rather than the handset to make sure it was coming through okay.

    The interviews I did like this were both around an hour. Sound quality was pretty good for transciption as well.
     
  16. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Vince,

    The phone I was using as a basis for my theory was one that my boss used at work. As I said, I have never tried it and I was just eyeballing it, so I may have misjudged the size.
     

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