How to Test Your USB Microphone

Now that you have your microphone, it is time to test your recording set up and improve the audio quality.

First, make sure you have plugged in your microphone and have installed SkypeCall Recorder for Skype (Mac only – try Pamela for PC), Audacity and LAME MP3 Encoder (which will let us export the episode as a compressed MP3 file from Audacity).

Organise to speak with someone for a few minutes to test your set up. This is a good opportunity to practice your episode 000 – a brief introduction to your podcast where you explain who you are, why you’re podcasting, who the podcast is for, your plans for the podcast’s future, and how listeners can get involved and support your endeavour.

Before you call your test guest, check your Skype preferences to ensure you have Call Recorder installed and the proper Skype settings ready to go. Ensure your microphone is selected (not the built-in microphone) and that ‘automatically adjust microphone settings’ is unchecked. Remember not to have your output volume too loud – you don’t want your headphones audio to spill into your microphone.

Skype > Preferences > Audio/Video


Skype > Preferences > Recording

If you have ECamm Call Recorder installed, you will now see a ‘Recording’ tab in Skype preferences. Alright. Now call someone and speak with them for five minutes. After the call, the audio file from the call will be saved in the folder you set in the ‘Recording’ options. Make a backup of this file straight away (e.g. Google Drive). The file will be titled with the person’s name and the date of the call.

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