Here is what I use and think is the most important tools I use for doing my audio interview recordings. I use a simple Sony digital recorder. I probably got it six years ago from Circuit City, which is now going out of business here in San Diego. I paid, I think, $90. So it’s a digital Sony recorder. The model no. is ICD-ST10 stereo. You can hit Ebay, do a search for it. You can go to Radio Shack. So you’re going to need something to record your audio digitally. Now there are other methods of doing it. There’s stuff out that you can hook up to your phone and to your computer, things that are a lot more complicated where you have dual channels, big microphones and all that.
But I’m just using this simple little recorder. It takes two AAA batteries and the thing has only failed me once. Here is what I did. I recorded the interview and then to get the interview off of your recorder you have to plug your Sony into your USB port of your computer and then you save the file into an MP3 file.
So you’re going to need something to capture your audio interview. You’re going to need the good old telephone. I use a Radio Shack phone. I’ve probably had this thing fifteen years and I will tell you, you want to test the phone that you have when you’re doing recordings because I had a problem with this phone, I was getting a lot of crackling and I didn’t know what it was so I searched out new phones, I went up to Wal-Mart.
You want to use a wired phone, you don’t want a cordless phone and you don’t want a cell phone. I bought a wired phone from Radio Shack, one of the newer ones, and I bought one from Wal-Mart and then I tested out the sound quality on them and it was definitely different than this one I use. So I’m in a little office some days and the main phone I use is usually at my home, so I unplugged the phone from my home and I brought it over here to my office because it’s got a different sound than my office phone.
So find a phone. Garage sales are a great place. I think if you pick up the older ones, sometimes the older ones are made a little bit better but you can certainly find some old corded phones, if you don’t have a corded phone, on Craig’s List or eBay and play around with it and test it.
So you’re going to need a phone. You’re going to need a digital recorder. You’re going to need this device too to capture the recordings, I get it from Radio Shack and it will have the exact URL and the resource page, but it plugs into your digital recorder and then it plugs into the back of the phone. And so this allows you to record both sides of the conversation, and it’s about twenty dollars. I looked it up yesterday, it’s only twenty dollars. And you’ll see the exact thing that I use to get the recordings off the other end, so I’m able to record you then.
And then you have editing software if you want to edit it. You don’t have to edit your recordings. I like to edit them, but I use what I learned on and what I’m comfortable with. It’s a version of Gold Wave. If you go to Goldwav, I use their version 4.26. They’ve got two or three new versions after that and it’s really hard to find the 4.26 version. But I’m trained on it, it’s very easy to work with.
But that’s all you need is a few pieces of equipment to record, capture and edit your audio. And soon you’ll be recording, producing, editing audio interviews like a pro.