Record multi-track Skype group call on OS X

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN MOVED TO MY ENGLISH BLOG, PLEASE REFER TO THAT FOR THE LATEST UPDATES.

A friend of mine and I host a weekly podcast and, as it often happens, we speak with our guests via Skype. For a while we had everyone record his own audio, since we wanted to have a separate track for each person in order to get the best possible audio quality. But that was inconvenient, both for our guest and for us, as we had to wait everyone to send us his audio before mixing and editing the episode. Recording Skype’s group call in a conventional way wasn’t a better solution. We’d only have two separate tracks: mine and everybody else’s, This is fine if there is only one person other than me, but it’s not with more guests.
So I started to think on possible solutions, and the best one that came to my mind was to have a separate instance of Skype running for each guest (I’ll explain how to do this later on) and use Ableton Live to record each track and to manage the audio routing.

My awesome hand-drawn scheme

My awesome hand-drawn scheme

To manage the audio, we need some sort of virtual audio cables to connect Skype to Ableton Live. The best tool is SoundFlower, so head over to their site, download and install it. However, it is not ready for our purpose right out of the box: we need 2 “virtual audio cables” for each Skype instance, and Soundflower only ships with 2 of them enabled by default (and only one of which, the 2 channel one, is suited for our needs). I managed to edit Soundflower’s plist file to get more.

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Get Avidemux to run on MacOS X Lion

Mi scuso con i lettori italiani, ma vista l’importanza (per me e non solo) di questo articolo, lo scrivo in inglese. Il succo è che la versione linkata di Avidemux funziona su Lion.

After upgrading my Mac to Lion I was very disappointed: Avidemux, my #1 video app crashed upon launch. After a little research on the web, I found a post by eagle007 in Avidemux’s forums that explained that the crash was caused by a library used by Avidemux, libiconv.2.dylib.

He managed to get an updated version of the library and replace the one in the application bundle, thus making Avidemux work again. I really want to thank him for his awesome work.

In case his link goes down, I took the liberty to upload the file to another file hosting site, here is the link: http://www.filesonic.com/file/1718744711