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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Tornare ad Amarok 1.4 in (K)ubuntu Jaunty

Dopo l’aggiornamento a Jaunty (eseguito senza il minimo problema sia sul fisso che sul portatile) mi sono trovato con Amarok 2, che a mio avviso non è assolutamente pronto per l’utilizzo quotidiano. Almeno non per il mio utilizzo quotidiano.

Amarok

Trovo la versione 1.4 quasi perfetta, non ha nessun problema a fare quello che mi serve: gestione della mia libreria (~30 GB), gestione del mio iPod Nano, gestione dei podcast con relativa sincronizzazione con l’iPod, ascolto delle radio online.

Al di là delle considerazioni personali su Amarok 2, ecco le istruzioni pratiche per rimuovere la versione 2 e reinstallare la 1.4 da un comodo PPA:

sudo apt-get remove amarok-common
echo 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/bogdanb/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install amarok14

Tutto qui!