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How to record audio for AudioSync in CATalyst Realtime using the computer audio from a Web Conferencing App (such as Zoom)

Article ID: 161
Last updated: 06 Apr, 2020

IMPORTANT NOTE: Stenograph highly recommends that you test your ability to record prior to your remote proceeding, to determine that you have all of the equipment that you need and that it is working properly and as expected.

Reminder
: Most reporters with experience of remote reporting have concluded that calling in via telephone and playing through a speaker results in superior quality compared with audio provided by any web conferencing app. If there are difficulties with the app’s audio performance, the app will likely advise you to improve sound by eliminating the video portion of the conference call and/or by using telephone audio instead; so beginning your conference by using separate devices for audio and video is usually the most prudent method.

Understand what each application is doing with regard to audio

When using the web app’s computer generated audio, it’s important to remember which function is being performed by which application.  The web conferencing application has two audio jobs: to play the audio coming from the live meeting (through a speaker or headphones), and provide a microphone for your voice to be heard if and as you need to speak to the other people in the proceedings.  Case CATalyst's has one primary audio job:  to record the sound coming from the live meeting. 

If the Web conferencing app is on same computer as Case CATalyst: Audio can be recorded if your sound card’s driver has “Stereo Mixer” as an option. If you do not have the “Stereo Mixer” option listed, you can try updating the driver for your computer’s sound card, and in the sound card’s properties, make sure that Disabled Devices are displayed. If Stereo Mixer is present but disabled, you can enable it. However, if updating the sound card’s driver does not add/install the Stereo Mixer option, then you should use Call-In (telephone) audio.

Web conferencing app on different device than CAT software: 

  • Audio can be recorded by placing the CATalyst computer’s microphone near the speaker of the device where the computer audio is playing. Please note that unless the computer, tablet or phone where the web conference is being run has excellent sound, this option is unlikely to produce optimal results.
     
  • Audio can be recorded by creating a cabled connection between the audio output from the device where the web conference is being run, to the computer where you are translating and recording audio with CATalyst.

Setup for two laptops:  The laptop running the web conferencing app needs a microphone port and a speaker/headphone port.  This may be built-in, or it may be added on via an external sound card, such as the Andrea PureAudio card.

You can connect a microphone to the microphone port, for use if/when you need to speak to others in the web conference. 

You would plug a splitter device (see illustration) into the speaker/headphone port.


In one of the two speaker/headphone ports you would connect a speaker or headphones. In the other port, you would connect one end of a 3.5mm AUX cable... 



...and connect the other end to the microphone port of the computer running Case CATalyst.  

NOTE:  The Case CATalyst computer would not require an external speaker or headphones unless you needed to play recorded audio to an external speaker or headphones during the web conference.)

Setup for one laptop and one tablet or phone: If the tablet or cell phone running the web conferencing app has a built-in headphone port, you could connect a splitter to that port. (If your tablet or phone does not have a built-in headphone port, you would require an adapter from the manufacturer to create a headphone port to which you can attach a splitter.)  In one of the two speaker/headphone ports you would connect a headset or standard set of earbuds with a microphone.

In the other port, you would connect a 3.5mm AUX cable (see illustration above) and then connect the other end of that cable to the microphone port of the computer running Case CATalyst.  (The Case CATalyst computer would not require an external speaker or headphones unless you needed to play recorded audio to an external speaker or headphones during the web conference.)

NOTE:  On the device running the web conferencing app, you can mute the microphone, to prevent others in the conference from hearing background noise from your location.  When you need to communicate with those parties, you can unmute, and then mute again before you begin writing.

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