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How to Record Audio for AudioSync in CATalyst Realtime when using the call-in phone number from a web conferencing app (such as Zoom)

Article ID: 163
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.

When writing realtime for remote realtime via a web conference app such as Zoom, you will likely want to be able to record the audio for AudioSync.  Most reporters with experience of remote reporting have concluded that calling in via telephone and playing through a speaker results in superior quality vs. audio provided by a web conferencing app. Here's how many reporters choose to do this:

  1. Connect your microphone to your computer the same as you would for a live proceeding.  (If you typically use the  built-in microphone in your laptop, consider connecting and using an external microphone for better results.)
  2. If your cell phone’s built-in speaker is not sufficiently loud for you to hear it wherever you will be writing, connect it to an external speaker.

There are a wide variety of brands and models of speakers built for phones available in a wide range of prices. Any model that is advertised to work with your brand and model of phone should work. You may want to consult colleagues as to the particular speakers they prefer to use for this type of work.

In most cases, connecting the phone to the speaker via Bluetooth is a plug and play operation. Simply turn on the speaker, and then turn on your phone. The phone should search for the device and connect. If it does not, check the settings feature for your phone, find the Bluetooth option, and select the name of the speaker as the device to which you want to connect. (If you still fail to connect, consult the manual that came with the speaker.)

TIP:  Some speakers will have batteries that require charging, some can be plugged in. If you want to keep the device charged while using it vs. relying on its battery power, plug the charging cable into an external power source, such as a wall outlet or a USB power supply (sometimes called a power brick). Although the speaker may be able to be powered through the USB port of your computer: connecting it may cause the speaker to connect to your computer instead of your phone, and you would then have to manually change the connections. 

  1. Use your cell phone to call the number provided in the emailed invitation to the online meeting, or, if you’ve clicked the Join button and are given an option between Computer Audio and Phonecall, click the Phonecall tab or option, and enter the phone number. (You will likely be given several phone numbers with several different area codes in different time zones and proximities to your current location.)
  2. Place the computer’s microphone near the speaker.  (If you are not using an external microphone, you may need to place the speaker nearer to the computer’s built-in microphone. Check your computer’s hardware manual to determine the location of that microphone.)

TIP:  As you are NOT using the web conferencing application’s audio, you can safely mute the audio microphone shown in the toolbar as that only affects sound from the web conferencing app. If the mute icon has a down arrow next to it, click it access additional features such as an option to disable the web application’s audio feature. Turning off the web conference audio will not affect you because you are taking the audio from a different source (the telephone).

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