Years ago I was in the bathroom of McDonalds and saw something really awful. I was washing my hands in the sink and the McDonalds employee behind me didn’t want to wait. So he just left the bathroom without washing his hands. That day I called up the McDonalds suggestion hotline to let them know. Later in another state I was at McDonalds again (I don’t know why I eat there), and the guy who was preparing my salad wasn’t wearing gloves. I didn’t say anything but I took the salad home and nuked it. Two weeks later at the same McDonalds the same guy was preparing my salad with no gloves. So I told the cashier to tell him to put gloves on. When the cashier told the salad guy what I had said, the salad guy told him he didn’t want to do it. After the message was relayed to me, I got angry and yelled out, “Hey dude, put some gloves on!”. Then he threw a hamburger and finally decided it was in his best interests to put some gloves on. Well, I got my refund and that day I called the McDonalds suggestion hotline to tell them what had happened.
So what’s the point of all this? I’m writing about these sad occurrences to let you know that I should have recorded all of my conversations with the help desk center. In doing so I would have had some great Youtube material for passive income and would have provided a much needed public service to the world. But hopefully the scenario of this post is just something to learn from so you can venture into more uplifting content. Also note that whenever you record a conversation, let the other party know that you’re recording at the very beginning.
For the last 6 years I’ve been involved in doing regular interviews which are more up my alley. The people that I talk with have so much important information to share so it’s such a privilege being able to do what I do. In the next section I’ll describe a minimal recording setup which has served me well over the years. The passive income I get EVERY DAY from the resulting videos inspires me to do even more.
When I record, I like to use my Windows computer together with Skype in order make my calls (Mac is fine too, don’t worry). Before each call I plug my Audio Technica condenser microphone into a USB port. My Sennheiser headphones are then plugged into the microphone itself, not the computer. Between my mouth and the microphone I have a round pop filter to take out the abrasive “puff” sounds. As for the recording software, I use TalkHelper because it’s free and easy to use (does not work on Mac). This setup is the cheapest option that will give you optimum results. As a backup you can also plug in a handheld Tascam recorder between the microphone and headphones. I like to do this to overcome software glitches and make sure I record the interview EVERY TIME. I’ve already learned my lesson once and believe me, it was a painful one.
After the conversation is over you need to put the finished file into your audio editing software. I use ProTools but that’s quite expensive. If you want a free alternative you can use Audacity (For this description we’ll use that). After dragging and dropping your recording into Audacity you will see that your voice is recorded on the left track and the other voice on the right. Now you can change the volume on either side to get the best balance. You will also need to use the noise reduction feature to take out the hiss. However, that process is not covered here. Neither is the editing process that most of us need to do. In the end you bounce the track to a mono mp3 file and decide if you want to upload it as a podcast (covered in another chapter) or create a video with it. To create a video, you need to insert your mp3 file into your video making software for production. I use Camtasia but it’s buggy as all get out so I would try to find something different. Nowadays, it’s not hard to find good video making software because the stiff competition necessitates better quality.