Are you missing out on potential jobs because you don’t have a traditional Phone Patch? Well, you can easily give clients the ability to listen in and direct you live during a session using Skype!
— First, plug your microphone in just as you would in any recording session. Log into Skype and go to Preferences > Audio/Video, and make sure that your microphone is selected as the Microphone for Skype. (You will want to uncheck “Automatically adjust mic settings,” so that you can manually tweak your levels)
— Next, in your recording software, you will also want to make sure your microphone is selected as the Audio input (which it probably should be, anyway, as it normally is when you’re recording, but never a bad idea to double check before getting started!)
— In order to make an outgoing call to a landline or mobile (i.e., to your client) from Skype, you’re going to need to purchase Skype credit. You can either choose to do this on a pay-as-you-go basis, or you can opt for a monthly subscription — whichever makes the most sense for you, depending on how often you need to use a phone patch. In the U.S., monthly rates start at $2.99/month, and I believe that outgoing calls are charged at .10/min. You can purchase Skype credit here.
— When you are ready to record, plug your headphones in to your computer (again, as you would if you were recording normally) and then in your main Skype window, simply click on the phone icon in the upper right-hand corner, which will bring up the Dial Pad, and dial the client’s number.
— When you are ready to start the session, hit record in your recording software, just like normal. The client will be able to hear you and provide feedback, but your software will only record what you are saying. So if they talk for a while, giving you feedback or asking you to try something a different way, you will end up with long pauses in your recording, but of course those are easily edited out after the fact, as is anything you may say in response to the client.
The drawback, of course, is that you won’t actually be able to play back the recording for the client (unless you just hit “play” on the software and let them listen to it that way, but the quality won’t sound as good to them, as it will be akin to holding the phone out for them to listen to something that’s playing on your computer), and of course they won’t be able to record on their end. But it’s a great, simple, inexpensive way to offer your clients the ability to direct you during a session!