Recording Conference Calls and Webinars with Camtasia

Ran into this issue and thought I would share what I learned in case it’s helpful to anyone else…

In offering my first training classes, I’ve been getting an education by fire of all the ins and outs of doing webinar recording.

I used GoToTraining for my first class.

It’s a nice interface, the customer support is awesome and they really do seem to listen and heed user feedback, but there are still enough drawbacks that my hunt continues for a more ideal platform in the future.

One thing that turned into quite the fiasco was dealing with the recording.

All the Citrix products come with the ability to do the onscreen capture and audio recording of your online meetings for you and they provide a built-in bridgeline as well.

On the surface, this sounded mighty easy and convenient, so I naturally opted to do that. And it would have been, if I had no need to do anything to the recording.

The problem was that in wanting to clean up the audio/video afterwards and also convert it to a more universal format, I discovered it wasn’t really compatible with Camtasia.

This really turned into a nightmare and caused a lot a disruption in the high quality service delivery I naturally wanted those who attended to get from me.

Ah, well, live and learn.

We ended up having to separate the audio from the recording, editing it separately in Audacity, and then re-recording the whole 2-hour presentation and synching up the edited audio back up with it.

Yeah, not fun.

And maybe there’s another, better, way to do it, but I’m still new to using Camtasia and everything the support people told me to try was not working.

Everyone pretty much threw up their hands and could only surmise that the recording I was provided with must have been corrupted in some way (which, I learned later is indeed a known problem).

At any rate, this all led to me determining that while I might use a platform like GoToTraining or WebEx to conduct future webinars, I want to do the recording myself using Camtasia and our own bridgeline.

What was stumping me, though, was how would Camtasia record the conference call?

The answer, apparently, is purchasing a devise called a “recording adapter” or “conference recording adapter.”

I was told I could purchase one of these from Radio Shack for $19.99. On their website, it’s called a “mini recorder control.”

However, in consulting with folks more knowledgeable than I about all the ins and outs of this subject, I was told that it’s not very high quality and also doesn’t work with cordless/wireless phones (which is what I have).

These folks suggested the better option is to go with one of the recording adapters offered by DynaMetric.com. They have two products for this, depending on what kind of phone you have.

a). If you have a corded phone, you want the TMP636 Webinar Recorder which sells for $85.95.

b). If you have a cordless/wireless phone, you want the TLP124HS Cordless Phone Adapter which sells for $84.95. The problem this one solves is the issue of your phone handset not having enough ports (particularly if you use a headset so you can speak hands-free). With this model, one end of the adapter cable plugs into your computer mic port, the other end plugs into your phone handset, and then your hands-free headset plug into a port built into the adapter device itself. Perfect!

These cost more than $20, but they are much better products for higher quality results and more sturdy, long-lasting life.

When you go to record your webinar using Camtasia, after hooking up the adapter, you would then select that option from your “Audio” mic list.

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