I had a challenge to overcome in doing the second of The Ask Interviews. The first interview was held in an upstairs room of a local pub and unfortunately they were digging the road up outside the venue when we arrived for the interview. It turns out this work was going to continue for many weeks and would therefore impact the following months interview.
I decided that there was an opportunity to look at methods of performing an online interview that would not require me to go to the previous venue and would also allow me to interview songwriters who might not be able to make it to Preston for a face-to-face interview.
The obvious choice was to look at using Skype. I did a little research on Google as you do and it seemed like it would be a suitable platform. There was also an computer application available that would record the separate tracks of the interview, which would allow me to mix the final audio track better.
I downloaded the relevant bits of software and did some trial recordings to get the hardware and levels right. I was aware that I needed a back up in case the computer dropped out and I did not want to lose everything so I decided to use a separate mixer unit to enable me to take an extra audio out feed into an external audio recorder.
I booked the interview and did my pre-interview reading and tailored the questions appropriately and was ready to give it a go.
The fantastic duo April Moon were the guest for the interview and we managed to get hooked up on Skype after a couple of technical issues on their end. They used external speakers, which did cause a slight problem in that my voice was being replayed and recorded on their track. I managed to fix this in the final mix by going through the recording and cutting out the bits of my voice bouncing through onto their track (but it was a bit of a phaff). In hindsight it would be better to request that headphones are used to prevent the audio bleeding across tracks.
Overall the use of Skype was a great success and I would definitely consider using it again if a face-to-face interview was not possible, with the caveat that headphones need to be used.
The content of the interview was great and April Moon were fascinating. You can listen to the interview here: