This is a sponsored review of ConnectionOpen, a call recording solution for those looking for lag free, uncompressed, premium quality audio.
Few recorded podcast conversations take place in the same room these days.
On the one hand, this is great because it opens up an entire world of potential guests and diverse voices.
On the other hand, audio quality has traditionally been sacrificed to record those globe spanning chats. With the best content in the world, you'll still struggle to build an audience if you're publishing choppy, tinny sounding episodes filled with distortion.
Fortunately, there are an increasing number of solutions to this problem on the market these days. And one such solution is ConnectionOpen.
What is ConnectionOpen?
The company themselves were established back in 2007.
After several years of research, development and refinement, they launched their patented call recording software of the same name.
ConnectionOpen is a software that enables remote and online audio stream with low latency and uncompressed audio. Besides the standalone client, it provides plugins for direct use inside your DAW.
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Who Would Use It?
In a podcasting context, it's suited to folks recording interview and co-hosted episodes remotely. Podcasters who are keen to get the best possible audio quality, recorded on separate tracks, and have it sound like the participants are in the same room together.
Voice artists, voice actors, and the folks working with them, would also find ConnectionOpen incredibly useful. For example, an audio drama director could work with one of their cast to nail some scenes or lines in their production. They'll also have the benefit of monitoring the audio and to know that exactly what they're hearing is what's being recorded at the source.
Likewise, musicians can play together like they're in the same room. And anyone looking to teach one-on-one classes online (anything from playing the guitar, to knitting) would see ConnectionOpen as a great option too.
How Does it Work?
ConnectionOpen is a piece of software, rather than a browser-run programme. You download it from the ConnectionOpen website, and install it on your Mac or PC.
When you open it up, it's a pretty clean and easy to navigate little interface.
You can customise your recording settings, choose your mic, and you're ready to go.
Recording a Call
You need to first add the person you would like to call to your contacts list. You can do this by searching for them, or by sending them a direct invite.
Once they've been added to your contacts, you can simply click on their name, once they're showing as online, and hit ‘Start Session'.
Once connected, you can adjust both your own levels, and the levels of your guest. Both participants also have a mute button option.
A couple of things I'd like to see added to ConnectionOpen in the future are;
- A text chat option, for the inevitable “hang on, I need to plug my mic in” back and forth.
- When you hit the record button a second time to end the recording, I'd like it to be more obvious that everything has been recorded and saved.
Fortunately, the folks at ConnectionOpen are very receptive to feedback and seem keen to constantly build and improve on the product. They have other new features in the pipeline too, and it'll be interesting to see what the future brings.
ConnectionOpen as a VST Plugin
One cool feature of the software is the ability to use it as a plugin inside your DAW. This means you can do your recording, editing, and mixing all in the same place. The ConnectionOpen team are working to test this out on various platforms, and so far it is confirmed to work fully with Pro Tools and Ableton Live.
Here's a demo of it being used to record a call in Pro Tools.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are different payment tiers available.
- $10 – Daily Pass – Lasts for 24 hours
- $25 per month – Basic – Unlimited use, with 4 daily passes, and a 14 day trial
- $100 per month – Pro – Unlimited use, with 20 daily passes, and a 14 day trial
The daily passes you use to give to the other folks you'll be having on your calls. So if you were running a weekly show, then the Basic tier would likely be the best option.
Summary: Should I Use ConnectionOpen?
There's no doubt about it, ConnectionOpen are a great addition to the call recording options on the market for podcasters today.
I think those who will be the most attracted to this software will be the ones who are very serious about studio level audio quality. Perhaps content creators in the tech space, or those running shows for big brands or established companies who need to sound as professional as possible.
And who might it be less suitable for? Well, if you interview a lot of less technically minded guests and their mics and recording spaces aren't always brilliant, you're probably just as well sticking with Skype or zoom.us.
For us, we will be looking to use it when working with actors on our next fiction podcast project. When set up to record inside Pro Tools, this will be as close as we can get to actually being in the studio with them!
We hope that this has been a useful guide, as you seek to find the best call recording solution for your podcast. We'd also like to thank ConnectionOpen for sponsoring this content, and would encourage you to go check them out!