Here’s a quick tutorial on how to record Skype calls for free on a Mac, which worked for me on OS X 10.8.4. FYI, it may be illegal to do so in your area without notifying the other parties.
The basic issue is you need to mix both the OUTPUT from skype and the INPUT from your microphone and send that to your recording program, but you want to send only the OUTPUT from skype to your speakers/headphones. Here’s the simplest, most failsafe way I was able to find to do that for free. For what it’s worth, you can also just pay for a program like?Piezo?that does all this automatically.
1) Install?Soundflower. Open up Soundflower Bed, the menu bar Application that comes with it, and click None (OFF) under both the 2ch and 16ch entries. We’re using soundflower to turn outputs back into inputs, and all the rest of the magic happens in the mac Audio MIDI Setup application.
2) Open up the Audio MIDI Setup application (comes with your mac) and make sure you see the Audio Window (Menu -> Window -> Show Audio Window). We’re going to create two virtual devices.
3) In the bottom left click the + sign, and then click “Create Multi-Output Device”. Click on the device on the left to rename it something like “Multi-Output: Built-in Output AND Soundflower (2ch)”. On the right, click the “use” checkbox next to Built-in Output and Soundflower (2ch).
4) In the bottom left click the + sign, and then click “Create Aggregate Device”. Click on the device and rename it something like “Aggregate Input: Inputs AND Soundflower (2ch)”. On the right, click “use” next to Built-in Microphone and Soundflower (2ch).
Now we just need to hook up Skype and our Audio Recorder — I use Quicktime (set the recording quality to “high”, not “maximum” or you’ll get huuuge files).?
5) Open up Skype (if it was open, close and reopen it to refresh the list of devices). Go to Menu -> Skype -> Preferences, then to Audio/Video and where it says “Speakers:” select “Multi-Output: Built-in Output AND Soundflower (2ch)”. The nice thing about this is if Soundflower ever has a problem or is not loaded, the sound will still go to the speakers.
6) Open up Quicktime and on the menu click File -> New Audio Recording. Click the little triangle on the right of the window that pops up, and under “Microphone” select “Aggregate Input: Inputs AND Soundflower (2ch)”.
That’s it! Now when you record with Quicktime, it’s bringing in both the skype output and the microphone, which are mixed via the Aggregate Device we created. We needed to create the Multi-output device and install Soundflower because otherwise OS X has no way to hook up the OUT of the Multi-output device into the IN of the Aggregate Device — that’s what soundflower does.
For the visual learners among us, this is what we’ve set up:
FYI: It’s possible to do this without the Multi-output device — just by selecting Soundflower 2ch as the output device in skype and then in the Soundflower Bed menu selecting “Built-in Output” under Soundflower 2ch. I opted not to do that in case there are any issues with soundflower (ie that output option resetting, the driver not working). I’d rather still be able to hear the skype call and not be able to record than hear nothing from skype at all.
The one thing to watch out for if you’re doing it the way I describe is that if “Built-in Output” is checked in Soundflower Bed under Soundflower 2ch, you might get a funny echo since the audio would be coming from both the multi-output device AND soundflower 2ch simultaneously.
Let me know if this is helpful in the comments below!