PQT – Disable Skype’s Auto Gain Control

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If you weren’t already aware, Skype is likely controlling your audio levels. As podcasters, we want to make sure we are in control of all our settings all of the time. This is how you can make sure Skype isn’t changing your audio quality.

Skype just released (03/06/12) a new version of it’s software for the Mac (version 5.6.0.143). In this release they placed a check-box (already found in the Windows version) for controlling Skype’s auto gain control (AGC). What AGC does is listen to the proximity of your voice to the microphone and adjust the volume as necessary so that the person on the other end can always hear you at a decent level. However, as podcasters, we don’t want anyone besides us deciding what our gain level should be and we certainly don’t want it to change during recording.

Now you can simply go into your preferences audio/video settings and uncheck the “Automatically Adjust Microphone Settings” box. Then go into your computer’s settings and set the level you want your mic to be.

When enabled, AGC will constantly adjust the level of your audio based on your relationship to the mic and whether or not you are speaking into it. During times of silence or if you move too far away from the mic, this can cause the “noise floor” to be raised higher thus producing an audible hiss. Disabling AGC will help to prevent unwanted noise.

Links mentioned in this episode
How to disable Skype’s AGC and EC with HTML code

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About Ray Ortega

Full-time podcast producer and host of The Podcasters' Studio and Podcasters' Roundtable, I enjoy sharing my ten years of experience making podcasts to help others improve or start their own show.

Comments

  1. Good comment. And how are you recording ? I know that SoliCall Pro is the preferred way for recording Skype calls on Windows. But, I am unfamiliar with similar program for Mac. Do you have any suggestions for Mac ?

    • Nur, thanks for listening. I don't generally use software to record Skype calls. I recording using a double-ender method or just straight into a digital audio recorder hooked up to my mixer.

      There are however plenty of software options for both mac and pc. Audio Hijack Pro is one that I have used for mac. I did a whole episode on it here http://thepodcastersstudio.com/tps-ep-16-podcast-… and you can see a list of various software options in the show notes.

      Thanks

  2. I like the way how skype controls the audio of any conversation in recording for it can't affect the audio quality of such thing.

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