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  1. #21

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    The speakerphone circuit will require a bunch of signal processing that the handset or headset will not (or at least not as much). Gate, expander or ducker might be part of it
    Why do you say that?
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  2. #22

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    Are you catching the handset mic and speaker on separate channels? If the handset is attached to an IP phone, you should get 2 pretty distinct signals...

    (as opposed to an analog device where they will be smeared together - I'll have to look up the hybrid phone too, as I don't use them, I am not sure what they do)
    It's been a while, so I don't recall the details, but whatever would normally go to the headset ear speaker is what we've been grabbing at the headset jack. And it has the local audio mixed in at about 10 dB down, as I said. I presume that's so the local talker can hear him/herself, like on a POTS phone.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  3. #23

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    I took a look at the hybrid link. Yea, one of the problems that phone users encounter nowadays is related to what I had mentioned about echo cancellation being applied to one half of the conversation - that is your end is responsible for getting rid of echo propagated on your end - and the remote endpoint for their end. But it is like the wild west now where you don't know what the **** is happening on the far end - and I would expect this to create issues with a hybrid device (as first described in the wikipedia article).

    It is analogous to a situation I encounter with a fax server (a technology developed before any significant delays existed in telephony) I manage which handles many many faxes a day and performance gets more and more erratic as more people get their service from non-traditional phone providers.
    We rarely have echo issues (probably because we use headphones when recording shows) even with no hybrid.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  4. #24

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Tapping the speaker of an add-on speakerphone was the "hybrid" at the small AM station where I first worked in the 80s. I'm not sure how deep the null was, but it got the 5th caller on the air.

    Here's an idea that could fund your retirement:

    Invent a device that plugs into a USB port. Call it the PodGuest. It includes an inexpensive mic, a preamp, a headphone output, and a single channel AD/DA converter. Ship it to the guest ahead of time. It connects to you via the internet for low res audio and remote control of levels, etc., but records high res audio on the guest's hard drive. After the session, it uploads the local recording of the guest mic. Then the guest ships it back to you.

    It's a digital, internet enabled version of the old BBC interview recordings with reel to reel decks rolling at both ends of a phone line. The guest reel got shipped to London, where the interview was edited and broadcast a few days later.

    You're welcome.
    Ian Alexander
    VO Talent/Audio Producer
    www.IanAlexander.com

  5. #25

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Alexander View Post
    Tapping the speaker of an add-on speakerphone was the "hybrid" at the small AM station where I first worked in the 80s. I'm not sure how deep the null was, but it got the 5th caller on the air.
    Me, too! I'd forgotten about this, but in the control room we had one of those speakerphones with a controller on a little stand. The controller could take the phone on- and off-hook, and if you held the button down, it would mute your end. We'd get the AG Edwards dude on there and chit chat for a minute, then when he started his report, I'd jam the skinny end of one of those BIC ballpoint pen caps into side of the button to "lock" it down in mute mode, so I could shuffle papers and fart and stuff in the studio without ducking him during his report. But, yeah, same thing -- we'd get the caller signal off of that speakerphone contraption.

    Here's an idea that could fund your retirement:

    Invent a device that plugs into a USB port. Call it the PodGuest. It includes an inexpensive mic, a preamp, a headphone output, and a single channel AD/DA converter. Ship it to the guest ahead of time. It connects to you via the internet for low res audio and remote control of levels, etc., but records high res audio on the guest's hard drive. After the session, it uploads the local recording of the guest mic. Then the guest ships it back to you.

    It's a digital, internet enabled version of the old BBC interview recordings with reel to reel decks rolling at both ends of a phone line. The guest reel got shipped to London, where the interview was edited and broadcast a few days later.

    You're welcome.
    I like it. I would only add that, rather than ship this gadget to the interviewee ahead of the call, email him/her 3D printer plans for it.

    There's at least one podcast service that I've looked into that seems to be the 21st-century version of the BBC approach: the call is automatically recorded on each end-user's device, then uploaded in the background after the call. You have to be sure everyone leaves the app or browser (depending on the device) open until the upload is finished. That and a few of the other hurdles involved made it too complicated for us to expect guests to pull it off reliably, but it seems like a valid approach.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  6. #26

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    I've been using a JK Innkeeper for years. I think it was about $800 (with a little dialer box attached). Cancellation is really good. Solid as a rock. Has options for ducking the caller, auto-answer, that kind of thing. We use it for phone interviews etc.

    More recently, we (and a lot of my podcast clients who do interviews) have been using Skype. I'm not crazy about some of the dropouts etc, but there it is.

    For more critical interview things, I try and do a "double-ender", and get someone for a hundred bucks to show up at the interviewee's place with a Zoom recorder and mic, then marry the tracks.

    I'm interested in your client's project, love comparing notes on projects where we are collaborating with DIY clients.

    Cheers,
    Scott

  7. #27

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by studio-c View Post
    I've been using a JK Innkeeper for years. I think it was about $800 (with a little dialer box attached). Cancellation is really good. Solid as a rock. Has options for ducking the caller, auto-answer, that kind of thing. We use it for phone interviews etc.

    More recently, we (and a lot of my podcast clients who do interviews) have been using Skype. I'm not crazy about some of the dropouts etc, but there it is.

    For more critical interview things, I try and do a "double-ender", and get someone for a hundred bucks to show up at the interviewee's place with a Zoom recorder and mic, then marry the tracks.

    I'm interested in your client's project, love comparing notes on projects where we are collaborating with DIY clients.

    Cheers,
    Scott
    Good info, Scott; thanks.

    I've checked out several remote-guest podcast-recording options out there, and I can see why people would just go Skype. Many of them are just too complicated for your typical guest caller. But I recently tried a free service (that uses modern-day browsers' built-in WebRTC capabilities) that I like a lot. You send a link to the guest(s), and it's literally two clicks, and he/she/they is/are connected. Interestingly, the service is provided by a pay-to-play voice-over site that I use. It's not ISDN, but it's the next best thing I've found for free. AND -- get this -- it works with most modern smartphones, too, which can provide fairly high-quality voice audio. This is a huge benefit for podcasters wanting to connect with someone far away who want better-than-telephone quality.

    I'd be interested to hear how the connection quality compares with services like Source Connect or ipDTL (with whom I have no experience). The only downside I've found is that the connection can be flaky for international connections to technologically underdeveloped regions. We tried a call to somewhere in Africa that didn't work out.

    https://www.bodalgo.com/en/call

    Let me know if you want to do a test call, sometime. I test it with myself all the time (computer to phone), but that's never as satisfying.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  8. #28

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Now, my client is considering taking an analog phone line off of their Comcast router for the studio line. Sounds like Ian's situation.

    I'm secure in recommending a hybrid for a genuine POTS line, but unsure of the result using the same hybrid on a Comcast-delivered phone line. Ian's experience seems to suggest that it's not a simple matter to do this.

    Any suggestions on where I might go to dig deeper into how one would best interface with a Comcast POTS-emulated phone line for studio recordings?

    Curt -- did you say your station is "converting" a VoIP line? Or is it a Comcast-type cable-delivered analog phone line?
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 12-04-2018 at 10:16 AM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  9. #29

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    I believe the Comcast line is VoIP. I was an early adopter with Vonage VoIP. I have a separate modem that plugs into the internet via cat 5. It must sit outside the router's firewall. I can plug any phone equipment into the modem with regular telephone plugs. I don't think that the phone knows that it is not plugged in to a 'real' phone line (I hear side tone if I blow into the mike).

  10. #30

    Default Re: OT: the current state of telephone hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by Wink0r View Post
    I believe the Comcast line is VoIP. I was an early adopter with Vonage VoIP. I have a separate modem that plugs into the internet via cat 5. It must sit outside the router's firewall. I can plug any phone equipment into the modem with regular telephone plugs. I don't think that the phone knows that it is not plugged in to a 'real' phone line (I hear side tone if I blow into the mike).
    My working theory for Ian's less-than-great nulling experience (he has a digital hybrid; it oughta be pretty great) is that there is some kind of electrical difference between emulated POTS and real POTS. The phone may not know, but it seems that a hybrid "knows." Or, at least, for whatever reason, can't do as good a job with the null.

    I could be wrong. Hard to find difinitive information on this stuff.

    But -- this just in -- I think I'm no longer looking for answers around this because it has occurred to me that my client can do VoIP calls from the computer (Skype, Hangouts) and forgo the phone line, hybrid, and telephone altogether. Duh.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

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