This is all from memory so I hope it works. Mostly aimed at journalists working on a Macbook. Works with any phone that has a headphone jack. That includes all iPhones in existence and all Android or Windows phones I know of.
Total cost: $1 to $5, although chances are you might already have everything you need lying around the house or office.
Total time: 5 minutes unless you need to pop over to Radioshack or the supermarket for a stereo cable.
- Open the Audio MIDI Setup app (just do a Spotlight search for it, otherwise you’ll find it in Applications/Utilities).
- Click the + sign in the bottom left and choose “Create Aggregate Device”.
- Tick “Built-in Microphone” and “Built-in Output”.
- You can double-click the name in the left sidebar to rename it to something like “Phone Recording” instead of the default “Aggregate Device”.
- Close Audio MIDI Setup.
- Open Quicktime and go to File > New Audio Recording.
- Click the little white down arrow on the right of the recording window and choose your aggregate device under “Microphone”.
- Plug a stereo cable from your phone’s headphone jack into the audio input jack on your Mac. If it’s a new one there’s only one jack for both input and output - use that.
- Put your phone right in front your keyboard with its mic facing your mouth as much as possible.
- Press the record button on Quicktime.
- Dial the number on your phone and hit call - make sure you have your Mac speakers turned up enough so you can hear the voice of the other person coming through but not too much so that you get feedback.
If background noise or feedback is too much of a problem, or if you simply don’t want anyone else in the room to hear the other end of the conversation, you’ll have to use a headphone splitter ($4 on Amazon). Plug the single end of the splitter into your phone’s headphone jack. Plug your headphones into one of the splitter jacks and the stereo cable from your computer into the other splitter jack. Mute the speakers on your computer and put on your headphones.
If you can’t hear anything over the speakers, hold down the alt key on your keyboard and click the speaker icon in the Mac status bar. Make sure “External microphone” is checked under “Input Device” and “Internal Speakers” under “Output Device”.
If your voice is too low in the recorded audio, it’s because it isn’t reaching your Mac’s mic properly. The way this technique works is that your voice is captured both by the computer’s mic and your phone’s mic at the same time, so it’s important that they’re positioned right next to each other and you project your voice towards both devices.