How Recording Conference Calls Works

Reporters can record conference calls for playback later.
Reporters can record conference calls for playback later.
© Lauren Fievet/AFP/Getty Images

A conference call, or teleconference, is an easy, affordable way to hold a telephone meeting with participants around the country, or even the world. By recording these calls, a teleconference can serve two purposes, both as a real-time communication tool and an archival record.

There are many good reasons why small and large organizations -- and even individuals -- would want to record and archive a conference call. Here are a few:

  • Press conferences
  • Corporate earnings reports
  • Stockholder meetings
  • Legal depositions
  • Journalist interviews
  • Podcast interviews for broadcast online
  • Client meetings­

Most conference call hosting services include an option for recording the conference call. The recorded call will remain on the conference call system for a specified time where it can be accessed using the same dial-in number and access code from the original call. Some teleconferencing services will also supply hard copies or digital audio files (WAV or MP3) of the recording for archival purposes.

In this HowStuffWorks article, we're going to look at the technology and techniques required to record your own conference calls. First, we'll look at recording conference calls with standard microphones. Then we'll check out some of the helpful digital devices for recording calls on your computer. Finally, we'll go over the best methods for recording multiparty conference calls.

Let's start with recording conference calls with microphones.