Sometimes, we make things a lot harder for ourselves than we need to.
Sometimes, the solution to our problem is right in front of our eyes.
Or, right in our ears.
First, let’s make sure we understand what a phone patch is, and what it does.
A phone patch is a device that connects, or patches, a phone line into a studio console so that the client, who might be in a remote location, can “listen in” on the voice session without being recorded by the engineer. They might just listen, they might offer direction, or they might be playing Words with Friends while pretending to care about the session.
You used to have to have a three- or four-thousand dollar piece of equipment hooked into an elaborate set of inputs and a muting system to accomplish this. And some studios still have that.
But you have a much simpler, much more elegant solution, sitting in your pocket, purse, pouch or desk.
Or in your ear.
You have a Bluetooth or wired headset for your cell phone, right? You do if you drive legally with a cell phone in California, and in a lot of other states.
That’s your phone patch.
If you use a mic without a set of headphones, just plug in your cellphone’s headset, wired or wireless and have the client call you at the appointed time of your session. When you talk into your studio mic, you’ll also be talking into your cell phone headset at the same time. And you’ll only be able to hear the client in your ear – the studio mic won’t pick up that sound.
And if you do use headphones, you can still do the same thing – just put the cell headset on first, then your monitoring headphones, making sure that the tip of the mic boom of the cell’s headset is exposed, or, if the headset’s mic is on the cord that leads to the phone, it’s not stuffed inside your headphone’s cups.
(Which really sounds dirty.)
And if you use earbuds, just use one, and use the headset in the other ear.
And that’s it! And it actually sounds better than the old phone patch – with no muting needed.
As usual, enjoy. And if you’re looking for the cell headset I use, here it is: the Plantronics Discovery 975, the very best Bluetooth headset on the market. A link:
Hope this helps.