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I’ve heard a bit of buzz about a new service from the UK called ipDTL. It’s a new way to allow clients and studios to listen in on your recording session and can be used as an alternative to ISDN, Source Connect, SoundStreak, or a phone patch. After one of our awesome voice actors, Matt Fogarty, tweeted this:

I decided I should check it out for myself. The creator and owner of ipDTL, Kevin Leach, was more than happy to tell me about the product and give me a demo. In fact, we held our entire conversation from my home voice over studio to his studio using ipDTL.

What is ipDTL and how is it different?

It’s not software, it’s not equipment, it’s not even an app or extension, it simply works with the Google Chrome browser to connect you to a studio or client in high quality (128kbps – the speed of a pair of ISDN lines). First, Kevin called my phone, but that conversation didn’t last too long as he quickly got me going on ipDTL. He simply told me the URL over the phone to enter into Chrome, I typed in my name, hit “Join” and after tweaking a few settings, we were connected, from my studio to his, with nice, clear audio.

ipdtlss2

Why was it created?

Kevin worked as a freelance sound engineer for BBC Radio and getting guests on the air relied heavily on ISDN. The hassle of trying to find and book ISDN capable studios at the last minute was frustrating, so he came up with the idea to be able to record high quality audio right through a web browser.

Will it replace ISDN?

The short answer is not any time soon, BUT it is a definite alternative to setting up a phone patch. Unlike a phone patch or ISDN, you can use ipDTL from any computer with an internet connection and the Google Chrome browser. So, if you travel a lot, this might be a great way to be able to work with those clients that want to be patched in.

Quality

I can tell you that the quality of the call was much better than a phone line or Skype. Kevin tells me that, depending on your internet connection, you can go as high as 128 kbps (that’s equivalent to a pair of ISDN lines). Also, you should keep in mind that you should connect an ethernet cable to the computer you are calling from. Wireless connections are weaker and more unreliable.

ipDTL screenshot

Cost

If you’ve ever researched getting ISDN installed in a home studio, you know the costs are upwards of $5,000, not to mention all the time and hassle associated with it! That being said, if a client wants ISDN capabilities, you are going to have to either get it or find a studio you can rent with ISDN. Phone patches are pretty inexpensive, it can just be tricky to set up in your home studio depending on your setup. I had a nightmare trying to set my mix/minus settings up to only record my voice, not the voice coming through the phone line as well. ipDTL takes care of this for you. You will only record what’s going through your mic, not the computer.

In order to use ipDTL in the way I described above, you will need an ipDTL login and Link+ licence. The ipDTL login is $160 annually and will allow you to connect to anyone else with their own ipDTL account. Kevin tells me in the little over a year the service has been available to the public, there are over 1500 users, but more than likely, your client will not, so you will need to add the Link+ ability to your account which is an additional $160 annually. This will allow you to give your client a URL they can use to connect directly to your studio. Total = $320 a year for full capabilities.

Voice123 voice actors and clients will now be able to choose ipDTL as a delivery capability alongside ISDN, Source Connect, Phone Patch, etc. Voice Actors can click “My Voice Details,” and check the option under “Recording and Delivery Capabilities”:

voice123 adds ipdtl

Voice Seekers will now see this as an option when posting a project.

Have you used the ipDTL service? What do you think?