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Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Quality transcripts begin high quality audio recordings. Below you will find suggestions that will improve the quality of your recordings thus improve the quality of your transcript.


1. Invest in a quality microphone/recording device.

• A good mic will give you good quality audio. Be sure to purchase a recording device with an omnidirectional microphone which records sound from all directions in lieu of a unidirectional microphone.

• When recording a presentation, another option is to give the speaker a lapel microphone.

2. Properly set up/test the recording device.

• Test your chosen recording device prior to use. Talk at a normal level while moving around the meeting space at varying distances from the microphone in order to help you understand the capabilities of the microphone in use.

• Set up your recording device to an appropriate bit rate and sample rate. To keep file sizes at a minimum while ensuring good quality voice recording, we recommend 64kbps bit rate and 22,050 sample rate for MP3 recordings.

3. Maintain a consistent environment with no background noise.

• Record your presentation/interview in a quiet place. You want to get rid of any noise you have control over. Ask people around you to be quiet.

• Background noise will likely interfere with the recording. Close windows to avoid street noises.

• Place your microphone/recording device away from your computer and/or office machines, fans or air conditioning units. You might not realize it, but your computer makes a lot of fan noise keeping the PC cooled.

• Do not record your interview in a restaurant. Restaurants are not quiet enough.  Cars, other people, coughs or paper shuffling will be louder than you and/or your subject, even in a small group.

4. Hold the recorder or microphone as close to the speaker as possible.

• For presentations, business meetings, focus groups, etc., record directly off the microphone.

• If you have an audio visual technician, have them make a recording of your presentation.

• For interviews, place the recorder closer to the person you are interviewing than to the interviewer.

• For focus group discussion or a roundtable business meeting, use an omnidirectional microphone.

• Ask speakers to speak into the microphone, wait their turn, not talking over one another and enunciate loud and clear. Speaking for a recording requires considerably more attention than everyday conversation.

5. Speaker identification

• Ask all participants to announce and spell their names at the beginning of the recording so that speakers can be properly identified in the transcribed report.

• For groups of more than two people, it can be very difficult to identify speakers correctly. If you want the transcriptionist to match a name with a voice, the speaker must identify themselves each time they speak. A speaker identification log submitted with the recording would also be helpful.

• If your presentation contains industry-specific terminology and/or acronyms, please provide a terminology list whenever possible in order to improve the accuracy of the transcript.