Producing Quality Audio Recordings

December 7, 2011 Samantha

One of the most important things a client can do when using a transcription company is to submit a good quality audio file. This is important because not only is an audio file that is clear and to the point easier for your chosen transcription company to transcribe, but it is also cheaper and more useful to the client as there will be less [unclears] in your transcript and it will be transcribed, and back to you a lot more quickly.

There are a lot of things you can do to improve both the sound quality of your recording as well as the content. I’ve listed some guidelines below to help get the best transcripts possible.

  • One of the most important things you can do to get a quality transcript, is to make sure that your session is well planned and organised, this can be achieved by making sure you have a structured list of questions and to ask them in a logical order. It can also be useful to bear in mind that sometimes during interviews, clients can go off on a tangent when asked a question. This is great if that’s what you’re looking for, but if you have a limited amount of time and a lot of things that you need to get through. this could present a problem. I find that it is often best to bear in mind the amount of time you have for an interview and to periodically remind your respondent of this, so that you can get the information you need and then get to using it!
  • Using a space that is quiet and placing a microphone close to the people you are trying to record is also essential if you want a good quality recording. If there is a lot of background noise or if the microphone is at the other end of the room from the people speaking, it can be extremely hard to hear what people have said and therefore your final transcript may not be as good as it could be.
  • It is a good idea to record your session in a format that can be easily uploaded to the computer. This means that the time it takes to get to the typist is much shorter, the file takes up less space on the computer and precious time is not wasted converting audio files into a more suitable format.
  • Finally, try not to talk over your respondent or vice versa. I know that this is probably easier said than done, especially if you are recording a particularly riveting interview on a subject you are passionate about. Try to bear in mind that, while people are talking over each other, they are often doing so because they feel what they are saying is important, which makes it even more imperative that their views can be transcribed. If you are conducting a focus group, it might be worth explaining to the group before you start recording, that you need to be able to hear everyone and therefore everyone should take turns in speaking individually.

I hope some of these tips help you to make the most of your recordings. If you have any extra questions or you have a recording that you need to be transcribed, you have come to the right place.


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