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Recording Audio for Transcription Using a Mobile Device

Making Recordings from your iPhone, iPad or Smart Device

With the rapid development of new technology, it has become easy for people to make recordings without having to spend money on specialist recording equipment or a Dictaphone. It has become increasingly popular to simply press the record button on an iPhone, smartphone, iPad or tablet to capture dictations and interviews on the go. However, depending on what type of audio you are trying to record, you may find that scrimping on the proper equipment is a false economy.

Recording Audio For Transcription With a Tablet or Smartphone

My smartphone and tablet go everywhere with me and I use them all the time, for work, for home and for fun. Although, buying specialist recording equipment (especially with an external microphone) will nearly always produce superior sound quality, it is possible to record reasonable quality audio using a phone or tablet. However, it is important to plan your recording properly if you want to ensure that you produce a good quality sound file. If not, you will find that you are left with an audio file that is difficult to hear and have large portions of dialogue obliterated and will cost a fortune to transcribe!

Surroundings/Background Noise

I can’t stress how important it is to be aware of background noise when making a recording and this is even more important if you intend on using your iPad, iPhone or other mobile device. Cafés, restaurants, bars, theatres and pretty much any public areas will have too much background noise to make a good quality recording. So find an area without background noise, preferably quiet room, with no distractions and make your recording there.

Making Multiple Speaker Recordings for Transcription

If you are using a mobile device to record your interviews, and want to produce a reasonable quality audio file that can be heard and transcribed, then please don’t try to record more than two speakers; an interviewer and a respondent. Also they should both be close to the microphone when speaking and they should also avoid speaking over each other. A smartphone or tablet will not produce recordings of acceptable quality for group interviews, focus groups or multiple speakers, these types of audio need at least two external microphones.

Distance from the Microphone

Whoever is speaking must be close to the microphone, in fact, they should be as close to the microphone as they would be if they were talking on the telephone. So use your device as if you were holding a microphone (which if you think about it, you are) or make sure whoever is speaking, leans in to the microphone. Hiding your device in your pocket, putting it in a bag or leaving it on a table, will not produce audio that is suitable for transcription.
If you would like to learn more about the best ways to record your interviews or would simply like to learn more about the transcription services we provide, why not get in touch? We are available 7 days per week and are always happy to help!

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Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant. View all posts by Samantha