Quality audio recordings for transcription

Finding a good transcriptionist is not all; your recording has to be of good quality too. The quality will determine the cost and quality if the transcript. A good recording will reduce the cost of the transcription and the end product will be more accurate.

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when recording that will help increase the quality if your recording.

Do’s and don’ts

  • Speak clearly and at a good volume level, do not speak too quietly, rushed or mumble.
  • Only one person should speak at a time and do not let the speakers talk at once at once and end up interrupting each other.
  • Record on high quality setting and on fast speed, the quality is much higher with this. Do not record on slow, it uses less memory but quality is much lower. Low quality audio makes it hard to transcribe and the end product may have mistakes.
  • Get a quiet place to record and avoid ambiance that will lower your quality. Do not record in places with a lot of background noises like music, vents and people talking.
  • In groups of more than one more ensure that all can be heard equally well. Use of microphones will ensure that all are heard.
  • To get good sound use a microphone near the speaker or a lapel microphone for moving speakers. Do not use a stationary microphone as this will drown out audio if the speaker moves.
  • If you do not have more than one microphone then place it at equal distance to all the speakers. All can be heard equally well. If you cannot do that then try placing it to the part where the conversation is really important.
  • Have a house microphone or a wireless microphone for the question and answer sessions. You can also record the question again so that it is captured well.
  • Use good quality equipment and ensure that all people are covered. If you cannot get good quality equipment, then get several recording equipment that you place around the room. Do not use equipment that cannot be able to record all your speakers.
  • Turn on your recorder and start recording before people start speaking. It ensures that people’s conversations are not cut off.
  • Ensure that all speakers say their name before speaking for easy identification. You can also have someone taking notes of each speaker that will have their name and part of their statements.
  • Have a list of the speakers and the agendas to make it easier transcribe. It will make it easier to identify the speakers and order of the transcript will be better.
  • Use the Constant Bit Rate (CBR) if you are using the MP3 files to save your audio. Do not use the Variable Bit Rate format (VBR). Using VBR will be problematic as transcriptionist cannot directly transcribe using it. It will have to be converted to CBR.
Jessica Miller, Marketing Head in Transcriptionwave, General Transcription Services Company in the US.

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