The quality of the audio recording material is one of the most important things when it comes to cost and time when looking for a professional company to carry out transcription of the audio files into text based documents. It is therefore vital to ensure that the audio material is of high quality when you first begin.
Time Equals Cost
Transcription outsourcing companies normally hire qualified and professional transcriptionists who have been highly trained. These are people, who have had various qualifications in different fields like public sectors, medical, commercial, research, legal and academics among many others with high typing speeds of more than 70wpm. There has to be diversity in the professional fields to match the projects the clients dish out.
Transcriptionists normally have experience in handling good and bad audio tapes. The cost of the transcription however mostly depends on the quality of the audio file followed by other factors like the content of the material that has been handed in as a project and whether the people working in it will have to dig deep into the industry’s terminologies. The factors make sure that accuracy and time are equal to the cost.
The rule of the thumb in the industry
Technically, individuals speak 4 times faster than they can type. It therefore requires 4 hours to transcribe 60 minutes of an audio recording. This is based generally on standard lack of background noise, high quality audio and voice clarity- the industry uses this as an example for the transcription basis. Dependent on the scale and content of the audio recordings it may take more time because of other factors that may affect the project.
Factors that affect transcribing timescales and cost of the audio recording material
- More research into the industry or company
- Content of the technical terminology that has been used on the material
- Accents of the person/s speaking
- Number of people talking
- Speech the person/s uses to speak
- Voice of the person/s conversing
- The recordings clarity and background noise.
As it has been shown by the example above, these are some of the factors that are normally put in mind and accessed by the agencies before they can start the transcription process.
Two important steps for creating high quality audio
The factors that are shown above can shape the money that is spent as well as the amount of time that will be spent when transcribing the audio material. However, there are a few steps that can be followed to save on the money spent on transcription by following the methods that are explained below so that you can come up with great quality for the audio recordings as well as offer all important details about the material that will be handed in for transcription to the company that will be handling the project.
Step 1: coming up with top notch audio recordings
When recording dictation, always run a test that will be used to identify the audio levels that will be used. It is usually advisable to use a digital voice recorder or a desk top recorder. You can also use recorders that are hand held but it is important to make use that a new tape is used for all the dictation sessions.
You can get a recorder that can be used with external microphones especially if you are dealing with more than one person.
Additional microphones should be used if there are more than 3 people.
Set fast control speeds when using analogue tape by reducing the “tape his”.
Get rid of any background noise when carrying out the recording as the noise usually messes up with the quality of the recording thus increasing the time that will be used for transcription which will also increase the money that will have to be paid.
Recording time can be reduced when housekeeping information like breaks, fire exits and serving of lunch are noted down before starting on the entire process.
Do not forget to press the stop button when you are not recording especially during breaks so as to save space on the tape without recording unnecessary material.
All the speakers should be asked to introduce themselves stating their full names tiles and organizations they are working for.
Speakers should not talk over one another.
The speakers should also ensure that there is no background noise which can be caused by eating and shuffling papers which can affect the quality of the recording. Recording should be stopped when the speakers need refreshments.
Where possible use digital equipment to record the material as it has numerous advantages over the analogue ones.
Digital recording is more superior as there are no problems of tape hiss.
Digital material can be copied a number of times without messing up with the quality.
It is possible to know the exact time that was spent when recording as they usually note down the words per minute. (This helps to know the amount of money that will be spent for the transcription process). There are various kinds of digital recording files that can be used and they can be uploaded easily into a number of websites as well as transferred from one user to another thus they save time since they don’t have to be converted to other formats.
Step 2: Get a list of all the important details of the audio material
Come up with a list of all the people who are participating in the conference, interview or whatever event that you want to record.
The list should have the full names of the participants spelled out correctly with their relevant information like the organizations that they work with, their professional titles, like manager, Dr etc, their gender and all the details that you deem relevant when it comes to the participants.
The moderators’ full details should also be included as he/ she is the person who leads the meeting.
There are some people who make comments but are not in the meeting, do not forget to include this while making the lists.
It would also be great if you made a list of the people who are talking in the meeting in an orderly way. For example
First speaker: Dr. Alexandra Wells (Medical Research Director)- name of institution they represent
Second Speaker: Mr. Adam Smith (Director Of medical Resources) – institution he words for
This usually makes the transcription work much easier thus reducing the costs.
When it is time to hand over the Audio material
Good transcription agencies will make sure they consult with you in depth when you give them the project, identifying the areas that may need deeper research, requesting list of all the participants and speakers, list of terminologies, any potential problems so that they can come up with the charges that you are supposed to pay them when they are done working on the project. You can talk to them about the budget that you have to ensure that their charges are in line with it so as not to pay extra money. Always make sure that you work with a reputable company that will do the job perfectly. More on interview transcription