Good quality audio recordings cost you less

In theory, recording an interview or discussion should be really easy. You place your digital recording device on the table, press the record button, and get on with it. Unfortunately, there is an awful lot that can go wrong when recording discussions. If you upload a poor quality audio file to be transcribed it could incur additional costs and contain more gaps in the transcript.

Transcriptionists are used to working with poor quality audio files. It comes with the territory. A lot of background noise or a dodgy microphone will affect the quality of a recording, which in turn will make it difficult to work out what is being said. Obviously if we can’t work out what the missing words are there isn’t a lot to be done and the client has to fill in the gaps. But this needn’t happen if care is taken to create a good quality audio recording in the first place. Here are a few simple tips to help you do exactly that – and make your transcriptionist’s life a lot easier.

Choose the Right Location:

Location makes a huge difference to the quality of a digital recording. Clearly, if you are making a covert recording you won’t have much control over background noise or muffled voices, but where possible, try and choose a quiet place to record your interview or discussion. Close windows to minimise traffic sounds and take a few sample recordings to check if there are any annoying noises you haven’t picked up on.

Dampen Ambient Sound:

In the same vein, there is a lot you can do to dampen down ambient sound and improve the quality of your sound recording. If you have ever recorded in a room with hard floors and no curtains you will be aware of how much sound waves are magnified in this type of environment. Soft furnishings absorb sound waves, so drop blinds, pull curtains, and try not to consume food and drink whilst the discussion is taking place.

Set Up Equipment Correctly:

When using new equipment for the first time, spend some time playing around with the settings to achieve the best quality recording. Do a few test recordings to see what the end result sounds like, before you begin recording the proceedings on the actual day. This will help you produce a better quality audio file for transcription purposes.

Point the Microphone in the Right Direction:

It may sound obvious, but if you want a clear recording of what someone is saying, make sure the microphone is pointed at them when they speak. If there are multiple speakers, try and position the microphones in the middle so that they have the best chance of recording everyone’s voice equally.

The Importance of a Good Moderator:

Usually someone will lead an interview or discussion. It is advisable that the individual controls the proceedings. A moderator’s job is not an easy one, but one vital tip is to get the speakers to introduce themselves at the beginning of the recording. This enables a transcriber to become accustomed to the speakers’ voices. It also indicates how many participants are present. Let people finish what they are saying before you comment or ask your next question. When there is a group of people, discourage and control over talking.

Alphabet are audio transcription providers who are accustomed to working with a wide variety of audio files. We will always do our best, whatever the quality of the file we are given to transcribe. But at the same time, we are totally honest with our clients. Contact us to today to discuss your options.