A Guide To Audio Quality

Audio Quality For Transcription

The audio quality of your sound files is extremely important if you are looking to use a transcription company to provide you with transcripts. We have included plenty of information throughout the Transcription City website to help you decide what type of recording equipment to use and how to make the clearest recordings possible and here are some aspects of audio quality that are of the utmost importance.

Despite what many people may think, the quality of your recordings has a big impact on what can be heard and therefore transcribed.  Although you may not realise it, when you listen to a conversation on a general basis, you do not pick up everything that is said, as your brain will fill in many of the blanks without you even noticing.  This is a great human capability for day-to-day conversations with people who have an accent or a bad phone line, but unfortunately it is not so effective when it comes to accurate audio transcription.  This is why it is important to provide your transcription company with as much relevant information about your recording as possible (spellings of names, brief description of subject matter, company names or product names, etc) as this helps transcriptionists with any research that they may have to do and also helps them to pick up words or sentences that might otherwise be extremely difficult to decipher.

Cleaning Up Sound Files – The Facts!

Bad sound files can be improved, but that is all!  They cannot be transformed into good sound files!  For example, we are able to clean up background noise if it is isolated (such as a dog barking occasionally in the background), but we are not able to remove the constant, heavy background noise of a busy restaurant or office.  Background noise can be improved, but not removed completely if it is constant and this will always effect the number of unclears contained within your final transcript, no matter how much we clean up the audio and proofread your transcript.

The only way to truly avoid or at least reduce background noise is to take steps to keep it to a minimum as much as possible during your recording.

Voice distortion can also become a problem, if excessive.  For instance, if you are recording a video conference or telephone conversation with significant voice distortion, the best idea is to start again and record on a clearer line.  Once again, although we have tools to clean up audio distortion, these will never match a sound file that has been recorded clearly. Also, a badly recorded phone conversation may seem clearer to the interviewer when listening back as he or she has already once hjeard what was said (helping him or her to ‘fill in the blanks’). It’s important to remember that a transcriptionist does not have this luxury.

It’s importnart to note the only way to completely avoid voice distortion is to make a clear recording.

Participants that speak too quickly or are too far away from the microphone can also become a problem when it comes to transcription.  Although we have tools that can both slow down audio playback (for fast speakers) and boost volume to amplify the sound (for quiet speakers who are too far away from the microphone), these can cause significant voice distortion if the volume or speed of the audio is not adequate.

With modern technology, there is really no excuse for submitting sub-standard audio to any transcription company. The quality of your audio files will have a big impact on the quality, turnaround time and accuracy of your transcripts.  Making the effort to record quality sound and video files will make you substantial savings on your transcripts and mean that you don’t have the hassle of trying to remember what was said for your unclears.

If you would like more information on how to produce the best quality sound or video files, why not contact us today?  We are always happy to help.

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