Top Five Mistakes When Recording Audio For Transcription
Making a Recording in Restaurant, Café or Busy Public Area
When setting up an interview, one of the first things you may consider is how to make your interviewee comfortable, as well as how to make a good impression on him or her. Bearing these things in mind, you may arrange to have a discussion over drinks, or even dinner. This will be fine if you’re looking to just do some personal note taking but will most likely be disastrous in terms of making a high quality audio recording to send to a transcription company. Typing service companies can clean audio, but only to a certain level, and it can be painstakingly difficult to decipher a speaker who is surrounded by endless background noise, slurping and cluttering of cups and plates! Conducting a meeting in this fashion will likely lead to a poor quality (and more expensive) interview transcript.
Making a Multiple Speaker Recording from your iPhone, iPad or Smartphone
Phones nowadays are multi-functional, all encompassing devices that many cannot live without. You can use them to find directions, surf the web, send emails, take photos and even switch your house lights on and off! So surely you can use your phone for your interview transcription purposes. Well, sort of! Dictaction software on phones nowadays is brilliant, easy and of a high quality. You can even conduct a quiet interview on your phone and hopefully have good sound, but multi-speaker interviews and focus group recordings require microphones and superior quality recording equipment for things not to be missed. Transcription companies are not miracle workers – we can accept audio sent straight from your phone, in whichever format you choose to record in and we can even clean your sound. However, we can only type audio that we can hear and the microphone on a mobile phone will not pick up audio from 2 speakers who are 15 feet away, and being shouted over!
Recording a telephone conversation on a speakerphone
It’s very easy to find software and hardware to record telephone conversations. In fact, on many mobile phones nowadays, voice recorders come as standard and can be used from your phone to record conversations. It’s no secret that when we play back sound recorded from a conversation, it’s not as clear to hear what is said. The same goes for the sound emitted by a speaker phone. Often that sound is compromised and as audio recording is never perfect, in this scenario, it’s a double whammy against your chances of a good interview transcript! Proper software will record the sound that is passed to your phone, not the sound coming out of it – and it’s well worth every penny.
It’s quite well known that it’s illegal to record a conversation without the other party’s consent. If you have audio you want to send to a transcription company but have not had the recording agreed to by the other speaker, you may want to save your money as legally you will be unable to use the transcript for whatever purpose you intended and may get into a hell of a lot of trouble!
Forgetting your Manners
Whether you are holding a focus group to be transcribed or conducting a one-to-one interview yourself, be sure to warn against over speaking. Over speaking makes hearing a speaker very difficult and also can make a transcript hard to read, with broken sentences. Put yourself in the place of the transcriptionist – can you hear and fully take in the words and meanings of every speaker? If not, how is your typist supposed to? Keep your conversation etiquette in check and you will be rewarded with a far superior transcript from your chosen transcription company.