We love to type and we really enjoy the varied content of our clients’ work. We find it fascinating and we pride ourselves on doing the best job possible for you. So, in order to help us to help you, the gang here got together to give you some handy tips on how to get the best from us.
Poor quality recordings can lead to stress, headaches, frustration and, on occasions, gin! A happy transcriber is a productive transcriber so it’s really a win/win for us all.
The quality of your finished transcript will largely depend on the quality of the audio you provide. We understand that you’re often at the mercy of your environment, but try to aim to record a good quality audio file with minimal background interference. Following these digital recording tips will help you get the best from your transcripts.
• Whenever possible choose a quiet room in which to conduct your meeting or interview. Ensure that windows and doors are closed so that the recording does not pick up any external noises such as traffic, work colleagues passing the room, etc.
• Before you start to record your meeting please ensure that you switch off any unused equipment which could interfere with the recording (e.g. mobile phones, computers and air conditioners as the recording device may pick these sounds up).
• When recording an interview try to place the microphone in closer proximity to the interviewee than yourself. The responses are invariably more important than the questions.
• If the dreaded fire alarm (or similar) goes off, please pause to allow the noise to stop before continuing. This will ensure that your transcriber picks up your conversation clearly (and it’s easier on our ears!).
Technical and equipment
• Always test your equipment prior to the recording session and make sure your recording device is set at the highest volume possible. If you can involve participants in this, so much the better. A quick test chat which you can have a listen to beforehand will ensure that you clear up any glitches in advance.
• If you are not using digital equipment to record your interview or meeting, though digital is highly recommended, then use standard analogue cassettes and record at normal speed. If you record at a high speed to fit more time on the tape the quality of the audio will be reduced significantly.
Focus groups/multi-speaker meetings
• When recording a focus group or multi-speaker meeting ask participants to try not to talk over one another. Don’t be afraid to remind them of this during the recording. We understand that these groups can get lively!
• At the beginning of the meeting, ask each participant to introduce themselves clearly so that we can identify precisely who is talking. Where practical, ask each participant to say their name before they speak, especially if five or more people are participating, if you want each person clearly identified throughout transcript.
Interviews by phone or Skype
• Usually they are beautifully clear, but occasionally the sound quality of these recordings can be problematic. Where possible, use a landline rather than a mobile and turn the volume of any Skype conversations up as high as possible. We will work round any sound problems, but the better the quality of the recording, the more accurate your transcript will be.
Thank you for reading! We look forward to receiving your crystal clear audio recordings…!