Recording a flawless sound file.

If you need to use a transcription company on a regular basis to transcribe your dictation or interviews, it can save you time and money if you can send them sound files that are of a decent quality.  I have compiled a check list of what makes a flawless sound file and how you can create one.

  • Make your recordings in a quiet area or better still, a sound proof room.  New technology means that it is really easy to hear every tiny little noise that is made, so be aware of this and make sure that you don't place your microphone next to anything that is going to make noise, such as a window or fan.
  • If you are going to do an interview with someone it is wise to plan ahead.  Have a clear idea of what you want to cover in the interview and what information you need from your interviewee. Stick to the point and keep your interview concise and to the point. 
  • Speak clearly and try not to interrupt or change direction in your speech.  If you are speaking to quickly, constantly changing direction in your speech or talking over people, you will make your sound file very difficult to transcribe.  Bear this in mind and plan for it.
  • Remember that you are making a recording.  Some people forget that they are recording themselves and will leave the room, start gossiping or start talking about something completely off subject.  This is a waste of money, so stay on the subject and don't wander off half way through an interview.
  • Be clear on how you want your sound file to be transcribed.  There are several different types of transcription - Verbatim, Intelligent verbatim and Discourse analysis.  Decide which one you want to use and let the transcription company know, so that they can give you an accurate price and transcribe your file exactly how you want it.
  • Stay close to the microphone.  If you are doing an interview, try to centre the microphone between you and the respondent.  If you are recording a larger event, such as a conference or focus group, then it may be worth using several microphones and spacing them out evenly among the group.
  • Use a transcription service that specialises in the subject that you are making your recording in.  This way any technical jargon or abbreviations will be transcribed properly.

Keep these points in mind whenever you make a recording and you should get your transcripts back quickly and without fault.