The way that an audio file is recorded greatly influences the quality of the transcript. There’s no two ways about this and no way around it, no matter how good the transcriptionist. Although there is software that can help clean it up this is both time consuming and not always efficient.I do not offer recording as a service as it is a speciality on its own, but there are a number of options you as a client who needs something recorded have. The first is to outsource the function and this is probably the most secure, with the best guarantee that you will get a good recording. For this purpose I recommend AMD Solutions and if you use their services please let them know that I recommended them.
The second way is to do it yourself. There are a number of ways to do this, and if you talk to the guys at Maynards they will be able to recommend a good recording solution. You can also use your cellphone or laptop using recording software, but you may not be guaranteed a good outcome.
If you are doing your own recording, there are some things to bear in mind to make it as clear as possible.
- Try to record in a quiet place. Loud background noise, while it may not be obvious to you sitting in a restaurant or shopping centre, is very obvious to the transcriptionist trying to make out a particular voice from many in the background.
- Try to minimise distractions such as ringing phones, dogs barking or children making a noise.
- If there are a variety of speakers, you can ask each speaker to clearly identify and introduce him or herself.
- Record a few seconds of ambient noise. This is the room sounds without anybody talking. This allows anyone cleaning up the recording to use that section of recording as a noise sample and use software to remove that type of noise from the recording.
- Try to make sure that all speakers speak directly and clearly into the microphone. If someone is sitting across the table and not speaking into the microphone, that person’s contribution may be lost.
- Try not to record in the vicinity of loud machinery or activities.
- Some form of noise is inevitable and expected in transcripts, but much can be avoided.