There’s one question we consistently get asked and that’s, “what recorder do you recommend?” The answer we always give is that you and your recording technique are far more crucial to the quality of the final transcript than the actual recording device.
You can have a high quality recording device with all the features but if you haven’t adjusted the settings, or the intervie
wing technique and environment haven’t been considered then the investment won’t be realised. The advances of technology now enables people to create excellent recording from the most basic recorder or smart phone, so for now we’ll cover aspects relating to you and your technique because after all, that costs nothing but your attention and time.
Recording Quality / Techniques
Think about it…you’re going to invest finances in transcribing this recording and the quality of that transcript very much depends on the quality of your dictation or interviewing technique. So the big take home point is this – record yourself dictating or recording a practice interview.
Did you realise that the way you held the recorder muffled your words? Did you hear that when you affirmed the interviewee with ‘yeah’ it tended to override their responses and that information was lost? And did you hear how clearly and loudly all that paper rustling, giggling, coffee cup chinking was picked up by the recorder?
Preparation is key to everything in life and so too with your audio recordings. Create a checklist of points to cover before hitting that record button:
- Have all your paperwork, reports or interview questions in front of you.
- Ensure background noises are kept to an absolute minimum: coffee machines whirring in the background, cutlery tinkling, conversations and/or music, fans and air conditioners.
- If you’re outdoors, avoid windy areas.
- Breathe! Before commencing the recording take a minute relax – trust me, you’ll be happier with the results.