Tips for Recording Clear Audio

Five Tips to Improve Your Recorded Audio Quality 

A good transcription starts with a good audio recording. Spoken language already requires high-order cognitive functioning to accurately interpret meaning without visual and contextual aids. The task becomes orders of magnitude more challenging if the spoken words are obscured by bad audio. Clean, clear audio will give you the most accurate transcripts.

Our transcriptionists are pros, but even they can’t work miracles with all audio. Many times there are recording factors in your control that will give you clearer audio and hence a better transcript:

1. Record in a quiet environment, free of ambient noise

  • Avoid public places like coffee shops and the outdoors.
  • Choose a location where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
  • Close all doors and windows in your room.
  • Dampen sound where possible. Carpeted rooms reduce echo and eliminate furniture scraping on the floor.
  • Avoid or turn off noisy electronics such as clocks, “buzzing” fluorescent lights.

2. Pay attention to your microphone

  • Place the microphone close to the speaker(s).
  • Place the microphone away from sources of noise such as projector fans and computer keyboards.
  • Use a good microphone to reduce static, “popping”, and background noise.
  • Use the right style of microphone. Omni-directional mics record sound from all directions, while unidirectional mics record from only one direction.
  • Use the right tool for the job. For example, try an app for recording phone calls instead of placing a tape recorder next to a speakerphone.

3. Pay attention to speech diction

  • Speak slowly, clearly, and loudly.
  • Enunciate your words. Try to avoid slurring, stuttering, and swallowing the ends of phrases.
  • Ask speakers with strong non-US accents to especially slow down and enunciate

4. Manage groups effectively

  • Clearly state names whenever possible to keep track of who is speaking.
  • Speak one at a time.
  • Avoid interrupting and talking over one-another.
  • Make sure you have enough mics to clearly pick up every speaker.

5. Test your setup

  • Make a test recording and listen to it. The speech should sound clear.
  • Experiment with recording equipment and environments, to find which work best for you.

Bonus: be sure to provide the optional info during checkout: speaker names, topic, and number of speakers. This helps us match your transcript project with the best typist for the job.

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