Have you tried doing a transcription job on poor audio? If so, you know the struggle of bad-quality audio transcriptions. In this article, we’ll show you ways how to improve audio quality for better transcriptions. Read on to learn how you can achieve it. But first what is a good audio quality transcription and what are the benefits of a good audio transcription?
Good audio transcriptions are audio files with a clean sound, no background noise, and a clear speaking voice. On the other hand, poor audio transcriptions are recordings where there are faint voices, loud background noises, and lots of people over speaking at each other.
Audio quality is important for creating accurate transcriptions. With bad audio quality, a transcription can result in many errors caused by inaudible sections. This is why having great audio quality is important in the field of transcription. So, what steps can you take to improve audio quality? Here are easy ways to achieve great audio in every transcription job:
Reduce background noise
Audio quality is heavily affected by background noise. The ideal environment where you record is a closed quiet room, however, that isn’t possible all the time. So, if you’re recording somewhere where you can’t control the noise, here are things you can do. First, ask everyone to be a bit quieter and tell them you’re conducting an interview. Put a sign on the door so that nobody enters without asking. Then, turn off appliances or devices in your room that might produce sound.
It’s also important to consider the layout of your room. Most empty huge rooms tend to produce echoes which can reduce sound quality. To have the best audio quality possible, record in a space with minimal background noise. A studio is the best place to record. You can also record in a spacious room with high ceilings, a concrete floor, and sound-proofed walls. Make sure that the audio volume is also clear and consistent throughout the duration of the recording.
Keep distance between speaker and microphone
Did you know that sound quality depends significantly on the distance between the speaker and the microphone? You can have the best and highest quality microphone but if you speak too close or too far from the microphone, it might distort or not even pick up any sound at all. Experts say the ideal distance between the microphone and mouth is around 10 centimeters.
Do a test recording
Creating a test recording is an awesome way to ensure your audio files will be of high quality once you start your final recording. Test recordings also allow you to use and experiment with different microphones and recording device settings. This will give you the best chance of recording great transcription-quality audio files.
Also, a short test recording will help you correct and alert you of any environmental factors that could negatively impact your audio files. This is a great way to adjust and create amazing audio recordings. For best results, conduct a trial first to determine the optimal distance between the speaker and his mic. This will improve sound quality before the recording even starts.
Get better quality microphones and other recording tools
Audio quality is dependent on the quality of your microphones. It’s also often true that expensive microphones have better quality than cheap microphones. Although, there are also cheap microphones of good quality (but they’re extremely rare).
According to experts, the best microphone is external. Built-in microphones from headsets or smartphones aren’t always of the best quality as they tend to pick up sounds from the device itself. It’s also great to determine the type of microphone you need based on your recording setup. If you have only one speaker or source of the sound, you can choose a unidirectional mic that records from one direction. However, if you have several speakers, and you tend to record from one place to another, it’s good to invest in a portable recording device.
It’s also important to stop moving the recording device all the time. This will distort the sound and obscure the words of the speaker. If you want to have flawless and high-quality audio for transcription, it certainly pays to allot a big budget.
When it comes to audio equipment, the saying “you get what you pay for” is quite true. So, it’s important to allocate a good amount of budget for it if you want to have great audio quality for better transcription.
Avoid interrupting each other when talking
It’s also important to ensure that during the interview nobody interrupts each other while talking. This will make transcription jobs easier. If you’re also using transcription software, this is vital to ensure accuracy throughout the reading.
When interviewing a person, make sure that you let each other finish sentences. Encourage participants to speak in turn. Also, make sure to allow them to repeat themselves for clarity. You can brief your participants in advance about these guidelines so that once the recording starts everything will go on smoothly.
To help transcriptionists create good transcriptions for interviews, you should also include a portion where participants are asked to state their names in the recordings. This will remove confusion about the identity of voices throughout the audio recording.
Hire a Professional Transcriptionist
If you want high-quality and professional transcription, always choose a human transcriber over an automation machine. Human transcriptionists can produce better and more accurate results. They can also ensure small errors such as spellings, abbreviations, and grammar are correct. Most transcriptionists also have great knowledge when it comes to creating a solid and polished transcription.
- Position the speakers close to the microphone
- Use the best quality voice recording devices and tools
- Choose a quiet location to record, preferably a studio with soundproof walls
- Switch off devices that aren’t being used and may have noise disturbances
- Turn off mobile phones or switch to airplane mode
- Close windows and doors to prevent outside noise from going inside
- Brief participants before interview recording stars
Improving the quality of audio files can greatly improve transcription. By following the tips above, you’ll ensure a better quality of audio files for transcription