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Tips on Recording

Remember: The final quality of your transcript depends on quality of your audio. So always invest effort in ensuring you have a good recording.

Digital recording:

Digital recording devices are very much mainstream in the market today. We highly recommend considering purchase of a digital recorder due to the overall recording quality, ease of distribution of recorded content, and ease of transcription.

Tips on analog recording

Always try to record digitally....

However, sometimes it will not be possible for you to record digitally. Below are some tips for such circumstances:
Good-quality tapes result in good sound and longer life.
Never leave tapes or recording devices in hot places - heat will destroy them very quickly.
Try not to use micro cassettes. They produce a poor-quality recording
If using a video camera and recording onto Mini DV, be sure to use the SP setting, NOT the LP setting. Mini DV tapes recorded in LP mode may not be compatible with other video playback devices.
Avoid micro cassettes as they produce poor-quality recording
Most micro-cassette recorders have two speeds. Set the recorder on the standard speed.

General tips on recording

Use an A/C power supply if possible - batteries die quickly.
Ask participants to avoid talking at the same time.
The recorder or microphone should be placed close to the speaker.
Before you start the event, a sound check is helpful. When doing a sound check, make sure to speak at the distance from the mike that you will be at during the entire interview.
Ensure the recording device is set to capture all of the speakers in the room.
Use external microphones as they record sounds more clearly and accurately.
Check recording volume regularly - if your recording device has meters, refer to them but also be sure to listen to the audio levels with headphones.
Use more than one external microphone - especially for groups larger than four people and be sure to place them as close as possible to the speaker/s.
Try to keep windows closed, particularly those facing traffic noises or parking lots.
High-bias cassette tapes will record sound much more accurately than low-bias cassette tapes.

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