Transcriptions are made from TV shows, trials and other important meetings as a written record of proceedings. Someone has to listen to hours of recordings and type every word. Digital recorders have improved the process, but equipment and other factors continue to make it difficult to get quality digital audio recordings for transcription.
* Choose a recording device carefully. Know that mini disk players are excellent recorders but they require a transfer of the recordings to a PC, which may be a frustrating and slow process. Know that it is better to use a recorder specifically designed for recording voice.
* Consider using an external microphone. Know that results come from plugging an external microphone into the recorder. Place that between the interviewee and yourself. Understand that recorders sometimes come with separate microphones that may be clipped to the interviewee's clothing. This may be ideal if you are unconcerned about recording your own words.
* Check the settings on the recorder. Ask the subject to say a few words that you record to test the equipment. Recorders usually have a level indicator that shows whether the voice is being picked up correctly. Rewind and listen to ensure the words are clear if the recorder does not have a level indicator. Adjust the microphone position as needed.