How can I get a good recording?
WHEN RECORDING A meeting:
- Use best quality dictaphone/recording equipment at all times and ensure fresh batteries are loaded.
- Try not to overtalk or cut off what the interviewee is saying.
- Closed room environment is best- coffee shops or outdoor venues do not make for an accurate transcription!
Conferences & Seminars : If a conference or seminar is being run then we recommend using a Audio Visual company. Most universities/conference venues can supply this and ensures broadcast quality recording for great transcripts.
Focus Groups : If conducting a group discussion please ensure the following:
- Provide written notes, copy of seating plan, spelling of names/terminology, question prompt sheet, ie: any information which will help make an accurate transcription
- Use multiple microphones (we can then switch from recording to recording if necessary).
- Position microphone(s) close to speakers and ask them to speak in a clear voice one at a time.
- If possible, record in a "closed-room" environment (see above).
- If names are required then please introduce the participant so the transcriber can identify the voice and ensure the convenor prompts each speaker, ie: "Over to you, John." "Thank you, Sue". Pseudonyms are fine!
- Similar accents/voices will be coded for the researcher to identify (eg. Femaile 1, Male 1 etc).
- Do not allow eating or drinking whilst recording. Crackling crisp bags or clinking crockery can drown out vital information (as well as give the transcriber a headache!)
How long does a one hour RECORDING take to transcribe?
The professional industry standard allows 1 HOUR to transcribe 15 MINUTES of clearly-recorded speech. If the tape is of good (ie broadcast) quality then Marray Transcription Services will produce excellent interview transcriptions within this timeframe. Focus groups, open-room environments, strong accents, teenagers etc can however take longer and we will advise after a sample tape is provided. Timestamps are included at no extra charge.
Transcripts requiring full use of transcription conventions "FULL" or "STRICT VERBATIM" will also take longer to produce as the transcriptionist will include full punctuation, paralinguistic and non-verbal information along with timestamps. Our commonest format request is for "INTELLIGENT VERBATIM" which omits repeated words, um's, er's and yeahs.
Please let us know in advance what type of transcript you require.
WHY SO LONG?
It is generally accepted that we speak 6-7 times faster than we can write and we speak 4 times faster than we type. This applies if the recording is of an excellent standard. Anything less than "broadcast quality" will increase the transcription time so factors such as the number of people speaking, speed/clarity of voice, any accents, whether any technical or specialised terminology used will all have a bearing on the transcription time and resulting document.