Recording an interview is not as simple as appointment-arrive-record. Here are some tips about achieving good quality audio from experienced researchers so you can achieve easy-listening audio and accurate transcriptions in interviews and digital dictations in Sydney.

Say No To Phones

Certain smartphone brands made the headlines a few years ago by recording entire documentaries with their devices. Few people know that a separate audio recording is usually planned or overlaid soundtracks. A phone recording will result in poor quality audio files and inaccurate transcription, which means more hours of work for you. Smartphone microphones are the size of a pinhead and are for very close distance recording. So, getting the best voice recorder is essential and, preferably, one that can handle multiple voices.

Which Recorder?

An easy to use, multi-voice, large-area compatible recorder is an excellent place to start, priced from $99.00. Cheaper ones are available, but they come with a significant quality compromise. You don’t need vast amounts of memory as 2GB will store 30 hours-plus of high-quality audio. The Olympus RM-4010P USB Microphone, $379, can upgrade to 32GB of storage. The RM-4010P also has WiFi capability, which makes file transfers super easy!

Most importantly, the recorder must be digital, with MP3 file format being the most compatible. Choose the highest recording setting and ALWAYS “test-drive” the equipment before every interview.

Don’t Run-Flat!

Don’t be caught short with power options. If you have the Olympus RM-4010P, it plugs into your laptop. However, if you use the Olympus WS852 voice recorder, put fresh batteries in the recorder and pack an extra set. Check the recorder regularly to ensure the recording is still active. Before the following interview or digital dictation, check the storage space and power supply.


Quality USB recmics and voice recorders will filter out background noise, but a quiet location in Sydney is always preferable for interviews or digital dictations rather than public places. A quieter background delivers a more accurate transcription. If a café is not negotiable, then find a quiet one and avoid peak hours.

Positioning Of Recorder

Typically the voice recorder microphones will be directed point towards the person being interviewed. Avoid putting the recorder on a table if refreshments are being lifted off and on the same table.

Conversation Flow

Some people are nervous about recordings so starting the recording during casual introductions is a gentle start. First, get everyone to introduce themselves with a few sentences, not just their name.

Try and ignore the recorder, except for discreet visual checks on whether it is still running.

Using confirmation sounds like “yes, I see, I hear you, or uh-huh” helps keep a natural conversation flow. Intersperse it with some head nods and general positive body language.

Now that you have your excellent recording don’t lose it. Instead, send it via WiFi to the cloud or your inbox as soon as possible.

If you want a high-quality, professional recording of your interviews and dictations, then contact Dictation World for digital dictation equipment in Sydney today!



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