Recording Guide

Recording Guide – how to get the best transcripts

General Guidance

Choose a quiet location – background noise is annoying for the transcriber, but more importantly, it can obscure what your interviewee is saying!

Try not to shuffle papers or clatter coffee cups near to the recorder, as again, this will often make conversation difficult or impossible to hear.

Turn off mobile phones (assuming you are not using it to record!) as these interfere with recording equipment and can result in speakers being inaudible.  Please turn off phones completely rather than using silent or vibrate modes as your device will still search for network coverage in these states and this is what can cause interference.

Provide a list of any technical terms used during the recording.

Provide a list of any unusual place names, company names, etc.

Recording Focus Groups & Meetings

Use external microphone(s) for focus groups to pick up all speakers clearly.

If you require identification of participants:

  • Provide a list of participants, indicating whether they are male or female, and any accent or other attributes that might help the transcriber identify.
  • Ask participants to introduce themselves, giving their name and a short introduction (a few sentences). This might help your transcriber more accurately identify people.
  • Ask the focus group facilitator to help by frequently using participants’ names when asking them a question or thanking them for their input.