Recording podcasts requires you to pay attention to certain details so that you can capture the best audio quality. Many businesses like to make transcripts of podcasts as a way to diversify content and to get indexed in search engines. Here are ways to get the best results from recording digital audio with the intent of podcast transcription.
Keys to Digital Audio Quality
– use professional equipment
– low background noise
– sound levels should not distort
Why Equipment Matters
In general, expensive equipment generates better audio quality than cheap equipment. A high-quality microphone can make a big difference in capturing vocal clarity. But even a cheap microphone can be used to make a decent recording by experimenting with microphone placement. Subjects should avoid speaking into a microphone too closely because it causes distortion. However, if the voice is too far away, the microphone may not pick up every word clearly.
Built-in microphones on recorders don’t always yield acceptable results, so using an external microphone can produce better audio quality.
To make professional recordings, it’s essential for the audio engineer to listen through headphones and watch voice level meters during the recording. There are various choices for actual digital recording equipment from digital workstations to smartphones. Usually, the process involves recording an entire event as a large file and then dividing it into sections if necessary. Audio recording software will allow you to edit out sections by marking in and out points, then deleting what’s in between with a click.
Digital Recording Considerations
You should first get permission to record individuals so that they don’t have an issue with it later. When choosing a recording location it should be where there is a minimal amount of background noise, such as machinery or traffic. Advising people to turn off electronic devices can help reduce interruptions.
If you are conducting an interview, you should prepare questions or an outline to keep the pace moving. The more you allow for long pauses, the more editing you may have to do later. As an interviewer, however, you should allow for brief pauses between answers and follow-up questions. Words can be very difficult to decipher in a podcast transcription when two people are talking at once, so sometimes you may need speakers to repeat themselves.
Testing voice levels is a necessary preliminary step to make sure that voices do not distort. By monitoring audio input levels, you can make adjustments when a voice is peaking in the red. You will have to advise people with softer voices to speak up; otherwise, the results can be unintelligible.
If you’re only recording audio without video then you should have speakers clarify what they mean if they point to an object or photograph as a reference. It’s easy to forget what people mean if they use vague language that doesn’t connect with visuals. You should also clarify any nonverbal communication such as nodding yes or no.
If you decide to archive your podcast and make it available for the public online, then you should put much more thought and care into the recording process. If you’re only using the recording to make a podcast transcription, then you don’t need to worry as much about audio quality, but you should still be able to hear and transcribe every word accurately.
Role of Transcription
There’s no denying the fact that podcasts, combining riveting storytelling with immense creativity, are proving to be a very effective channel for both entertainment and information. This is validated by the fact that millions of Americans tune in to podcasts every month, and their number continues to grow. However, despite the growth of this industry, the process wherein podcasts can be discovered remains pretty narrow. The major reason behind this happening is that podcasts cannot be easily discovered by the search engines: while some content can be tagged with some keywords, there are limitations to it. Thus, there isn’t any reliable way for a curious user to search for their desired topic and find their episode. This is where availing transcription services for your podcast episodes can help.
The inclusion of transcripts for your podcast will strengthen your visibility online and help you connect better with your target audience. Also, using a good SEO strategy when publishing your podcasts will help immensely in drawing a huge amount of traffic. That being said, there are other benefits too: transcripts of your podcasts make them accessible to the hearing impaired, a significant portion of the potential global audience, thereby extending the reach of your podcasts to a wider audience.
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Beth Worthy is the Director of Operations for GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. GMR Transcription has worked with over 8,000 clients spanning myriad industries and prides itself on its customer service and quick turnaround time. Their services include audio transcription, video transcription, and digital transcription, as well as Spanish and Mandarin translation. Google +