There is,Transcription – Get Digital Recording Equipment That’s Right For Your Needs Articles of course, no easy answer to this, but this article aims to inform you on the different features available for recorders, what they’re for and how they will (or won’t) be of use to you, as someone who is recording for transcription. There is an enormous range of cost from less than £50 to hundreds of pounds, and this article aims to explain why that is. The different features are first listed and then explained, and this should allow you to choose a machine that’s right for you and your transcriptionist. As any visit to a good website or shop selling these machines will show you, this is not a comprehensive list. It’s a list of the most important aspects from a transcription point of view.
The different features are: • Recording quality • Frequency response • Amount of recording time • Computer interface • File type • Editing of recorded voice e.g. rewinding and adding or deleting some words • How is the recorder powered? • Dimensions • Microphone jack • Links with a speech recognition software
Recording quality will normally be indicated as SHQ – stereo high quality, HQ – high quality, SP (short play) and LP (long play). SHQ is the best quality (and stereo of course) but will take up the most memory, so you will be able to record less at this setting. LP is the poorest quality but you can record more time. Mono is probably perfectly adequate for an interview, but if you’re recording a number of different people e.g. at a meeting, conference or focus group, it might be useful to have stereo recording. To use stereo you will need a stereo microphone Visit website or more than one external microphone.
The different recording qualities relate to different frequency responses. The human ear picks up audio in the range of between approximately 20 Hz and 20 kHz. But what are the most used frequencies in speech? I’d love to know but a quick Google search gives an unbelievable range of answers! I think it’s fairly safe to say it’s somewhere around 250 Hz to 5 kHz, with the higher end being a high-pitched woman’s voice and the lower end being a low-pitched man. So it’s around those ranges that you need to be looking. There is a wide range of different frequencies available in different recording machines but frankly most will record a one-to-one or one-to-two interview to acceptable quality at SP, and possibly even at LP.