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Recording Audio

Research Transcription

Pacific Transcription's experienced typists are able to cater to all audio formats, including cassette tapes, mini and micro tapesCDsDVDs and all digital formats.

Visit our contact page to find out where to post your tapes and CDs, or email us at  to find out more.

Before recording your audio we suggest reading our article on choosing a recorder to ensure that you have the correct recording device for your requirements. If you're still using a cassette tape recorder, we would strongly recommend upgrading to a digital recording device. You can read the reasons for this in our blog.

Pacific Transcription sells a vast range of products including recorders, microphones and more. To find out more please visit our Shop.


Tips on recording interviews and focus groups

Before Recording

1. Ensure that you have the recorder on the highest quality setting: If you are recording on an Olympus recorder, for example, you should use either the standard play (SP) setting or the high quality (HQ) setting. 

2. Ensure that you are recording in a suitable audio format: With some recorders, you can record audio in various formats, such as .ds2, .dss, or .wma. Here at Pacific Transcription, we find that .wma is the best format to use for recording interviews.

3. Find a suitable location to conduct the interview once you have organised your recorder: It is best to avoid recording interviews where there is a lot of background noise, such as busy public places, or even where there is a loud air conditioner. Background noise can have quite an impact on the recording.

It is a good idea to make sure that you know where the pause button is before you start recording - this is very useful, especially if you are unexpectedly interrupted during your interview.

4. Phone interviews can be recorded using speaker phone or inexpensive external telephone pick up microphones: Test the speaker phone first to make sure your recorder can pick up good quality audio.  Ensure that you do not set the recorder too close to the speaker. Alternately you can use an inexpensive microphone, such as an Olympus TP8 telephone pick up microphone.  One end fits into the ear you hold the telephone to, and the other end plugs into your recorder, capturing excellent audio from both speakers.  

During Recording

1. Ensure the recorder is equidistant from participants and not too close to yourself: If anything, you can sit further away from the recorder, as the interviewee's response is most important.  Try not to move the recorder once it is in place.

So that we can identify interviewees in focus groups, ask them to repeat their name each time they speak, as it is not always possible to identify speakers from audio alone. If you require speakers to be identified, it may be useful if someone present can keep a speaker log.

2. Encourage participants to speak one at a time: If aside discussions or laughter occurs whilst you are recording your interview, wait for it to quieten down before you ask your next question - laughter in particular can drown out what is being said.

3. Small ambient noises can obscure speech: Remind participants to try not to rustle paper, click pens or drum their fingers on the table during the interview. Use hand gestures to let speakers know you are listening.

4. Don't hesitate to repeat key sentences for clarity: It is also handy to have a spare recorder battery to hand, just in case.  You may also prefer to use a power adapter if there is a nearby power outlet (recorders and adapters are available for purchase from our Shop).

For guidance on the best digital voice recorders on the market to record focus groups, read our "Recording Focus Groups" blog post.  

Click here to download a brochure containing this information.