Making clear recordings

Here at Transcript Divas Transcription Services UK we take our transcription quality very seriously. So when we receive recordings where the quality of the recording is poor and the voices of those speaking are indistinguishable we want to offer our advice. Being ex-market researchers we know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of an inaccurate transcript, but there are some things you can do to mitigate the risk!


It’s undeniable that the quality of the audio recording will affect the quality of the transcript. Most commonly, a poor recording results from people talking over one another (cross-talk), the microphone being placed away from the action (faint voices) or distracting, extraneous noises that drown out the speakers (background noise). So here are the DIVAS’ top three tips to achieve a good-quality, clear recording.

Keep background noise down

Microphones are excellent at picking up any noise, not just the important bits! So close all doors and keep side conversations to a minimum.

Control Crosstalk – only one person speaks at a time

Set some ground rules and remind people of them at the outset of the meeting or interview. An active facilitator is invaluable to keep the dialogue flowing and on topic, and to allow one person to speak at a time.

Set Up YOUR Equipment Mindfully

Point the microphone away from potential sources of noise and towards the speakers. Place it where it will pick up all participants, ideally at an equal distance from everyone who is likely to speak.
Encourage participants to speak slowly and clearly.
Use the best, most appropriate equipment you can. A Dictaphone with an inbuilt microphone or a mobile phone is likely to give poor results.
Give Diva HQ a call: we can discuss options. Or check out our guide on transcription recording equipment.