Recording Equipment for Interviews | Focus Groups | Seminars | Conferences

Microphone Quality and Position

The absolute key to getting a usable recording is using mics that are close to the person talking. Sitting a recorder in the middle of a
room can mean problems and unusable recordings (eg lots of background noise, faint speakers at the back of the room etc).

Recording Format & Settings

Remember t0  record in either .wav or .mp3 format as this is used by most transcription software. Some recording equipment have their own formats, however these can end up in large files, making it hard to send the recordings. We use this (free) software to convert files to .mp3 or .wav formats see: here.

Remember to turnoff “noise reduction” settings. These often do not work and make the recording more difficult to hear.

Background Noise & Over Talking

Remember to control the background noise – choose an area that is closed off from external sound. Not a cafe, or public space. If you have limited choice, then we recommend getting the microphones as close to the speaker/s as possible. This may mean investing in lapel microphones see: here, along with a microphone splitter to allow input for two mics see: here.

Remember control the people talking – especially in groups, people can end up talking over one another. The moderator/facilitator needs to lay the ground rules and control the situation in order to get an accurate recording.


Interview Recording Equipment
ZOOM H1- Interview Recorder

Recording Interviews and Focus Groups

We have seen great success using ZOOM products. We highly recommend the ZOOM H1 for interviews and small groups.


Focus group recording equipment
ZOOM H2n Conference and Focus Group Recorder

Recording conferences, lectures, question and

answer sessions

For this you will most probably need multiple microphones, as speakers are more likely to be in different areas of a room. We recommend a base unit like the ZOOM H2n. This unit enables extra external mics to be plugged into the base unit and mic setup. If you are recording a question and answer session we recommend a roving wireless mic system see: here.