How To Record Interviews
AUDIO RECORDING HINTS AND TIPS
When you prepare to record interviews you need to be aware of how to record such meetings. Taking the right precautions before you proceed with your interview is critical, especially if you want to listen back to important points. So getting a clear recording is vital.
Whilst recording an interview seems simple, the challenge of getting an interview recorded clearly is often underestimated.
If you’re looking to get your audios transcribed, the quality of your recording is particularly important. Poorly recorded interviews tend to have words that cannot be understood, which in turn can affect the quality of your transcript.
So here are our top three tips to record interviews:
Record interviews by choosing your location carefully!
Location is important when preparing to record interviews. Yet it is a key factor in determining audio recording quality.
Public spaces, such as restaurants and coffee shops, are not ideal locations to record interviews. These venues often have a lot of background noise and interruptions (such as the waiter coming over to take orders) are difficult to control.
Most outdoor locations provide little or no control over noise levels. Take situations such as recording an interview in a park and the wind picks up or having a conversation on public transport with the screeching of brakes or engines revving, or even in your garden where a dog nearby may bark suddenly at a key moment. The surprises can keep coming!
It’s best to choose a location where you and the interviewee can minimize background noise and interruptions – we recommend enclosed rooms such as your home or an office.
Select recording equipment
Generally, it’s best to stay away from recording on a phone or tablet as these tend to offer a lower quality recording. In addition, a surprise phone call or message may interrupt the interview. Skype is also not ideal because of connectivity issues breaking up the recording.
However, if you have to use a phone or Skype to record your interview, the good news is that there is a lot of free software out there that can help clean up noisy audio files. Audacity is a great tool for removing background noise and can also be used to cut out blank spaces or irrelevant parts of the audio to reduce file length.
The best way to record audio is to use a digital sound recorder. In addition to the excellent quality, it is easy to transfer the recorded interviews to your computer or have a speech to text service transcribe the recording for you. As you can imagine, there is a large range of digital recorders on the market but this Top Ten Digital Recorders review link might help you for some options.
Whilst digital recorders do have very good built-in microphones, we’d recommend also investing in an external microphone. External microphones are especially useful if you’re going to record interviews outdoors or in noisy locations.
Again, this is a very important point to consider.
Place your recording device somewhere between yourself and the interviewee(s). To get the interviewee’s responses its best to place the microphone close to them. For groups, each participant should state their name in the beginning. We also recommend that you do a quick audio test beforehand to ensure that each speaker can be heard.
In conclusion, keep these tips in mind and you should be able to record a good quality interview!