Suggestions for Getting the Best Results from Your Audio Files

Your transcript can only be as good as the quality of your recording. ADA Transcription will never guess as to what someone is saying. As displayed in our sample format, we will use blue bold words for when we are unsure, or [inaudible] if we simply cannot make the word out. ADA Transcription always keeps these at a minimum, but it is largely dependent on the quality of the dictation.

In most general situations, the best recording device is an Olympus (or Sony) digital recorder, available in most electronic stores, or at Our personally suggested model is the Olympus WS-500 for about $100 new (or usually $75 used on Amazon) because it allows you to connect to your computer and instantly have MP3 files. These can be directly uploaded to our site. (WMA files need to go through a simple compression first...see upload page for details)

If you have any questions about how to best record in your specific situation, do not hesitate to give us a call. We are here to help our customers in any way that we can.

To be of as much assistance of possible, we below is a list of tips on how to have the best possible audio.

  • Always ask people to speak one at a time.
  • Always ask everyone to speak clearly.
  • Record in a quiet environment, if possible, try to have it be in a place where it is only the people being recorded are in the room.
  • Use a microphone near the speaker.
  • If speaker(s) is moving please use a lapel or wireless microphone, do not try to have it picked up with one stationary recorder.
  • In large groups, use enough equipment for the size of the group. If higher tech equipment is not available, use multiple recorders and we will listen to each in order to complete your transcription. (sometimes associated with fees) Please do not expect one small digital recorder to pick up a large group of people clearly.
  • If names are to be identified, have each person state their name before talking.
    • If at all possible, have a note taker take notes when so as to provide an agenda of who was speaking at what time, by taking down the first few words they say.
  • Always fill out our customer questionnaire for every file. Provide names of speakers, a basic agenda or summary of the topic, other names or organizations mentioned.