Audio and video interviews are a great way to get information for your podcast, documentary, or other multimedia projects. The only challenge is finding someone who can deliver a quality interview transcription every time. This post will teach you how to transcribe an audio or video interview with little equipment and time investment on your part.
It Starts With Good Audio
You can use your computer’s built-in microphone for this, but it will be difficult to transcribe the interview efficiently if you do. A better option is to purchase a quality desktop mic or headset for between $20 and $100, depending on the quality of the device.
The idea is to have a mic that will pick up the interviewee’s voice well without recording a lot of background noise. Also, it would help if you avoid clicking pens and shuffling papers as it sounds terrible on audio playback.
Headphones that rest on top of your ears without touching the ear are your best option. You can also get away with cheaper headphones, but if you do, make sure they have good sound isolation so there isn’t background noise.
Once you have the equipment, record an interview and listen to it on playback. Check if there is too much background noise and if people’s names are said clearly. If not, record it again until everyone is audible and clear.
If you struggle with audio quality or aren’t sure what good sound isolation looks like, local college audio production programs are a great place to seek help.
Capturing The Interview
The next step is to record your interview. You must have a way of recording both sides of the conversation; otherwise, if only one person records, it will be difficult for them to transcribe. You’ll need some sort of computer software or phone app as well as a device to record the audio or video.
If you are using a smartphone, the audio quality is usually pretty good, so start here and move on to other options if it doesn’t work out. You can also purchase apps specifically for recording interviews on your phone, which will have better results than just recording with the built-in app.
Tracking Your Transcription
Now that you have the equipment, software, and recording, it is time to transcribe your interview. Unless you are really good with computers, try to find someone else who will do it for you. Some transcription services charge by word while others charge by the hour, so make sure to look around for the best deal.
Once you are ready to start transcribing, open up your recording in the software of choice and press play. At this point, it’s time to get out of your computer chair and do something else for a few hours or even overnight if necessary.
Tips For Transcription
If you are transcribing your own interview, here are some tips to keep in mind. Avoid editing out small mistakes as this is distracting and difficult to do. Instead, have someone else read the transcription back to you, so it sounds like a real conversation. If no one else can help, try reading the transcript out loud yourself or have someone record you while you read it back.
When you are finished transcribing the interview, ask a friend to proofread the transcription while listening to the audio playback. Small mistakes add up quickly, so check for typos or other punctuation errors and incorrect words or names.
The Final Product
Once you’re finished transcribing and proofreading your interview, it is time to share the final product. Consider sharing it with those who were interviewed and others in related fields or even general audiences if that type of content aligns with your brand. A great option for sharing this content on social media is creating a blog post from the transcription. This is also a great option for keeping the content alive on your website beyond the time that traditional blog posts are shared.
When starting an interview transcription project, there are many options to consider, but the most important factor is quality. A poor recording with bad sound isolation will be difficult for anyone to transcribe and can lead to mistakes that make it harder to share your content after the fact. Try your best with this step of the process, so you don’t get stuck with a poor transcription.
In the end, you want to make sure that your interview transcript is accurate and easy for others to read, so consider these steps before getting started.