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  How to record interview and other sessions?

Interview Guide

Here are six steps to getting a great interview:

1. Practice using the equipment

Before your interview, get comfortable with your equipment. Record yourself. Find a friend and do a mock interview. A few things to remember:

Always wear headphones when recording. Your headphones are your "ears" for the interview; they tell you exactly what you'll hear on your finished recording. Use them to adjust the microphone position so the sound is as clear as possible. If you hear anything weird - such as "humming" or "clicks" - stop recording and figure out the problem.

Mic close. Hold the microphone about seven inches (roughly a hand's length) from your subject's mouth and slightly off to the side. Always hold the mic in your hand, moving it between you and your subject, just like a TV news reporter. At the start of the interview, you can ask your subject to wait a moment before responding to your questions so that you have time to move the microphone back and forth. If the sound is too loud in your headphones, lower the headphone volume instead of moving the mic farther away.

Be careful of mic noise. The low rumbling sound you might hear when you move the mic in your hands is known as "mic handling noise." You can avoid it by using a light touch and not shifting around too much. If you must move the mic, make sure to wait until your subject has finished speaking.

Avoid popping "p" and sharp "s" sounds (unnatural plosives and sibilance). If you hear either, move the mic farther to the side of the subject's mouth. Both occur only in a relatively narrow zone directly in front of the mouth. (To see for yourself, say the word "pop" with your hand directly in front of your mouth. Now say it again while moving your hand to the side. You'll be surprised how quickly the plosive zone disappears.)

2. Choose a quiet interview location.

A carpeted living room or bedroom makes for warm, intimate recordings. Avoid large, empty rooms, and stay away from kitchens, which have a lot of reflective surfaces and appliance noise.

Rooms are full of all sorts of sounds that you normally don't notice but that can wreak havoc on your recording. Close the door, unplug the phone, make sure your chairs don't creak, turn off anything that is making noise: ticking clocks, buzzing fluorescent lights, air conditioners, fans, etc. Listen and adjust during the interview as well. If you hear noise as your subject fiddles with her necklace, for example, feel free to let her know. Never record interviews when there's a radio or television on in the background.

3. Test the equipment.

Set up your equipment as early as possible and make sure you're comfortable with it. This way you'll be able to focus on the person you are interviewing and not the equipment. Before you begin your interview, record your subject talking for a few seconds to make sure everything is working. Ask warm-up questions like, "Can you describe what this room looks like?" or "Tell me what you had for breakfast." Take all the time you need to adjust your microphone placement and eliminate background noise. Stop, rewind, and listen to the recording you just made to make sure everything is working. Just remember to press "record" again when you start recording for real.

4. Begin the conversation.

Begin your interview with warm-up questions or small talk to help put your subject at ease. Start each tape with an ID, having the subject state his or her name, age, the date, and the location of the interview. For example, "Hi, my name is Christopher. I'm forty-one years old. The date is August 3, 1492, and we're sitting here on my ship called the Santa Maria in the port of Palos." Repeat this at the start of any new tapes.

Don't make noise when your subject is talking. Don't say, "uh huh," or interrupt when something interesting or important is being said. Instead, use visual cues like nodding your head.

5. Get great stories.

Listen closely. Look at your subject's eyes (not the mic). Stay interested and engaged.

Stick with the good stuff. When you hear something that moves you, feel free to talk about it more. If you think the current topic isn't interesting, steer the conversation somewhere else.

Help the subject be more descriptive. When you need your subject to describe something, it can help to ask him to "paint a picture with words."

Don't be afraid to record again. If the subject garbles words or makes a mistake, ask him to repeat himself. If a story never quite gets to the end or your subject loses his train of thought, you can ask for the ending again. Make sure you are happy with what you're recording. You can record as many times as necessary (as long as you're not driving your subject crazy).

Ask emotional questions. Questions like "How does this make you feel?" often elicits thoughtful responses. Don't be afraid to ask.

Take notes. Write down any questions or stories you might want to return to later in your interview. Also write down or record notes for your script: how people look, what they're wearing, what the environment looks like, etc. This should be done on location.

Be curious and honest. Great things will happen.

6. Wrap it up.

Before you turn off your recorder, ask the subject if there is anything else that he or she wants to talk about. Also, record two minutes of "room tone," that is the room's ambient sound. You can use this sound to make smooth transitions in and out of the scene when you edit. You can also use it to lay a "sound bed" underneath the interview in the final mix to give it a sense of place.

When you're done, label and write-protect your tapes or MiniDiscs. Store them in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Interview Checklist

Things to bring to the interview

  • Your question list
  • Recording device
  • Microphone
  • Microphone cable
  • Headphones
  • Extra batteries (at least one full set)
  • Pre-labeled tapes or MiniDiscs (twice as many as you think you'll need)
  • Pen or pencil

Before you begin your interview

  • Find the quietest place possible to record.
  • Turn off or move away from noisy appliances like clocks, TVs, and refrigerators.
  • Make sure you and your storyteller are comfortable.
  • Do a test recording, holding the microphone about one hand's distance from your storyteller's mouth. If anything sounds strange, stop and figure out what the problem is before starting the interview.

During your interview

  • Double check that the recorder is actually recording (not on pause).
  • Start each tape with an ID: State your name, your age, the date, and the location of the interview. For example, "Hi, my name is Christopher. I'm forty-one years old. The date is August 3, 1492, and we're sitting here on my ship called the Santa Maria in the port of Palos." Ask your storyteller to state the same information.
  • Stay quiet when your subject is talking. Don't say, "Uh, huh." Instead, nod your head.
  • Feel free to rerecord. If your storyteller makes a mistake or if a noisy truck passes by, feel free to ask her to repeat the story.
  • Ask emotional questions like "How did this make you feel?"
  • Look your storyteller in the eyes and stay engaged.
  • Stick with amazing moments in the interview. Follow-up questions often yield the best material.
  • Be curious and keep an open heart. Great things will happen.

When you finish

  • Label and write-protect your tapes or MiniDiscs. Store them in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Recommended Recording Equipment

Our current favorite recording setup for the budget-conscious is a MiniDisc player and a Shure SM-58 microphone. If you call George at Full Compass (800-356-5844, ext. 1159) and ask for the "Sound Portraits Package," he'll send you a MiniDisc recorder, a microphone, a carrying case, and a mic cable -- everything you need to make perfect recordings (the MiniDisc recorder comes with headphones). If you buy your components separately, the cable you'll need is an XLR to a right-angle stereo mini-jack that has been wired for mono (available at any RadioShack). Just remember to put a foam bicycle handle grip over the handle of the mic to reduce handling noise.

For digital audio editing, we suggest using Digidesign's ProTools Free. As the name suggests, the software is free to download, and you can check out Jeff Towne's excellent ProTools tutorial on for more information on using the software.

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   Medical transcription service

How do we get the Physician dictations sent to us?

Digital Recorders

Upon singing for our medical transcription services, we provide Olympus Digital Dictations machines to our customers. We also work with various familiar dictation machines held and used by customers. Recorded dictations are then sent to us using our online browser based facility. It is user friendly and boundary less, you can just use Internet explorer, no other software to install and mange.

Toll Free Dictation

Scenarios of Reality Footage You have footage of a chef preparing a dish in a very busy kitchen studio. He is conversing with the staff, preparing dishes, talking to his personnel, etc. You are shooting a reality TV show and want the 'non-interview' part of the material transcribed. We are specialists in B-Roll transcription and we consistently attempt to identify each person speaking and transcribe brief descriptions of what is happening. The descriptions are general and it gives the reader of the transcript an idea of what is happening. Note: This is not B-Roll Logging service. Irrelevant audios like the video production crew interacting about technical occurrences will not be transcribed Example: 'Lights On' 'Move that light over here.' or 'Ok, let see if we can get the air conditioner turned off.')

  Medical Transcription Services Bulk Discounts:

Our medical transcription services offer significant cost savings up to 10 to 15% for bulk work. Customers with good volume and consistency can avail this offer. For example, more than 200 patient reports per day and at least 4 days a week.

Online Archival

Our HIPAA compliant and secured online medical transcriptions services facility lets you to access Transcripts anytime anywhere. Transcripts are made available for 12 months in our Archival systems. This facility comes with convenient search options to retrieve patient reports you are looking for. Our organization is an active participant in HL7 EHR Security and Privacy Issues.

8 to 12 cents per 65C line

Medical transcription services price is very competitive at Transcription Star. We charge 8.5 to 10 cents per 65 character lines including space. Price variations are subject to Practice, Volume and consistency. We operate our exclusive delivery facility from India apart from our California office. Our pricing and Turn Around Time advantages are appreciated by all of our customers. Our pricing method is one of the best in the industry. We don't charge for Macros used in dictations subject to 15% of the total transcription volume.

  Billing Rate and Verification for medical transcription services

iSource medical transcription services billing policy is transparent and there is no hidden element in it. It is possible, if you get five different quotations from various vendors for medical transcription services, you would need a team of accountants to review the numerous variables to compare bottom line cost or savings.

As 30 odd of our customers enjoy our medical transcription service competitive rates, quality and impressive TAT (Turn Around Time), we welcome you to submit your interest by giving us the below details. Our response time for your medical transcription needs are instant and You will receive our medical transcription price quote immediately email followed with Phone call on request. You may also speak to a member of sales staff now, call us at Fill out the medical transcription services form below and click 'Submit'. You will receive our price for medical transcription service by e-mail or phone from a member of our sales staff. If you would rather speak to a member of our sales staff now, call us at 412-357-1389.

  Medical transcription services cost stimation

We charge 10 USD to 12 USD per hour depending on the category of Audio. Our medical transcription services rates are calculated according to the effort involved for each category.