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Best practices to adhere to when conducting interviews (recording).

Updated: Jun 11, 2019



1. Speak clearly. Speak at good level volume. Do not speak in a rushed or hurried voice or mumble. Speak quietly. Have people speak one at a time.

2. For digital or tape recorders, record on fast speed or high quality setting. This makes a clearer recording but uses more memory or tape.


3. Record in a quiet environment.  Be aware of background noise from others, air conditioning, fans, music, and other sources.


4. In groups of two or more, make sure each person can be heard equally well. Use recording system with multiple microphones in large groups to ensure you can hear each individual.

5. Use a microphone near the speaker.  If the speaker will move around, use a wired or wireless lapel microphone.


6. Only have one microphone or recorder?  If possible, have all persons speaking the same distance from the recorder.  If that is not possible, place it nearest to the most important part of the conversation or point it in that direction.


7. During question/answer sessions, have people come to a house microphone or bring a wireless microphone to them before they ask their question.  Alternatively, have the person answering questions repeat the question so it is captured on the recorded audio.


8. Use good quality equipment made for the number of people you are recording. Alternatively, if good equipment is not available, use multiple digital or tape recording devices around the room (we will have to listen to each to fill in gaps from the others).



9. Keep recorder going (turned on and recording) well before people talk.


11. In large groups, have each person state their name before talking if they need to be accurately identified. Alternatively, have a note taker make notes each time a person talks including their name and the first few words that they say.  Provide agenda.

12, Provide lists of speakers, agendas for meetings, and other references as available to us so that we can create better annotated, ordered transcripts from your audio.


13. If saving files to MP3 files on your hand held recorder or computer, use the Constant Bit Rate (CBR) format rather than the Variable Bit Rate (VBR) format.



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