How to Transcribe Bad Quality Audio: Expert Tips
technology began to exist globally, transcription services became one of the
most requested areas. All people, from students to TV presenters, use transcription
software or professional transcription service. Today,
each of you can record audio, transfer it to a transcription company, and
experts will transcribe it in the shortest possible time. But what if the audio
quality is poor? Can audio be transcribed with noise? What does low-quality
audio mean? To answer all of these questions, read the article.
Poor Quality Audio – What Is It?
Poor quality audio
meets the following criteria:
The background sound is too loud and too
Sound overlapping the voice.
Voices in the background.
Sounds of different volumes.
All of the above features in one audio.
When recording audio,
you may feel that there are no extraneous sounds in the audience or specific
location that will adversely affect the recording. However, you will hear all
the rustles, interference, and strangers’ conversations when you turn on the
audio. Because of this, it isn’t easy to obtain audio suitable for transcripts.
How Does Low-Quality Audio Affect The Transcript?
Transcription is a
rather complex process and is best handled by professional transcriptionists.
When you submit audio to professional transcription online services with low
quality, it can make the experts’ work difficult. The point is, it takes a lot
of time, and it is not always possible to get essential voices out of the pile
of interference. Low-quality audio may cause some parts to be missing, as there
may have been too many third-party sounds. Therefore, if you are recording
audio, make sure the recording is in a very quiet place – then the sound will
be clear. Never place the microphone in very recessed areas, as this will cause
4 Tips to Improve Poor Quality Audio
Below you will find
four ways to understand poor recording quality better and decrypt audio. We
will also advise on what to do with inaudible words.
Use High-Quality Headphones &
If you understand that
there will be extraneous voices and sounds in your audience, use a high-quality
headset. Such technologies help to hear sounds better and facilitate accurate
transcription. When you buy your headset and headphones, test them to make sure
Decrease Or Increase Sound Speed
If the person in the
audio speaks too fast, lower the speed of sound, and you will hear better
letters that you can assemble into words. Yes, this procedure will take longer,
but it will give a good result. Also, experts note that when the speed of sound
increases, words are heard better. Therefore, test both methods to see which
one is right for you.
Use Sound Editor
If you have a weak
sound card or headphones of not the best quality, then you can use special
sound editors to improve the sound quality on your computer or laptop. There
are many sound editors out there today:
SRS Audio Essentials.
DFX Audio Enhancer.
The above programs can
remove background noise from audio and help you make an accurate transcription.
Use the Software
It happens that you
cannot remove various types of signals with sound editors. Therefore, we
recommend using software that can clean up audio annoying and cutting sounds:
iZotope RX 6.
Accusonus ERA Range.
Acon Digital – Restoration Suite.
Cedar Studio 7.
The above programs will
help you get a readable and acceptable sound for transcription. Yes, the sound
in the audio will not sound like studio sound, but the cleaning of third-party
noise is at a high level.
What To Do If Some Words Are Still Not Heard?
If you still cannot
understand some words or sentences while listening to the audio, try to
understand the essence of this passage, and the letters you may hear will tell
you the context. However, do not guess because if you send audio for
transcription to experts, their job is to give you an accurate result. The
experts will not bother with guesswork.
Instead of guessing
which word is missing in a sentence, you can specify [inaudible] or
[unintelligible] in the transcription. This way, professionals will see how
difficult the fragments are to transcribe. You can also use any symbols to
denote fuzzy sounds.
It would be nice if you
add the exact time so that the transcribers can understand which fragment you
are talking about – this will reduce the search time for difficult words. For
example, you can enter [illegible word at 00:12:55].