Tag Archives: transcript

Helpful Hints for Recording Interviews & Dictating Reports

Net Transcripts is the leading provider of confidential transcription and translation services for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. While we pride ourselves on our 98.8% Accuracy Guarantee, high quality recordings that are clearly audible will always result in more accurate transcripts. With this in mind, our team has assembled the following list of tips and tricks for producing the best possible recordings for transcription.

Officer Dictation

An officer dictates his report.

Microphone Placement

Whether your recording takes place in an interrogation room or in the field, your device will be capturing audio through a microphone. For dictated reports with only one party speaking, best practice is to keep the microphone between six and twelve inches from your mouth in order to produce clear audio without distortion.

For interviews and other recordings with multiple parties involved, you might be tempted to move your device back and forth as each party speaks; however, this can create unintentional noise and variations in volume which can make participants difficult to understand. Instead, try to hold the recorder very steady throughout the interview or place it on a stable surface, preferably at an equidistant point from each person. Interview rooms are often equipped with built-in recording devices, but they may not always be situated in the best locations – often concealed in the walls or ceiling. Try and utilize a secondary recorder if possible, placing it as described above. These techniques will help keep input volumes consistent and will result in a more accurate transcription of your recording.

Background Noise

Throughout the course of an investigation, it is very common for law enforcement interviews to be conducted outdoors. Unfortunately, this often leads to unavoidable background noise which can hinder the clarity of your recordings. To minimize this effect, try to utilize natural barriers to block noise as much as possible. For example, if traffic noise is a concern, position your subject with their back toward the street, and keep your recording device directly in front of them so that their body blocks some of the noise from being picked up by the microphone.

Even in a controlled, indoor environment, extraneous noise can still impact the audibility of a recording. Be aware of your surroundings, including air conditioning units, blowing vents, refrigerators, radios and televisions. Try to avoid shuffling papers and dragging objects like chairs or tables, as the sound from these sources will make your recordings more difficult to understand clearly. Whenever possible, keep doors and windows closed, and try to limit access to your recording space in order to avoid interruptions.

Crosstalk & Rapid Speech

When multiple parties are speaking simultaneously, it can be difficult to discern what any one person is saying. Try to refrain from talking over your subjects, and if you can, restrict your interviews to one party at a time in order to cut down on crosstalk and unintelligible speech.

Dictated reports can be greatly improved if you speak clearly and annunciate. When you fly through your words, your tongue and lips can’t keep up with your mind, so you drop important vowels and consonants, causing your listeners to miss your meaning. Speak in a loud, clear voice, and take your time with each sentence rather than thinking about what’s coming next.

Troubleshooting Equipment

Be sure to check the battery in your recording device before you get started to prevent the loss of vital recordings. Test new devices and familiarize yourself with the controls before deploying them in the field. Your department’s IT staff can be a valuable resource for preventing potential issues before they occur.

If you’re looking for a recording solution that won’t break your budget, Net Transcripts offers a Dial-in Dictation Line as well as our Mobile App for iPhone and Android devices, both at no additional cost to our customers. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing with Net Transcripts.

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School Cancelled in Washington Due to Good Weather

Well it looks like we will be in Washington for the WHIA Conference just in time to catch the tail end of the nice weather.  Although being based in Tempe AZ has its perks, as we do get our fair share of nice weather here as well.  Although I don’t think we cancel school for nice weather days, if we did, we probably would only have a 70 day school year.

This is Net Transcripts 3rd year sponsoring the Washington Homicide Investigators Association (WHIA) and we are excited to attend their 1st Annual Conference in Shelton, May 8th – 10th.

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How Do Computers Wreck a Nice Beach

It is a very complex processes for a computer to be able to recognize speech, essentially turning minimal changes in air pressure into language. Sometimes computers get it wrong, sometimes they get it right. This is the main reason why at Net Transcripts, all of our transcripts are typed by actual humans based domestically here in the United States.

Aside from our previous concerns of privacy and confidentiality, voice recognition still does not have a place in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Transcription. Especially in some cases when that transcript can be someone’s only voice in a trial.  We take our quality and accuracy very seriously having one of the best in the industry (98.8%). We realize and understand the importance of an accurate transcript when going to trial.

Following is a very interesting read from Mental Floss on all the processes involved in for a computer to understand speech.  It is no wonder with all these steps how there is potential for error.

Mental Floss via Gizmodo

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Practical Homicide Investigation® Seminar

Net Transcripts is a proud sponsor of the Washington Homicide Investigators Association and will be attending their Practical Homicide Investigation® Seminar in Bellevue, Washington the week of – April 16-18 at the Red Lion Inn.  Drop by and say hello.  We would love to hear what you have to say about Net Transcripts or answer any questions.

For more information on WHIA, check out their website — www.wahia.org

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Do you use Skype and Evernote?

If so check out this useful app from the Skype app store called Callnote that will allow you to record and save your Skype calls and video chats to Evernote.  It has got lots of cool features such as


  • Save voice recording as an Evernote note automatically.
  • Record up to 8 participants simultaneously.
  • Includes participants’ names in the note.
  • Includes call time and call duration in the note.
  • You can choose the note to be sent to Evernote automatically as soon as recording stops.
  • You can choose to be asked for approval before sending the recording to your notebook.
  • You can choose for recording to start and stop automatically when the call starts/stops.
  • You can manually start/stop recording at any time.
  • You can select the destination Evernote notebook.
  • Use the voice recordings from your hard disk for other purposes
  • Set the frequency for purging recording files from your hard drive automatically.


Furthermore, you can take it a step further and send this recording to Net Transcripts for a verbatim transcript of the call.  It is saved as an .mp3 file in Evernote.  To access it simply open Evernote on your PC, right-click on the recording, select Save As and save it to your Desktop or any other folder that is convenient.

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