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July 13, 2007 in Conferencing Tips
You're heard the saying...garbage in, garbage out? It applies to creating recordings of your conference calls as well. Follow these rules and you'll change that phrase to Gold in, gold out. We can't make you a rock star, much less earn you a Grammy, but we can increase the quality of your recordings to keep your audience coming back for more and more. Just follow a few steps we list here:
Use a good headset. The better the headset, the greater opportunity you have to deliver a quality voice signal for the recording. Due to directional nature of the microphone, you are less likely to have echo and/or ambient sound being recorded, than when you use a hand-held piece. Positioning of the microphone is a small step with great impact. Position the microphone below or a little to the side of your mouth. This will cut down on the likelihood hard consonants or your breathing will be over-amplified in your recording.
2. USE A LAND LINE CONNECTION.
Use your standard office telephone line, the one that has a line going from your phone to the outlet in your wall and then over copper or fiberlines. DO NOT use VOIP (Voice Over IP, voice over the internet) or cell phones to conduct your call. Cell phones and VOIP transmits your call in digital format and the bridge records in analog format. Translation? Hissing and clicks, dropped words or vowels or letters can appear in your recording. Ever notice how web pages can sometimes display in a seeming erratic manner? Well, they handle the digital components of your voice like that on occasion. Frankly, we sense that as the importance of your call recording rises, so does the risk that a VOIP connection will handle your voice in the same manner as a website slow to load. DO NOT use a speaker phone. A speaker phone will pickup ALL sound. Even the ones you may not notice like someone tapping the table with their fingers or a pen, typing on a computer, doors opening and closing, echoes from the walls just to name a few.
Pick an office or a room where you will not be interrupted. Let people know that you are not to be disturbed. Mute all phones and/or other electronic equipment in the room. Pick a room that has wall coverings. This will break up the reflection of sound and lessen the chance of echoes. A small room is better than a larger conference room. A smaller room has less delay in sound reflection and any echoes that happen will be of such a short delay that they will probably not be noticeable. Limit the number of people in the same room with you. Make sure each person has their own headset to use with a separate connection for your call recording. ( Yes, having a separate connection raises the price. But, this insures the highest quality input for our equipment to record.) One expert advised us that he recorded his calls sitting in his car, in his garage, with the windows rolled up. Now, THAT's quiet!
4. OTHER FACTORS
Brief all your speakers on the above points. A call recording still suffers if only one speaker has an echo or hissing and cracking and a few consonants dropped. Mute all other lines. This will prevent the other participants from inadvertently making noises that would degrade the quality of the recording. Inform your participants when you unmute their lines for follow-up Q & A, question and answer, sessions. We can always edit this statement out. Treat your call as if you were recording a symphony performed by an orchestra.
5. CONVERTING FROM .WAV to MP3.
The higher the processing speed in Kilobytes, the higher the quality of recording. A conversion speed of 4Kb is NOT going to produce a quality recording. A speed of 256Kb will. Reminder: if you recorded the sound of trucks driving by...your audience will clearly identify them as a truck driving by with a higher quality recording created in converting a .wav file to mp3 format using a higher processing speed. But if you've created a memorable moment for your listeners, a higher processing speed will insure it's duplicated for future listeners.
I hope this helps you. Dana White IT Manager Conference Calls Unlimited 641-470-1640 ext. 17