Focus group transcription can be rather tedious as there are a number of crucial factors that decide its clarity and accuracy. The most important among them is the quality of recording which may seriously affect the outcome of the transcribed report. The objective of focus group transcription is to convey detailed information regarding the specific topic and provide deep insight into it. If attention is given to quality in the recording process, transcribing professionals will find it much easier to transcribe it accurately.
- The directionality of microphones has a lot to do with the quality of recording and so choice should be made wisely. It just means whether the sound is captured from the front or all around. Unidirectional microphones may not be suitable for focus group recordings where omnidirectional microphones would be the ideal choice.
- The positioning of speakers and microphones is also important in the process of recording. The distance between the speakers and microphones should be right enough to avoid muffled or dull sound in the recording. Keeping them too close also can lead to popping and breathing noises that would make the conversation vague.
- Surrounding noises if any should be avoided during recording as it may disturb the clarity of the speech, making it difficult for the transcribers to understand what is being spoken. It could be noises such as the traffic outside, the buzz from an air conditioner, rustling papers, coffee cups, or people moving around. By performing a test recording, you can identify the possible noises and take necessary steps to minimize them during the actual recording.
- Using a microphone mixer would be the best choice when many microphones are used around the table. The objective is to activate the microphones which are actually in use and deactivate the other ones. This would minimize the ambient sounds and side conversations assuring optimal quality for the output.
Using the correct recording equipment matters a lot just as all other considerations. Reduce over talking which is a common problem in focus groups when speakers become animated about the matter being discussed. Avoid interruptions in between the speech by diverting to other subject areas or by interrogating in the middle of an analysis.