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Jul 31
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Basic Recording Tips

When recording someone, or yourself, there are a few tips that will make your experience go that much smoother. 

Renting. Now of days, you can record on your phone, but if you want to have a slightly higher quality recording, many people opt to use an actual audio recorder. You can often rent audio equipment at your local library, at your school, or through community programs. 

Questions. There are a few questions you should find the answers to before committing to a recording device. How much many minutes does your device record? Do you need to charge it? How do you get your files off the machine, and in what format are they? When was it lasted tested for functionality? Is it compatible with x device? Etc. 

Test. Before recording, you should test your device. Test to see if it works, and to see what your audio quality is like. 

Practice. Get familiar with your device. Learn where all of the buttons and functions are. Practice recording. How loudly does what you are recording need to speak? How close do you physically need to be? 

Placement. You need to think about the placement of your device. You will generally get a better quality recording if your device is placed on a flat, unmoving surface. Wood or glass is better than fabric. Make sure the device is close to the person who is speaking, but not so close that they are breathing into it (a sound that decreases the quality of your audio). Generally, a good "baseline placement" is at a 45 degree angle from the mouth. Plus, make sure nothing, like a finger, is obstructing the microphone. 

Location. You don't want the audio to decrease in quality because of the sound of a fan, or cars in the background. Before you record, survey your surroundings. Will this spot make for a clean recording? 

Ticks. If you are conducting a lengthy interview, it's a long process to go through your audio recording to find those golden bits of information. A way to help you find the information you want when you are sorting through your file is to make ticks. A tick is a sharp sound you make when you are recording, like a snap or a tap. This sudden audio pip will become an identifiable spike in your track when you look at the file, so you will know to look at that spot in the recording. Make sure the sound you make isn't distracting to the person you are interviewing. 

[Creative Commons Lisence: Mathias Miranda, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathiasmiranda/]