Tips on How to Record Good Audio for Transcribing Companies

Transcribing Companies in CanadaOne of the most common problems faced by any transcriber is poor quality audio. It’s not that clients are trying to make things difficult it’s just that they don’t know many of the simple tricks and techniques that produce nice, clear, easily understood audio recordings. So in the interest of saving you time, money and hassle we’re going to go through some of those trick and techniques. Hopefully, this will make your life simpler and make the quality of the transcriptions you receive that much better.

Creating High Quality Audio for Transcribing Companies in Canada

A high quality recording is going to save you a lot of time and trouble when it comes to having it transcribed. That said, here are 5 tips for producing high quality audio for transcribing companies in Canada.

  1. Minimize background noise – Background noise is the enemy of high quality audio. Therefore, it’s crucial to make your recording in an enclosed area that is as soundproof as possible. If you can’t find a truly soundproof room then make sure all windows and doors are closed, that you turn off as many electronic devices as possible (air conditioner, buzzing lights, TV, radio, fans) and that there aren’t people talking on the other side of the door.
  2. Prep the participants – If there is to be more than one person on the audio recording sit down with any and all participants ahead of time and lay out some ground rules. For instance, make sure everyone understands that only 1 person should speak at a time. That they speak into the microphone and not with their head turned away looking at other participants and that they avoid side conversations and whispering while others are speaking.
  3. Place microphones properly – If there is one microphone make sure it is an equal distance from all the participants. If there is more than one make sure each is located the same distance from each participant. Emphasize to all participants the importance of sitting still while they speak as the sound of rustling clothes and squeaking chairs can interfere with sound quality.
  4. Identify the speakers – It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between speakers on an audio recording. Therefore, if there is more than one participant, it can be helpful if they address one another by name on a regular basis. For instance: “What do you think, Claire?” or “Tell us a bit more Robert.” This way there’s no mistaking who is speaking.
  5. Keep the files small – You should be using a digital voice recorder to make your audio files and you should strive to keep those files as short as possible. 10 one minute recordings are better than one 10 minute recording because they can be transcribed by several people at once and they are easier to upload, email or otherwise transfer.





Transcribing companies in Canada will tell you that a high quality audio file is vital to the creation of a high quality transcription. Follow the above tips and see how much easier and more accurate your next transcription is.

Using Transcribing Companies Vs an Automated Software

Transcribing Companies in TorontoWith the fast pace of modern life and the globalization of business, there has been a growing demand for transcription services for some time now. So much so that traditional methods have been challenged by automated software in the quest to produce quick results while attempting to maintain high standards. While a good number of business have placed their faith in automated software, most are reluctant to use them when quality is a priority. With a number of top-quality transcribing companies in Toronto still doing well, it looks like manual and automated services will have to battle it out for quite some time to come.

What’s the Difference Between Automated Software and Transcribing Companies in Toronto?

Rather than being entirely direct competitors, automated software and transcribing companies in Toronto tend to market themselves to slightly different markets, albeit with some overlap. When it comes to turnaround speed and cost savings, it’s pretty hard to beat automated software – you pay once for the program up front, and it works whenever you need it. The main challenge it faces, however, is in terms of quality results. Despite all our technological advances and utilization of mass data, automated transcriptions can still produce unwanted results, and that can be a major problem when used in business or legal, medical and other fields. The main advantages that transcribing companies in Toronto have include:

People Deal with Accents Better than Software – Once a professional transcriber has identified a speaker’s accent, they can work within known parameters to establish what is being said. For example, a British speaker talking about the best route, might be confused by software as an American speaker talking about the best root. When we consider the range of accents in English alone – from South African to Scots, it’s no wonder that professional transcribers produce more accurate results than software.

Software Struggles to Contextualize Speech – When asked to transcribe an isolated sentence, both humans and computers may struggle to recognize the difference. For example, the difference in meaning between ‘the sail of a boat’ and ‘the sale of a boat’. Humans, however, are naturally able to determine which word is used once it is put in context. This is still a major challenge for automated software, which merely attempts to transcribe without any understanding of the context.

Human Transcribers can Take Account of Other Factors – Most professional transcribers are adept at taking into account changes in the sounds of words when someone has a cold or a speech impediment. Furthermore, we can easily recognize a cough, sneeze and language fillers, such as ‘ah’, ‘um’, ‘eh?’ and so on. Automated software often attempts to match such sounds to words, giving an inaccurate representation of what was said.

All of this doesn’t mean that automated software isn’t fit for purpose – if you need general approximations of what was said, you need them quickly and you don’t have a lot of money, it could work for you. If however, you value accuracy and readability, you really need to make use of professional transcribing services.

How to Ensure the Best Results When Working with Transcribing Companies

transcribing companies Canada Deciding that you want to get your recordings transcribed and sending off your audio is a simple process. The transcription company will give you an accurate, written representation of the recordings you have sent. As it is in your best interest to receive transcriptions of the highest quality, it is in your best interest to work with the transcription company in a number of ways in order to facilitate the creation of those high-quality transcriptions.

What You Can Do to Ensure Optimal Results from the Transcribing Companies Canada

It makes sense to work with one of the transcribing companies Canada has to offer, as their professionals will be very familiar with Standard Canadian English and French spellings, vernacular, accents, place names and other national or regional information. Doing so eliminates many of the problems you may face when working with, say, a company in another country (not to mention other potential difficulties such as time zone differences and so on).

Once you’ve decided to work with a company, try to do as much as you can to make it easy for them to provide you with top-quality transcripts. This can include:

  • Decide what level of detail you require – Do you want what was said to be transcribed verbatim? This may be essential when documents are to be presented for legal use. If, however, the importance of the transcript lies in the clear communication of an idea, you may want to have disfluencies and repetition edited out of the transcript entirely.
  • Consider how easy it is to understand the speakers – If your audio includes people who are not speaking their native language, or who have a strong accent or dialect, it may require the transcriptionist to seek specialist assistance in understanding fully what has been said. This inevitably costs time. Flaming Fingers is one of the best transcribing companies Canada has, thanks to their familiarity with a wide range of national and regional accents in the languages they use.
  • List highly specialized and non-standard terminology and acronyms – You can help save time by providing a list of any terms used which may be non-standard, highly localized or specific. This could also include names of people or items with non-standard spellings, for example the breakfast cereal Froot Loops, or the song “Cos I Luv You”.
  • Provide clear, high-quality audio recordings – It goes without saying that a clear conversation, in which everybody speaks clearly and at a moderate pace, without interruptions or background noise, is easier to transcribe than something that sounds like a shouting match on a busy bus. Of course, the reality will be somewhere in the middle, but you can help to improve the recording by eliminating background noises such as air conditioners and traffic, and ensuring that speakers’ microphones are positioned correctly.

When it comes to working with transcribing companies, Canada has a number of great options, including Flaming Fingers, who will help you take the necessary steps for recording clear and easily transcribable audio.

7 Traits All Good Transcription Companies Have

Finding reliable and efficient transcribing companies in Canada is far from impossible but it may involve a little more effort than you imagined. Before you entrust your audio files to one of the firms that offers this service, there are a few things you should know about the people you are dealing with. To help you evaluate the companies you have found so far, we have written a list of 7 traits we believe all good transcription firms should share. If you find a firm with all 7 traits, you could be on to a winner!

Evaluating Transcribing Companies in Canada: What to Look For

You may need to spend some time on the phone or writing emails in order to establish which of these traits your prospects share but all of them are important so it really is worth the effort.

  1. Accuracy – How accurate are the transcriptions that the company produces? If they are offering a professional service and charging you accordingly, nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Ask any candidates you are considering what their track record is like in this regard.
  2. Able to Work with a Wide Variety of File Formats – If you should happen to come across any transcribing companies in Canada that seem to offer everything you need but they insist on having all files sent to them in one particular format, such as MP3, we think you should look elsewhere. A professional team should be able to handle all common audio file formats.
  3. Recording Facility – A company that can record your conference calls in a digital file format and transcribe directly from them will make life much easier for you should you need a record of such calls.
  4. Accept Physical Submission of Files – While you will probably want to send the majority of files online, the ability to send files in a physical format as well will be very useful if you need recordings of confidential meetings transcribed.
  5. Relevant Industry Experience – If you work in a profession that has certain special standards, such as law enforcement or medicine, transcribing companies in Canada with relevant industry experience will be your best bet.  Such a company knows terminology specific to a wide variety of fields, which means less misspellings.
  6. Tailored Services – A company that insists you fit in with their established procedures may be difficult to work with. Find a company that is willing to tailor their services to meet your needs and you will be much better off.
  7. Contracts – If you regularly require the services of a transcription specialist, ask whether a contract can be signed and what the possibility of a discount is.

If you would like to work with one of the premier transcription specialists in the country, call Flaming Fingers today and let us know what you need. We offer many years’ experience, amazing accuracy and personalized service.

What You Need to Know When Comparing Transcribing Companies

Transcribing Companies CanadaThere are hundreds of companies offering transcription services across Canada, perhaps even thousands. With this in mind, it is not surprising that many people find it hard to know which one to hire when they have need of such services. Hopefully, after reading the tips below, you will be better placed to make the right decision the next time you are in need of a local transcription specialist.

Comparing Transcribing Companies in Canada

When you are trying to decide which firm to hire, consider the following points before you make a final commitment:

  • Do They Provide Online Receipt & Delivery Services? – If you have to send files the old-fashioned way – by post – it could slow down the whole process considerably. A transcription company that can accept digital files sent via ftp, and send them back using the same technology, will be able to complete your work much faster than one that does not provide such facilities.
  • Can They Insert Time Codes – If you would like to have an audio file of a lengthy meeting transcribed, time codes will make it easier for you to locate particular subjects that were discussed at the meeting. Hiring one of the transcribing companies in Canada that can provide this service is a good idea if you regularly need long files processed.
  • Do They Accept a Variety of File Formats? – Some companies may only accept WAV files whereas others may prefer to work with MP3 files. A company that is willing to work with a wide range of formats will make life much easier for you. Having to recode audio-visual files before they are able to be transcribed can be a time-consuming process and should things go wrong during the recoding, can also lead to costly errors.
  • What Other Services Do They Provide? – When you are evaluating a particular company, ask about any additional services they may offer. A company that can proofread documents, format them, and work in different languages, will be able to take care of all your needs and ensure you do not have to hire two or three different firms to get what you want.

In addition to the above factors, you should of course consider the rates that each company charges. If you would like a competitive quote from one of the best transcribing companies in Canada, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements in detail.

Transcribing Companies in Canada

transcribing companies CanadaBusinesses and institutions rise and fall on the accuracy of the information they have at their disposal. Doctors, lawyers and law enforcement professionals have traditionally been the ones that require transcribing companies to take care of their transcription needs, but anything that is recorded can be transcribed. At Flaming Fingers of Toronto we know that choosing the right transcription service to fulfill your company’s needs can seem like a daunting task but there are ways to minimize the confusion and arrive at a choice that makes sense for you.
Navigating the Minefield of Transcribing Companies

The simplest way to determine the quality of a transcription company is to ask some or all of the following questions before you send them your sensitive voice mails, interviews, court proceedings or investigative materials.

  • Who will be handling the actual transcription? – Is the transcriptionist experienced? What are the various things they’ve transcribed?
  • Do they have experience in the field? – Medical or legal training of some kind or firsthand experience in the business world is often crucial to accurate transcriptions. Many discount transcribing companies will employ nearly anyone who can speak some level of English and type at an average rate.
  • Where will the transcription work be done? – If you send your important work to a company in Canada will the work then be forwarded to an office in New Delhi? It’s important to know.
  • Is English the first language of the transcriber? – Even if the work is forwarded to a non-English speaking country, if the transcriptionist is a native English speaker (think expat), you may wind up with quality transcription. But it’s important to know that up front.
  • Are there specific file types required? – Some transcribing companies are more versatile than others. If a prospective company insists on a certain type of file to work from it may indicate a fly-by-night organization or someone unfamiliar with present-day technology.
  • What about quality control? – Does the work get proofread by anyone? Who? What are their qualifications? Make sure you get answers not evasion.
  • Will the final product be searchable? – One of the main reasons for transcribing things is to make the information easily accessible to various members of the organization. If the final product is not searchable what’s the point?
  • What about confidentiality? – Is the transcriptionist familiar with Western standards of confidentiality and have they signed or will they sign a confidentiality agreement? This is critical if you’re working with medical or legal information.
  • What is the cost? – Keep in mind that some transcription companies can impose fees if the quality of the audio or video file makes it difficult to understand. These and other fees can add up quickly so you need to know in advance everything that may end up on your final bill.


Interviewing transcribing companies, whether in Canada or elsewhere, is the common-sense way to establish a reasonable level of certainty that the company can live up to the promises of its promotional materials. The dedicated professionals at Flaming Fingers of Toronto will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our service and the people that will transcribe your recordings. We’re proud of our hard-earned, 22-year reputation and the people that work here reflect our commitment to the highest standards in the transcription industry.