It is part of our commitment to participants that if they give us their time and stories, we'll make sure that their voices can be heard. But if we aren't able to produce a transcript due to poor audio quality, we can't uphold our end of the bargain.
- You can use any type of recording device including your phone, the recording function on Zoom, a recording device of your choice or by using our NEW Fora Live Feature.
- Please note that Fora’s supported file types include: .mp3, .m4a, and .wav.
- If your file type is different from the ones listed above, you can use a free third party site such as CloudConvert to convert your audio files.
Fora Live Feature
- Our new Fora Live tool allows you to record and automatically upload in-person conversations anywhere with internet access, using mobile or desktop devices with built-in, bluetooth, or plug-in microphones. (Click here for more information about how to use Fora Live.)
When thinking about a good space for recording:
- Look for smaller rooms
- Close windows and doors unless they need to be kept open for comfort or safety
- Avoid recording in a space where other people are talking in the same room
- Avoid a room with loud ambient noises: loud HVAC units or fans, nearby construction, audible music from something nearby
- Rooms with a lot of glass and metal surfaces can create echoes; carpeting, wood, upholstered furniture and framed art are good because they absorb sounds
- Try to avoid recording outside to minimize background noise
When thinking about situating people in the room:
- Place your recording device of choice at standard table height
- Leave the recording device on the table for the duration of the conversation
- Ensure that participants and host are all sitting the same distance from recording device, ideally within 6 feet of the device
- If you can have participants sit in a circle or around a circular table while placing the recording device in the middle of the circle, that would ensure every participant is sitting an equal distance away from the recording device.
- The closer participants are to the recording device, the better (as long as the group is comfortable)
- Masks or other face coverings will slightly obstruct the audio. If participants are masked, you can:
- Invite participants to remove their mask when it’s their turn to speak (if group is comfortable with this)
- If participants prefer to keep their masks on, ask them to speak clearly in the direction of the recording device
- Ultimately, defer to the participants and partner organization(s) on health & safety practices
- If there are noise sources present, such as people talking in an adjacent room, try to situate the group away from these sound sources
- Conduct a test recording to ensure everyone is close enough to the device
- Ask the participants not to touch the recording device
- It's best to keep the recording device in one place without moving it during the conversations to avoid the recording picking up loud shuffling noises which can block out the voices of those speaking.