Digital Voice Recorders Quick Guide

From Help Wiki
Revision as of 17:05, 8 February 2013 by Galloa (Talk | contribs)

Great for recording conversations and lectures. No proficiency required!

OLYMPUS WS100 RDV (MONO, WMA files) - recommended for PC users
OLYMPUS DS-30 RDO (STEREO, WMA files) - recommended for PC users
SONY RDS (STEREO, MP3 files) - recommended for Mac users


  • Make a test recording prior to your scheduled interview to make sure you are comfortable using the recorder. Start with fresh batteries.
  • Select a controlled and quiet recording location. Avoid noisy public locations (like restaurants, or areas near a road). If possible, eliminate background noises (turn off stereos, TV’s, fans, air circulation vents). A room with carpeting and furniture will typically sound better than one with hard floors (too much echo).
  • Check record levels. Improve the quality of the recording by adjusting the mic placement either closer, or further away from the sound source. Wear headphones to monitor volume levels as well watch the volume meters on the recorder. Ideal recordings will have clearly audible audio, while not being too loud so that it is distorted (going into "the red" on the audio recorder meters). What you hear is what you get. Shock mounts and stands are great to reduce mic handling noise.
  • Confirm you are recording. Make sure the record light comes on, that the clock numbers are counting and audio levels are moving up and down.
  • Tag the recording. Start each recording by stating the date, time, location, your name, and the name of your interviewee for proper archiving and cataloging of this work.


  • Copy files from the audio recorder to a computer as you would from a USB drive. Protect the privacy of your recordings by deleting all files on the recorder before returning equipment to Media Loan.
  • Backup the original audio files from the recorder to your program network drive. DO NOT USE SPECIAL CHARACTERS IN FILE NAMES (‘!#$*&%).
  • When working with files in an audio editing program like Audacity, create a copy of the originals to be able to revert back if necessary.


Before connecting one of the PC compatible devices, make sure power switch is OFF and the display is off. Then plug it into an open USB port. Computers will recognize the recorder as a removable disk drive. Files are saved onto the recorder in WMA format (a program which can read WMA files is required) and in lettered folders corresponding to the folder in which you recorded. When connected the display will read “PC” When transferring data, the display will read “BUSY”. DO NOT disconnect the recorder when either message is displayed on the screen. BEFORE DETACHING FROM PC Remove the detachable device (Eject in Mac OS) and make sure the display is turned off.