Digital Voice Recorders Quick Guide

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Revision as of 17:20, 8 February 2013 by Galloa (Talk | contribs) (OLYMPUS WS100 RDV)

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 on Olympus recorders (a program which can read WMA files is required) and in lettered folders corresponding to the folder in which you recorded.
  • When connected the recorder 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 COMPUTER - Remove the detachable device (Eject in Mac OS) and make sure the display is turned off.



Press and hold menu for 1 second or longer while recorder is stopped. Press FF or REW to browse menu options, and PLAY to select an option or to close the menu hit the STOP button at any point.


  1. Press the FOLDER button to choose folder
  2. Press the REC button to start recording
  3. Press STOP button to stop recording


  1. Press the FOLDER button to choose folder
  2. Press the FF or REW to choose the file you want to play
  3. Press PLAY button to start playback
  4. Press VOL (+) or VOL (-) button to select proper volume (Between 1-30)

Helpful Tip: To change the playback speed press PLAY to toggle between regular, slow, and fast.


  1. To erase an individual file press the FOLDER button to choose a folder
  2. Press the FF or REW button to choose the file you wnt to erase
  3. Press the ERASE button for less than 3 seconds ‘
  4. Press the ERASE button again (“DONE” blinks for two seconds and the deletion will be complete)


  • When using headphones while recoding or to listen to a recoding, the volume can be adjusted by pressing VOL (- +)
  • To Pause press the REC button during recording; PAUSE will appear on the display and the recoding lamp flashes
  • If a external microphone is desired, connect to headphone jack. Recommended external mics for this device are omnidirectional sound grabber, lavalier (MOT/MOE)


  • If full appears on the screen the device is out of memory. Erase unwanted files to make more room for new recordings.
  • If recorder is stopped for 5 minutes, it will go on standby and the display will shut off. Recorder will also stop if left un-paused for 60 seconds. To exit standby mode press any button.



Press the MENU button for 1 second or longer to open the menu. Menu items can be set during a recording or playback. Press the + or – button to scroll through the menu. Press the OK button to chnage the setting of the selected item. Press the OK button to complete the setup screen. If the REW button is pressed, the setting will be canceled and it will return to the menu. Press the STOP button to close the menu. Hold Push the POWER/HOLD button up to initiate hold and down to turn recorder on. Push POWER/HOLD button down again to turn recorder off. When in hold, all functions will remain as they are set. For example, if hold is on when recording, you cannot stop or pause recording until hold is turned off. Recording/PLAYBACK 1. Press FOLDER button to select folder to record into. Use the +/- buttons to navigate to different folders. 2.Once folder is selected, press the REC button the the right side to start recording .To pause, press REC button again. 3. To play the recording back, select file and presss PLAY button the right side of the recorder. This is also where the STOP button is located. Recording modes While the recorder is stopped, open the menu. Select “Rec Mode”. Choose from “ST XQ”, “ST HQ”, “HQ”, “SP” and “LP”. EARASING FILES: Select file within folder and press the orange ERASE button on the bottom left.

TIPS: Mic sensitivity allows you to choose three different settings. Slide the MIC SENSE switch and select “LECTURE”, “CONF.”, “DICT.”. Lecture is the highest recording quality suitble for conferences with large crowds, or recording at a distance. Conference is suitable for meetings with small amount of people. Diction is the lowest recording sensitivity suitable for dictation. Voice filter is a fuction to cut low and high frequency tones during normal, fast, or slow playback, and enables clear audio playback. Noise cancel is a setting to use if audio is difficult to understand because of noisy surroundings. Menu options are high, low, and offf and can be set while stopped or during playback.