Reading the online news daily we found out why a message is sometimes said to be “5 by 5” (or “loud and clear”), when it is heard clearly and distinctly.
The expression originated in the military environment, but contrary to what you might think, it does not operate on the same principle as school marks.

The two fives in the expression represent a value scale:
The first refers to the strength of the audio signal.
The second refers to the clarity of sound..

Recording 5 by 5?

Consequently, a signal that comes in «1 by 5» will be low in volume, but excellent in quality.
In contrast, a signal that comes in «5 by 1» will be high in volume, but virtually unintelligible.

Why is a “5 by 5” audio better for transcription?

When you submit your audio files to us to receive a transcript or notes, please take care to provide audio that is as close as possible to 5 by 5 — but, above all, we would ask you to avoid sending audio that is 5 by 1!
As you may have guessed from the explanation above, it is intelligibility that matters most in producing a quality transcription. It should also be emphasised that, as this article goes to press, all transcriptions continue to be produced by our writers who listen to your audio.
What’s more, we can always try to improve a sound file when the volume is thin. Ubiqus has its own audio studio and our technicians are equipped with the tools and software needed to “ramp up” the sound. However, that process will considerably slow down your document’s production — and, furthermore, does not necessarily guarantee a quality result.
A low-volume recording will always be more useful to our writers than one on which barely a word can be distinguished. An unintelligible recording will, when transcribed, result in (too) many “inaudibles” on the final document—which, of course, is not quite the desired outcome.

How to get your recordings to “5 by 5”?

If we have managed to convince you that a good recording will yield a better document, you could invest in a professional recording solution i.e. a hand-held recording device, with an integrated multi-direction microphone. Even if we are all tempted to just use the recording devices on our cell phones, the resulting quality is often subpar and will hardly suffice for your purposes.

If you are recording an interview or a one-on-one session via Skype, the recording function most often offers excellent quality (provided that the line itself is good, of course).
If you are recording a face-to-face session, place your recording device in the middle, equidistant from all speakers and make sure to inform your counterpart(s) that they need to clear intelligibly and toward the microphone.

If you are holding a conference or event why not rent a room equipped with microphones and a recording console that can record your discussions? If you are renting a commercially-offered facility, you will enjoy the assistance of an on-site technician, who will easily be able to provide the recording quality you need. For more information about on-site recording services, refer to our colleagues at Ubiqus UK..

Upload your quality recordings (5 by 5, we hope) to the home page at Ubiqus IO, confirm your shopping basket and, in a few days’ time, your transcript or event notes will be waiting in your online client account.See you soon at our INSTANT QUOTE page dedicated specially to transcripts.


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