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How to Record Audio Dictations

This article is intended for doctors or lawyers wishing to record confidential dictations, or for businesses or individuals wishing to record meetings or interviews. This article applies to both Windows and Mac users where applicable.

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Record Dictations Directly to a PC or Mac Computer

  • A Windows computer with Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, or a Mac computer with Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
  • Express Dictate Dictation Software (courtesy of NCH Software).
  • (Optional) A Dictation Controller to allow fast and efficient recording and editing control in the palm of your hand. Or a microphone just for recording your voice (recording and editing control will be accessible through Express Dictate).

  • When using a Microphone: All Mac computers and Windows laptops feature an in-built microphone. This microphone may be susceptible to background noise however. For best results, a standalone microphone is recommended.
  • For Mac users purchasing a microphone, note that you will require a USB Microphone. Standard 3.5mm (1/8 inch) microphones will not work as the Mac microphone port does not supply any power to the device.

  1. Plug your microphone in to the computer.

  2. Download and install the Express Dictate Dictation Software.

  3. The software will open automatically after it has installed. The Microphone Connection and Record Volume wizard will immediately appear, and you should use this opportunity to ensure that your microphone is correctly selected and that the volume level is to your satisfaction.
  4. Once you have completed the wizard, you can now start creating your dictations. In order to do this, select the 'Record' button in the main screen to start a new recording. By default the software will operate in voice activation mode, so it will only start recording when it detects your voice.

  5. In order to send your dictations to your typist, you should go into the Express Dictate Options (Preferences on Mac), and click on the 'Sending' tab. Then click on the 'Create' button near the bottom-left corner to start a wizard for creating a new recipient for your dictations.

  6. As part of the wizard you can select what method you wish to use to send the dictation - the most popular option is by 'Email', and 'File Copy' (to copy to a drive on your network), but you can also select to send by more advanced options such as FTP (requires an FTP server).

  7. Once the recipient is created, you can now send your dictations to them. Back in the main screen, select the dictation you wish to send, then click the 'Send' button. The dictation will be sent immediately to your typist.


Record Dictations On the Go (Or When Away From the Computer)

  • When using Dictation Machines, beware that these products are made proprietary to the company that manufactured the device. Therefore, should you wish to have your notes transcribed, the dictations created from these devices will only work in a software product supplied by that same company.
  • Portable Voice Recorders only allow you to record and play your dictations, but do not support editing functionality. On the other hand, if you wish to have your notes transcribed, the dictations created from these devices use open standards that are compatible with most third-party software products (such as Express Scribe Transcription Software).

  1. Using the instructions supplied with the portable dictation device, create your dictation recordings (all devices have their play/stop controls either on the front or the side of the device).

  2. For Dictation Machines: Once you are ready to have your dictations transcribed, connect your dictation device to the computer using the cable supplied, open Windows Explorer (Finder on Mac), locate the device (it is a separate drive / mount), and copy the dictations to a chosen folder on your computer.

    We recommend that you now use email to send the dictations to your typist, or if they are in the same office as you, you can copy it to a shared network folder location. They will then be able to save or copy the files to their computer and open them in the software that came supplied with the dictation device (eg. Olympus DSS Player).

  3. For Portable Recording Devices: Once you are ready to have your dictations transcribed, connect your dictation device to the computer using the cable supplied (it will appear on your computer as a separate drive / mount).

  4. Download and install the Express Dictate Dictation Software.

  5. The software will open automatically after it has installed. The Microphone Connection and Record Volume wizard will immediately appear, but you should cancel from this wizard.

  6. Click the 'Dock' button in Express Dictate and select the 'Audio File Transfer' method. In the dialog that appears, select the folder to load from by browsing to the portable device drive / mount, and selecting it.

  7. Express Dictate will immediately locate all the dictations it can find in that folder (and sub-folders), and load them into the software.

  8. Now you are ready to send the dictations to your typist. To do so, please follow the last three steps of the instructions from the guide for Record Dictations Directly to a PC or Mac Computer.


    Record Conference Meetings or Interviews Directly to a PC or Mac Computer

    • For Mac users purchasing a conference microphone, note that you will require a USB Conference Microphone. Standard 3.5mm (1/8 inch) microphones will not work as the Mac microphone port does not supply any power to the device.
    • You can daisy-chain multiple VEC Conference Microphones together to provide as much coverage as you require. Great for conducting conferences on long conference tables.

    1. Plug your conference microphone in to the computer.

    2. Download and install the Express Dictate Dictation Software.

    3. The software will open automatically after it has installed. The Microphone Connection and Record Volume wizard will immediately appear, and you should use this opportunity to ensure that your microphone is correctly selected and that the volume level is to your satisfaction.

    4. Once you have completed the wizard, you can now start creating your dictations. In order to do this, select the 'Record' button in the main screen to start a new recording. By default the software will operate in voice activation mode, so it will only start recording when it detects your voice.


      Record Conference Meetings or Interviews Without Access to a Computer

      • You can daisy-chain multiple VEC Conference Microphones together to provide as much coverage as you require. Great for conducting conferences on long conference tables.

      1. Plug your conference microphone in to the 3.5mm socket of the portable recording device.

      2. Using the instructions supplied with the portable dictation device, create your dictation recordings (all devices have their play/stop controls either on the front or the side of the device).

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