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I do transcription for several customers. In the last few months one company has been submitting audio files that have a glitch in which the interview starts out normally and then as it progresses there is a delay/overlap between the questions and answers. For instance, you will hear the following:

Q: What is the highest education level that you’ve completed

A: Uh let’s see I did (inaudible)

Q: Okay and did you get a certificate or anything from the trade school

A: 12th grade and I went to a trade school

Q: Okay (inaudible)

A: Yes I did

My conclusion is that these interviews are taking place in a normal fashion in real time and the glitch is happening post-production so to speak. There is no indication on either side of any frustration or confusion from the apparent communication gap.

Has anyone else seen/heard this happen or have any idea what could be causing it? These interviews are done over a telephone recording system and are sent to us as WAV files.

  • Are you working with a single stereo file? It sounds like the source was 2 channels, one for interviewer/interviewee respectively and they allowed them to overlap during editing and just never fixed that before sending it out. – Brian Wright Nov 29 '18 at 20:09
  • I'm the farthest thing from tech savvy, but I will go out on a limb and say yes, it is a stereo recording because I can hear one voice in my left ear and the other in my right. But as far as any editing... To my knowledge these are all processed the same way (if they are) from their phone recording system and sent to us as-is. – McCaverty Nov 29 '18 at 20:23
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It sounds like they just need to get that fixed prior to sending it to you, either by editing the tracks to not overlap or by doing a better job processing the audio so both sides are intelligible.

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