KnowBrainer Speech Recognition
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Topic Title: Digital recorder with DS2 and hold switch
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Created On: 07/06/2021 01:39 PM
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 07/06/2021 01:39 PM
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I'm dictating novels using an Audiotechnica Pro8hex into a cheap Sony ICD-PX370 mono recorder set to 192 kbps mp3. I've found that the midgain setting is best for the headset and my voice volume. I only do transcription. All my recording/dictating is done in light noise environments (washing dishes, sweeping, walking over landscaping rocks, walking on a treadmill).

I'm getting about 97% accuracy with an untrained profile, and am debating the utility of upgrading to a DS2 recorder to boost my baseline accuracy. The misrecognitions that really bug me are dropping words if I talk quickly and frequently mistaking "in" for "and."

The main thing holding me back from upgrading is that the Olympus DS-9000/9500 does not appear to have a hold switch to prevent misoperation. Fancy losseless recording formats are nice and all, but I'm very concerned about the slide switch being jostled in my pocket and losing part of a dictation session. I dictate with exclusively with a headset and keep the recorder in my pocket the whole time.

My questions are as follows:

1. Does the DS-9000/9500 have a software hold option that disables the slide switch so it will not stop recording by accident (misoperation)?

2. Are there other recorders that use the DS2 format that do have a reliable hold function and accept a 3.5 mm TS/TRS microphone such as Pro8hex?

3. Barring using a DS2 recorder, would bumping up the mp3 sampling rate to 320 kbps by using a Tascam field recorder significantly improve accuracy?

4. Or should  I just use my current mp3 192 kbps recorder and stop being a whiny baby?



 07/06/2021 03:58 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Dragon supported audio formats include .wav, .mp3, .WMA, .DSS, .DS2 and .M4a. Sampling rates are minimally 16 K


1. The Olympus DS-9000 & Olympus DS-9500 recorders do not include a hardware or software lock to prevent the slider from accidentally killing a recording but these recorders are designed exclusively for dictation and Dragon transcription. It is not easy to accidentally toggle the slider off. It requires a fair amount of pressure; unlike many consumer recorders. Even though Nuance recommends against this setting, we use VCVA (Variable Control Voice Actuator) which means we leave our DS-9000 slider Always On. We are tempted to duct tape the slider

2. The Philips DPM-8000, DPM 7000 and DPM 6000 are also made exclusively for dictation and feature DS2 algorithms. Grundig recorders also include DS2 algorithms but but they are more expensive and difficult to repair, so we no longer offer Grundig on our website. These are the only digital recorders that utilize DS2 algorithms and these professional recorders are only available from licensed Olympus and Phillips resellers. Also note that your reseller is responsible for support so it's probably not a good idea to purchase from a large company that sells 300 different recorders (Jack of all trades and master of none) because they are also responsible for your technical support. You cannot obtain technical support on professional recorders from Philips or Olympus. If you can find these recorders at a lower price, they are not licensed resellers and they are illegal. You also won't be able to acquire technical support.

3. Bumping up your sampling rate will not help and if you sample too high, Dragon will reject it. The human voice has a limited range so the higher the sampling rate, the more noise Dragon will have to filter out. MP3 files, like nearly all recordings, are compressed which means that you lose some of your audio. What makes DS2 algorithms as much as twice as accurate, is the limited frequency range and a 12 to 1 lossless compression ratio.

4. The only way to properly answer your question is for you to trial your current recorder. If your recorder is going to be a work tool, like other professions, you should go with a professional digital recorder but if your recorder is not work critical, you will probably be happy with what you already have. You will have to correct more mistakes but nearly all recorders work fairly well with Dragon.


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 07/07/2021 12:08 AM
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Hi Jake, I think 4). I've dictated into half a dozen different recorders with half a dozen (or more) different mics, and the bottom line is that not much of it ever made any difference in "accuracy." Even to this day (years later), dictating into a Panasonic digital voice recorder gives me about the same accuracy as my desktop rig. Both of them have issues with "in" and "and", and with "-xxxed" vs "-xxx it" unless I really watch my dictation.

I would say go ahead and try another recorder if you like, but I don't think you should expect any increase above your 97% figure. The reality is that when you dictate naturally, your phrasing and pausing, and enunciation are all different than repeatedly reading the same test text for testing purposes. Just my two bits.


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