Audio Gear Spotlight: Zoom H4n HD Audio Recorder

I just picked up a Zoom H4n yesterday and I am very impressed with this powerful little gadget. Up to 12 hours of continuous audio recording, 2 XLR / 1/4 inch line ins, and 2 high quality stereo mics offer the perfect solution for any recording situation. Our company often gets asked to record speakers, conferences, panels, and other audio presentations for transcription. Now we can provide high quality recording without needing a sound guy. All you do is set it up, plug it in, point at your source, and press record!

The Zoom H4n HD audio recorder and interface
Did I mention it comes with a nifty case?

High Quality – Low Price

As an audio guy, I know what its like to have GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). GAS is embarrassing, instead of buying necessary life related items, I am buying VSTs, hardware, and other audio components no normal human being might need. Fortunately for me, the price of the Zoom H4n is well within my budget. For the quality offered, I have never seen anything that comes close.

2 Setreo mic able to record a 90 degree or 120 degree stereo field.
2 high quality microphones for recording 90 or 120 degree stereo fields.

Professional and Consumer Applications

Yes, this gadget may come in handy for our transcription company for the purpose of recording audio in the live setting, but this little gizmo offers so much more! You can set it to function as an audio interface, capturing live audio and imputing it directly into your computer. Furthermore the 2 high resolution stereo microphones placed in a unique V cross formation allow you to record an accurate stereo field no matter what your position. The next time I go to a good concert I will be sure to have this baby with me  to soak up the good sounds and save them for later.

 




Transcription Gear: Typing Gloves

If you have every experienced the pains of long term typing fatigue, you know that it can be excruciating. Word Wizards is dedicated to taking care of our professional transcription typists, and we have a new product that seems to help relieve / prevent some of the strain. Presenting, handy dandy typing gloves!

Transcription Gloves in ActionClose up photo of transcription typing gloves.

 

These gloves are for the hardcore transcription professional. Day after day, hour after hour, our transcribers pound away at the keyboard. A lifetime of this abuse starts to add up, and eventually, the transcription professional’s most valuable tools, their hands, start to feel the damage. Its a serious problem, both for those who type for a living, and for those who employ them.

Valery gives a thumbs up while wearing transcription gloves.

It is our duty to take good care of our dedicated transcription specialists, and we have offered to purchase these gloves for our employees who want them. Remember, these gloves wont solve all your problems, the rigors of professional transcription are not for the faint of finger. However, its the little things that add up to preserve yourself in this profession, which is why were happy to provide anything that benefits our transcriptionists and keeps them operating at 100%.




Transcription Gear: The Ergonomic Keyboard

Typing hours and hours, day after day can be heavy on the hands. At Word Wizards, we value or speed typists for their high level of education, rapid typing speed, and their overall ability to transcribe in context from any media format with very few mistakes. Here at Word Wizards, the talented hands of our dedicated typists are a vital business asset. Thus it is our duty and responsibility to protect these dexterous digits and joints at all costs! Enter the ergonomic keyboard!

This is a photo of Microsoft's Standard Ergonomic Keyboard
Curves for comfort, safety, and productivity

If your not used to using an ergonomic keyboard, it takes a little getting used to. However, the benefits for our transcribers far outweigh the costs of learning how to use one. Work related carpal tunnel syndrome is not only painful, it can reduce productivity by 100% (i.e. if someone who types for a living can’t type, they face a huge problem). Word Wizards has long insisted that our employees use an ergonomic keyboard during all transcription or speed typing activities.

More ergonomics

Ergonomic keyboards come in various shapes and the price can range form $20 – $80 depending on the features your looking for. The primary benefit comes from a slight break in the middle section of the keyboard. When someone types using a conventional keyboard, their wrist breaks at almost a 45 degree angle. Over long periods of time, this slight break in hand to wrist position can cause all sorts of nasty problems and horrible pain. The ergonomic keyboard allows the hands and wrist not to break and to type while resting in a straight and natural position. In addition, many ergonomic keyboards sit with a slightly negative incline, reducing the impact of the fingers on keys.

Our advise for all of you transcription professionals out there, get an ergonomic keyboard and protect your most important asset!