Troubleshooting transcription issues

Here are some tips for troubleshooting transcription issues you may encounter.

The transcript appears broken up into one or a few words per line
This happens when your script is using a multitrack sequence with misaligned tracks. To fix this:
Transcript corrections and speaker labels disappearing
This can occur when your script utilizes a multitrack sequence with improperly aligned tracks. To resolve this issue:
Transcription not starting or is stuck
If the automatic transcript is stuck or not starting:
The finalized transcript is blank or contains missing sections
Occasionally users may encounter a stereo source file that contains a significant amount of phasing or delay between the left and right channels, which prevents your file from being transcribed properly, and may return a blank or inaccurate transcript. This provides a workaround for the problem and gets your transcription up and running.

How to resolve the issue

Audio files

  1. Click on the dropdown arrow next to the project name and select Project Settings. If it's not already, toggle off Optimize computer storage. This will make sure your newly created files are of original quality, instead of optimized.
  2. Click Save Changes.
  3. Select Media Media at the top of your editor and select the Files Files tab.
  4. Find your file, click Vertical ellipses icon.png to the right of the file's name, and choose Separate into mono files. This will create two new files based on channel 1 and channel 2 of your file.
  5. Click Vertical ellipses icon.png next to either of the new files and select Transcribe file. You can click on each of the two files and select Playback icon.png Play in the preview window to see if one is preferable over the other.
  6. Now that the new file is transcribed, click Insert into script, and you'll see your transcription in the script editor ready to be edited.

Video files

  1. Open the video in Quicktime or a similar application, and export it as an audio-only file.
  2. In your Descript project, select Media Media at the top of the editor and select the Files Files tab.
  3. add the audio file to your project.
  4. Split the audio-only file to mono and transcribe the mono file (See steps 3 to 5 above).
  5. Select both your original video file and the transcribed audio file and click Create sequence. This will open the sequence in the Sequence editor.
  6. Right-click the video track and select detach audio. This will split the video's audio onto a separate track.
  7. Select the detach audio track, and click Delete track in the sidebar. 
  8. Select Done to return to the main editor.
  9. Select Media Media, locate your sequence in the Files Files tab, and click Insert into script, and you'll see your transcription in the script editor ready to be edited.
  10.  Optional: if you want to create a single rendered file from the multitrack sequence you create, you'll need to use the Flatten tracks feature after adding the sequence to your script.

Phase prevention

Phasing issues in recorded speech are generally created when two microphones have been used to record a single speaker but one of the microphones was placed at a particular distance away from the source/other microphone.

To avoid an out-of-phase signal, the second microphone should be placed immediately adjacent to the first microphone. Alternatively, you can apply the "3-1 rule":

  1. Measure the distance between the first microphone and the source (the individual who will be speaking)
  2. Make sure the second microphone is at least 3 times that distance away from the first microphone.
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