What is a Difficulty Surcharge?

After a file is uploaded it automatically gets assigned a difficulty score based on certain factors and methods described below. We do not apply any surcharge to files that are scored as standardmoderate, or challenging. We only apply a surcharge for files scored as difficult. The surcharge is $60/hr ($1/min) prorated to the exact duration of each file.

 

Click on any of the video thumbnails to view audio samples at each difficulty level. The red check marks denote factors that increase difficulty. Only audio files marked as difficult may be subject to a difficult audio surcharge.

Standard Audio

A high quality microphone and scripted speech will go a long way to lowering difficulty. Also note that background noise alone is not a bad thing so long as it is separated from the speech.

  • High quality microphone
  • Scripted speech
  • No background noise

  • Background noise mostly separated from speech
  • No speaker overlap
  • Some low level background noise

Although these files have multiple speakers they generally do not overlap. Interposing voices will generally increase difficulty significantly.

Moderate Audio

Although these files have multiple speakers they generally do not overlap. Interposing voices will generally increase difficulty significantly.

 

  • High quality microphone
  • No background noise
  • Moderate speaker overlap
  • Somewhat unscripted speech

  • Scripted speech
  • No speaker overlap
  • Multiple speakers
  • Sections with significant background noise

Challenging Audio

A low quality microphone at a distance will certainly contribute to increased difficulty. In some circumstances this can be avoided. Use a quality microphone and follow our Audio Recording Guidelines to improve your audio quality and to reduce your file(s) difficulty score.

  • Scripted speech
  • Low quality microphone
  • High frequencies missing from audio
  • Technical language

  • Scripted, clear speech
  • Distant microphone
  • Very rapid speech
  • Idiomatic language

Difficult Audio

Recording quality, acoustical environment, and language predictability contribute individually to difficulty. However, these factors are especially influential when in combination.

  • English speakers
  • Background noise
  • Loud music

  • Low quality microphone
  • Spontaneous speech
  • Multiple speakers with rapid exchanges
  • Loud and changing background noise
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