Segmenting an RTT without a Computer

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 Contributed by Mike Rueck.

This guide will show you how to make a copy of an RTT story with each segment as its own file if you do not have access to a computer which you may not while out on a survey trip.

As long as you have two recording devices with ear phone and "line in" capability and a patch cord (1/8" stereo plugs on both ends), you can always skip back to dubbing procedures like we used with tape recorders.

  1. Plug the patch cord into the earphone jack of the machine with the original, or "master", recording. I'll refer to this as the "Player".
  2. Plug the other end of the patch cord into the "line in" jack on the other machine, the "Recorder", which should have the memory card in it that you will use as your "test tape".
  3. Plug your earphones into the Recorder.
  4. Put the Recorder in Record/Pause, which should cause you to hear whatever signal is coming into the machine.
  5. Start playing the story so you can adjust the playing and recording volumes until you're getting a good strong signal to the recorder, but not clipping. Usually, this means maximizing the Player's volume.
  6. Cue the Player back to the beginning of the story and pause it there.
  7. Have your transcription laid out in front of you with the breaks you want in the story clearly indicated.
  8. Un-pause the Recorder, followed by the Player.
  9. When you reach the first break, pause both the Player and the Recorder.
  10. On the machines I've used, the Recorder will end the file at this point and start a new file when you un-pause it again. However, you might need to actually Stop the Recorder in order to get separate files, which is what you want.
  11. Repeat steps 8 and 9 (and 10 if necessary) until you reach the end of the story.

This should result in the Recorder having the story as a series of subsequent files.

Hopefully, the machine will also have a "Play One" mode in which it just plays a single file at a time and stops. After playing a segment and writing down the response, you'll probably need to advance to the next file before hitting Play again.

If the machine doesn't have a "Play One" or equivalent mode, then you'll want to put some audio cues into the recording so you'll hear where the segment breaks are, since the machine may not have a countdown mode which allows you to see when you're approaching the end of a file. The simplest way to do this is to leave a second or two of silence at the end of each segment by, in Step 9 above, pausing the Player a second or two before the Recorder at each break.

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