How to Set Up a Transcription Foot Pedal

By Cassandra Tribe

A foot pedal is necessary for speed.

A foot pedal is the easiest way to control the recording you are transcribing. Whether you are using an OSX or PC-based system and a Linemaster, Behringer, Dictaphone or any one of the many other brands of pedals available, you will be able to quickly install your pedal by following these some steps. As long as you have the software that came with it, you will have no problems when you set up a transcription foot pedal.

Step 1

Insert jack into the pedal. Some models have the cable permanently attached to the pedal; with others, you may have to insert the connecting jack into the pedal before connecting it to your computer. Only one end of the cable will have a jack that will fit in your pedal, so don't worry about attaching the wrong end.

Step 2

Identify the connector that is at the other end of the cable. It will either be a USB type, serial or game controller (which will be a small, round-shaped plug with several pins).

Step 3

Place the transcription pedal beneath your work area where you will be using it. Bring the cable up to the computer from behind, so it is not hanging in front of you and interfering in your ability to get up and sit down at your computer.

Step 4

Turn your computer on. (If you have a MAC OSX computer, continue reading. If you are on a PC, go to Step 5.) On a MAC OSX computer, plug the pedal cable into the computer, and the computer will automatically recognize and install it (plug-n-play). If your MAC is not OSX, plug the cable in, put the installation CD in your drive and run the installation wizard. When the wizard is done, you must manually go under "System Preferences" and check that the game controller on the computer is set to your transcription pedal. Even if your pedal is a USB or serial device, the game controller option must be set to the pedal.

Step 5

Put your installation CD into your PC. The Installation Wizard should automatically begin; if it does not, open "File Explorer" from your main menu, select the "CD drive" and double-click on the file labeled "Install" to begin. Follow the instructions the wizard provides and read each screen carefully. The wizard will ask you where you want to install the program, and then it will instruct you to plug the cable in. Do so and hit "Next" in the wizard, and it will automatically complete the installation.

Step 6

Open your transcription program. Whether or not you are on a MAC or PC, check that the preferences in your program are recognizing the transcription pedal. Test it and make sure it is working properly.