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Greetings from the Pacific Northwest (USA)

Posted: January 6th, 2019, 8:32 am
by PeterBlock
Hello, I'm Peter, and I'm a... oh, wait--wrong group.


I'm living in the woods near Portland, Oregon, and I'm happy to be reading for LibriVox. I'm a freelance book editor and proofreader. Before I started preparing manuscripts for publication (and taking them to the next level structurally) I was a radio announcer and deejay for 17 years. Not much connection between those two things, right? Actually, radio made me a better writer. It taught me to make my words count. When you're talking up a 15-second song intro and you're expected to fit in call letters, your name, maybe a quick weather mention, and something entertaining or witty before the start of the vocal, you don't have time for wasted words. Same thing writing commercials--which I did a lot of. Sales reps liked to give me 90 seconds worth of content for a 60-second spot. It was my job to fit everything in without motormouthing. That required rigorous economy in my wording.

I worked at radio stations up and down the West Coast of the United States from Portland to San Jose, wearing just about every hat you can wear on the operations side of a radio station: music director, production director, program director, news director. Everything but transmitter engineer, but I did run my own board. I worked lots of formats: Top 40, CHR (current hit radio), country, public affairs, and adult contemporary. I don't miss radio at all these days--but I still have nightmares about dead air, the cardinal radio sin.

Now I'm dabbling in podcasting, and I'm just starting with LibriVox. I read one of the stories in "Stories Without Tears" by Barry Pain, which helped me get in the Christmas spirit.

From reading through forum conversations I'm noticing there are lots of different kinds of recording setups being used, with a surprising number of people using USB microphones plugged into Windows laptops or Apple laptops.

My setup was put together very inexpensively, because I hate wasting money even more than wasting words--so don't let anybody tell you they can't afford a recording setup. I'm using an old Gateway desktop PC I bought in a thrift store for $40. I'm running Ubuntu 18.04 on it and recording in Audacity. They're both open source, so they cost me nothing. I'm using an MXL 2001 condenser microphone I found used on ebay, and I'm running it through a Lexicon Omega interface, which in Linux "just works." I didn't have to install any drivers, it's just plug and play.

Sorry for proselytizing. I'm a Linux enthusiast and an Ubuntu advocate, in case you missed it.

I'm impressed with how friendly and helpful everybody is in the LibriVox community. I know a voiceover announcer in Philadelphia, and I recommended he volunteer for LibriVox. I just heard back from him that he's signed up and is about to do his 1-minute test so he can start reading for a project. So I'm not only a LibriVox proponent; I guess I'm a recruiter too.

Thanks to everybody for all you do. I'm proud to be a part of this wonderful enclave of artisans.


Re: Greetings from the Pacific Northwest (USA)

Posted: January 6th, 2019, 10:31 am
by ChuckW
Welcome Peter! Nice to have you! :-)