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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 4:10 am 

Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 11:02 am
Posts: 870
Location: Manchester, NH, America
I've been doing some PLing recently. I don't PL very often as I prefer to record. Does anyone have any tips or hints or work-flow suggestions about how I can better or more efficiently/effectively PL?

Thanks!

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 4:28 am 

Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Posts: 16693
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada
Go through this:

viewtopic.php?p=318667#p318667

EDITED by admin rg to change link to current PL Guidelines

I always read along with the text myself. If the error is minor and doesn't change the meaning, I will not mention it.

We don't comment on reading style unless it is asked for. I always keep a word pad doc open to write my notes on.

I always put the files into a folder and choose "show Details". This allows me to see bit and sample rates. I will also export to audacity to check volume as I do not trust my ears but do trust my eyes.

Esther :)

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 5:16 am 

Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 11:02 am
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Location: Manchester, NH, America
Do you listen using Audacity, too?

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 5:26 am 

Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
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Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada
Great Plains wrote:
Do you listen using Audacity, too?


Sometimes. I did with the French proofing as it was much easier to find my way back to a starting point if I thought I heard a mistake.

I will also use audacity if I know there will be edits. ie, I know the background noise needs to be cleaned. That way I can edit as I listen. I will have two windows open, one for audacity on the bottom and one for the text at the top.

I also use the hot keys to start and stop audacity as it is so much faster. (Space bar)

Any more questions?

Esther :)

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 5:45 am 

Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 11:02 am
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Location: Manchester, NH, America
Just wondering about methods to optimize my work flow patterns. Thanks for your help! 8-)

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 6:32 am 

Joined: April 28th, 2007, 7:16 pm
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Location: Kingdom of Meridies
I mostly PL in media player so I can speed up the reading. Most readers are a bit slow for my tastes (but that's my preference, so I don't mention that as a criticism). I rarely follow the text, but then I have never PLed when word-perfect was requested. So I listen and if it sounds weird then I look at the text.

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 7:31 am 

Joined: June 19th, 2007, 2:34 pm
Posts: 454
Location: The Icy North
[snip]


Last edited by Illiterati on January 23rd, 2009, 1:19 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 10:34 am 
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Joined: April 17th, 2008, 8:41 am
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Location: Kent, England
This is how I do it, although I don't do much PLing as I haven't yet managed to curb my notoriously nit-picky habits. I have never PL'd without following the text. :)

1. Check all the tech specs first - 128 kbps MP3, mono, 44,100 Hz etc.
2. Open in Audacity and check all the ID tags.
3. Check intro, outro and silences at beginning and end
4. PL in Audacity for errors, background noise and volume. Note in Notepad the time (mm:ss) with details of errors, pauses, repeats, stumbles. (With regard to volume, I find it helpful to use Audacity, because I can actually see if there are spikes/shouty bits which may interfere with general amplification.)

Ruth

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 10:49 am 

Joined: June 19th, 2007, 2:34 pm
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Thank you Ruthie, I'll start copying your points 1 & 2 & 3. Seems wise to have a routine like that, like checking a plane before taking off. :D

I'm not an Apple salesman, but I can do that all in Itunes, which I have marked by definition to show id3 + bitrate etc.

Do you do "general amplification", as I was told by ppl that this is taken care of during the cataloguing stage, or do you just clean the spikes in volume? I suppose you only worry about this, if you are both DPL and MC responsible for cataloguing?


Last edited by Illiterati on October 18th, 2008, 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 11:19 am 

Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
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Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada
Illiterati wrote:
Do you do "general amplification", as I was told by ppl that this is taken care of during the cataloguing stage, or do you just clean the spikes in volume?


On overly soft recordings, the amplification done during cataloging is insufficient. It is best to do some amplifying in audacity first. If there are massive fluctuations in volume, I use the leveler and usually use heavy or heavier settings.

Esther :D

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 11:39 am 
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Illiterati wrote:
Do you do "general amplification", as I was told by ppl that this is taken care of during the cataloguing stage, or do you just clean the spikes in volume? I suppose you only worry about this, if you are both DPL and MC responsible for cataloguing?

I only alter volume for other people if I am specifically asked to edit. But, in my own recordings I frequently find that I have little bits - sometimes only one word (some vowel sounds particularly) - which spike. If you look at the whole recording in Audacity (View | Fit in Window) you will see what I mean by spikes. Just one spike near the top edge will mean that you can only amplify the WHOLE recording by a tiny bit, even if the rest is very soft.

Problems like that cannot be put right by the automatic process in cataloguing, so it really must be dealt with before the project reaches that stage. As a proof listener, all you need do is point out in your PL notes if some or all of the file sounds too quiet.

Ruth

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 11:54 am 

Joined: June 19th, 2007, 2:34 pm
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Well, I'm too much a perfectionist to let it go, so there's no hope of me NOT editing the mistakes I find.. :D

This (the volume question) is btw something that's not mentioned at all in the editwiki, and I'm glad this was brought up.


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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 12:04 pm 

Joined: February 24th, 2007, 5:00 am
Posts: 2274
Location: Austin, Texas
I've always found it best to amplify manually, rather than trusting the validator's program for several reasons:
  1. The validator's program doesn't actually amplify the sound, it adds instructions into the mp3 header that tells some (but not all) mp3 players to amplify the track. Also, most CD burning programs don't understand the instructions either, from what I've been told
  2. Even if it did actually amplify the sound, the MC would still have to download the file and listen to it to determine if noise cleaning was needed. By this time, I've already downloaded all of the original files already, so this would mean an extra download of each section modified (i.e., the whole project, as the validator doesn't have the ability to modify just one file, it affects all of the project's files).
  3. The validator works on the whole file, and not just part of it. I ran into a file in one of the projects I just finished cataloging which had several short chapters in it. It appeared that they had been recorded at different times, because one of the ones in the middle of the file was significantly louder than the rest. I needed to amplify the different parts of the recording to different levels, and the validator's amplify function can't do that.
The validator's "amplify" function does quite a good job of analyzing the levels, and I do use it in that fashion as a tool to tell me which files I need to take a closer look at.

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 12:41 pm 
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Joined: October 24th, 2007, 12:17 pm
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Hm, I begin to doubt if I do prooflistening careful enough.

I download the file and put it into a special folder where all relevant details are shown and check the tags.
Then I listen to it with winamp player. It shows bit rate, sample rate and mono/stereo on one glance.
I don't "check" the volume but I use a standard volume setting. When I need to change this setting much I know that the volume is to low/loud.

I only read the text along when it is asked or when I proof in a language other than German.

I never change anything in the recordings I proof unless I'm asked for. Sometimes I offer advice or help in a PM.
I personally would not be very happy if someone would change my recordings without asking me first.

And I must confess that I love to do ironing while prooflistening longer parts. I turn up the volume much more than I normally would and wind back when ever I here something strange. When it is still strange after listening again, I check the text. Some texts are strange.
Oh, and I note down the mistakes on paper.

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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2008, 1:44 pm 

Joined: February 24th, 2007, 5:00 am
Posts: 2274
Location: Austin, Texas
Hokus, that sounds like an excellent routine to me, and it does check everything that needs checking.

I agree with you, I don't like to mess with other readers' files unless I have to or I have their permission. Sometimes I have to, in order to get the work through the validator, but I'd much prefer if problems with a file were caught early during the PL'ing process, and feedback given to the reader so that they can modify the original recording and re-export the MP3.

One thing that hasn't been commented on much is checking for the 5 (or 10) seconds of silence at the end of the file. I just cataloged The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, and of the 69 files in the project, I had to add additional silence to the end of about two dozen of the files. Some of the files only had a single second of silence at the end.

[shameless pitch for good PL'ing] Every little detail that gets caught in the proofing process and fixed before validation helps speed the validation up and reduces the workload on our MCs (including me). I currently have 16 projects I'm looking after, and other MC's may have as many as 25 or 30, or even more. If several of them finish at the same time (as just happened to kmerline), and have many fiddly little errors that could have been caught and fixed by the reader during the proofing, it just increases the time it takes to validate and catalog the work. There are 453 projects that are in the database in an active stage (open, subscribed, proofing, validation) at this time. If we have 20 active MCs (I don't think that many are currently active), that works out to 22.65 porjects per MC ... which is a lot of projects, especially for new MCs (I don't even want that many!) [/shameless pitch]

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