One Minute Test Question.

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CatherineEvans
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Joined: December 9th, 2013, 5:37 pm

Post by CatherineEvans » December 25th, 2013, 4:46 am

I donot seem to be getting the test correct. Question of my system is sound is poor and i ahve purchased a mic Behringer CIU and headset shure 440 should I return these.
From what I understand i have to pass the audio test to do any recordings. Correct.
Seems like i am stuck in Test land.
I will submit another test. Thank

Catherine

Cori
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Post by Cori » December 25th, 2013, 5:57 am

The test has a few uses, Catherine. First, it ensures everyone's technical specs are the same. This is not because we're boring and have no imagination ;) but because if we provide a particular kind of file to archive.org, they'll do lots of conversions for us (to M4B, 64kbps, ogg and zips.) That opens up options for our listeners, and since it's "for free" it's a no-brainer to follow along with what they've put in place.

Second, it helps future listeners! A very common problem in new recordings is that the volume's too low. I've done it myself (accidentally!) and even though things sound fine in a quiet room over headphones, many of our listeners are commuting, so there needs to be some leeway to turn up the car stereo or drown out the train or bus noise. Newcomers who've seen this thing about being too quiet sometimes over-compensate and then the recording is too loud. While a quiet recording can be amplified, an over-loud recording will distort and sound unpleasant -- I've done this too, and had to just bin the whole chapter. Where there's background noise (washing machines, aquariums, televisions, children, animals) it can be easy to underestimate the impact of that on the listening experience, since we're used to the noise of our own houses. So again, the test can catch some of that and that means we can take more care in setting up a quiet environment or picking a quiet time to record. Finally, it's possible to record here on a wide variety of equipment. But sometimes the quality is just too bad to make your voice easily heard. There's NO requirement to have a fancy mic or anything like that! But where there's so much static or quality degradation that it makes it hard to understand the story, we do recommend that people see if they can upgrade (maybe by borrowing someone else's mic to see if it makes a difference. Even gaming mics or Skype headsets can work quite well, depending on their settings.)

The test isn't meant to put people off in any way. It isn't an audition or an impassable hurdle. It's just making sure that the recordings you make do justice to your voice. And that our listeners can clearly make out the text even if their own equipment isn't the best, or the environment's a bit noisy, and so on. :D

Persevere with the equipment you've got! Often it's just a case of tweaking the settings until you've got something that sounds nice (and passes the tech spec requirements.) Once that's sorted out, you don't need to change them again! You don't need to go through all this for every recording ... although it's good to do if you do change equipment, just to make sure. I've messed up more than a few recordings by making a change and thinking 'it prolly won't affect anything, it'll be fine' ... and it really NOT being fine. :roll:
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

MaryAnnSpiegel
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Post by MaryAnnSpiegel » December 27th, 2013, 9:28 pm

Catherine,

I'm going to move your test over to listeners wanted - we try to keep everything for a given reader in the same thread so that we have the history and context to each test.

MaryAnn

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