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Post Posted:: October 14th, 2017, 1:50 pm 

Joined: February 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
Posts: 139
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
@Newgatenovelist Yes, you're absolutely right, it's impossible to learn everything at the same time and at once. Oh, yes, I often feel a little overwhelmed by all the new things I wish to learn as quickly as possible - but knowing them is one thing, being able to actually implement them in my readings is quite another thing! I do often catch myself wishing to sound like a reader I like, instead of trying to develop my own style. By the way, I love the way you read this week's poem (Mr Lampman's "Refuge")! You've woven in so much feeling and warmth! Compared to you, I sound harsh and cold like a thrill sergeant. I had to laugh so much, as I pronounced the title 'Refuge' like an angry command...at that moment, I foolishly thought speaking the words harder might diminish mouth noises...

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Last edited by ClaudiaSterngucker on October 15th, 2017, 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 12:36 am 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 397
Location: LONDON UK
Personally I think it's best not to sound like someone else, however good they are. Just be yourself and relax. As soon as we try and make an effort it doesn't sound right. Sometimes its good to record a few lines just for a joke and deliberately sound silly. I often repeat a sentence that I've thought I've sounded pompous by doing it in a really deep and silly voice and then when I repeat again it sounds natural.That's the beauty of editing - you can so easily cut out the mistakes and bad bits. I have to repeat occasionally because I've almost got the giggles and you can hear it in my voice, although maybe in a humerus bit it should sound like you are almost laughing. I also crack up in very sad bits and have to forget the emotion and repeat it so that it is intelligible. And you think you have problems!

The other thing to do is record a short passage of say about 6 lines and keep the recording going and repeat several times in different way and even in different voices. This gives confidence and is quite educational.

Don't forget that reading onto a recording is a steep and long learning curve where we go from not so good to pretty good to very good - but that may takes months or often a year or two. Being a stupid lazy old *** I have taken about 12 years to get to being just about OK, but a lot of this was me speaking my thoughts onto CD's which no one will ever hear but has definitely helped me get from terrible to reasonably passable.

So don't give up.

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 6:22 am 

Joined: February 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
Posts: 139
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
@lurchelover Yes, it's so true! Whenever I try to make an effort to sound dramatic, and listen to it afterwards, it sounds ridiculous and pretty comical. Oh, yes, I tend to 'forget' the emotions, too, in my readings...actually, I'm still figuring out how to best express emotions. I read somewhere, that one just needs to feel the emotions inside and they would then express themselves through our voices automatically and naturally. I still find it hard to trust that, though. While reading a German poem, I caught myself lowering my voice and trying to give it that 'grievous touch'. In truth, I was too busy concentrating on the lines, on not producing mouth noises...on breathing correctly, to actually feel anything.

It was great to read that you have fun while recording, that you try out different voices and allow yourself to be silly sometimes! I tend to fall into this boring no-nonsense attitude as soon as the mic is on and simply forget to relax and have fun. I like your idea of reading a short passage several times in different ways during a recording session - I will certainly try this out tomorrow!

Hihi, aye, I really though I had problems...and I appreciate it greatly that splendid narrators like yourself let us know a little bit about their struggles and progresses as readers.

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 6:55 am 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 397
Location: LONDON UK
Maybe when I get a moment I will make a silly recording which will be "much ado about nothing" and at the very least it will give you a laugh. I could even try bits of Shakespeare in different ways, and do some silly voices too. I could send a link for Dropbox. Maybe I should send it as a PM otherwise my reputation on LV may suffer even more losses!

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 7:06 am 

Joined: February 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
Posts: 139
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
@lurchelover Oh, cool, yes, please! :clap: I love your sophisticated English accent...and I'm in awe of Shakespeare...and I LOVE silly recordings! Sometimes, I suspect that the English and Swiss have a similar kind of humour - we like to keep a stiff upper lip, appreciate dark humour and pretend to be sarcastic...but deep down, we so enjoy to be silly and laugh like children.

I have a feeling that your reputation here on LV isn't that bad at all, you know. :mrgreen:

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All of us get lost in the darkness. Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 7:09 am 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 397
Location: LONDON UK
I'll do it when my wife finishes her rehearsals of piano and cello music - it's a bit loud for me to speak over!

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 7:59 am 

Joined: February 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
Posts: 139
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
Image

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 11:00 am 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 397
Location: LONDON UK
I've managed to do it. I've PM'd you. You might get a good laugh at least!

Peter

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Post Posted:: October 15th, 2017, 11:36 am 

Joined: February 17th, 2015, 7:22 am
Posts: 1815
Hi Claudia,

In talking about the weekly poetry project, you've actually come up with a really good example. I had a listen to your interpretation of 'Refuge', and I don't think you sounded harsh at all. I do think that this is probably another case of hearing your own recording in a very different way to how anybody else hears it (and not for the better!).

The weekly and fortnightly poems are a really good way of trying out new 'voices'. The poems usually vary - sometimes they're comic or melancholy or sentimental. Whatever the mood or theme, they'll give you a chance to try out all kinds of styles of reading. The other nice thing about them is that lots of other people record them, so if you feel nervous you can remind yourself 'well, there are other versions out there for listeners!'. If you've been having a tough week, sometimes just knowing that your version isn't the only one can help take the pressure off.

Now go out there and record!


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Post Posted:: October 18th, 2017, 11:28 pm 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 397
Location: LONDON UK
Hi Claudia
At last I've had a chance to listen to the poems you have contributed. First of all, congratulations. You are certainly a good reader and have no reason for thinking you are not good enough. In fact you sound like a seasoned reader.

If I were to make any comments I would say that your recording setup (and I don't know what you are using and how) could be very slightly tweaked. It seems that the recording has a little emphasis on the higher frequencies, noticeable mostly on consonants such as "s." It might be good to have a tiny bit more dynamic range, either with the setup, or by speaking with slightly more emphasis on certain words. This could also be with the recording setup having a little bit more of the lower frequencies.

As far as your reading goes, I think you may be taking quick breaths at certain points (it's hardly noticeable). If you take more time at the inhaling points with slower intake, you can then shorten the gaps in Audacity or whatever you use for editing. Soon it will happen naturally and no need to reduce gaps in the editor.

if you say what your equipment is and how it is set up, as well as mic distance, some small changes might be worthwhile. You could PM me with those if you would prefer not to say on the forum.

In the meantime keep going, you are a good reader. I have absolutely no doubt about that, and you are a credit to LV.

PS I noticed that you said in your very first post that you delete your first attempts at recording a poem. It might be best to keep these as a way of measuring how each recording improves over a short period of time. This is a very good way that I personally use (and also at one time as a musician) to hear how I can change or try out different things and build on what I'm trying to do. In fact I'm being asked record some piano music today just for that very purpose.

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Post Posted:: October 25th, 2017, 9:15 am 

Joined: February 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
Posts: 139
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
@lurcherlover I'm so sorry, I've just now detected your comment...silly me! I tend to lose track on all the different threads, I'm very sorry for the delayed reply.

I cannot believe that you really took the time to listen to my poor attempts at reading poems; and I know that I don't deserve your very kind words and compliments. But a compliment from such a accomplished and excellent reader means the world to me!
Image

My setup...oh, dear, it's less than suboptimal. Last weekend, I emptied an old closet that stands in my living room and just a few minutes ago, I finished recording the weekly poem sitting in it. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but this closet is a rare quiet (well, more or less quiet) place around here. My apartment is tiny and the only two rooms belong to my sons, my place is the living room. I've planned on getting some insulating mats from a DIY store and put them on the walls of the closet; right now, a blanket, my yoga mat and a cushion help to keep the echo-effect at bay, hopefully. Thank goodness I'm a petite woman, a taller person would have difficulties to find enough space for their legs. The mic sits on two shoe boxes and a book, so that it is approximately a little bit below my mouth...at chin level, I'd say. I read that this position would allow the mic to also capture the lower tones of the voice. I'd much prefer to stand while recording, but it's too loud here - there's an elementary school just vis-à-vis the house, lawn mowing neighbours, construction sites, a flight corridor just above our heads etc. So, I must make the best of what I have and be creative. Last week I said to Moniaqua that sitting in this closet, using my wand...mobile phone as a source of light, gave me a wonderful 'Harry Potter - feeling'...

I tried out your advice on inhaling slower and longer, and it works just fine, thanks a lot! It's funny, when I speak nonsense in front of the mic, there is much less mouth noise as in my recordings. I must practice to stay relaxed and speak just as natural and normal as always while reading a text.

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All of us get lost in the darkness. Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

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Post Posted:: October 25th, 2017, 9:49 am 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 397
Location: LONDON UK
It sounds like you are getting there and I will have a listen to later work on LV.

By the way, you can get mic stands fairly cheaply - especially secondhand. That might make things easier.

Cutting down on reverb/echo makes a huge difference and the soft things that soak it up are very effective.

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Post Posted:: October 25th, 2017, 10:01 am 

Joined: February 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
Posts: 139
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
@NewgatenovelistImage I took what you said about trying out new 'voices' to heart and read the actual weekly poem in a more quiet and softer way. I must admit that I took your recording as my inspiration. I'm not sure at all about the result, but I'll be courageous and edit it as soon as I come home from work around 4 o'clock in the morning, and submit it. Will you read this poem, too? I love it...I picture the traveller to be a noble knight, riding through time, in order to keep his word. I so wish my English was better (and I had a slight Scottish accent...), I'd so love to read a book in English, but that would be a disgrace to the story and English speaking listeners, I'm aware of that.

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Post Posted:: October 25th, 2017, 3:30 pm 

Joined: February 17th, 2015, 7:22 am
Posts: 1815
I'm looking forward to hearing your version! And please do keep recording weekly and fortnightly poems. You can experiment, and every week/two weeks you get a chance to start over.

Thank you very much that you listened to mine! I'm surprised and flattered!

Unfortunately, I probably won't read the poem this week. I'm away from my mic, and unless I can get better sound in the room where I am I will probably have to let this one go. That's such a shame, because I loooooooove Halloween and picked my monthly poems for their spookiness! But there is always next week, even if the poem isn't scary.

Please don't worry about your accent. Plenty of non-native speakers read in a variety of languages, including languages like Old English and Latin that definitely don't have any native speakers. And plenty of English-language stories will casually drop in a word or phrase in another language just to keep all of us on our toes! Read what you like, and try not to get too caught up in whether or not you sound 'right'. If everybody did that, no one would get past the first sentence.

I'll look for your poem. And happy Halloween!


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Post Posted:: October 26th, 2017, 12:12 am 

Joined: April 11th, 2013, 4:48 am
Posts: 317
Location: Somewhere in the south
ClaudiaSterngucker wrote:
Last week I said to Moniaqua that sitting in this closet, using my wand...mobile phone as a source of light, gave me a wonderful 'Harry Potter - feeling'...


I didn't answer this sentence, did I? :oops: It came into my mind that there are analogies between you and Harry Potter. Both doubting so much while beeing so excellent. You definitely do deserve lurcherlovers compliments. That you maybe are not used to it is not your fault, it's just the way we grew up.

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The tech-specs: http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Audacity_1-2-3#Configure
How to clean noise: http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Noisecleaning_With_Pics
To check tech-specs and noise: http://www.cgjennings.ca/checker/


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