reading and hearing at the same time?

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RiDi
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Post by RiDi » September 22nd, 2017, 4:04 am

Hello,
I am a newly registered volunteer from Germany and I am just about to get started.
On the Storyteller's Recording Guide (Wiki) I found the following information regarding recording:
If we concentrate on only those things critical to good recordings surely one of the most important is the ability to hear your voice as you read.
Does it really mean I should hear my voice while I am reading? So my headset microphone should deliver the sound of my voice while I am reading, not shutting it out (as it does now)?
Really, that ist how you do it? To be honest, I never thought of it.

I have a logitech H570e headset USB microphone and I intend to record my files using Audacity on my Windows PC.

How can I check if my PC is able to do it? Is it possible to read and hear my own voice with Audacity? Can you tell me how? :?:

Thnx
Ricarda
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Availle
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Post by Availle » September 22nd, 2017, 4:05 am

I don't think that's what they mean.

If you're recording, you will hear your own voice anyway, unless you wear noise cancelling headsets. There is no need to play back what you're just saying, I think that would be extra distracting, not to speak of giving possible interference.
Cheers,
Ava.

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tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » September 22nd, 2017, 4:53 am

Hello Ricarda,

Just to share my experience... I have tried both. If (and some devices are better at it than others) your system can provide a true real-time monitoring, which means very little delay between the playback and the recording, it could help you to know when you clip, for instance, so you can correct by rereading the sentence or the phrase. Eventually you'll learn to keep a good distance from the mic and to keep a good level with your voice to avoid those (I know I haven't yet; working towards that).

When I record anew, I usually read without headphones on. Only on a rare occasion when I need to rerecord a passage and need it to blend into what's already on "the tape", I'd record by listening to myself and trying to speak as I spoke the first time except for the piece that needs to change. Look up "punching in" in VO terminology.

I recommend starting with only mic and the copy in front of you. It also helps to listen to noises (like a loud vehicle, a car, a motorbike, a plane approaching) so you can stop recording and wait for the noise to go away.

And, yes, unless you're used to your own voice (which will sound differently to you when played back), it can be a distraction, like Availle says.

Experiment and you'll find out for yourself what's the best way for you.
tovarisch
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DaleInTexas
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Post by DaleInTexas » September 23rd, 2017, 8:41 am

Another option for experimentation is the one-off method. There are times when I record with my "cans" on, for some close listening to my delivery. I will often leave one ear cup off, to listen naturally. One thing to help balance this unnatural in-your-face listening is to make sure that you do not have the volume too loud in your monitoring.... the volume in your ears will sometimes inversely drive your speaking volume. (a singer's recording trick)

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RiDi
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Post by RiDi » September 24th, 2017, 2:47 am

Hi Ava, Tovarish and Dale,

thanks for your answers, phew, I see there ist really a lot to learn, to experiment and to experience.
I think there will be no other way than turning my room into a studio and see how your suggestions work out :) I will enjoy that!

Best
Ricarda
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lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » September 24th, 2017, 6:11 am

Good points, Dale.

I think you should try both ways and see which works best. I usually have cans on and can hear my voice, but it's definitely not a requirement. Problems with using cans (headphones) - can be time lag - as this messes up your timing.(It's called "latency") But my recorder does not have any latency problems so I'm OK.

The advice about listening out for intrusive noises is important - 'planes, cars, sirens, and outside pollution generally is something that can ruin your recordings. The most obvious ones are say, a plane, where you stop recording and carry on when it's gone. This causes a sudden end to the sound which is more noticeable than if it had just died away on its own.

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Post by TriciaG » September 24th, 2017, 6:28 am

The advice about listening out for intrusive noises is important - 'planes, cars, sirens, and outside pollution generally is something that can ruin your recordings. The most obvious ones are say, a plane, where you stop recording and carry on when it's gone. This causes a sudden end to the sound which is more noticeable than if it had just died away on its own.
Just wanted to throw in here that a little intrusive noise on LV recordings isn't something that ruins them. For professional recordings, sure. But if a reader lives in India and cannot get away from all the traffic noise outside their apartment, as long as it isn't too loud in the recording, we aren't going to reject that reader's recordings. This is LibriVox, not some commercial audiobook company.

Yes, we care about avoidable background noise. But we do not require perfection. :)

(Just wanted to make that clear in case anyone reading this thread thinks their recordings will be rejected if a hint of an airplane engine is heard in the background.)
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tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » September 24th, 2017, 8:55 am

Well, when we're recording a dramatic reading of something that was happening in the XIX century, a police/firefighter siren or a plane would probably not be an appropriate supplement. Would the listener be able to ignore it? I don't know. But I don't want to try ;-)
tovarisch
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    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

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Post by Availle » September 24th, 2017, 4:37 pm

Please don't discriminate against sirens!
wikipedia wrote:Some time before 1799 the siren was invented by the Scottish natural philosopher (physicist) John Robison.
AND...
In 1819 an improved siren was developed and named by Baron Charles Cagniard de la Tour.
AND...
Instead of disks, most modern mechanical sirens use two concentric cylinders, which have slots parallel to their length....The earliest such sirens were developed during 1877–1880 by James Douglass and George Slight of Trinity House; the final version was first installed in 1887 at the Ailsa Craig lighthouse in Scotland's Firth of Clyde.
Cheers,
Ava.

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RiDi
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Post by RiDi » September 24th, 2017, 11:07 pm

Hi,
I already gave that a thought: living in the country I don't really worry about airplanes, but I am already asking myself how to shut up my dog, how to shut out tractor noises or to prevent neighbours from ringing the doorbell, how to silence my phone.... :roll:
I guess I will have to do my recording after nightfall....

Thanks for the advice
Ricarda
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Ingenious, really, how many ways muggles have found of getting along without magic. (Arthur Weasley)

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annise
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Post by annise » September 25th, 2017, 12:08 am

As a prolific listener I'd like to give my opinion . Once the files have the right bit rate etc and volume I don't care whether they've been recorded in a studio with a highly expensive microphone and the baby and the dog have been silenced and that they pronounce every word according to my perception of the correct pronounciation, I care about the reading and the writer. I'd listen to my favourite readers if they were parked at the end of a runway. So practice reading well , read things you enjoy either because you love the books or think it's really important that the message is out there - the more you practise the better you get,
And I'm now hopping down off my soap box.

Anne

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Post by lurcherlover » September 25th, 2017, 12:53 am

We have to accept that with 21st century living we are (in noisy cities at least) cursed with lots of awful noise. Unless you have a soundproofed studio then it's something we have to live with. Even studios can get recording interrupted by very loud sounds, thunder being only one of them.

Noises are usually inevitable but can be minimised by certain techniques. Editing can reduce these and simply repeating the sentence again a few seconds later will often be a simple cure.

I never have a problem with my dog barking as she does the readings for me, and hasn't time to add a bark or two ... that's why my recordings sound so gruff ...

PS Annise - you won't mind if I have my wife playing the piano then in the background? I usually lock her in the cellar when I record, but never for more than 3 hours, at least in the winter! (wink).

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Post by annise » September 25th, 2017, 4:45 am

Well my obvious suggestion would be - the celler would make a perfect recorsing studio for you :D

Anne

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Post by lurcherlover » September 25th, 2017, 4:50 am

annise wrote:Well my obvious suggestion would be - the celler would make a perfect recorsing studio for you :D

Anne
Never thought of that! But my excuse would be that the rats would chew through the mic cables ... :)

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