Am I up to standard?

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Dave182
Posts: 41
Joined: February 5th, 2016, 3:33 am

Post by Dave182 » May 27th, 2020, 6:15 am

I note the post entitled 'What if I Suck?'

I'm glad I am not the only one that is worried about such a thing. I've heard some pretty talented narrators on librivox and it makes me wonder if i will be up to the task.

I would really appreciate if anyone would be kind enough to check my 'sound cloud link' and let me know if my narration is up to standard. If so, I will take the time to learn your process of uploading and formatting posts in the 'New Projects Launch Pad' section.

I now link to my sound cloud account: [Preface Text is in the description and link to the source provided]
Within You Is The Power - HenryThomasHamblin - Preface

If you feel my standard is enough to begin - then I will follow suit and upload accordingly in the correct section of this forum and begin my solo project.

Would really appreciate your feed back.

Thank You.
Looking for Constructive Criticism. Please PM CC via my profile. Thank You.

mightyfelix
LibriVox Admin Team
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Post by mightyfelix » May 27th, 2020, 6:35 am

This is a bit of a sticky question. The fact is, there is no "standard" when it comes to things like reading style or skill. The reading must be understandable (this is rarely a problem, but sometimes it is), it must be read by a human (not a computer), and it must meet certain technical requirements. I see that you've submitted a couple of poems in the past, but it was a few years back, so it would probably be a good idea for you to do a new one-minute test to make sure those settings are still ok. Other than that, you'll never have a recording rejected because it's not "up to standard" or "not good enough."

That being said, it's perfectly ok to ask for constructive criticism. Just remember that those kinds of things are very subjective. If one listener tells you you're reading too fast, another one might think it's too slow, etc.

I'm not able to listen at the moment, so that's all I can give you for now. But I hope this helps!

Dave182
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Joined: February 5th, 2016, 3:33 am

Post by Dave182 » May 27th, 2020, 7:27 am

That's reassuring to hear.

Thanks for the link and taking the time to reply.
Looking for Constructive Criticism. Please PM CC via my profile. Thank You.

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » May 27th, 2020, 8:24 am

I heard the clip you linked. Pretty decent reading, and you will find you will get even better as you do more readings. I think though that you were a bit too close to the mic as on one or two places I could hear your breath hit the mic diaphragm. It was only slight and quite acceptable, but maybe either using a pop filter, or angling the mic very slightly, or moving back, say 5 inches and increasing the gain, will do the trick.

Your recording was clean and had little or no background noise. Just go ahead and record and upload, it will be fine. I would start with a short story or poetry or something not too demanding time wise. You are already on the way to some great recordings. Don't let anyone put you off, especially your own doubts.

PS And any problems just ask as there are plenty of people who will help. Once you get going it all happens like magic and you can enjoy the experience.

Dave182
Posts: 41
Joined: February 5th, 2016, 3:33 am

Post by Dave182 » May 27th, 2020, 2:17 pm

I'll work on that microphone placement and use the one minute test to get things just right. I'm looking to get myself a USB Blue Yeti microphone in about 4 weeks time. For now I am just practicing my technique and still deciding on the best place to do my recordings as I have others in the house I have to consider. I suspect once I choose a location that I should stick to it in order to ensure a consistent sound with my recordings.

I know my choice may be considered as overly ambitious for my first solo effort, however I am already committed and having a one track mind now find myself unable to tear myself away from it. I'll see how many chapters I get done in the next month as I familiarize myself with the text and also better find my voice during that time. If after that time and when my new mic arrives and I have not had a negative impact on others in my family :wink: - then I should be right with my current choice. That said, I head your warning. This will also give me time to learn the abbreviations I am reading in other threads as too read up on all the help guides. Currently I have the time and made this my new full time hobby.

Thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you said what you did. I just purchased the following Pop Filter. It's just a cheap fill in solution for now. To be honest, it will probably do and no need to spend too much money at this stage. Currently I am using a USB Blue Snow Ball Mic that is now quite old. If I do progress to the blue Yeti (best I can afford at this stage with a little left over for a DIY open mobile booth ) - it will only be more because I want to set up a different location and leave my current mic where it is.

Image
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KevinS
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Post by KevinS » May 27th, 2020, 6:16 pm

A nice read! I suspect the pop filter will help, but I enjoyed listening to you as is.

If you hope to record the Hamblin, you'll have to check to see if he is in the public domain for those in Australia. He passed away in 1958, I believe. I've been poorly and hardly remember my own name let alone copyright law.

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » May 28th, 2020, 12:10 am

Dave182 wrote:
May 27th, 2020, 2:17 pm
I'll work on that microphone placement and use the one minute test to get things just right. I'm looking to get myself a USB Blue Yeti microphone in about 4 weeks time. For now I am just practicing my technique and still deciding on the best place to do my recordings as I have others in the house I have to consider. I suspect once I choose a location that I should stick to it in order to ensure a consistent sound with my recordings.

I know my choice may be considered as overly ambitious for my first solo effort, however I am already committed and having a one track mind now find myself unable to tear myself away from it. I'll see how many chapters I get done in the next month as I familiarize myself with the text and also better find my voice during that time. If after that time and when my new mic arrives and I have not had a negative impact on others in my family :wink: - then I should be right with my current choice. That said, I head your warning. This will also give me time to learn the abbreviations I am reading in other threads as too read up on all the help guides. Currently I have the time and made this my new full time hobby.

Thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you said what you did. I just purchased the following Pop Filter. It's just a cheap fill in solution for now. To be honest, it will probably do and no need to spend too much money at this stage. Currently I am using a USB Blue Snow Ball Mic that is now quite old. If I do progress to the blue Yeti (best I can afford at this stage with a little left over for a DIY open mobile booth ) - it will only be more because I want to set up a different location and leave my current mic where it is.
It will probably be unnecessary to get or make a mobile booth. The best way to reduce reflections and achieve dry recordings is to hang up a duvet, or blankets, behind the mic and also more importantly behind you, so the reflections back into the mic are very much reduced. I would imagine your current mic is cardioid polar pattern or maybe hyper-cardiod. These are best for voice as they pick up less of the room sound. Omnidirectional mics are great for music but not for voice where clarity is important.

Although you have the big project in mind, it would still be good in my opinion to record something short, a poem, or a very short short story, and submit it. That will give you some valuable practice, and help you to familiarise yourself with the uploading and use of CHECKER to make sure your edited file is correct for uploading. A big project is daunting and can lead to a loss of confidence if things go wrong. There is a lot of help available from other experienced forum members - both technical and other help. It sounds anyway from your short linked clip that you are getting there and just need the practise to get familiar with how everything works, and it then becomes second nature. The big project will still be there and you can then get to recording it chapter by chapter and a PL will check your reading and give it the OK, or point to something you need to change or correct. It's a simple two way dialogue that you will get used to and enjoy.

maxgal
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Post by maxgal » May 28th, 2020, 5:12 am

I have the Yeti. (mic, not man)
It is very sensitive!
It's a nice piece of equipment, surprisingly affordable -- and simple to use, even for a confirmed Luddite...
Once I figured out to place it slightly off to the side (mostly to avoid plosives), and to close the windows & doors to my recording space, it worked just fine.
...LJB
Louise
"every little breeze..."

Dave182
Posts: 41
Joined: February 5th, 2016, 3:33 am

Post by Dave182 » May 28th, 2020, 5:49 am

Hi there LJB

I used to own the Blue Yeti when I first tried my hand at this a few years ago. I know well what you mean about it's sensitivity. After researching many hours today and yesterday I am now in two minds about which mic I will get. Despite finding a very negative YouTube Review who completely dismissed USB microphones being for any serious audio narrator (to which I completely disagree), I have decided to go XLR rather than USB. Whilst the Yeti Pro has XLR - a very well respected reviewer has shown that it's noise levels are more then the USB. He also confimred there is a very slight noise via USB - However the kind of level he was revealing in his test was minuscule and nothing that your average listener would pick up.

Sorry to go on - I'm still in research mode. :) - My house and location is not so favorable for the sensitivity of the Yeti ... although I know just how awesome it can be with the right settings and environment. There is so much to consider with different mics. My return to this past time is with quite some passion. I say it like so because I envisage I am going to end up with a few mics. Especially since I am still finding my voice. I'm going to sit with the Blue Snowball for now and take my time researching.

I just uploaded a test file which can be found → Here

The file is completely raw and despite whatever improvements that are to be had, I got to say that there is nothing wrong with USB mic's whatsoever. I really don't know why so many consumers have an issue with them. I smile whilst saying that, because like I say, I do intent to go XLR in due time.

Thanks for your reply.
Hope this finds you well. ;)
Looking for Constructive Criticism. Please PM CC via my profile. Thank You.

lurcherlover
Posts: 958
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Location: LONDON UK

Post by lurcherlover » May 29th, 2020, 12:28 am

Dave182 wrote:
May 28th, 2020, 5:49 am
Hi there LJB

I used to own the Blue Yeti when I first tried my hand at this a few years ago. I know well what you mean about it's sensitivity. After researching many hours today and yesterday I am now in two minds about which mic I will get. Despite finding a very negative YouTube Review who completely dismissed USB microphones being for any serious audio narrator (to which I completely disagree), I have decided to go XLR rather than USB. Whilst the Yeti Pro has XLR - a very well respected reviewer has shown that it's noise levels are more then the USB. He also confimred there is a very slight noise via USB - However the kind of level he was revealing in his test was minuscule and nothing that your average listener would pick up.

Sorry to go on - I'm still in research mode. :) - My house and location is not so favorable for the sensitivity of the Yeti ... although I know just how awesome it can be with the right settings and environment. There is so much to consider with different mics. My return to this past time is with quite some passion. I say it like so because I envisage I am going to end up with a few mics. Especially since I am still finding my voice. I'm going to sit with the Blue Snowball for now and take my time researching.

I just uploaded a test file which can be found → Here

The file is completely raw and despite whatever improvements that are to be had, I got to say that there is nothing wrong with USB mic's whatsoever. I really don't know why so many consumers have an issue with them. I smile whilst saying that, because like I say, I do intent to go XLR in due time.

Thanks for your reply.
Hope this finds you well. ;)
Your new upload test is fine. Just to be a little picky there is slight noise at the end in the few seconds of silence, but not enough to be a concern. Some readers have much worse ... I do notice a tendency for the mic to pick up some sibilance, but you could argue that it gives more clarity to the text, so it's really just a matter of taste. I wouldn't worry about a new mic yet, and go ahead as your test recording is fine.

Dave182
Posts: 41
Joined: February 5th, 2016, 3:33 am

Post by Dave182 » May 29th, 2020, 4:36 am

Thanks for the feed back lurcherlover. Edit - I thought you meant another link ... I was doing the same thing with my practice reading with the book I have chosen ... I leave my response though as the same thing is happening in it) - I guess I am stuck in a particular style working on one book.
______________
Presently I am deciding on what way I wish to approach the book. I have found a couple of different people narrating this book. One narrator sounds to me like he is giving a lecture which might be appealing to some and suit the content from a theological perspective. Another reader goes along extremely slow, but seems to give the words a lot more heart. I guess I am struggling somewhere in between but still tipping over the dramatic side of things. A little too passionate perhaps and this leading me into the sibilance issue of which you speak. I am sensing it myself - but I do think when not overdone it does suit me better as I tend to like the lady who seemingly connects more with the words, in contrast to the faster lecturing style; that even when using inflection still comes of a little dry for my liking.

I would like to nail switching from both points of view. The lecturing style suits well in varioius places. He does it skillful as the lady who gives the words more feel. Perhaps inflection combined with tone is the key. I try not to get too carried away during those moments I am expressing feeling Vs grounding myself in order to note where the text is more lecturing. All the more reason to take my time and familiarize myself with the text so I can pick up on these subtleties.

I mean not to over complicate things. That said, I'm not stressing over it. I am enjoy thinking about all these dynamics. I just did some re-reading with all this in mind, and did found adjusting the volume or the pressure (rather than over accentuate my mouth and tongue) at which I push my words out seems to ease up on the sibilance yet retain some of the effect. I'll keep mindful of this aspect.

Thanks again.
~Dave
Looking for Constructive Criticism. Please PM CC via my profile. Thank You.

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