Quality of delivery?

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boojumuk
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Post by boojumuk » November 16th, 2011, 4:02 am

I'm sure this has been raised before, but as I'm relatively new to Librivox, I thought I'd raise it again.

When starting out on the Librivox journey, we are instructed in the hows and whys of how to get a good quality sound recording from our equipment, and after submitting various test recordings are let through the hallowed doors into the Librivox reader community.

I have been listening to quite a lot of Librivox readings recently, specifically from the SF short story collections, and one thing soon becomes very obvious. Though the technical recordings might be fine, the actual delivery of the stories, i.e. the readings, can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. There have been several occasions where I have given up listening after about 5 minutes, because the delivery is so bad. It seems as though some readers are simply trying to get to the end of the story as fast as possible in as flat a monotone as possible.

I have listened to a number of Audible audiobooks in the past, and they are superbly read, contributing a great deal to the listening experience in terms of pacing, character accents and so on. This is what we should be aiming for in our own readings.

My comments apply only to a minority of readers, some others are truly excellent, but I do think that some measure of quality of delivery should be included in the intial test recordings, or at least some guidelines as to how to pace a story and how to give light and shade to a reading.

BoojumUK

wildemoose
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Post by wildemoose » November 16th, 2011, 5:19 am

We don't provide that kind of criticism unless it's requested by the reader. Librivox has a strict "no style comments" policy. If it's understandable (granted that is somewhat subjective) it's fine.

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Post by RuthieG » November 16th, 2011, 5:37 am

I'm completely in agreement with Arielle that we don't and won't make any particular reading style more desirable than any other. It is far too subjective. Some listeners do prefer a very straight and flat style - others prefer more of a performance.

However, for readers who wish to develop their reading style there is plenty of help available. In particular, I would refer to the excellent Reading Style section of the Storyteller's Guide in the Wiki.

Ruth
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » November 16th, 2011, 5:39 am

Many of the shorter works will have many newish readers who still haven't developed their 'style' and are still very much learning. Many are volunteers who know very little about computers and much less about recording. Their time and energy is focused entirely on the technical side of things.

With time, the reader gets more comfortable with that mic in their faces and once they relax, the words come out more relaxed too. Do we only let those who are 'pros' record? I would never have recorded a single word had that been the case. I now have over 600 sections completed! I still don't like to hear my older works but they are more than understandable so I get on with recording new projects. :D

I also help lots with the test threads and will guide the readers to obtain the best sound from what they have. The initial tests vary from absolutely horrible to perfect in the sound quality. It's my goal to advise those who need to sort out some tech issues to get to a point where it is good enough. :) Some require 'hand holding' and explicit instructions while others need little direction. Some simply need new equipment.

So I guess my point is that we all started somewhere and we all improved. It is a very personal thing to 'put your voice out there'. :oops:

Esther :)
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Psudonae_Vox
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Post by Psudonae_Vox » November 16th, 2011, 6:25 am

It's my belief, for every type of reader there is a listener. Readers often change or improve over time; it's part of my own goal.

In my personal experience, I've found Pat Fraley's audiobook advice "Audiobook Narration Skills" to be helpful:
http://patfraley.com/Free/FreeLessons.html
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Jessi
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Post by Jessi » November 16th, 2011, 6:53 am

I agree with that it is a subjective thing, and another thing is that it isn't really that difficult to do that quality control stuff yourself, either by just listening beforehand and dismissing the recordings you don't like (and ignoring it ever existed, if you wish) or by, for example, making your own website with your own selection of the LV output, sort of like your own quality filter. That leaves the other stuff for people who enjoy it; I've never come across a recording I didn't like yet for example, if I stop listening it's because I don't like the text (but then I'm not very critical in general, so that might explain that :) ).

thestorygirl
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Post by thestorygirl » November 16th, 2011, 8:30 am

This discussion reminds me of an idea I've been mulling around for a while, but I guess I've just been too timid to suggest it. But I'll try and be bold now and see what the LibriVox team thinks:

What if we made a thread [perhaps sticky?] where people can post their favorite links to blogs, websites, articles, or write titles of good how-to books on ways to improve reading skills? It could be a helpful "library" resource for everybody. I've gone crazy this past summer scouring the internet on ways to improve my reading and came across some really helpful links that I'd love to share with anybody else who is interested. And I always enjoy it when others share their "finds", like Psudonae_Vox and Ruthie G did.

What does anybody else think about this????

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Post by TriciaG » November 16th, 2011, 10:21 am

I think it would be great! It could even work as a page in the Wiki, I think. Someone could add the suggestions to this page: http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Improve_Your_Recording
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bobgon55
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Post by bobgon55 » November 22nd, 2011, 6:35 am

Psudonae_Vox wrote: In my personal experience, I've found Pat Fraley's audiobook advice "Audiobook Narration Skills" to be helpful:
http://patfraley.com/Free/FreeLessons.html

This site is fantastic! Thanks for posting.

Bob
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boojumuk
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Post by boojumuk » November 22nd, 2011, 7:44 am

The Pat Fraley site is excellent, just what I had in mind when I posted my first post here. It should
be compulsory listening for all beginning Librivoxers! :wink:

Boojum
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knotyouraveragejo
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Post by knotyouraveragejo » November 22nd, 2011, 3:34 pm

Jo
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bobgon55
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Post by bobgon55 » November 22nd, 2011, 7:07 pm

knotyouraveragejo wrote:Here are a couple of others new readers might find worthwhile

http://www.maryrobinettekowal.com/category/reading-aloud/

http://www.ttms.org/say_about_a_book/how_do_expressive_readers_read.htm
Very nice! Thanks, Jo.

Bob
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thestorygirl
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Post by thestorygirl » November 23rd, 2011, 9:13 am

So maybe this will be the thread we can post our favorite links to (since several people have already)?

Here's my favorite:
http://www.paul-alan-ruben.com/

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