Good practice guidelines for dramatic works

Plays and other dramatic works
mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » February 16th, 2019, 12:03 pm

JayKitty76 wrote:
February 4th, 2019, 12:19 pm
Hmm. Okay, I'll wait till I have more experience, then. I'm BCing 2 group projects currently and I do have a Solo going right now, so it is a lot of work :)
Thanks, Devorah, Anne, and Monika :thumbs:
I'm not sure if you saw it, but the new One Act Play Collection is started up now. Still in the Launch Pad, as I type this, but it may be finding its way over here soon.

ToddHW
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Post by ToddHW » February 16th, 2019, 2:50 pm

Moved One Act Play Collection 12 over here into Dramatic Works now.

viewtopic.php?p=1556640#p1556640

Thanks, Todd

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Post by sadclown » July 19th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Looking forward to starting up a DR soon here! Glad to see that there are more defined 'rules' now. Back in the day, we were quite rogue little cowboys with our DRs! I BC'd Wizard of Oz way back, and it was so much fun! I'd love to see DRs of the rest of the Oz books that haven't had one done yet. Planning to record some various chapters etc. to remember how editing is done before I jump back into a DR, but I can't wait!
Jennifer

ToddHW
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Post by ToddHW » December 4th, 2019, 5:03 pm

I was asked about the editing I do to bring plays to life today and I provided the following response which I thought I should post here in case anyone else wants some thoughts on editing:

I love the editing process of bringing disparate reader files to life, and I work very hard to make them come out right.

I first off adjust the volumes of all files using the volume checker in Audacity, and then I cut and paste everything together non-critically, listening only to first/last words to make sure I have all the parts in order. That is just work.

Next the fun part: I very slowly go through the master file, first time I have heard all the words, and I picture actors on stage. Or even better, real people living the life occurring in the play. I speak the transition of lines from reader to reader to myself as they go by, adjusting the volumes and tempos to suit the ocassion. Regular size gaps and uniform volumes to handle natural conversation: my turn, your turn. I get the tempo from each speaker - leave enough gap that I can tell they are done speaking at the tempo they were talking (some of our readers have their characters speak fast, others very slowly so the gap is different length after each) and it is appropriate for the next speaker to politely assume it is their turn. Much of a play is like this.

Longer gaps when some question had been asked and the next speaker should be thinking about what to say, maybe drawing a breath, and then softly starting up (deamplified if necessary) with a confession or apology or thoughtful rumination. A bit of compromise required sometimes since our listeners can't see the visual expressions or shrugs that I am imagining taking place.

And for excitement or arguments, short gaps, barely visible in Audacity, particularly if the voices are distinct enough that I know a listener will be able to tell that a new speaker is taking over with no dead space in between. I often also amplify the beginning of the new speaker so it is really obvious that they are cutting off the other. I think ping-pong: bat, volley, volley, smash, return, backhand, wap!

And each time I back up and listen through the section, often with my eyes closed so I listen rather than read. It takes a long time, and the Undo key is my best friend. Actually my second best friend: a critical and highly engaged DPL listening with fresh ears is most important.

I have done a couple hundred plays at this point. My first 50 should probably be redone; I know my current ones are much better. But that is what makes it so much fun.

I'll be glad to help if you want to try some editing.

Thanks, Todd

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Post by ToddHW » June 25th, 2020, 7:23 am

I had a question about how to edit. Here is what I do.

* Download everything from the MW.

* Open narrator file in Audacity and do a Save As to make it the master file with the correct final file name

* Open all the other reader files in separate Audacity windows. I have a double width display so I can have lottsa things open and still see them and the script at the same time. I adjust all of them so their volumes are compatible

* I then CUT snippets out of each file as appropriate and PASTE them into the master file, starting from the beginning of the script. I only listen to the beginning and ending of each snippet to make sure I have the right piece - I don't listen to everything yet. So it is critical that everything already be PL'd well.

NOTE: I say CUT, not COPY, so you don't lose your place in the reader files - the next bit in the file is always the next thing you see becuz you have removed stuff that you already pasted. (Just don't press Save and overwrite the original reader file - but if you do, just download the file again from the MW. By the way, an advantage of having separate windows rather than separate tracks in one big file is that you can use EDIT/UNDO if you need to in the separate files. (Wonder how he knows that? And that you can't do it with a big multi-track file?))

* I complete the rough assembly this way. Then I make a final pass adjusting the gaps between snippets and the volumes as I listen for the first time. (See posting above this one.) And I am done.

Glad to answer questions.

Thanks, Todd

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Post by thestorygirl » June 30th, 2020, 11:18 am

ToddHW wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:03 pm

I love the editing process of bringing disparate reader files to life, and I work very hard to make them come out right.
...
I first off adjust the volumes of all files using the volume checker in Audacity, and then I cut and paste everything together non-critically, listening only to first/last words to make sure I have all the parts in order. That is just work.

Next the fun part: I very slowly go through the master file, first time I have heard all the words, and I picture actors on stage. Or even better, real people living the life occurring in the play. I speak the transition of lines from reader to reader to myself as they go by, adjusting the volumes and tempos to suit the ocassion. Regular size gaps and uniform volumes to handle natural conversation: my turn, your turn. I get the tempo from each speaker - leave enough gap that I can tell they are done speaking at the tempo they were talking (some of our readers have their characters speak fast, others very slowly so the gap is different length after each) and it is appropriate for the next speaker to politely assume it is their turn. Much of a play is like this.

Longer gaps when some question had been asked and the next speaker should be thinking about what to say, maybe drawing a breath, and then softly starting up (deamplified if necessary) with a confession or apology or thoughtful rumination. A bit of compromise required sometimes since our listeners can't see the visual expressions or shrugs that I am imagining taking place.

And for excitement or arguments, short gaps, barely visible in Audacity, particularly if the voices are distinct enough that I know a listener will be able to tell that a new speaker is taking over with no dead space in between. I often also amplify the beginning of the new speaker so it is really obvious that they are cutting off the other. I think ping-pong: bat, volley, volley, smash, return, backhand, wap!

And each time I back up and listen through the section, often with my eyes closed so I listen rather than read. It takes a long time, and the Undo key is my best friend. Actually my second best friend: a critical and highly engaged DPL listening with fresh ears is most important.

I have done a couple hundred plays at this point. My first 50 should probably be redone; I know my current ones are much better. But that is what makes it so much fun.
OH, WOW! I did not realize the amount of work and love you put into these DR, Todd! Thank you for making them available! :clap: (I happen to think "Broken Hearts" was one of our recent best!)

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Post by realisticspeakers » November 25th, 2020, 7:21 pm

ToddHW wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 7:23 am
I then CUT snippets out of each file as appropriate and PASTE them into the master file...
Is it easier for you to have the lines from the individual character files separated by approximate play/real time, or does it not matter and one line after another with some spacing is just as easy to work with?
Truth exists for the wise, Beauty for a feeling heart: They belong to each other. - Beethoven
Disclaimer:
"Kind reader, if this our performance doth in aught fall short of promise, blame not our good intent, but our unperfect wit."

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Post by ToddHW » November 26th, 2020, 4:38 am

It is easiest for me just to have line after line with similar sized gaps between the lines in a reader file rather than them trying to guess how long the gaps will end up in the final file and leave that amount of space. (Note that if everyone guessed correctly and left the right size gaps, each reader file would be as long as the completed act - at least until that character was done for that act. Big waste of our database server space.)

Two reasons:

1) The guesses about how long the gaps between your lines in the final act file will end up being don't matter. Audacity does a great job of effortlessly expanding or shrinking space in a file when you paste in a new selection.

2) I like being able to see multiple lines, see how many lines are left to do for each character when I am assembling the master file and have all the reader files open. Having the open files show me long gaps without lines that I'd have to scroll past to find the next line in the file would be a nuisance.

Thanks, Todd

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Post by Salvationist » January 11th, 2021, 8:58 pm

I have been preparing to solo BC my first dramatic reading on LibriVox, which I am planning to be a small collection of four noncanonical Sherlock Holmes short stories. I have already contacted Peter Why, and he has agreed to reprise the role of Holmes from the dramatic reading of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" that was completed last year. Thus far, he is the only person I have discussed my proposed project with on LibriVox.

I have been recording parts for dramatic readings and other projects on LibriVox for a while now, and I recently finished BCing my first one-act play in the one-act play collection that is currently nearing completion. I have also edited brief dramatic readings on two occasions, one of them being the one-act play I BC'd. I am even co-BCing a dramatic reading ("The Life and Death of Mr. Badman") with Larry Wilson right now, although he is doing the heavy lifting.

I would like to launch the short story collection soon. However, I just read the BC Readiness Quiz, and I don't know all the answers. Am I not ready yet? Is there an answer sheet I can consult?
Salvationist

Readers wanted for Four Noncanonical Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

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