Good practice guidelines for dramatic works

Plays and other dramatic works
Availle
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Post by Availle » August 9th, 2015, 7:42 am

Donald, I have edited your post to remove your reference to the text and the reader. I realise you did not say anything negative about the reader's performance, but only about his setup; but still your wording of it came close to violate our rule of "no negative criticism". For the same reason, I have removed the link to the video.
Cheers,
Ava.

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DonaldMiller
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Post by DonaldMiller » August 9th, 2015, 7:49 am

I criticised someone's microphone. Good Grief!
I get the idea. I won't be coming back.

Norman
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Post by Norman » August 9th, 2015, 9:50 am

{Deleted by the author. Nothing worth saving for posterity. The replies are more than adequate. I do understand that the care and nurturing of volunteers is a delicate task. - Norm }

i think you should have ... asked for a link to his Wordpress sites and YouTube channels. I can go google it if i was so inclined.

Dramatic readings show up with some parts already pre-cast, and thankfully suggestions for noise reduction. There is a place for Librivox's policies but also an allowance to point to other sites and requests for readers for other venues. Donald was obviously trying to be constructive.

Dramatic readings certainly seem to attract drama.

Feeling very Libertarian,
Norman
Last edited by Norman on August 9th, 2015, 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Norman

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » August 9th, 2015, 2:05 pm

We don't allow unsolicited negative criticism on the forum. Criticizing a reader's background noise in a cataloged recording might be cutting the rule a little close, but that decision was made in this case, so we'll stick with it.

I think "following the logic to its conclusion" is not logical. We have a line, and right at the boundary it may be a tiny bit fuzzy, but we do allow multiple versions. That doesn't always imply the newer reader thinks they can do it better. They could simply love the work and want to record it themselves.

Yes, Archive allows critical reviews. It's not the LV forum. And, by the way, LV doesn't allow the files to be hosted on Archive; Archive lets us host our files on their servers. Without them, we'd have to pay big bucks to host all these audiobooks elsewhere. So in their sandbox, we play by their rules. But on our forum, we play by ours. :)

Donald is welcome to post his YouTube and blog sites if he likes. But a direct link to an improved version of a project/reader he has just criticized? No.

EDIT TO ADD: P.S. I greatly dislike pre-casting of dramas, when the pre-casting is done via PM or off the forum. There is some volunteering for roles done in the planning thread, but that's open to everyone. It's un-LibriVoxy to tell someone they cannot read a certain role because they aren't good enough (either style, or voice match, or whatever).

Availle
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Post by Availle » August 9th, 2015, 5:01 pm

Norman,

I indeed hesitated before deleting the link. But I cannot leave the link intact while deleting the criticism. That's the same as posting: "Oh, that was such a bad reading by somebody who's name I am not allowed to tell you on here, but here's the link with my own improvements so you can all go and find out for yourselves."

If you go on archive, you will often see complaints about readers, and often you can see a response along the lines of "well, why don't you go record another version of it?" And you will notice that most of them don't. I would guess that 99% of our multiple version books have been done by readers, not who hated the previous versions, but who loved the book.

Donald has every right to take our recordings and do with them as he pleases, that's what public domain means. Note however, that such a replacement of one or two readers would not be accepted as a new version on librivox, because we do not allow the same recording being used more than once.
Cheers,
Ava.

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linny
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Post by linny » June 26th, 2016, 12:56 pm

I have a question about saving a label track to an audio file.

I have a DP file in flac. As chapters are edited I want to include the cast list in order of the MW listing. I added a label track so ideally next time I can quickly find where to paste in a "role, read by" statement. Example if the new role is 15 in the MW and I have 2 and 21 already pasted in then I know this new character should be pasted between there and not between 21 and 30. It will also make it so I don't have to listen and find the spots with each chapter.

The problem I'm having is I can't figure out how to save the file with the label track. Any ideas?

Thank you,
Linny

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Post by ToddHW » June 26th, 2016, 1:17 pm

linny wrote:I have a question about saving a label track to an audio file.

I have a DP file in flac. As chapters are edited I want to include the cast list in order of the MW listing. I added a label track so ideally next time I can quickly find where to paste in a "role, read by" statement. Example if the new role is 15 in the MW and I have 2 and 21 already pasted in then I know this new character should be pasted between there and not between 21 and 30. It will also make it so I don't have to listen and find the spots with each chapter.

The problem I'm having is I can't figure out how to save the file with the label track. Any ideas?

Thank you,
Linny
I do this all the time - but only while the audio and label track files are in Audacity.

It is possible to export a Label File from Audacity and then Import it back in. So if you want to have your audio as FLAC, that might be a way. (Also possible to mail the label file to someone then so they could import it.)

Thanks, Todd

linny
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Post by linny » June 26th, 2016, 1:33 pm

ToddHW wrote:I do this all the time - but only while the audio and label track files are in Audacity.

It is possible to export a Label File from Audacity and then Import it back in. So if you want to have your audio as FLAC, that might be a way. (Also possible to mail the label file to someone then so they could import it.)

Thanks, Todd
Silly me! I didn't use "Import". It does not like >File>Open but with Import it works!
Thank you! :thumbs:

Patrick79
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Post by Patrick79 » June 26th, 2017, 7:17 am

Hi
just a general question - is there a link explaining the recording process for doing a play. Are the parts recorded in isolation and edited together?

Sorry if this is not the right place to ask but thanks anyway.

Patrick79

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Post by TriciaG » June 26th, 2017, 7:37 am

Yes - each role is read by someone, with a few seconds between each line. An editor then stitches everything together.

Try this as a resource: http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Dramatic_Readings_and_Plays

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Post by ToddHW » January 8th, 2019, 10:28 am

I was asked about how to handle those times in a play where multiple people are speaking at the same time. There are two cases: chanting in rhythm together, and not speaking together but still at the same time. In each case, do this manipulation work only at the end of all your other editing, and work strictly from left to right. (I label places where I am going to have to stack up voices using the Audacity label feature until I am all done with everything else.)

In both cases, the basic trick in Audacity (the only editor I know) is to have different voices in different tracks in your master file for the parts of the act of the play where you want this effect. Create a new track by going to the "Track" tab and press "Add New" and select "Mono Track". The new track will show up at the bottom of your Audacity screen (possibly below a label track if you use those for anything). You MUST drag this (these) track(s) up to the top of the screen above other voice tracks and label track. (You can shrink the height of the track to not take up so much space on your display.)

Now go along in your file to where you want to stack up voices above a voice in the main track. Grab (cut or copy) the snippet of voice (from wherever you have it) that you want to stack up over another.

The magic: Go to Tracks and TURN OFF Sync-Lock. A little clock face will disappear from the name of each track over in the far left. Unless you do this, when you add the voice, everything will move to make room for it - this happens in normal cut and paste, but that is not what you want now. (Note - this is why you drag the tracks up in the screen - tracks below the label track do not un-time-sync. Don't know why, some sorta feature I guess, but they just don't.)

Put the voice snippet in a new track above the voice in the master track and paste it in. It probably won't be in quite the right place, but you can use the double-headed arrow tool (from Tools Toolbar) to time shift the snippet with respect to the place in the main track. So long as you have time-sync off

1. When people are chanting together

If people are chanting together, you want all the starts of snippets to line up. Sometimes people speak well together - maybe they copied each others files or had a template. Usually not though. So use the Change Tempo effect to stretch one snippet and shrink another to get the same length of snippets. Sometimes this doesn't work very well and you have to delete little bits of silence or add in bits of silence to get words in the two tracks to line up - since one voice is nearly always speaking, these little random cuts don't get heard by listeners.

I always work with just two tracks at a time - you can mute other tracks with commands in the track box over the the far left. Get the first extra track to match the master, then do the second extra track to match the master, etc. You can't really stack up more than 4-5 voices and have it work well without becoming too muddy and confusing.

2. When people are just speaking sorta together but not in rhythm. Crowd noise.

Just stack 'em up overlapping in a sorta natural fashion and move them with the timeshift tool. Sometimes I cut out part of a phrase from different characters so they don't all say exactly the same thing one after the other.

MOST IMPORTANT: Turn Track Sync-Lock back on after you do the above. Otherwise anything you do to the file in response to PL notes will shift tracks with respect to each other and all your hard work aligning things will have to be repeated. Ditto if you have to do something to the left in the file - everything further to the right in the file will shift. You have been warned.

------------------------------

Wish I knew how to take screen shots. Maybe Phil can video this. (Heck, maybe he already has!)

Thanks, Todd

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Post by TriciaG » January 8th, 2019, 10:41 am

Yes, that's how I've done it in the past (except not knowing about the time-lock thing not unsyncing in the bottom tracks.) :)

I also amplify or soften voices I'm stacking up, if one or two overpower the others. Sometimes I make one voice a little more dominant, sometimes another, but in general I try to keep them all about the same level so that no one voice is always the dominant one, if one is dominant.

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Post by mightyfelix » January 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm

I do the same thing Todd described above (more or less) if there are only one or two instances where multiple people are talking at the same time. But if I know that this will occur many times (like in the spoken operettas we've done), I now assemble all of the group lines in a separate project. When I have all group lines the way that I want them, I then export that project as flac, and then paste those lines into my main working file. That way, I only have one, or at most, two tracks in my main file. Before I started using this method, I sometimes had trouble remembering to sync-lock or un-sync-lock my tracks, if I had to go back and make an edit, in response to PL notes, for instance.

I did make a video of this process: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/361347287 My audio settings were messed up here for the first few minutes. Start watching at 3:30, if you're interested.

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