Recording very long chapters/sections?

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Post by mungojerry311 » January 9th, 2021, 2:50 pm

I hope one of you who are more experienced can help me out here.

I recently claimed a couple of sections which are over 5000 words long (that I now have only 5 days left to record). I just now tried to record one of them. As the reading went on, my throat got sorer and sorer and my voice got more and more raspy. Eventually it got so raspy that I had to quit the recording.

I'm sure there is a way to prevent that from happening, I just don't know what it is. Any help here?

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » January 9th, 2021, 5:35 pm

You don't need to try to read it all in one go.

After years of reading, my voice now tends to give out after 10-20 minutes, so I usually record in blocks with at least a couple of hours between them. As long as I break at suitable places (between paragraphs/sections), the change in voice that can occur after the rest is generally unnoticeable. I may have to alter the volume of a block to match the adjacent ones, but that's easy enough.

"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

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Post by KevinS » January 9th, 2021, 5:44 pm

I am the same as Peter Why. I can no longer talk for ever and ever as I was accustomed to years ago. I was very, very good at boring people for lengthy sessions of talk. (Gone are the days...)

Now I just take my time ... and drink enormous amounts of water. In fact this level of consumption forces me to take frequent breaks. See, all to the good!
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Post by annise » January 9th, 2021, 6:05 pm

If you can change the way you read to think of it more like reading to a blind relation sitting in an armchair beside you than you standing in front of a sea of faces you may find it less of a strain - in other words relax a bit :D . I've heard a number of artists say they look at someone in row x and perform for them.

But if you voice feels raspy - stop for a break - you can damage your vocal chords :(

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Post by mightyfelix » January 9th, 2021, 8:56 pm

I agree, take your time! There's no need to record the whole thing all in one go! (I'm preaching to myself here too. I sometimes force myself, out of sheer stubbornness, to continue reading when my voice is tired. But I know it's not good for me or for my recordings!)

I also sometimes keep a warm cup of herbal tea nearby, peppermint usually, and occasionally take a sip to refresh me a bit. I don't add sugar or honey or anything, as those tend to coat my throat and make it all gunky. :? I don't swear by this or anything, but it seems to help me, anyway. Although I think most people will say that plain water is better.

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » January 10th, 2021, 3:32 am

I thought I should mention that the limitations on my reading aren't due to having been recording for years, but are from the side effects of a prescription drug that I'm on, which causes coughing and a build-up of phlegm after a while.

"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

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Post by jennlea » January 10th, 2021, 8:30 am

Fair warning- I use the word 'mucus' a lot in this post.

The very best thing you can do for your voice is drink water. And here's why! Your vocal cords are always coated with mucus. If you aren't drinking plenty of water the mucus is thick and sticky which makes your vocal cords work harder and can fatigue them quicker. If your body is nice and hydrated, it produces mucus that is thin and fluid which makes the vocal cords work more effectively. There is more to vocal stamina of course, but drinking lots of water really does help.
-Jenn B.
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