reposting my questions here as well

Post your questions & get help from friendly LibriVoxers
SelimWormrider
Posts: 4
Joined: September 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA
Contact:

Post by SelimWormrider » September 12th, 2019, 7:50 pm

I posted an introduction and Phil was kind enough to reply and encourage me to engage this community with questions I may have. I replied to his post and figured I should post here as well. soooo here are some questions I would really appreciate some guidance on:

I can think of a couple questions right off the bat! I'm currently researching which equipment I am going to be purchasing, i.e. mic, mic stand, sound dampening materials, software, etc. I have been recording samples with my iPhone using an app called Voice Record Pro (mostly to experiment with the various settings and levels required by acx.com and now librivox.

I will be investing in a home studio setup at the end of this month and I am trying to figure out how to choose the correct microphone to suite my voice and purposes. Hearing ones own voice via recording is at first, rather disconcerting. I have begun to recognize the little flaws in my voice as I narrate. For me the biggest problems are establishing a cadence and sticking to it consistently while switching between the narrator and various character roles. For instance reading a characters lines "I'm reading a line from a character" then switching back to narrator to read "said so-and-so". This all gets more convoluted when multiple characters are all engaged in dialogue and actions. okay so I suppose I'm asking for advice in that regard.

Secondly I find my narration sounds like a kettle about to boil when I'm pronouncing certain consonants like "S" or "T's". Are there filters or editing techniques to normalize or remove this high pitched hissing sounds and/or is that something choosing correct physical equipment will address. In addition are there vocalization techniques to reduce this distracting whistles?

I appreciate any and all advice or direction y'all can give me.

Regards,
Selim Wormrider

Peter Why
Posts: 4483
Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)

Post by Peter Why » September 12th, 2019, 11:15 pm

With regard to your first point about separating the voices of the narrator and speaking characters: For more than a narrator plus one other character, I generally treat my recordings as dramatic readings. That is, I first record all the narration, leaving a gap (and a click of my tongue) where characters are speaking. Then I create a separate file for each voice. Then they all get edited together. It's messy and time-consuming, but I'm not able to switch consistently between different voices when I'm recording.

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

SelimWormrider
Posts: 4
Joined: September 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA
Contact:

Post by SelimWormrider » September 13th, 2019, 4:29 am

Interesting that does sound like an extraordinary amount of post production work. I will keep working on it and hopefully come up with a method of my own. Thank you for your input Peter I value all the help and wisdom I can get 8-)

TriciaG
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 43348
Joined: June 15th, 2008, 10:30 pm
Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)

Post by TriciaG » September 13th, 2019, 5:27 am

Part of it depends on how you want to sound. Some people change voices for characters; others read it straight with no character voices. I'd say Peter's method is on the extreme end of the spectrum. :)

Regarding S and T sounds: some of it depends on equipment, some in mic placement. Some might be mitigated a bit with filters in post-production. And some of it might be you being over picky. ;) It's hard to say in theory; one would need a sample of what you're speaking of to give advice.

ACX is a lot more picky than LibriVox is about sound quality, so whatever advice is offered here might not be sufficient for ACX.
Christmas Lore: LINK
Proofs the Earth Isn't a Globe: LINK
Mystery stories: The Master of Mysteries

philchenevert
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 17072
Joined: October 17th, 2010, 9:23 pm
Location: In My Happy Place By De Bayou
Contact:

Post by philchenevert » September 13th, 2019, 5:50 am

Character voices. I am close to the opposite end of the spectrum from Peter (and much, much lazier than him!). Meaning I just read 'em as they fall, changing voices without trying to; no conscious effort; my focus is all on the story and what's happening. I keep a mental image in my head of telling the story aloud to my audience and something in my brain subtly switches the different voices to sound 'right'. Long ago when I started recording for the blind, I tried to separate voices, highlight each of them, develop individual accents, etc. etc. etc. and it was a disaster. I just get too excited. The editors begged me to stop and just read the story and it worked beautifully. Plus it's easier and that is always a huge plus in my book. :thumbs:

ACX. In my experience they are not so picky at all. The do have some technical requirements like RMS and stuff, but a lot of my libriVox recordings have been put on Audible by other people and they are just normal recordings;absolutely nothing fancy. I would judge them a 5 on a scale of 1-10 on the quality scale.
EDIT: (and then they charge someone $7.95 !!) tsk, tsk.
Phil Chenevert, The LibriVox Video Guy
Hootin' is a gateway drug to hollerin'. .

Need Help? Lots of Helpful Videos Here

ej400
Posts: 2308
Joined: September 24th, 2014, 10:26 am
Location: Minnesota

Post by ej400 » September 13th, 2019, 8:51 am

SelimWormrider wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 7:50 pm
I'm currently researching which equipment I am going to be purchasing, i.e. mic, mic stand, sound dampening materials, software, etc.
What most of us here at librivox use is audacity. https://www.audacityteam.org/download/ You can install this on your computer. It's a nice tool for helping to remove unwanted background noise, amplifying your recording, editing cuts and interruptions, etc. It's like a word doc but for sound, I guess you could put it that way. As for what mic to use, I'm the best to ask for this since I use a pretty well used and beat up old mp3 player that's missing a couple buttons and whatnot. Yeah, I still love that thing and will use it, until it can record no longer :lol:
SelimWormrider wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 7:50 pm
I will be investing in a home studio setup at the end of this month and I am trying to figure out how to choose the correct microphone to suite my voice and purposes. Hearing ones own voice via recording is at first, rather disconcerting. I have begun to recognize the little flaws in my voice as I narrate. For me the biggest problems are establishing a cadence and sticking to it consistently while switching between the narrator and various character roles. For instance reading a characters lines "I'm reading a line from a character" then switching back to narrator to read "said so-and-so". This all gets more convoluted when multiple characters are all engaged in dialogue and actions. okay so I suppose I'm asking for advice in that regard.

Secondly I find my narration sounds like a kettle about to boil when I'm pronouncing certain consonants like "S" or "T's". Are there filters or editing techniques to normalize or remove this high pitched hissing sounds and/or is that something choosing correct physical equipment will address. In addition are there vocalization techniques to reduce this distracting whistles?
When I'm recording, I try to just think of it as I'm telling a story and I'm reading for my own enjoyment to create free audiobooks for librivox. As for changing characters, if I'm narrating and change to character and go right back to narrator, I simply read it straight threw just like it would in a movie. Say I give a character a weird voice, and then I have to go back to narrating, and then back to weird voice. In order to make sure I'm not narrating oddly, I make sure that I always narrate with my plain regular voice. Try not to put in tones of emphasis where characters are speaking, because mainly the listener is only going to care about the characters are saying at the time being. If someone moves, or makes an action while speaking, a little narration is nice. Don't worry too much about this, just read the book, trust me, you'll do well if your not being harder on yourself.

For those higher pitched noises, it's something I can relate too. Sometimes it depends on if your mouth is dry :wink: If your only blowing air, it's going to sound like a kettle :mrgreen: Just get a drink and if it continues, I really wouldn't worry to much.

Hope I'm helping you out a little, I feel like I'm only saying not to worry about things. I hope your studio goes well and your able to get a good mic. Let me know if you need any more help and how things are going. Have a nice day! :D

sjmarky
Posts: 2495
Joined: August 28th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Location: Poictesme
Contact:

Post by sjmarky » September 13th, 2019, 9:08 am

Research professional narrators at Audible, and pick out some you like. Listen to how they do it. It's best to listen to complete books, but you can still pick up a lot by listening to the 5 minute samples, which are free. Also, join the Indies ACX and Others group on Facebook. Lots of stuff there on choosing equipment (especially if you are thinking of going the ACX route eventually), coaching resources, etc. But definitely listen to good audiobooks. A lot of them.
"Bringing you yesterday's tomorrow...today!"

My website
My Librivox reader page

philchenevert
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 17072
Joined: October 17th, 2010, 9:23 pm
Location: In My Happy Place By De Bayou
Contact:

Post by philchenevert » September 13th, 2019, 10:02 am

sjmarky wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 9:08 am
Research professional narrators at Audible, and pick out some you like. Listen to how they do it. It's best to listen to complete books, but you can still pick up a lot by listening to the 5 minute samples, which are free. Also, join the Indies ACX and Others group on Facebook. Lots of stuff there on choosing equipment (especially if you are thinking of going the ACX route eventually), coaching resources, etc. But definitely listen to good audiobooks. A lot of them.
This man KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT! Listen to him. !!!! :D
Phil Chenevert, The LibriVox Video Guy
Hootin' is a gateway drug to hollerin'. .

Need Help? Lots of Helpful Videos Here

Penumbra
Posts: 1073
Joined: May 10th, 2016, 6:16 pm

Post by Penumbra » September 13th, 2019, 11:57 am

I used to record each character separately and edit in the voices; it is a great way to ensure consistency. But it is a LOT of work. The last couple of books I've recorded I skimmed ahead of time to find out what characters I would encounter, and made notes about the voice I'd use for each. The bad guy gets my tough guy voice (e.g. Clint Eastwood), the hero gets my good guy voice (e.g. Henry Ford), other characters I associate with other actors or people I've known. Of course I don't sound like those actors, it's just a mental trick to help me remember what voice goes with what character. That way I can read it straight through using the right voices.
Tom Penn

ej400
Posts: 2308
Joined: September 24th, 2014, 10:26 am
Location: Minnesota

Post by ej400 » September 13th, 2019, 6:45 pm

sjmarky wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 9:08 am
Research professional narrators at Audible, and pick out some you like. Listen to how they do it. It's best to listen to complete books, but you can still pick up a lot by listening to the 5 minute samples, which are free. Also, join the Indies ACX and Others group on Facebook. Lots of stuff there on choosing equipment (especially if you are thinking of going the ACX route eventually), coaching resources, etc. But definitely listen to good audiobooks. A lot of them.
I am wondering what is considered "good" audiobooks? Only ones by professional narrators? I'm not trying to argue or cause drama, it's just that we have professional narrators here too who make good audiobooks, and some people cannot invest in good high tech recording software, and they aren't professionals, but are able to create good audiobooks. Personally I don't believe that the highest tech and professionals can provide all the correct answers as to what makes good audiobooks, because we have good help here too :wink:

lurcherlover
Posts: 823
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Location: LONDON UK

Post by lurcherlover » September 14th, 2019, 4:25 am

Regarding the purchase of equipment, it would be useful to know what you have now (if anything) - but also how much you want to spend.

As for a mic, a good neutral mic would be a good choice, but these can cost anything between $150 and $1,500

I use a mic costing approx. $700 (£580) but I've also used cheaper ones as well. This is fed into an approx. $900 recorder. But very good results can be had with much cheaper equipment.

Mic technique is very important as well as some dampening of room reflections (voice recording should be dry), as well as angling the mic correctly and often using close miking techniques.

Once you get going, and put up some examples, we will be able to give more accurate advice.

I would not worry too much about Audible.com (ACX) until you have some experience on LV. I have some things on Audible (who do have much higher technical specs), but to be honest, unless you have dozens of books on there there is really no money in it, and it's a lot of work. Also, public domain books do not get great readership as far as I can see, and copyrighted books have lots of problems what with permissions and lots of other things, but a bestseller or even a good seller might make some dosh.

sjmarky
Posts: 2495
Joined: August 28th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Location: Poictesme
Contact:

Post by sjmarky » September 15th, 2019, 11:16 am

I am wondering what is considered "good" audiobooks?
Good audiobooks are audiobooks you like to listen to. In his original post Selim asked questions about performance. I suggest Audible as a easy way to hear the different ways accomplished narrators perform. Nothing to do with equipment. Not dissing LV narrators.
"Bringing you yesterday's tomorrow...today!"

My website
My Librivox reader page

JenniferFour
Posts: 395
Joined: December 11th, 2015, 5:04 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Post by JenniferFour » September 15th, 2019, 11:28 am

The sharp S sounds you hear are called "sibilance" - if you google for that term and how to correct it, you'll find some mic technique videos, some mouth training exercises, and some way to reduce it with software.

Good luck,

Jennifer
Critical feedback is ALWAYS welcome - in the forum or via PM

sjmarky
Posts: 2495
Joined: August 28th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Location: Poictesme
Contact:

Post by sjmarky » September 16th, 2019, 8:40 am

This just went live this morning. Check it out:

https://www.narratorsroadmap.com/
"Bringing you yesterday's tomorrow...today!"

My website
My Librivox reader page

tovarisch
Posts: 2766
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » September 16th, 2019, 11:04 am

I am wary of visiting sites that claim to "assess" (or something of the sort) my ability to be something. If they are honest (and true), what if they tell me that I can't be what I'd like to be? That's a bummer! :? (see the "what if I suck" thread too). And if they are there to encourage me to try it anyway, regardless of my individual capabilities, then what's the point? They are dishonest with respect to my potential listeners (whom I shall subject to torture of hearing my voice/manner) and simply delay the inevitable...

A music teacher, trying to get people to join the choir, said, in response to "but I have no voice!", "you speak, so you have a voice" (presumably the rest is training). :hmm: Is that the same thing?
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

Post Reply