For anyone curious about the outcome of my big places to record my reading a story as a test run last weekend, I did set all up and give it a try. I have so much clutter in my little home office that I don’t have the optimum noise abatement, unless stacks of old college papers and piles of paper detritus collected over the years are acoustic help. That makes me perch my laptop and microphone on the edge of the spacious but largely inaccessible desk. Lucky for me, the cabin in the woods has no traffic noise, no noisy neighbors, no sirens.
All I have to beware is Ma with her radio. I have to wait for her to go out on the porch or fall asleep so I can have the noise turned off. Last weekend she wasn’t feeling well, so she slept lots (no, I was not happy she was sick!). Now that’s she’s feeling better and this weekend will be warm and sunny, I can probably get more recording practice in. I shall make her lounging on the porch as comfortable as possible!
I must not forget Barky, either. Mostly she barks at night but if a strange person or animal gets near it sets her off. Once she gets started, Fudge joins in. If it’s a distant hound, they’ll bay back and forth and give me the urge to take a coffee break. I do not holler at my watchdogs for barking!
Okay, what happened: I got the Sony Sound Forge program registered and working and did the tutorials that don’t require internet as the cabin is off-line. I plugged in my Blue-brand Snowball microphone. I recorded reading the first half of Otto and Socks in Outpost 1 and had some inevitable mistakes. I was pleasantly surprised her hear my reading sounded like a real narrator, to me at least.
That’s where I got in trouble. I thought I could make a new file, snip the correction and paste it in the original. Not so easy. I finally got so tired of trying to edit the first file, I started over. The second try went better, and when I made a goof I stopped, backed up and started from that point. That seemed to come out better. I was marginally encouraged, so I went on to read part 2. The entire sound file is just over an hour. It is in a ‘wav’ file and I didn’t know what to do with it. Obviously I needed more education in production, so I accessed the ACX Audiobook site help from my work computer (over lunch, of course); they have lots of info on making a sound file good enough to be an audiobook. This weekend I’m going to apply some of what I learned there and see how that turns out.
One thing I discovered when I tried to listen to my file is that the volume is way too low, and that is covered in the ACX Audio Scientist files. Thus, no samples this week, no voting. I have purchased a good pair of headphones and now know how to test for acceptable background noise. One really annoying thing was having to use the on-screen audio controls at the same time I had to scroll through the text of my story…cumbersome and the source of most of my needed corrections. I have printed out my stories now, so that is solved. I have hope! Wish me luck!