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Recording tech?

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BlsdMama

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I'm ready to record with Model Talker, but I'd also like to make some longer recordings of audiobooks of my favorite books I've read the older children - both for my younger ones who are still little and for my grandchildren.

I have a PC, iPad, noise reducing headphones... But I want to make sure I have really clear quality.

Any tech I should look into to record both the voice and then the longer books?

I am so tech inadequate. My voice is currently very strong so I'm ready to begin.
 

lgelb

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Great idea -- I'm sure they will appreciate it. Are you using a USB microphone? What app are you using for the book recordings or are you not sure? What version of Windows do you have?

The best quality recordings (and certainly, check that the results are what you want before going full tilt) are going to be from a consistent distance from the mike, and sitting upright. So if you are reading from a paper book, be sure you don't look down and muffle/distort the sounds. You may want to consider reading from a digital copy for that reason. The Voice Dream app, for example, can display the book at the speed/font/size of your choice without your having to turn pages, so you can focus on your reading.
 
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swalker

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What a wonderful idea.

I recommend keeping the sound files in the most generic file format possible, such as mp3. That will increase the likelihood that they can be converted as necessary to play on current and future devices.

I use a Sennheiser PC8 headset, which gives quality I am happy with.

For editing sound files, I have been happy with SoundForge Audio Studio, formerly from Sony but now sold by Magix Software GmbH.

Audacity is another and it is free. I don't have any experience with it, but PCMag says "its real use is as a solid stereo editor. If you're recording a podcast or editing a clip of your kid's piano recital that you recorded on your phone, Audacity is an excellent choice; you can probably start and stop there. If you need something more sophisticated, read on."

There are many to choose from and I suspect most would do a great job for your project.
 

lgelb

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I would differ a little on the .mp3 statement, Steve. High-quality .wav files can be downsampled if need be, but give you more fidelity as a starting point. Conversion between formats is simple these days, so I would start with as much data as possible.

Audacity can definitely export .wav files.
 

swalker

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I agree that .wav would be a fine and technically superior format to .mp3. .mp3 files use a form of compression. With my hearing, I can't tell the difference between .mp3 (lossy compressed files) and .wav (uncompressed) files.

I think either would be suitable, along with many other common file formats. For me, the most important factor is to keep the storage as generic as possible, so that the precious audio recordings are not locked up in some vendor-proprietary format.

Steve
 

Jamesgol

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Hi. I've been recording music for decades. I don't know how this will apply to your situation, but I'll offer the information anyway.

I currently use a Digital Audio Workstation (program) called Studio One by Presonus. I use an audio interface to turn the analog microphone outputs into digital signals which enter the computer through the USB port.
Any standard microphone can be used with this setup.

My son in law uses a free Digital Audio Workstation (program) called "Audacity" to record his Podcasts. He doesn't use a standard analog microphone and audio interface, he uses a USB microphone "Blue Nessie".

Both of our setups can be used to record voice. Both can save the work as a .wav file. Both allow you to edit and replace mistakes, such as a hiccup or burp. There are two major differences, though.

The sound quality from the USB microphone is poor. Your voice will not sound as good as if you were using an audio interface with a good analog microphone. Second, there is much more latency with the USB microphone. When you go back to correct a passage, they could be a slight difference be the recorded signal and the live.

I hope this of some help
James
 

affected

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Audacity is an awesome free app, and I use it for voice recording a lot.
I have a decent mike that cuts out of lot of background noise.

It can be important to find a place you can easily set up the same every time so you get a consistent sounding voice even though you may start and stop on different days.

Creating some audio books is a brilliant idea. mp3 does compress, but for voice recording I believe you would be fine, but an app like audacity will allow you to export in more than one format so you could save a few copies if you wanted.

A tip is to go slow, don't rush any text, pause well between sentences and paragraphs. If you make a mistake, stop speaking say it is a mistake, then pause, then start from the beginning of that sentence again. Go back and edit the mistake out later - a good pause and saying MISTAKE helps find the spot.

Have fun!
 

notBrad

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+1 for audacity
 
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