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I've been toying with the idea of recording Love Her and Despair as a book on tape.

Once upon a time, I was an amateur bard performing songs and stories. But now, asthma and sinusitis have given me a nasal and breathless delivery. I never could manage reading dialog and action very well; I was better at a folktale delivery where one didn't have to indicate change of speaker.

Option 2 is to use NaturalReader software to create Mp3s artificially. The pronunciation editor is flaky-- rather than let me type phonics, I have to try various misspellings and hope it gets one of them right-- and sometimes it gets the emphasis in a word or sentence incorrect. But on the whole, it does a remarkably good job.

Either way, I have to do a certain amount of editing and processing to get a passable recording, snipping out my stammers and pops or beating on Heather's wonky pronunciations and pacing to the extent that I can.

So here's recordings for Chapter 44 of Love Her and Despair, broken into two chunks since it's a long chapter:

Live recording: Part One | Part Two
Text-to-Speech: Part One | Part Two

Poll #1651551 Bad voice acting, yay!

Which is the easiest to listen to?

Auronlu's: asthma, sinusitis, and Shatneresque voice acting notwithstanding, I prefer a human
Computer: Heather's got a yummy voice, even with the occasional timing and pronunciation glitches
Advent Children's godawful English dub


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2010 12:14 pm (UTC)
No mp3 player here (no cell phone or ebook reader either - which is why I like pdfs :)
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
No offense to the pro, but I like your voice better.
Dec. 1st, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Your voice, like a thousand times over. You've got intonations the computer can't replicate. Just in that sample, I heard undertones of emotion in the dialogue that I didn't detect when I read it. Not for the fault of the writing, but there definitely exists an appeal in listening to it.
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
Speaking as a fellow Shatnerian, I approve.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Definitely agree with the consensus of real human voice. The glitches and lack of emotion on the computer voice jumped out at me right away -- I couldn't listen for more than a few seconds.

Don't knock your reading skills, either; your bardic retelling of FFX is still one of my favorite fanworks ever.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
Well, obviously, I need to start reading again to get my breath-work back!

This is what I've lost. I had lousy mikes and too much reverb, but LISTEN to what my voice was like before all those years of sinus infections:

SIlly little song written for the bards' guild in Rivendell in the style of The Hobbit elves

Pippin's Song in Elvish -- my translation ("Home is behind / the world ahead / and there are many paths to tread / through shadows til the edge of night / until the stars are all alight / mist and shadows / cloud and shade / all shall fade, all shall fade" )

Bread and Roses recorded in 1996 in a noisy apartment

Tale of Two Jackals - my retelling of an ancient Egyptian folktale

It makes me wistful to hear those recordings now, even though I was embarrassed about them back then. I had no training, and I had crackle pops and made all kinds of amateur mistakes, but dammit, I had a pleasant voice once!

Edited at 2010-12-02 06:11 am (UTC)
Dec. 2nd, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
These are lovely, particularly the story, and I enjoyed them, so thank for the links! But I'm not hearing whatever comparative faults I'm supposed to be hearing in the newer readings. I like them just as well.

(Now I'm sure you're going to be tempted to enumerate them ;) but many years of choral singing lead me to advise you not to do so. Of course the performer is going to know where the flaws are, but the audience doesn't know what to listen for, and chances are they went right by... unless you point them out.)

Also, I often prefer audiobooks of author's reading their own work, even over professional actors/readers, because they know things about the intended emotional impact that a reader might not.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
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