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The Voice Actor Feedback Forum

Script Genres > English Adult > Narration > Audiobook

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    163 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jamesromick's recording

    This is an excerpt from a Serial Killer Thriller soon to be published on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. It's a dialogue from Chapter 4 between the two main characters, U.S. Marshal Jake Mathews and Serial Killer Max Baxter.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-21601/script-recording-79472.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    The last word "accurate" got clipped off for some reason.

    Peer Feedback:

    glottal stop perhaps? ;-)

    Peer Feedback:

    Not a discern split in the characters James. I stopped at 54 secs. I wanted to see where it went but stayed mostly the same. It also had the same energy through out the read, same tone, inflections etc.

    I'm not a very good critic for an audiobook reader since I feel that most performances fall flat, I listened to one on my last business trip. It was a 4 hour flight, I was lights out in 15 minutes of being in the air! I guess it had that advantage.

    You sound is really nice and I think your gear is well equipped for you in this business. I wouldn't look at changing too much. The mic matches your tone etc.

    -dk-

    Peer Feedback:

    Admittedly, I'm also not the audiolibriphile others may be, and I have no studying in that area either.

    I thought it was mostly good, and I could follow the characters about 75-80% of the time, but if they had about 25% more character to them, I'd probably get less confused. I loved the breaths you left in, how they added to the story.

    Peer Feedback:

    Yes, I see what you mean about leaving the breaths in and lowering them in this piece, James. It does provide a natural feel here, but I can see where it's not desirable for in commercial VO.

    I have an hour and fifteen minute one-way commute daily and listen to audiobooks quite often. I've had stories that I had to quit listening to because the narrator was just that bad. And I LOVE books. For me, this a a good read with good tone. It would definitely keep me engaged.

    Peer Feedback:

    Enjoyable.
    However it sounds like you abandoned Max's characterization/voice right off the bat. He sounds totally different at :12. It's an abrupt shift.

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    "Ordeal in Space "by Robert A. Heinlein - Abridged Version

    Script:

    Maybe we should never have ventured out into space. Our race has but two basic, innate fears; noise, and the fear of falling. Those terrible heights—Why should any man in his right mind let himself be placed where he could fall…and fall…and fall—But all spacemen are crazy. Everyone knows that.

    The Medicos had been very kind, he supposed. “You’re lucky. You want to remember that old fellow. You’re still young and your retired pay relieves you of all worry about your future. You’ve got both arms and legs and are in fine shape.”

    “Fine shape!” His voice was unintentionally contemptuous. “No, I mean it,” the chief psychiatrist had persisted gently. “The little quirk you have does you no harm at all—except that you can’t go out into space again. I can’t honestly call acrophobia a neurosis; fear of falling is normal and sane. You’ve just got it a little more strongly than most—but that is not abnormal, in view of what you have been through.

    The reminder sent him to shaking again. He closed his eyes and saw the stars wheeling below him again. He was falling…falling endlessly. The psychiatrist’s voice came back through to him and pulled him back. “Steady old man! Look around you.”

    “Sorry.”

    “Not at all. Now tell me, what do you plan to do?”

    “I don’t know. Get a job I suppose.”

    “The company will give you a job, you know.”

    He shook his head. “I don’t want to hang around a spaceport. Wear a little button in his shirt to show the was once a man, be addressed by a courtesy title of captain, claim the privileges of the pilot’s lounge on the basis of what he used to be, hear the shop talk die down whenever he approached a group, wonder what they were saying behind his back—no thank you!

    “I think you’re wise. Best to make a clean break, for a while at least, until you are feeling better.”

    “You think I’ll get over it?”

    The psychiatrist pursed his lips. “Possible. It’s functional you know. No Trauma.”

    “But you don’t think so?”

    “I didn’t say that. I honestly don’t know. We still know very little about what makes a man tick.”

    “I see. Well I might as well be leaving.”

    The psychiatrist stood up and shoved out his hand.

    “Holler if you want anything. And comeback to see us in any case.”

    “Thanks.”

    “You’re going to be all right. I know it.”

    But the psychiatrist shook his head as his patient walked out. The man did not walk like a spaceman. The easy, animal self-confidence was gone.

    78 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ChasA's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-99389/script-recording-91498.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I must preface my comment with this. I only listened to most of the first paragraph and stopped. Here's why.

    To begin with, the volume is too low. You will either need to increase your input volume or normalize the recording up to between -6dB to -3dB peak.

    Secondly, even though most audiobook coaches will tell most people to slow down, this was ponderously slow and choppy. You sound like you're reading one word right after the next rather than telling a compelling story.

    Do you listen to audiobooks? And if so, is this genre (SciFi/Fantasy) the one you prefer?

    You might go to the Audible website and listen to some other narrators' samples to discover how they attack the text. Just know that the sound quality of those samples aren't as good as the actual book because they have to make the files easy to stream on many platforms.

    The other thing to practice is to read aloud (not necessarily recording) every day for at least 15 minutes straight - mistakes and all. Audiobooks are a marathon which requires vocal stamina for hours at a time.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with the above comment. I only listened or tried to listen for about half a minute. The volume was way too soft and I couldn't even hear it, without turning up the volume on my computer all the way up. Even then, it was hard to hear you. Your voice, from what I could hear sounded good though.

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    "Rattlesnake Crossing", J.A. Jance

    Script:

    Stopping at her mailbox after work on a Monday evening, in mid-August, Sheriff Joanna Brady surveyed the heat-shimmering landscape of southeastern Arizona. Off across the mesquite-covered Sulphur Springs Valley, she counted eleven separate dust devils weaving dances and leaving their swirling tracks on the parched desert floor.

    120 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear digitalwiz42's recording

    This is to see if I can get to my free Performance Checkup. If not, any feedback from the forum would be appreciated.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-93524/script-recording-77110.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Digitalwiz42,
    I liked the interpretation. Perhaps if you didn't heed that comma after the word 'evening' it might have flowed a bit smoother. Also, you missed the word 'off' at the beginning of the 2nd sentence. The sound was pretty good; I heard very little mouth noise.
    Linda

    Peer Feedback:

    There's something about this copy that leads me to believe that this is not the beginning of the story or chapter or narrative. There's something that has come before, but I'm not picking that up from this read. An acting exercise would have you make up a sentence or two before the actual copy starts to "come in" to the story rather than jump start it cold.

    Yeah, ignore the first comma. It's probably a typo.

    Leaving the breaths in sounds fine. However, the way you are inhaling is odd. Sometimes it sounds like you start first through the nose and then the mouth, giving just a little "smack" on the intake of air. Plus, the breaths are breaking up some of the sentences. Do you mark your scripts for logical places to breathe? You might consider it to get a somewhat better flow.

    General pacing is nice as well as the vocal and recording quality.

    Peer Feedback:

    I didn't hear your clothes at all this time :)

    The commas aren't necessarily typos -it's a clause, but it could certainly have been read without the first one. It could have been read with it too, if they were building a story, especially if there was a time lapse in the story they want to cover (we were just going from early spring, and now we're in August). It really depends, and I didn't find it totally out of place, being a clause; it might have actually been accentuated just for that purpose?

    I guess that's up to the OU, digitalwiz42.

    I will say you did miss the word "off" too. Not sure if you cared or not, but sometimes it's just not noticed, so, thought I'd mention it.

    And I have to agree with James about the breaths. It's a lot of work to keep the mouth open, the tongue down and the breath in an open throat, but that's what you gotta do. If you can't, it's really best to edit them out.

    Overall, I really liked the read, but would have enjoyed it more with some extra editing. :) Good job.

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    72 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ajairaj's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-17687/script-recording-50310.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi! Love how relaxed your read is, easy to listen to and understand. Your pronunciations of "Aureliano Buendia" and "Macondo" are great; you must speak the language. Keep up the good work! I'd love to hear a commercial script.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Aj, Just got back from my weekend away and wanted to get back to you. After listening to this I thought it was very good. There were a few points along the script where it felt you held your breathe while reading rather than letting it flow with the words,somewhere in this line, "which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs". I think there is a lot of potential for you in VO.

    Jewel had mentioned that it sounded relaxed. It did .... in fact I feel a little to much so, where you could pick it up here and there to create dynamics in the reads, it started to feel a bit flat as it went on. Remember to keep the listener engaged in your conversation, although you are the only one talking.

    Peer Feedback:

    Wonderfully relaxed, but were you enjoying what you were reading?

    I could definitely fall asleep to your voice, it was so very comforting (like reading to a child at bedtime). Have you thought about reading children's material?

    Accent and recording quality were wonderful by the way.

    Peer Feedback:

    you sound effortless. really beautiful. but give me a it more soul.

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    100 Years Of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Script:

    Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time, Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of ragged gypsies would set up their tents near the village, and with a great uproar of pipes and kettledrums they would display new inventions.

    124 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Peter's recording

    Trying another audiobook script. The writing is so beautiful. I wanted to try and create a magical quality in the story telling in keeping with Marquez' style. Long form narrative is also a v-o form I really want to learn well. So looking forward to all your suggestions.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/100Years_of_Solitude4.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Peter! I loved it... you kept me hooked to it from the first line to the last and all I can say is that I fully enjoyed it.
    Look forward to what our experienced friends can contribute with....that's always interesting!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    Peer Feedback:

    Peter, you have a great vocal quality and your read was good for the most part, compelling and interesting. The only critique I would give would be to not drop off the end of your sentences. The first two sentences your volume decreases towards the end.

    Peer Feedback:

    I would pay to listen to your narrations.

    Peer Feedback:

    Really nice Peter. Great voice!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you very much everyone for your feedback.

    Peer Feedback:

    Liked your read very much. Enjoyed the "dramatic pauses". Thought they were well placed.

    The highlighting of certain words also gave a very nice effect.

    Well done.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Great accent, great voice, GREAT choice of script! I <3 GGM. I don't hear anything to be critical of, but I am new... just wanted to say I really liked the read.

    Peer Feedback:

    Peter, you paint a picture with your voice! Bravo!

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    22 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ahubert1's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-76593/script-recording-60438.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice read. Your articulation was fairly good for the most part.
    I need the d on "world" and that tapped t sound on "lacked".

    Peer Feedback:

    Good read and great articulation, perfect audiobook material!

    I heard a little bit of background noise throughout the read, depending on your software that can be simple enough to remove...

    David Michaelson

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    27 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Chris Coulter's recording

    I do not have a home studio but am doing the best I can with what I have. I also read braille and am concerned about the raspy sound of my fingers on the page. This and other feedback would be appreciated.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/first-to-die.MP3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Chris,

    You have a nice voice, I would use more emotion while reading this script. Don't just say the words, feel the words, act like you are with your husband. Feel the excitement. Also watch how close you are to your mic, I heard you brushing against the mic or something else. I can understand not having a home studio, I have come a long way from using my internal Mic on my Mac. My husband built me a portable vocal booth, and I am working to set it up to make some new recordings. It takes time and you will get there, this forum is your first step at getting better and better. I am so grateful to all of the awesome people on here!

    Wishing you the best of luck!

    Many Blessings,

    Carol

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Chris,

    I should have read your comments all the way through, wow you are using braille to read your script. While using braille, are you close to the mic? Microphones are very sensitive and they pick up a lot of sound. Also, do you use moisturizer on your fingers? That may cut down on the sound that your fingers make.

    Keep up the great work!

    Many Blessings,

    Carol

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi, Chris
    I would not worry about the recording quality for now and focus instead on YOU being in the shower and feeling the heat of the moment rising to a boiling level. Would your voice come across crisp and melodic or wispy and flat (more monotone)? Feel what the author was feeling as the words were committed to the printed page - HOT and getting hotter.

    Try putting a towel over a wire rack between your braille pages and the microphone. This might also help eliminate some of the bounce noise at the same time. Have you tried recording in a closet?

    You seem to need minor tweaks which are not very complicated nor expensive.

    Keep practicing.
    Ray

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you, Carol, for your suggestions re more emotion. I had pulled back from being too emotional because I was the third-person narrator in that read, but maybe that cool approach isn't the best for fiction. I also appreciated your suggestion about moisturizer on my fingers and paying close attention to the sensitivity of the mic. I'll record with head phones next time.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, Ray. Either a wire rack with a towel over it or possibly laying my pages on a foam pad or small pillow could help. Yes, I've recorded in a closet before. My closet, unfortunately, is not a walk-in closet. I really miss my makeshift studio among the sweaters.

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    40 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Chris Coulter's recording

    I do not have a home studio yet but am doing the best with what I have. I also read from braille and would like suggestions for getting rid of the raspy sound of my fingers on the page. All other feedback is appreciated as well.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/first-to-die-p109-chris-coulter.MP3

    Peer Feedback:

    I like your pacing and inflection. I would suggest working on your breathing and editing out the deeper breaths. You also have some mouth noises, try eliminating this by biting that famous green apple and making sure you are hydrated. Im, not sure what you mean about the raspy sound, I didn't hear it. I think your recording quality is pretty good for someone "making do,"

    Peer Feedback:

    I totally get the critiques to get more into it, but I did like your wry narrator parts as well! I'm mostly piping up because I wondered if you could line a fabric box, like those marketed with "Cubicals" storage furniture, with audio treatment foam. You could have the box, and your microphone inside it, resting on a shelf at face level, but have your hands down at desk level. The floor of the box, lined with foam, might absorb a lot of the raspy sound.

    Peer Feedback:

    I guess I gave all of us a challenge asking for help with the rasp of fingers on a braille script but you've all risen to the occasion really well. Thanks for all your suggestions. As far as my performance is concerned: I thank you for your comments. I'm learning that there is more than one way to read a script. This is a great opportunity for me to learn and I'm glad I came on board.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you for your feedback. I'll continue to play with my interpretation as well as working to reduce the finger noises. Tonya's suggestions sound interesting.

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    20K Leagues Under the Sea

    Script:

    The Nautilus was floating in the midst of a phosphorescent layer
    which, in the semi-darkness, seemed extraordinarily bright. This
    effect was produced by myriads of tiny, luminous animals, whose
    glitter increased as they touched the submarine’s metal hull. I
    also saw flashes of light in the midst of these waters, looking like
    streams of melted lead in a blazing furnace, or metal brought to
    a red-white heat; they were such that by contrast some of the
    other luminous areas were like shadows in the fiery waters, from
    which all shadows should have disappeared. No, this was no
    longer the calm gleam of normal light! It was full of extraordinary
    intensity and movement! This light felt as if it were alive!

    79 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ChasA's recording

    Thank you for the feedback. Trying to get a feel for Audiobook narration...

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-99389/script-recording-87318.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    If I'm not mistaken, this is an observation by Captain Nemo. I can't remember if it's a diary entry or whether he's talking to someone (or to us as the reader).

    At any rate, There's an acting exercise to be gained from this very well written passage. These are not random thoughts, but he is describing this for the first time, so there might be "hitches" in the telling as if he were searching his large brain for just the proper words for the visualization. In other words, it's not planned. These words are coming to him spontaneously, and they're also taking a considerable amount of thought. And as such, the words wouldn't just spill out like a continuous pouring of water from a pitcher. It's also a very wondrous experience. (Look at all of those exclamation points!) No one, as far as we know, has ever seen this before. So it may have a kind of "storybook/storytelling" excitement to it in that adult and scientific sort of way of the 19th Century.

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    3 Scripts: Toxic Thoughts, Graceling, Marry Me

    Script:

    Toxic Thoughts (non-fiction):
    Every single thought—whether it is positive or negative—goes through the same cycle when it forms. Thoughts are basically electrical impulses, chemicals and neurons...As the thoughts grow and become permanent, more branches grow and the connections become stronger.

    Graceling (fiction, YA Fantasy):
    when she’d progressed about halfway to the throne, her uncle called out. “Stop there. I’ve no wish for your closer company Katsa.” Her name sounded like steam hissing down the carpet when Randa spoke it. “You return to court today with no woman. No dowry. My underlord and my captain injured by your hand...

    Marry Me (fiction, contemporary):
    She opened the folder and pulled out the diagram with all the squares and circles. “I’m guessing this will make more sense to you than it does to me.”
    Ellen barely glanced at the paper. “I met with Sarah last week, and we finalized the setup. I wrote everything down, so there’s no need for your little paper. My staff has already been briefed on their duties today.”

    106 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Amina93's recording

    My primary concern is feedback on my recording quality. Based on feedback from my last submission, I've adjusted my mic placement, increased the gain, and normalized the recording. My goal is to be able to produce professional quality audiobooks from my home studio. Regarding my performance, I'd like feedback on whether or not the distinction between character voices is clear. Any other feedback is also welcome. Thanks!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-97230/script-recording-94196.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Sounds good! I laughed when you broke into the country accent. Had nothing to do with you, it just hit me funny. HA. I like your timing when transitioning from narrator to character. Gives the illusion that it's not just being read. Keep it up!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, Dan! I agree about the sound quality of the Rode and am strongly considering looking into a different mic

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    3 Scripts: Toxic Thoughts, Graceling, Marry Me

    Script:

    Toxic Thoughts:
    Every single thought—whether it is positive or negative—goes through the same cycle when it forms. Thoughts are basically electrical impulses, chemicals and neurons...As the thoughts grow and become permanent, more branches grow and the connections become stronger.

    Graceling:
    when she’d progressed about halfway to the throne, her uncle called out. “Stop there. I’ve no wish for your closer company Katsa.” Her name sounded like steam hissing down the carpet when Randa spoke it. “You return to court today with no woman. No dowry. My underlord and my captain injured by your hand...

    Marry Me:
    She opened the folder and pulled out the diagram with all the squares and circles. “I’m guessing this will make more sense to you than it does to me.”
    Ellen barely glanced at the paper. “I met with Sarah last week, and we finalized the setup. I wrote everything down, so there’s no need for your little paper. My staff has already been briefed on their duties today.”

    118 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Amina93's recording

    I’ve recorded excerpts from the scripts I’m preparing for an audiobook demo. I edited out some mouth noise, reduced the volume of some areas that peaked over -3dB, and removed a bit of the performance to shorten it. Do the edits sound smooth? Details of My Home Studio * Located in a tiny, second-story closet * Egg crate foam lines one wall, there are clothes and scarves hanging to help dampen sound * I have cords connecting my Macbook Pro (located outside the closet) to a monitor inside. I also have a keyboard and mouse connected via USB * Rode NT1A mic with pop filter * Steinberg UR12 * Twisted Wave I have quieted my recording space as much as possible (Heat off, space heaters/bathroom fans off). I’m hoping to get my room tone down to at least -60dB (ACX standards). Could the noise be from my equipment? Ambient noise from outside? From my laptop itself? It’s only about three feet outside my closet and when I hold my laptop to my ear, I hear low fan noise. I’m on a pretty low budget. Is it possible to fix these issues with mastering? Perhaps as part of George Whittam’s Twisted Wave stacks? Or do I need to invest in a whisper booth? Different equipment? Basically, I know the sound isn’t optimal, but I don’t know how to proceed. Thanks for your help, Amina

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-97230/script-recording-93719.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    My first impression is to slow down. Especially with a topic as thick as "Toxic Thoughts." You need to give the listener time to absorb and process the concepts.

    The second excerpt was paced much better.

    Then you're off to the races again on the third excerpt.

    In the world of audiobooks where oftentimes you get paid PFH (Per Finished Hour), why would you want to cheat yourself by rushing through. You're also cheating your listener.

    You may consider isolating your S frequencies and soften them - maybe with a de-esser. They're somewhat sibilant and sharp sounding. Nor uncommon in the female voice.

    There are different ideas and approaches about audiobook demos. Some are of the opinion that fiction and non-fiction should be separated on different demos because there are many different sub-genres. With fiction there's first person narration, third person narration, other different genres like Romance, Mysteries/Thrillers, Erotica, Westerns, PsychoDrama, etc. There are also different sub-genres in non-fiction - Biography, History, Politics, Self-Help, etc.

    The excerpts for audiobook demos are also generally longer than a commercial or narration demo, more in the 1:00 to 1:30 range and the demos, in total, are anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes in length. people interested in casting you for an audiobook want to hear if you can tell the story over an extended period and whether you have the stamina to do so. Most audiobook excerpts that you'll find on Audible, Amazon and iTunes are between 3 to 5 minutes in length and try to include an interesting part of the book to "hook" the listener into purchasing it.

    As for your recording space: How thick is the egg crate foam? The rule of thumb is the thicker the better. However, I saw George Whittam demonstrate why he prefers something like moving blankets over acoustic foam. The layered fabric absorbs sound, whereas foam diffuses sound. He actually spoke through a piece of foam and could be clearly heard (diffused sound), whereas speaking through a blanket muffled (absorbed) his voice.

    Your noise floor also, in a way, depends upon your input recording level. The noise level is always there and will rise if you normalize up. But if you can get your input recording level somewhat balanced to close to a normalization level (-3dB peak or slightly below), then your noise level may be manageable with a NR plugin. Normalize first, then apply the NR and possibly a high pass filter (set at about 120Hz for the female voice). Then the rest of your chain. However, I don't really hear any hissing or rumble in this recording.

    Yes, some of the edits are rather abrupt. I have heard some audiobook excerpts where they fade out at the end rather than just cut off - and occasionally they will fade in as well.

    Peer Feedback:

    Just some recording quality comments: Seems like there is quite a bit of "S" sibilance. This may be brought out more by the current eq settings. Also, there's a bit of "P" plosive happening as well.

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    A Century of Change

    Script:

    America's greatest period of change was between 1850 and 1950. In that time, the Industrial Revolution took hold of the imagination and talent of the American people.
    America started her life with the advantage of having many cultures among her citizens.

    Our story begins with the momentum from previous centuries of discovery and
    experimentation. The people who came to America brought to her shores faith, courage,
    and a sense of wonder and curiosity, qualities that gave The United States a national
    spirit, a "spirit" that grew during the "Century of Change."

    The sharing of these qualities by Americans is important to our knowledge of how The
    United States became the modern nation it is today.

    93 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Henry Dewing's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6638/script-recording-30496.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Henry, it's always a joy to listen to you.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks! I intentionally did this read at a subdued level, due to the comments that
    I was hung-up on the "big "sound. The words are important!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello again,

    Wow. I listened to this right after listening to your read of Annabel Lee, and it's amazing the difference. You really do have a wonderful range, and I've really come to enjoy listening to you. I really hope that I get to be as good as you are.

    Peter

    Peer Feedback:

    Peter, there's a lifetime of living in that voice! Problem is, it's not saleable.

    Peer Feedback:

    Henry: love listening to your deep gravelly voice - it IS saleable! just a wee suggestion to vary the pace a bit within the reading - perhaps a more noticeable transition from the first to the second para - emphasis on 'OUR story begins' to let the audience know what to look forward to. Looking forward to hearing more of you!

    Peer Feedback:

    Yes, Jannie! As I noted, I had just done a couple of promos at full throttle.
    I was too cautious with this piece. It is just a little flat. Appreciate your comments.
    Clearly, you have the goods.

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    A Clean Well-Lighted Place

    Script:

    It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him.

    59 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear eppervesce's recording

    Have never done this before so I am interested in the quality of the sound and my performance. Thanks!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-28067/script-recording-59436.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Eileen,

    You read very well, and have a friendly voice. I hear a "hiss" at the end of some sentences where you too close to your mic? I would like to hear you read other scripts.

    Wishing you the very best of luck!

    Many Blessings,

    Carol

    Peer Feedback:

    eppervesce --
    I like your voice and your story narration. You are very patient, and thoughtful as you speak, but not slow-paced. It makes listening to the story effortless.
    I thought the performance was really good.

    I could hear a ringing sound in the recording - which sounds like an artifact of mp3 compression. When you save your recording to disk, you might save the file with the highest level of mp3 resolution that you can, as a first step to seeing if the ringing goes away.

    Cheers,
    Dave Saunders.

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow! So here I'm reading your first post second, and you've really never done this before? What Dave pointed out, that you're patient and let all the thoughts land without rushing through to the next, and that you do this without getting slow, is HUGE.

    Now go read the rest of it, please, so I can listen. :)

    Tonia

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you all for such thoughtful and helpful encouragement. I have gotten a few comments on the recording quality so I have to find out about that. I do love reading aloud!

    Peer Feedback:

    Very nice read! I liked your contest read this week, too.

    Peer Feedback:

    Your voice is very clear and the message is delivered really well. I would listen to an audio book read by you.. Recording quality is good as well

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    A Clean Well-Lighted Place

    Script:

    Script:

    It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him.

    71 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jothi20@gmail.com's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7200/script-recording-60718.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice read. Good depth to your voice. Can't really comment on the accent, as I'm no expert on these things, but it might have been just a little inconsistent. The last line of your read ends as if the story was ending. I would try to end this read, sounding as if there were more to come.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Kenzuehike. I will work on accent consistency and practice to make the end read a bit more tentative.

    Peer Feedback:

    jothi --
    this is a wonderful read! you are so patient with your words and phrasing. The delivery feels as if it was carefully and thoughtfully crafted, and is extremely easy to listen to.

    I think your accent is great in this performance as well. It adds to the story telling. I completely imagined this as a story about an old Indian man.

    Well done.
    Cheers,
    Dave Saunders.

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow Dave! You made my day.
    I hope you are not kidding. A good word coming from someone of your caliber who can read "Steffi VonShvetansnautz" so effortlessly, someone whose voice can surely sell Mercedes Benz online; the "dominator"of Bar-S Invasion, WoW!
    Thanks
    I feel very encouraged.
    Regards
    Jothi

    Peer Feedback:

    The accent is very good for the Indian audience. Your pace is very easy to follow and the voice is nice.. I am a beginner too and don't have much expertise to give you a more detailed comment. But i can definitely say that the story is told really well and your voice makes it even better.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks borris83.
    All the best to you.
    Regards
    Jothi

    Back to top
    A clean, well lighted place

    Script:

    It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him.

    40 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Scott Martin's recording

    Hello! Testing a new microphone. Any comments on the audio quality are most welcome. Thanks in advance, Scott

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8309/script-recording-49800.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You added a lot of pauses that the script did not call for and you missed a word in the first sentence. I think you might have been a little close to the mike and sounded somewhat muffled. Good voice with a lot of potential in my estimation. Keep trying.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks JRL for your astute comments. Appreciate the feedback.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey Scott, check the noise gate settings, I could hear it open and close, and truthfully it didn't lessen the noise in the recording. You might be served better with something like Waves NR1, I like a little light noise reduction better than a gate personally.
    All that said, I know you are troubleshooting and testing the new gear setup you have. The new Mic sounds good, It will take some tweaking to get it into the sweet spot for sure. I am doing much the same thing, Just added the new USB interface and I'm going to post some tests, well, here pretty shortly I think.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Nodo,

    Always good to hear from you. Don't think I had any gating but there might have been some light limiting, and that could have added the noise.

    Looking forward to your posts.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Hei Nodo,

    Now I remember what I did, I was testing out some AU (apple) effects on the file and then submitted it. There is some processing and that created the noise. Should have submitted the clean file.

    Bet the original sounds much better. Next time.

    Scott

    Back to top
    A Clean, Well-Lighted Place - by Ernest Hemingway

    Script:

    It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him.

    113 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear James Burton's recording

    In retrospect, it occurs to me I was quite clicky - sadly, no granny smith apples were handy, but it would definitely be something to be corrected. Also, it sounds to me as if my laptop was throwing a mild temper tantrum and creating just a bit too much background noise for the noise floor to compensate for, but please let me know what you think. In particular, I'd like critique on my breathing patterns (do they sound natural?), the default volume (was I loud enough, or maybe too loud?), and if there was any echo in the recording. Naturally, other points of advice are welcome, but those are the things I'm concentrating on at the moment. Thanks in advance for listening!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-86905/script-recording-78289.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi James,

    It sounded as though that you were breathy, almost like you were trying to get a lot in before loosing air. I used to do this, and had to break myself out of it. I think that you could go a tad bit louder on your audio. Can you edit out your breaths? I use Wavepad by NCH and I Love it! It is really easy to use and I can pin point those breaths and take them out.

    I really like your voice, it has a very friendly quality, and think that you are a good story teller, maybe audio books would be good for you.

    I hope that this helps you, have a Wonderful Day, and best of luck with all that you do!!

    Many Blessings,
    Carol

    Peer Feedback:

    Your voice is awesome for a read like this! Like Carol said, you have that friendly quality that makes it feel like someone is listening to a friend tell a story.

    She was also right, however, in saying that your recording was too breathy. It sounded like you were exhausted from running and you were trying to squeeze out as many words in one breath as you could. Try to work on letting less air out as you read in future recordings.

    The other thing is that in many of your sentences, you have rather awkward emphasis placed on certain words where it shouldn't be. For example, in the first sentence, you emphasize "everyone," "left," and "cafe," very heavily. Because these words are so close to each other, it creates an awkward and stressful feeling for the listener. Try picking only one word per sentence to emphasize and letting the rest flow more smoothly; you may find this a helpful exercise in quelling that overemphasis. Another very noticeable instance of this was the emphasis places on "was" in "old man was a little drunk." In that sentence, "knew" should have been the key word to stress, and placing it on "was" doesn't feel natural.

    Peer Feedback:

    Subdued and dry tone. Okay, if that was your desired effect.

    Peer Feedback:

    I don't hear a connection to the script. A very consistent delivery that should have some variance from the "center" of the tone. In other words: it sounds read.

    Peer Feedback:

    (I wrote a reply comment to this once, clicked away, and accidentally deleted the thing. Well, here goes again. I see a lot of people commenting on their own recordings, so I'm assuming this is common practice.)

    Thanks for all the tips and pointers so far. I'm still in the process of figuring out how to best edit breaths - I've heard completely removing all of them makes the reading sound unnatural, but it seems I just need to breathe more quietly. I think the "breathiness" in my voice is mostly just a natural part of it (one coach actually compared my voice to that of Keanu Reeves, of all people), but I can work on putting it more...up front.

    I found the advice on emphasis to be quite helpful, McDoogle. I've been known to have either too much drama or too little, so I'm currently fine-tuning it, and this does help. I think I can use that input to make my delivery sound subtle, but natural and believable.

    My intended emotion for the read was more dry yet poetic, so in a sense...mission accomplished? Still, I suppose I could envision the scene in my head a little more clearly, so I'll work on that.

    Thanks again for all the input. I'll put all this into practice and return with another recording in the near future.

    Back to top
    A Clean, Well-Lighted Place – By Ernest Hemingway

    Script:

    It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him

    51 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear lahnkd's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8353/script-recording-28630.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Ok, two experiences here.. one my computer speakers- with the limited range of the computer speakers,, this sounded almost mono tone. On top of that the over all delivery seemed very dray,,and emotionless. Then I put on my “cans” (AKA headphones) .. It sounds like you have a ton of resonance in your voice. It may be that you have either mixed, or “enhanced” to bring this out as well,, or it could just be an attribute of your voice , and your equipment set up. But this is drowning out your performance. With my headphones on I can hear,, more inflection , and variation ,, but even at that its in the back ground under the resonance. It still sounds like you had a fairly dray approach at this, and not a lot of feeling to it. But what “acting” you did do,, is being washed out by the audio quality. Try listening to it on different speaker, headphones, and so on. Realize most people will hear via the lower half ( and half is being generous) of the equipment spectrum. Are you familure with Audacity? its a free program,, with it you can fix much of this,, plus remove the "hiss" , take out the breaths,, and so on.

    Peer Feedback:

    The "hiss" and the "hardness" of the recording exist when played from the edge site but NOT on the recording I uploaded.

    Go figure. This is why I'm reticent to spend $800 on mics and interfaces.

    Acting-wise I was trying to get into the quiet and still of the late night described in the excerpt. I'll work more on that.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Peer Feedback:

    The nearly monotone delivery can work depending on the material. Over my monitors, I didn't hear a hardness. If you're hearing a difference between your edits and what's on the site, you might be listening to a non-compressed sound in your editing software and then the compressed sound on the site. It's a fairly common occurrence.

    Peer Feedback:

    lahnkd, I'm with Tom on the "monotone" delivery - I thought it worked great. This is an excerpt from Earnest Hemingway, so a classic story-telling approach is totally appropriate. I was more absorbed into the story than noticing performance glitches. Also, nice pipes.

    Technically, I'm on a jihad about room noise and production. You definitely recorded in a noisy (echo-y) room, and it detracts. Also there were tons of breaths and seat-shifting going on there. You need to edit all that out. I applaud those who can do a read in a single take, but even those are edited for timing and clean up.

    Don't spend $800 on a mic. At least look at a Blue Yeti ($150) or Yeti Pro ($250) that is USB ready. no interfaces or preamps needed. ignore those who turn their noses up at USB mics. they are here to stay.

    IMHO, you've got talent.
    DS

    Peer Feedback:

    I have a Blue Yeti Pro,, and love it. The really cool thing with it,, besides being a good mic, is that it can be either USB, or Analog. So you get to choose,, and or,, you get it get it,, and wait to buy a interface later,, making a smaller hit on the bank all at one. Mostly I have used it as a Analog mic,, but have used it as a USB a bit.

    Peer Feedback:

    You have a rich, gorgeous set of pipes. You're very lucky. Also, I think certain points made in all of the above comments have some validity. Your voice sounds as if it's bouncing off the walls, just a bit. Is the space in which you record baffled to deaden any room noise? Also, you might want to plan your breaths a little more specifically. Try a take or two just telling us the story and not worrying about being "monotone" or any other kind of tone. Your voice is already great -- don't concern yourself with it. All-in-all, good job.

    Peer Feedback:

    KNM -
    that's my setup at home: Yeti Pro, USB hookup to my Mac, and Garageband. That's it. Oh, and the converted broom closet with heavy moving blankets hanging in pleats on all the walls...
    Nothing fancy, not expensive, and very effective.
    cheers,
    DS.

    Peer Feedback:

    DS, so your running the pro as a USB? I've been doing anolog,, I mostly record in my front living room ,,, with treatment. How is garageband ? There is a GB lite on my ipad,, but I use VC pro to record and audacity to mix and edit so far.

    Peer Feedback:

    My "studio" is a small closet in which I've hung thick, lined drapes all around. There's a thick rug on the floor.
    This is what was suggested in the HomeStudio 101...evidently it's not working.

    Back to top

    19 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear PhilipD's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-14712/script-recording-52143.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You sounded comfortable, which is a big plus, and overall I thought the inflections sounded natural. Good job.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you Bill.

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    A Fairy's Guide to Disaster

    Script:

    I wish I could tell you face to face, but being half a centimeter tall has its disadvantages Humans have a blind spot when it comes to fairies, no matter our size, and I'm the first Whipplethorn fairy to be seen in six generations. It was an isolated incident and I had to want it very badly to make it happen. Whether or not you see me, I want you to know that fairies exist all around you and in places you wouldn't expect. My family lives in a fireplace mantel, for instance. It's one of those big Victorian jobs, mahogany and weighing about two hundred pounds. Our home is inside the left leg of the mantel beside the firebox. Bet you never thought to look there.
    Chances are we won't ever meet, and you probably wouldn't even notice me even if we did, so I found a solution (I always do).

    80 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear LJDaniels's recording

    Technical: I was trying out a possible travel set up and want to know how it sounds to everyone else. Performance: I am wondering how this character voice sounds. This is a YA book narrated by a fairy.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-108042/script-recording-88479.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Audio wise I hear a slight maybe crackling or static noise when you speak occasionally? It's hard to explain and I'm learning the technology side myself so I wish I could be more help but I definitely hear a little something other than that it sounds pretty good to me.

    Performance wise I really like your voice for this kind of character. If anything I would maybe just like to hear what you're doing but turned up a little bit more. Other than that I really like your fit for this character. Keep up the good work!

    Peer Feedback:

    The travel setup might be ok for whipping off a quick audition, but the sound quality isn't up to par if you were stuck to record an actual job.

    Have to disagree with kckretzer about the interpretation - if by "turned up a little more" he means going even broader. If this is a book for Young Adults, this read seems geared more toward a child. Tolkein has fairies, but to have them tell their story this way wouldn't seem to fit. IMHO, it needs to be more "adult" and less "young". Not that this particular Fairy isn't young, but if the intended audience is Young Adults, it's a different storytelling style than for elementary or pre-school kids. She can sound young, but in a less sing-songy, almost baby talking way.

    The long pauses in between sentences might be tightened up. As it is, it gives the impression that each pause is an ending rather than the sentences and phrases being a piece of the complete whole (thought/paragraph).

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    A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

    Script:

    My mother's hands are veiny and strong. Her neck has veins. Her back has freckles. She used to do a trick where it looked like she would be pulling off her thumb, when in fact she was not. Do you know this trick? Part of one's right thumb is made to look like part of one's left hand and then is slid up and down the index finger of the left finger--attached then detached. It's an unsettling trick and more so when my mother used to do it because she did it in a way where her hands sort of shook, vibrated, her necks veins protruding with the strain plausibly attendant to pulling off one's finger. As children we watched with both glee and terror. (Edge Script Library)

    86 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear msacay's recording

    An area I'm most interested in pursuing is narration, audiobooks, e-learning etc... Registered for ACX but have not posted any samples yet. Was considering this copy if not this take. Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-105999/script-recording-85818.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    very good recording. your voice came across as believable and warm. the recording quality was top notch. I would say this could be a final edit.

    Peer Feedback:

    I would caution you not to use this particular script as a sample on ACX - especially since it comes from the Edge Script Library.

    The first few (4) samples I posted on ACX came from sources that I was absolutely certain were unique to me. Even if it came from a published book (two of which did), I made sure that another narrator had not done the audiobook version or that there was no audiobook version available at all. I hadn't done a single audiobook at that point, but how would anyone perusing my profile know that? It's the same as with a commercial demo. You want it to sound like you actually did the spots. This script is too familiar and has been attempted by too many people (I've heard it in class situations). Someone listening to this sample on your ACX profile page may (if they are savvy at all) wonder where they might have heard this text before, rather than concentrating on you.

    Another thing, it's not long enough. Most audition scripts on ACX will run at least 3 minutes, if not longer. The reason? The rights holders are looking for stamina and consistency and sound quality. The longest commercials on TV and radio may be 90 - 120 seconds, informercials not included. Almost anyone can read something for 2 minutes without getting "winded" or loosing focus. Get into the 5 minute range, it takes more energy and concentration, especially when you're wearing all of the hats - talent, director, producer, editor, engineer, proofer, etc. That's also why ACX has you submit a 15 minute sample to the rights holder for their approval before even proceeding with the rest of the book.

    This also sounds a little "ready" and "affected" in the way you're coloring certain words. In many of the audiobook seminars I've attended at the SAG Foundation VO Lab in NYC, the instructors have stressed "discovery", meaning that some of the text should sound like it's the first time the narrator has thought these thoughts, felt these feelings or seen these events (even if it's a memory like this one is) in the storytelling to us as a listener - especially in first person narration. (I also don't really get the sense of how this person feels about this memory,) The instructors also say to let the words speak for themselves - meaning that some very descriptive words don't really need extra (vocal) emphasis or dramatic coloring to convey their impact or implicit meaning.

    Do you know what your noise floor (room tone) level is? ACX has a standard of -60dB (but sometimes they'll accept something close - up to -56dB). That's why they recommend 1/2 second to a full second of room tone at the head of each chapter and 3 to 5 seconds at the end of each chapter. Their QC algorithms detect those things (and others) before they will release the audiobook for publication on Audible. I hear just a little underlying static, airy fuzz underlying this recording - which may mean that your room tone is a tad too noisy. Probably nothing that a little noise reduction and/or a high pass filter couldn't resolve.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you Johntpivinski you are very kind and you made my day! Thank you Jamesromick for all the insight! Will look at more 'original' and longer pieces. Have no idea how to answer the tech questions...at least not yet. I did see where they had some tutorials on their website to help you understand what they want from their producer/talent. Will check them out and then work on another piece. Again thank you!!!

    Peer Feedback:

    A simple way to judge your room tone (noise floor) level is simply to record some "dead air" of your recording space. Pick the quietest time you can find (like the middle of the night), set your software to record, step out of the room for a while (a minute or two) and check the recording at different points with the peak meter on your software at what looks like the quietest points in the waveform (probably about 20 seconds or so in) and see what the levels are. If you get a fairly consistent level for about 20 - 30 seconds (with no pops or clicks or errant noises creeping in - you'll see it in the wave form), snip that out and save it as a room tone file. You can then use that file to splice in pieces of room tone when you create editing gaps in your recording.

    Many DAW's also have an "analyze" function that will scan the sound file and give you a readout of what the levels are. But what you want to do is select a section that seems the quietest for analysis, not the entire recording.

    One trick that was suggested to me by George Whittam (and since has been confirmed by some other sound engineers I have met) is this: If you're working with a multi-track DAW (like ProTools, Audition, SoundForge, Reaper, Cubase, etc). Create a track of just room tone (a 20 second snippet will do) and save it. Then mute that track so you can record the second VO track. You'll use that room tone snippet to create a loop later. Then create a second track to record your VO (so you'll have 2 mono tracks). When you're completely done editing the VO track (and you can leave the "gaps" of silence in there without filling them in), un-mute the room tone track and stretch a loop of room tone to cover the length of the VO track.

    I've mentioned this method before some time ago on the Forum and there was some debate as to whether the room tone compounds the noise level with the noise level on the VO track as a good portion of both overlap. But I've found (and have been told by those people mentioned above) that it isn't significant enough to make all that much of a difference, and that in fact there is some phase cancellation involved that actually can lower the overall noise level in certain spots. Whether that's actually true or not, the method seems to work for me. I have used it on all of my audiobook production (and commercial and narration auditions) and have not had any problems whatsoever.

    As far as scripts to post on your ACX profile page. You'll want a variety, i.e. - first person narration; third person narration; fiction or non-fiction narration; characters or strait narration; dry delivery or storytelling: etc. But you don't want to overload you profile page with too many samples, 4 - 6 is good enough.

    Here's a link to my ACX profile page to give you some idea:
    http://www.acx.com/narrator?p=AV1A2P37HSV61

    Peer Feedback:

    I had a smile throughout the read. I gave it a few listens actually. Thumbs up! I think you have a great voice for narration/audio books. My advice. I would focus on this genre for the next year. Treat it seriously and take 3 or 4 coaching sessions, at least once a season to freshen up on new techniques. Practice the other genres to build character for other opportunities (promos, commercials) when you need a change of pace. I could see you being great on promos, but you seem to have a passion for telling stories in an interesting way. Stick with it. When people start in Voice Acting, they don't know what genre fits their personality. It's great to have a pro guide you through that decision making process.Edge has lots of good coaches. Contact several and ask for a free 10 minute talk to see if you connect. You want a good connection with someone that can read you, knows the business, and not tell you what you want to hear. Ask questions, in fact, lots of them.

    There are a couple things to work on. Mouth noise and lip smacks. As a mixer and dialogue editor those things really take up my time. Breaths I can deal with easily. I enjoy the pros that send clean files, and I have very little to do with the editing, aside from tightening up some areas, and a few plugins.

    Your sound is very nice. The tip and tail on the clip have a bit of noise, but I think that may have been pickup from the mic from movement (clothing etc) approaching the mic. That doesn't sound like room tone. Easy fix none-the-less. Keep it up.

    Danny

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks again jamesronick! I will make note of those suggestions so when I post again I can include them.

    Thank you Danny for great suggestions as well. I agree, I want spend my time on narration. I have a couple of books I'm going to pull from...an autobiographical first person narration on a female American Dr who is a missionary there with her family. Plus a third person novel. I've been working with some coaches from Edge in the webinars, so I have a few I already know I'd like to have more one-to- one coaching with. My technology skills are sub-par but I'm working on it. Right now I'm using an AT2020 & Focus rite 2I2, and audacity. I also have a half shell mic stand to help with acoustics. Got more work to do before I dip my toes in the pool. Again, thank you for the thorough feedback!

    Peer Feedback:

    Your performance is good and quality is good. You could easily land ACX jobs with this. The script being in the script library is a concern. Why not just use a classic? That's what I did. They are free to find online and completely public domain. My ACX samples consist of Frankenstein, The Three Bears and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. They have booked me several titles so far.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you paulstefano! I'm going to search out some classics. I am going to look at some short stories too that I am going to search out. I've had several colleagues offer me their books to read samples from. But the problem is they are often biographical and not really fiction with defined characters and such...so it is tricky for me to connect. Again, thank you for your encouraging words!

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    21 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear evan-avery's recording

    This is a second version of my first post. I had received great feedback letting me know my recording was too low. I am new to Voice Over recording. Any feedback is welcomed.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-17648/script-recording-37645.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Recording was crystal clear. Just a little bit more emotion.

    Peer Feedback:

    audio levels were low here...though when cranked up the read sounded clear..though "flat"...try to live the words as though you were living the moment

    Peer Feedback:

    Crank up the levels a bit, as well as the emotion. In this piece, I see a few emotions, like disappointment, some desperation, defeat, a bit of frustration. Try it out.

    Peer Feedback:

    Low levels. Low involvement with the script too.

    Peer Feedback:

    Crank up the volume so we can hear it. With what I heard, this script needs more timing and emotion.

    Peer Feedback:

    Good attitude but slow way down. Make it a lot more pensive.

    At first you're hopeful but when you realize how she feels your're discouraged. Reflect that in your delivery.

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    A Lesson Before Dying

    Script:

    Maybe feeling my hands on her face would make her understand what I was trying to say to her. But as I moved toward her, I could see in her eyes that nothing I said was going to change anything. I left them at the table and went back home to my room.

    35 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Patrick Kamler's recording

    I've been away for a couple months while I moved and set up my new studio; now just wanting to get back in the swing of things. Thanks for your feedback!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/A Lesson Before Dying VO.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice recording quality and love your voice. Beginning is fast. I don't know what's going on in the story (so it's tricky to evaluate your acting choices with it) but it's such an intimate motion to touch someone's face. We protect our heads so carefully. I suspect there should be more dramatic weight given to that first line. You changed tone for each of the next two lines, and that's great.

    Peer Feedback:

    i think you could have gave a littel more emotion on that!! but good read otherwise

    Peer Feedback:

    I actually heard suppressed anger in those first two lines, shading into sorrow as you went on with the read. I like your voice and the recording quality is nice and clean.

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    A Lesson Before Dying

    Script:

    Maybe feeling my hands on her face would make her understand what I was trying to say to her. But as I moved toward her, I could see in her eyes that nothing I said was going to change anything. I left them at the table and went back home to my room

    48 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Thurlow's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-17606/script-recording-38487.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Vocal performance - clarity was good. The emotion could have been pumped up a little. you sound good.

    Peer Feedback:

    I liked your reading, it was very clear, good job!

    Peer Feedback:

    Good read with feel. Went back to room may be rendered slightly at a lower speed!

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    36 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Balazs Pusztahazi's recording

    First time doing a script like this, i was inspired by the story so mostly thats the reason i recorded this script, even if my performance is not satisfying i recommend that you read the story, its a beautiful one since the script is too long had to upload it in two parts regards balazs

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6709/script-recording-37283.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Nicely done. Pace could be a little quicker (but not much). Great read - and great story!

    Peer Feedback:

    thanks for listening and your comment
    Refards
    Balazs

    Peer Feedback:

    You, sir, are a pro. Where are you from?

    Peer Feedback:

    I'm happy you liked it, being a pro, I don't know about that.Long way ahead of me to reach that point if I ever reach it. I'm Hungarian born traveled a lot when I was younger and now I live in NYC.
    Regards
    Balazs

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    Adventure of the Black Fisherman, Washington Irving

    Script:

    They had stopped to rest a moment, and the leader was looking about the bushes with his lantern.

    “Have you brought the spades?” said one.

    “They are here,” replied another one, who had them on his shoulder.

    A cold chill ran through Sam’s veins. He fancied he saw before him a gang of murderers about to bury their victim.

    101 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear toddalittle@gmail.com's recording

    Hi, a.) I'm interested to learn how my home studio sounds. Sennheisser K6 with ME64 capsule with Scarlett 2i2 into Audacity. (I had the Sennheisser from video work.) Does this set up work for audition purposes? Would it work for a paid gig? b.) Of course interested to get feedback on performance and technical skills with the script read. Thanks, Todd

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-2429/script-recording-75112.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi there :) I really liked some parts of your read! Like the "ran through" part especially. One thing, I think it's a bit loud, like you're telling a story around the campfire, not in a waiting room. It's my understanding that audiobooks are to be read a little softly, for earphones. And I think a bit more pause in your dramatic pause before "murderers" would really pump it up! I liked the way you chose to make it a reveal, but it's just a little too quick.

    There's some mouth noise you can still edit out too, especially in the beginning, but the sound was good to me through computer speakers.

    I just entered mine :/ and if you've seen my feedback you know I'm all like EEK! lol
    I think if you mostly just make it softer you'll be in great shape. Good luck!

    Peer Feedback:

    You did great on the submission :)

    Professional Feedback:

    Hi Todd. Thanks for the heads up that this check up was waiting for me. I appreciate it. I am not an engineer but I do produce myself in my home studio and this sounds like a good audition quality set up to me. To determine if you have a broadcast quality set up I would suggest calling the edge office and asking about options for a studio evaluation. You definitely can do checkups and agency auditions,feedback forum and our contests using this equipment. The goal is always clear clean audio.
    I also enjoyed your performance on this sample. The tempo is right for the read and I like the soft mysterious but conversational feeling of your narrator. When we work in a more intimate quiet style it is easy to drop the ends though. To make sure the ends of thoughts are supported you should be sure you have enough air ( breath support) to sustain the text until the final punctuation. Feel free to breathe on commas or place breath marks so you can breathe on purpose in long chewy passages. Another trick is to hit the final word before the final punctuation which will lift up or emphasis the entire line. And lastly, you can try imagining the intention of the line landing on your listener. Use the image of your listener and watch the listener receive your thought. Try using a specific intention like to convince, to inspire, to inform, to scare, to enliven and so on. On the murders line I heard you trying to evoke a feeling of fear which is a good impulse but I felt like the tone was too strong so it felt a bit theatrical…try thinking about the imaginary situation and feeling the fear physically, seeing it mentally but not adding anything to the vocal line. Imagining... focusing specifically... will change the voice slightly automatically. Every thought we have produces a muscular response and the voice is a physical process. If that tool doesn't yield the result you like…try playing an opposite action…such as inform. Let the scary words or music do your work for you.

    This is a small technical thing but I noticed that you read the article a as a and not uh. Normally, we voice uh for the word a in conversation. Saying a for the article a can give away that your reading rather than speaking …we are always trying for the illusion of speaking without reading. ie we don't want to sound as if we are reading.

    I hope that helps. Your are easy to listen to and I look forward to hearing more of your work.

    Danielle

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach November 12, 2014 at 7:41PM
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    Aesop's Fables

    Script:

    Aesops fables: the tortoise and the ducks
    The Tortoise, you know, carries his house on his back. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot leave home. They say that Jupiter punished him so, because he was such a lazy stay-at-home that he would not go to Jupiter's wedding, even when especially invited. After many years, Tortoise began to wish he had gone to that wedding. When he saw how gaily the birds flew about and how the Hare and the Chipmunk and all the other animals ran nimbly by, always eager to see everything there was to be seen, the Tortoise felt very sad and discontented. He wanted to see the world too, and there he was with a house on his back and little short legs that could hardly drag him along. One day he met a pair of Ducks and told them all his trouble. "We can help you to see the world," said the Ducks. "Take hold of this stick with your teeth and we will carry you far up in the air where you can see the whole countryside. But keep quiet or you will be sorry." The Tortoise was very glad indeed. He seized the stick firmly with his teeth, the two Ducks took hold of it one at each end, and away they sailed up toward the clouds. Just then a Crow flew by. She was very much astonished at the strange sight and cried: "This must surely be the King of Tortoises!" "Why certainly——" began the Tortoise. But as he opened his mouth to say these foolish words he lost his hold on the stick, and down he fell to the ground, where he was dashed to pieces on a rock.

    78 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Yvonne Lynch's recording

    I am trying a new sound set up - I would love any feedback ! Thanks yvonne

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-30434/script-recording-87921.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I have to assume you're trying to overcome a noisy reading space as I hear a noise reduction attempt that severely encroaches on your voice. But, instead of removing background noise, it's creating an artifact that renders your vocal track useless. Further, there's a continual buzzing present below your read.

    If you could, post this without any attempt at killing noise and let us hear the mic/interface/recording space as it is and see where we might be able to suggest ways to improve.

    I like your voice and tone, but the sound quality just kills this one.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for that TxTom, I will rerecord it and post the new file tomorrow. :)

    Peer Feedback:

    I'm no expert, but I thought your delivery was great. Very well acted and voiced. I heard some plosives here and there and possibly some clipping, but I'm sure you're already aware of that.
    I also liked how your narrator is involved in the plight of the characters--you maintain a nice level of sympathy/disdain/etc. for the characters that helps deliver the story.

    Peer Feedback:

    thanks for that !

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    Aesops fables: the tortoise and the ducks

    Script:

    The Tortoise, you know, carries his house on his back. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot leave home. They say that Jupiter punished him so, because he was such a lazy stay-at-home that he would not go to Jupiter's wedding, even when especially invited. After many years, Tortoise began to wish he had gone to that wedding. When he saw how gaily the birds flew about and how the Hare and the Chipmunk and all the other animals ran nimbly by, always eager to see everything there was to be seen, the Tortoise felt very sad and discontented. He wanted to see the world too, and there he was with a house on his back and little short legs that could hardly drag him along. One day he met a pair of Ducks and told them all his trouble. "We can help you to see the world," said the Ducks. "Take hold of this stick with your teeth and we will carry you far up in the air where you can see the whole countryside. But keep quiet or you will be sorry." The Tortoise was very glad indeed. He seized the stick firmly with his teeth, the two Ducks took hold of it one at each end, and away they sailed up toward the clouds. Just then a Crow flew by. She was very much astonished at the strange sight and cried: "This must surely be the King of Tortoises!" "Why certainly——" began the Tortoise. But as he opened his mouth to say these foolish words he lost his hold on the stick, and down he fell to the ground, where he was dashed to pieces on a rock.

    61 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Voice16Playing's recording

    Hello Everyone! Me again. New to the world of VO and rather than just doing Commercial practice, I'm trying my hand (or voice as it were) in Narration. Let me know what you think!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-123475/script-recording-94415.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It's a good read if your intention is to read a children's story to adults. Clear, nice timing, pleasant voice. I'd say that the inflections, pacing, and emotions would be different if you were reading this to a child or a group of children - the materials intended audience. I'd like to hear how you read mature-themed narration to adults, so I'll check your other recordings and see if there's something there. Recording quality is poor - sorry. The GREAT news is, you can always dial in the gear - all that takes is some time, a little money, and some research. Lots of great VO folks willing to help with those decisions. Try the VO Universe FB group, for starters. You've got chops - I encourage you to continue with VO.

    Peer Feedback:

    Me again - I just listened to your first recording "Poof" and it was nice. The recording quality was much better on that one than on this Fable recording. Contact me off-list if you want some suggestions on getting started building a studio. tomjordanvoiceactor@gmail.com

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    35 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear Kate's recording

    All feedback welcome Kate

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7330/script-recording-56771.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Good job--love the accent.

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    An adaptation From, Would Like To Meet. A story by Karen Holmes

    Script:

    When the chicken attacked her, ripping four inches of fabric out of her best trousers, she knew it was time to start telling the truth.

    As the bird's beak made contact with the seat of her pants. she let out an ear-piercing scream. The chicken's owner Graham, was a step or two in front of her. He spun round alarmingly, "Hillary!" he shouted, "what happened? Are you OK?

    Her name was Laura, Hillary is the offending chicken.
    Graham pushed her aside in his haste to offer her comfort. He picked up the evil-eyed fowl and cradled her in his arms. "Poor baby!" he crooned. Then he looked at her accusingly. "You must be careful," he said. "She's a Copper Neck Maran. Hilary's French and very sensitive. Loud noises can put her off laying." "But she bit me!" wailed Laura. "Nonsense" retorted Graham. "There isn't a vicious bone in her body." There wouldn't be any bones in her body if I had my way, she thought to herself. She'd be reduced to chicken stock.

    76 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jrandy's recording

    How do you voice a character's thoughts (as in the last sentence)? Narrator's voice? Character's voice? Version of character's voice?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-117268/script-recording-93795.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It's a little rushed. Where's the fire!

    A couple of the breaths had lip smacks, and a few sounded like you inhaled through your nose.

    Also: "But she bit me!" wailed Laura. You stayed in Laura's voice after the quote. You should go back into being the narrator.

    As for "character's thoughts" - Treat them like any other dialogue in quotes. In the character's voice, but more intimate. At least in this instance. Again, go back into the narrator on, "she thought to herself". My preference is also not to have any breath sounds in a character's inner thoughts. Who breathes in their mind when they're only thinking? But you don't want to eliminate the "impression" of a normal breath break in inner thought dialogue, otherwise it just becomes one long run-on sentence.

    Something like:

    "She wondered where were they going." Is the narrator, as opposed to:
    "She wondered, where were they going? Is narrator, and character's inner thoughts.

    Sometimes, a character's inner thoughts are put in italics. That way, it leaves no ambiguity.

    The formatting of this excerpt is probably not the way a good author would write it. For instance, There are two separate characters speaking in the second section (paragraph). A good writer would normally give them their own separate paragraphs.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you Carol and James! Exactly the instructions I was looking for!
    "Bit of a trick to jump between character and narrator", I said :-)
    (And to all- I was rushing the read to get below the 60 sec maximum for a professional review...)

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    26 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Mary Ann Jacobs's recording

    Hi everyone. This is a segment from an audiobook which I will be recording. I recently invested in a "porta sound booth." (the budget version - a friend said that it was as good as the $350 one). Can you please give me your honest feedback. I will be working with a producer, so he will take care of any obvious problems...but I am interested in the basic quality of the recording. Also, does the Rastafarian (Jamaican English) phrase at the end sound ok? Does anyone know of a site where I can get Rastafarian pronunciations? Thanks in advance.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-266/script-recording-35255.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Mary Ann,
    The Accents marginal, but the read was very engaging. Accents are a tough animal but you are well on your way to being an audiobook narrator. Excellent work.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Mary Ann,

    Very nice! I enjoy listening to your reads but as Richurd said, accents are really hard to do.
    If you want to try to do a Caribbean or Jamaican accent, I would suggest looking at some videos on Youtube to get an idea of how certain words are pronounced. Good job and looking forward in hearing more from you!

    All the best,
    Lenny.

    Peer Feedback:

    Congratulations! This is exciting news, Mary Ann. You are on your way. The recording is good but I can hear some external noise, a fan perhaps, and it makes your edits more noticeable. Is that a computer fan or a distant dish washer perhaps? If you are using this setup to record the book, you might want to address it. Good luck to you!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey Mary Ann, congratulations! Great read!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks everybody...greatly appreciated.
    Working on those accents...trying to reach back to my acting days and bring up characters that I have played. That whole Rastafarian thing appears to be a dialect heard from many Caribbean islands. Thanks Lenny....good suggestion...I'll check out uTube. As far as the hum noise Bill....it is indeed my computer, but I had hoped that the new "booth" would eliminate it. It'snot nearly as noticeable as it was..maybe my production guy can help out. Keep the thoughts coming!

    Peer Feedback:

    Great! I'll buy it!!!!. Larry

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello Mary Ann,

    First I echo the comments on how you are a great fit for audiobooks. I especially enjoy how you go from one character to another with ease. I wish you the best of success with this venture.

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    12 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear smac's recording

    Saw it and looked interesting. Trying a different approach starting with a lighter mood, moving into darker. Of course meant for a male voice but I wanted to give it a shot any way. Almost done with the new home studio, giving that a dry run also.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-4416/script-recording-27250.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Noble effort! You did manage the build to the climax. Poe wrote this and died.
    His wife, here called Annabel Lee, was his bride at the age of 13, and died at 25.
    if you don't mind, I will read it and submit.

    Peer Feedback:

    Your voice sounds great. Recording quality is good (but I'm listening on computer speakers).

    I felt like your pacing needs work. Some words and phrases were rushed for this type of reading. Savor the lines. Feel the rhythm and emotion of each syllable and line.

    (BTW, I love Poe!!)

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you for you great comments! I'll keep practicing. HD I look forward to hearing yours.

    Peer Feedback:

    My reading is posted for you. This is properly called an "elegy."

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    32 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Henry Dewing's recording

    I'll join in!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6638/script-recording-27252.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Henry,

    I actually liked this and want to say this was one of your best performances in my opinion. Reason being, it fit your voice. The read is more of a soliloquy and because it is a classic, you have that unique sounding voice for this type of script.

    I would concentrate on the classical reads. There is one in the Script Library called "If" by Rudyard Kipling, that you may want to try as it is a classic piece of poetry.

    Well done! Best of luck, LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks! But I have to find something to market. I didn't mean to overshadow SMAC,
    but I'm the third in line to tackle this piece. But I have studied Poe for years.

    Peer Feedback:

    You definitely have a voice for classics. Love the way you approached the ending.

    Peer Feedback:

    I put this up as a favor to the lady just before me, and a reply to David Beneke;
    single take, straight through.

    Peer Feedback:

    SMAC, I know that you don't mind that I recorded your piece right after you. I also told
    David Beneke. This poem is an "elegy." This is why I brought grief into the reading.

    One doesn't have that voice; it is learned. I have been told that my voice determines what areas of work I can do. But I am working much younger than my age, if required..

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    36 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Henry Dewing's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6638/script-recording-30497.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    This is just a digression to my fascination with Poe. Hope you enjoy!

    Peer Feedback:

    Henry,....that was lovely! I loved hearing the growing passion as you neared the end...Poe would be proud...you are clearly an afficionado...thanks for sharing.

    Peer Feedback:

    Vocal performance - ok. Not as strong as your other reads, thank you for that.
    I'd like to hear your natural voice. Remember that storyteller voice?

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Henry,

    I really enjoyed that. You held my attention for the entire thing, and I understood everything that was going on in the story. I agree with Marianna that your passion really came across. And it wasn't just your passion for Annabel Lee as the teller of that story, but it was also your passion for the text itself that came across. I think that always helps. Great job.

    Peter

    Peer Feedback:

    Peter, I also wanted to do right by Egar Alan Poe. This is a narrative poem.
    In school, kids still read it like a song, little feeling the profound grief that Poe felt
    at the loss of his young wife! I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comments are very welcome.

    Sabrina, I only use the 'big' voice for "big" material. I put up my real voice for the
    current contest. My piece "A Century of Change" is my real voice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Just a very haunting emotional piece, and you really captured the essence of it with your pacing and connection to it. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

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    23 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Chris Coulter's recording

    I've been experimenting with genres, as you know, but this time I'm doing my beloved audiobook narrations. All feedback is welcome.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/Any Place I Hang My hat.MP3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Chris, I've listened to your recordings in the past and I just wanted to let you know that I can truly hear an improvement in this read, especially pertaining to your pitch being much more controlled. Keep up the good work!!
    Only one little nit on the pronunciation of semiliterate, and that is according to Dictionary.com it should be (sem-ee-lit-er-it). I hate to be that picky with such an improved read, only constructive criticism!

    Ed

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, Ed. I guess I was afraid of making "semiliterate" sound like "semi illiterate". You weren't being picky. I'll check the pronunciation tomorrow.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with Ed. Leaps and bounds! In this, your pitch range it's closer to an interesting character to your voice instead of sticking out. First half and end were especially nice. That long, dependent clause in sentence 4 nailed you a little. Maybe because you were being careful not to dip your pitch until the end of the thought but had to give yourself enough time to read and voice...?

    Best,

    T

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    89 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jamesromick's recording

    This is an excerpt from "Apache Dawn: Book I of the Wildfire Saga", an audiobook that I produced about 6 months ago, available for download on Audible.com at - http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Apache-Dawn-Audiobook/B018Y28G42/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1464310383&sr=1-1 - It is 18.5 hours long and includes some 40 different characters. The author offered me the trilogy and a novella of his Wildfire Saga Series. I have just completed Book II "The Shift" which is 15.25 hours long, including an additional 10 new characters, and should be appear on Audible.com within 2 weeks or so. And I am just beginning pre-reading of Book III "Firestorm" which I am sure will introduce even more characters. The author promised me that Book III is the shortest of the three. The novella, which takes place between Book I and Book II, is relatively short (I'm guessing maybe 5 to 6 hours) and includes only 7 or 8 entirely different and new characters, only 2 of which appear in Book II. (Spoiler Alert: One of them dies a hideous death.) The author is also spinning off the main character into his own series of books which he has asked me to continue narrating.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-21601/script-recording-89990.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You have an awesome voice. I thought the story interpretation was excellent. I liked the tempo you chose and the sound of your voice makes it very dramatic, which I thought matches the story well. I could hear the differences between the characters and your narration. I thought perhaps I would like to hear just a tiny bit more variation in pitch. Recording quality excellent.

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice read. I love the pacing - especially in the 1:10 - 1:25 section where you described the character's dissociation with pain... life. Powerful and demanding writing that deserves a good read, and you delivered.

    Peer Feedback:

    Very nice!

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    42 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Marianna's recording

    Finally in my new booth and learning how to use all new equipment. I've never had to work with gain before and am operating by trial and error. Have some work lined up and want to make sure that it sounds professional. Thanks in advance.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-458/script-recording-51162.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    great sound! what are working with?

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks so much. I have an MXL mic - often used by singers, a MAYA 44 CPIE audio interface which I am learning to use and a XENYX 1002 Mixer which my friend/sound tech has set for me.... I also took a corner of my basement and treated it with sound foam. My friend suggested placing the tower outside of the booth to cut down on noise. I also downloaded REAPER which has some great features when narrating audiobooks which I am leaning towards....but until I can get the levels where I want them, I'm going with the old stand-by - Audacity. I think that I could have boosted the volume on the attached read....ahhhh, the learning process!!!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Tom...it's a work in progress!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Marianna,

    Your voice sounded crisp, and clear! You did an Awesome job on this script!

    Blessings,

    Carol

    Peer Feedback:

    sounds wonderful
    WOW it's a pleasure to listen.
    beautiful performance, very good quality!
    Do you do childrens books???

    Peer Feedback:

    Lovely read. Ah yes, the great learning curve. It separates the Men from the boys and the Women from the girls. Also the those that are at play and those who are committed to their craft. While there's a lot to digest, every tid-bit puts new possibilities and tools at your disposal. Even the smallest new understanding glows when put to the mic. You're part of the old boy network here Marianna and we all take pleasure in your growth.

    Peer Feedback:

    What a sweet think to say Richurd....I am flattered. Also love your posts. What are you up to these days?

    Peer Feedback:

    Very nice setup Marianna. I thought the sound was great! Great read too!

    Peer Feedback:

    Plenty of positive adjectives here, Marianna. Delightful, professional, listenable...the whole nine. You've obviously done this for a while... if not, you're certainly gifted!
    Best of luck... I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Mike F.

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    79 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear DanPiv123's recording

    Good evening everyone - I'm just looking for a little feedback on this audition I recorded for a audio book. I believe I have room down dynamics down, with a few blankets I'm obtaining a -65 noise floor, and I think my at2035 does my voice justice. what do you think? quality of recording, and spoken word pacing Dan

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-106703/script-recording-95438.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    The recording quality seems to be fine.

    However, the performance seems a little forced and sounds like you're reading at the same time. You're kind of unnaturally "hitting" some words. You don't need to. This is a fairly well written and informative text, so let the writing do the work.

    It's also kind of herky-jerky - stop and start - rhythmic. I can hear the commas and periods as you talk, as opposed to the connected thought clumps.

    Even non-fiction is storytelling. And this is a kind of "Once Upon A Time" story - the origin of Islam. So, take me on that journey instead of just reading facts.

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    60 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear richnice's recording

    I entered this reading in the Edge studio script contest ending June 8th. Although i didn't win anything i thought my reading was on par with the winners choosen. So i would really like to hear from a professional what kept me out of the running and what if anything did i do well?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-12792/script-recording-32817.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    im far from a pro but I to agree they are super critical on these reads..everyone has their own interpretation of how it should sound, the recording quality was very good, in the real world its the advertiser that chooses the winner.. I liked your read alot, you could feel the fright in your tone.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with you, ultimately it's up to the advertiser. Thanks for your comments

    Peer Feedback:

    i remember, in the 70's, hearing the term: midwest accent. this was a generic, implying an accent that would 'pass' without regionalisation.

    Peer Feedback:

    Many good things about your read, especially the tone in "Helpless, helpless, helpless." Overall, I think you needed to slow down. Also, your diction on "going to happen" was a bit sloppy and just too fast.

    Peer Feedback:

    Personally, I would have liked a bit more emotion on the read but good tempo there. Also, agree with Bill way to fast a read.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for all the helpful comments. I also do agree i couldve slowed down a bit.

    Professional Feedback:

    Hello,

    This was a very, very nice effort!

    One of the things to consider is the feedback you've received thus far and the striking differences
    (and some similarities) of opinion that are 'voiced'. I'm sure you've done this, but just in case it all feels like contradictory stew, it's most important that you sift through all the ideas and choose which ones are of service to you. ... And so, here's another set of them!

    -Your studio set-up wants improvement. There's too much "bounce" in the room; you need more dampening materials around you. Also, your mic placement is slightly off and enhances the hollowness of the ambiance and sharpens your sound a bit too overtly. This last issue allows for mouth noises to be more present, which was the case here. You might also try a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8oz of water before or during your recording sessions.

    -Your point of view is interesting and compelling. Now, I'd relax into it a bit more; don't work at it/perform it; rather, tell the story simply and as it unfolds. This means you need to take time for each new action, moment, layer to be peeled away and teased out. A good exercise could be to read it out loud and pause between sentences for as long as it takes to find the next moment. It will be unnaturally slow, but it will allow you to discover its "heartbeat" - its metronome.

    -Did you decide on the accent, or is it indicated in the text? Nice work with it and good sound for the story's tone.

    -Your voice is very well-suited to this kind of work.

    Thanks for sharing it!
    Carol

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach June 12, 2012 at 12:55AM
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    Babel Fish

    Script:

    The Babel fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the known Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it, It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. The practical upshot of all this being that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language.

    Now, it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some scholars have come to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. Their argument goes a little like like this : "I refuse to prove that I exist", says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

    "But", says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead give-away isn't it? Nothing that useful could have evolved purely by chance. It proves you exist, therefore, by your own logic, you don't. QED."

    "Oh dear", says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

    "Oh that was easy" says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed at the next zebra crossing.

    Most leading theologians claim that this theory is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolan Kuliphid from making a small fortune by using it as the central theme of his best selling novel: Well That About Wraps It Up For God

    Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

    28 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Patrick Kamler's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/Babel Fish.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I like your pacing and some of the performance choices. I hear you as a real storyteller! There's something about the way you're hitting some words kind of hard that sets up a little rhythm and makes me focus more on your voice than the story. I'd direct you to back off on the volume, way off, and try to instill a little more quiet energy/interest into it instead.

    And kudos for being able to say "mind-bogglingly" so smoothly!

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    84 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jourdan ortiz's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-103277/script-recording-81073.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Great Job!

    Peer Feedback:

    I liked the quality of your voice. It would be pleasant to listen to you tell a story. Perhaps try a little more variation with speed and inflection at certain points (like where transformations take place). The word "gimp" was nearly lost as was the end of "could" a little later. It sounds like you might tend to drop or clip the ends of words (when they have a hard ending in particular, like p's and d's), so keep an ear out for that.

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    Beethoven

    Script:

    Of all the hundreds of symphonies that have been composed, none can rival in popularity or emotional interest the nine great symphonic works that Beethoven wrote. Beethoven took music off the pedestal of formal beauty, where Haydn and Mozart had left it, and immersed it in the whirlpool of life. He roughened it up until it began to do what he expected it to do ... to express problems, evoke emotions, move and struggle exuberantly. More people can respond at once to a Beethoven symphony than to any other. Many have written fine symphonies, but Beethoven’s remain in a class by themselves, as invaluable a part of our heritage as are Shakespeare’s plays.

    41 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear MusicJunkieK1's recording

    My confidence has been pretty much thrown out the window, but I'm still really trying hard at this. Sounding natural is my biggest roadblock.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-131/script-recording-65149.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi MusicJunkieK1,

    The "o" symphonic sounded like the "u" in "pup" -should have been like the "o" in "pond" or "pop". sounds trivial, but you may be asked to retake (or they might edit it, but doubt it!)

    It's probably just me, but the following words sounded a little too drawn out:
    beauty, problems, symphonies (the 2nd one)

    Technically, the quality sounds very good - you might want to use a noise gate to eliminate the breath sounds work well if the ambient/whitenoise level is already very low to begin with (if you haven't already, try listening through headphones, I just put my ear close to the speaker, you'll hear them)

    Your diction is very good, and your voice is a very unique, deep, rich, nice sounding voice, keep up the good work!

    Peer Feedback:

    I just took note of your "confidence being thrown out the window" - I want to reiterate that your voice is awesome - a voice you've had all your life. Don't throw it out the window! You should invest in it! How long have you been trying? Have you worked with a coach yet? Habits can be difficult, but not impossible, to break - a coach will help you do that at the very moment they hear you make the "mistakes" we hear in your practice scripts. The immediate feedback you get from coaching will help you catch the "mistakes" as they happen so you can develop the discipline to catch them on your own before they slip out. Don't give up!

    Peer Feedback:

    MusicjunkiK1,
    Unfortunately this is a go it alone craft, Praise is a hard fought and won commodity. Continue to pursue it if it brings you a sense of creative satisfaction. It is an extremely difficult medium to find monetary success in. But if you take pleasure in recording and producing projects on subjects you take an interest in then by all means stay with it. Sift out the critics who's opinion you value and discard the rest. The more you ply the craft the better you will get. Preceding every great talent lies years of practice. So if this is your thing then lay hold of it and push away everyone who would take it from you. If it is not then find what is.

    Peer Feedback:

    Might I suggest that a way to restore your confidence, along with getting some professional coaching, is to go back and tackle some shorter scripts that have that narrative quality that you seem to like to do.

    Another thing that might be helpful is to record yourself in a normal conversation, whether on the phone or with another person directly, telling a story or talking about something as mundane as what you had for breakfast. Listen to the difference in that tone matched up to listening to yourself reading. You might even transcribe a long stretch of yourself in conversation and try reading it back to see how closely you match up to the original. It might surprise and enlighten you.

    There's something in (voice) acting that I call 'working too hard." We (hear) see the (voice) actor working at it and it seems unnatural, forced and/or affected.

    Remember that it's not about the voice, per se, but what you do with it.

    I went back and listened to several of your previous posts and there are some commonalities to their style of delivery and word (mis)pronunciation problems. You might go back and listen to them and read the comments to judge for yourself, as Richurd said, what is helpful to you and what is not. You might also be surprised at the progress you have actually made.

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    114 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear touzet's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-65861/script-recording-76243.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Sounds very nice to me. Take my impressions with a grain of salt, but I wonder if this needs a little more emotion? I wanted to feel more of the intensity of this grim situation. Also, because I'm currently fixated on what to do about my own breath sounds, I found myself wishing I could hear more of your breathing, to give the piece more of a rhythm and flow.

    Peer Feedback:

    touzet --
    really nice read. I really like the flow. it felt like a real story being recounted, not an historical reading of some sort. -- maybe make the rotting flesh stuff seem a little more dreadful in your read. You seemed to keep the flow going in the same stream, even when the story turned really grim.
    I don't know the back story, so maybe there's supposed to be indifference, or numbness in the recollection...dunno.

    that said- great voice, nice job.

    cheers,
    Dave Saunders.

    Peer Feedback:

    Excellent comments. Thanks guys. I'm actually sort of happy that I thought a bit about those elements as I was doing the reading and editing. That is maybe to add a little more drama to the "...stench of rotting flesh" and how much should I suppress those breaths. Very helpful. Thanks.

    Peer Feedback:

    I thought your delivery was too flippant. I felt there was a disconnect between the subject matter and your delivery. Love your vocal style but not on this read. Take care.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with Jerry Lino on this one. I felt like you were more talking about Vietnam's climate than a personal account of the war. I feel like first person narratives should get more emotion than third person narratives.

    I remember when my uncle told us the story of "The Night before Vietnam" ...he was a drunk and it was the holidays... I was a child, but I was enthralled. Bring these images to life, no matter how effed up they are, how wide my eyes get, or how many times my grandparents tell you to stop. I want to hear my uncle in this. I want to hear every man's horrific experience of what Vietnam was really like, by someone who survived it.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello touzet,
    I had checked out this book on ACX as well, but on further research found that it was panned by real veterans of the Viet Nam war. The author was the son of the real vet. He is a good writer but the inaccuracies in the account, like the wrong caliber of rifle, turned real vet's off. That aside, the previous comments and there observations are well founded. While a good reader your delivery of a first person account didn't ring true with how someone recounting the experience would express themselves. I know it's a hackneyed line but you do have to become the character you're vocalizing or it just doesn't carry any weight in the delivery. Ciao

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    Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

    Script:

    To say training at Toccoa was intense is an understatement. Colonel Sink insisted on extremely high standards. Since all personnel were handpicked and could easily be replaced, Sink was determined to create the most elite and best-trained unit in the U.S. Army. Within a week, each company in the regiment became proficient in close order drill , marching back and forth and practicing the manual of arms with our individual weapons. From my experience at Camp Croft and from OCS, close order drill became a pleasant distraction from the more rigorous training. Physical conditioning under realistic conditions proved more demanding. Ten-mile hikes gave way to twenty-five miles through the Georgia countryside. The first night march we made was eleven miles long. Lieutenant Sobel demanded that these endurance tests be accompanied by water discipline: no soldier being allowed to take a sip of water from his canteen until the march was over. In addition to field marches, Regular Army noncommissioned officers delivered lectures on weapons, tactics, and parachute training . One of the things that took some getting used to was bayonet training. The first time you went through the drill, it made you think. The thought of sticking a bayonet into a man was not something you took lightly. I had done a bit of wrestling before, so the thought of unarmed combat did not unsettle me, but the thought of thrusting a steel bayonet into someone— that took some adjustment.

    Winters, Dick; Kingseed, Cole C. (2006-02-07). Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters
    Script from Edge Studio's 5,257 Practice Script Library >English Adult > Narration > Audiobook

    74 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ChasA's recording

    There was no way to get a 60 second read out of this, I tried but it honestly didn't sound realistic - it was rushed. new audio treatment in very busy room, trying new genre, been away for a while - back out on the open road in that 18 wheeler - trying to get back into the swing of things.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-99389/script-recording-86952.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It's an audiobook read. There's no time constraint per se.

    Back to top
    Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

    Script:

    To say training at Toccoa was intense is an understatement. Colonel Sink insisted on extremely high standards. Since all personnel were handpicked and could easily be replaced, Sink was determined to create the most elite and best-trained unit in the U.S. Army. Within a week, each company in the regiment became proficient in close order drill , marching back and forth and practicing the manual of arms with our individual weapons. From my experience at Camp Croft and from OCS, close order drill became a pleasant distraction from the more rigorous training. Physical conditioning under realistic conditions proved more demanding. Ten-mile hikes gave way to twenty-five miles through the Georgia countryside. The first night march we made was eleven miles long. Lieutenant Sobel demanded that these endurance tests be accompanied by water discipline: no soldier being allowed to take a sip of water from his canteen until the march was over. In addition to field marches, Regular Army noncommissioned officers delivered lectures on weapons, tactics, and parachute training . One of the things that took some getting used to was bayonet training. The first time you went through the drill, it made you think. The thought of sticking a bayonet into a man was not something you took lightly. I had done a bit of wrestling before, so the thought of unarmed combat did not unsettle me, but the thought of thrusting a steel bayonet into someone— that took some adjustment.

    Winters, Dick; Kingseed, Cole C. (2006-02-07). Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

    Script from Edge Studio's 5,257 Practice Script Library > English Adult > Narration > Audiobook

    74 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ChasA's recording

    Practice session, I know my record quality is noisy since my room is large and untreated, plans are being formulated to correct that issue; but would like to know other than obvious room noise quality issues. Performance...I like Audiobooks, having listened to them as an OTR truck driver I really enjoyed them, other genres are fine and will hopefully do some of those too, but I really want to do Audiobooks.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-99389/script-recording-78590.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    To be honest...if I had to listen to this for an entire book, I'd become suicidal. While war and all it entails does affect a person in many ways...I should know, my father went to three different theaters of battle...you have to think about how a listener will interpret your performance. In this delivery, you sound as if you're reading your final note to the word and have that straight razor at your side to end it all. Sorry...but there's no life behind the words.

    Aside from the tone/attitude of the delivery, you're chopping up sentences with pausing that's not in the sentences...pauses that might be indicated with ellipses in the sentence structure, but not present. You're placing punctuation where not present. It creates a dragged out, chopped up delivery that IMO won't get you the gig.

    The guy who was featured in Band of Brothers was a guy portrayed as a reluctant leader but a steadfast and headstrong soldier. He wouldn't sound at all depressed about his tasks during the war...but rather matter of fact about the things assigned to him and how they handled themselves.

    Peer Feedback:

    I think your voice is good , I just think more practice is needed . the recording sounded pretty clear and your diction was really good. Keep practicing and working at it you will see improvements quickly.

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    16 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear ramjamz's recording

    Hi everyone i'm really sure of the name of the script so I may have gotten it wrong, however any feedback would be appreciated because i'm trying to 'step up" my range. Thank you. ramjamz

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-41184/script-recording-53604.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Ram
    The read was good to me,but just like myself it sound like you need to become the cowboy in the clip.It might be the pace of the emotion or the inflections were maybe in the wrong places.Ram become that cowboy.Please help me as I grow also.God Bless

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    Blood Immortal

    Script:

    The sky above the fertile kingdom of Vlydyn darkened, stars vanishing. South of the humyn
    cities, thunder crackled. Icy rain pummeled down, drenching the fields and forests. Clouds
    rippled, folded, tore apart, and reformed. Lightning struck across the midnight sky, and the
    ruptured heavens flashed red.
    The humyns of Vlydyn were horrified and took refuge in their homes. Fortunately for
    them, the storm wasn’t as dreadful in the northern kingdom where they resided. The southern
    regions were more rural, covered with thick forests and abandoned ruins.

    71 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear charlesgimming's recording

    Hello! I'd love your feedback on not only quality, but also performance. I understand my voice is not your typical (low) audiobook voice, and is a higher, younger sounding voice. This is something I've come to terms with, but I'd like to know how it sounds in your personal opinion. Should I be more dramatic? Should I be more monotone? Are my pauses too much? I have tried to emulate the professionals all the time, and have time and time again tried to just relax, but it's so hard to get that perfect read. Thanks for your time.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-114847/script-recording-89751.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    First of all: Make no apologies for your voice or vocal quality. Your voice is unique to you, and (as Martha Stewart would say) that's a good thing. And totally appropriate for this kind of story.

    There are two notes (directions) that I hear consistently in the seminars I attend on audiobook production:

    - Slow down
    - Let the words speak for themselves.
    - (A third is, "Give me less voice." Audiobooks are intimate, like someone telling you a story about six inches away from your ear.)

    Pacing is a tricky thing. It's easy to rush when the words are simple and familiar - as opposed to medical or legal jargon with multi-syllabic and difficult to pronounce words. It is also tempting to rush through action sequences - which oftentimes leads to sloppy and slurred pronunciation and elocution.

    Neither is the case here. There is action (the storm), but it's more in painting the picture of the setting and environment than something like a fight scene with a lot of fast physicality. So, paint that picture. Ever watch a storm form? It's not instantaneous. They evolve, just like this one does. And this one only happens in five sentences. So, conjure it up for our imagination.

    The other part of it is that the writing is pretty good - the images are vivid and well formed. So, let the words work instead of working the words so hard. Yes, there's drama, but let it unfold instead of forcing it on the listener. In other words, less is more - because it's already built into the story through the writing. For instance: The forth sentence is fragmented with a lot of action verbs. Give each its due and equal weight. (This is one of those places where you can use all of those commas to good effect.) There are tons of yummy, descriptive words in that first paragraph. Draw some of them out - stretch them - give them emphasis without overly dramatically hammering them. It's a fine line.

    Recording quality is generally very good.

    Peer Feedback:

    I am a novice, but for what it's worth...
    If it's true that audiobook voices are typically low that is news to me. Your voice sounds fine to me.
    I, for one, felt that the dramatic tone was appropriate to the description of the storm and the transition to the calmer, second paragraph was good.
    The pauses were just right and helpful to comprehension and atmosphere. Most readers don't pause enough in my view.
    While your diction is generally very clear, sometimes you swallow the R between vowels in words like 'rural' and 'forest' or don't differentiate the vowels enough so they sound a bit like 'rurl' or 'forst'
    I know even less about recording than about the rest of it, but it sounded good to me.

    Peer Feedback:

    @Jamesromick, thank you so very much - those tips are something I will bear in mind, and they make absolute sense to me. Thank you for your note on my voice, I appreciate that - I get self-conscious listening to professionals when I want to be a professional myself, and I have to remember, the ones I hear are the at the very top percentile. I'll take your advice to heart, thank you much.

    @anthonyfx, I think simply having an ear and opinion is something for which I can be grateful, thanks for your comment! Thank you for pointing out my pronunciation problem - I'll keep an eye out for it, and work on it!

    Peer Feedback:

    One other thing about the "drama" to consider:

    Could you maintain that energy and emotion and inflection throughout over hours and hours or multiple days of recording? Even for a short story which may last for only 15 - 25 minutes, it will take quite a long time to lay it down, edit, correct mistakes (everybody makes 'em) and proof. Could you (decaffeinated) keep it up (so to speak)?

    Audiobooks are a marathon, not a sprint. So you not only have to physically and vocally pace yourself, but pace the storytelling as well. And hammering at the emotion/drama is like beating the listener about the ears with a barrage of urgent accented inflections. It's tiring for the listener. Which is why most of the people I've come in contact with who narrate and/or produce audiobooks always say to pull back and let the "words" carry the story. It's more compelling to pull the listener along than to telegraph to them and force upon them what they "should" be feeling and experiencing. That's not to say to not inject some of your own personality, experience, feeling and POV and be totally passive and flaccid with your delivery. But bring the listener along for the ride, and kind of let them join you and judge for themselves what the words say and conjure up in their imagination as well.

    Don't mistake emotion and drama for volume and inflection. Even whispers and spacing out words holds drama.

    Professional Feedback:

    Hello!

    I was never alerted to this check up; I just saw it today, and I'm terribly sorry for this delay.

    First, to your questions: Your voice is compelling and engaging. The studio sound quality is fine. You want to pause a bit more and certainly relax and ease into the mic and the world of the story. You also have a perfect sound for fantasy and young adult fiction.

    THOUGHTS:
    -Overall, it is too dramatic and a bit loud. You have great energy and specificity, but you can still energize the story while keeping the read intimate and conversational. Imagine speaking to a friend in a quiet cafe. People are now mainly listening to us through earbuds, etc. You are inside their heads! So again, you want to be slow, intimate and at a low-ish volume. You also don't want to show us that you're working. You are supporting the words, infusing them with meaning and feeling, yes, but you don't want to upstage the text. As James Romick said above, "Let the words work instead of working the words so hard." For example, the "struck" in, "Lightning struck across the midnight sky" is way too big.

    -When dealing with the list quoted below, you did a nice job of avoiding making it a laundry list. It seemed like you truly pictured each aspect as a different image with a different feel. Kudos. Now you can lessen the drama in them. Take your time with each image, paint them for us and simply tell us what happened - with engagement rather than "acting":

    "South of the humyn
    cities, thunder crackled. Icy rain pummeled down, drenching the fields and forests. Clouds
    rippled, folded, tore apart, and reformed. Lightning struck across the midnight sky, and the
    ruptured heavens flashed red."

    -When you first introduce a place or person - in this case, Vlydyn, make sure you set it apart slightly. It's a word unfamiliar to us, and we need to really hear it.

    -You said, "plummeted" for "pummeled" in, "Icy rain pummeled down". While this is in some ways a minor issue, it isn't to the author. More important, misreads are often a sign of going too quickly or being disengaged. I think in your case, it's the former, and it's understandable - this is an action scene, so it makes sense that you'd have a swift pace; just watch that your eyes don't move as quickly as your mouth, and keep both under your control.

    -You want to pronounce the "h" in "humyns".

    - I'm so glad you're listening to other audiobook files and offering a sample like this to get feedback. These are great signs of dedication and commitment. Please keep going! You have tremendous raw talent.

    Good luck!
    Carol

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach September 20, 2016 at 6:05PM

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you very much! I'll certainly take all of this to heart. No need to worry on the delay.

    Best,
    Charles

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    35 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Chris Coulter's recording

    I am learning to set the level manually on my recorder. I welcome comments on the sound when the level is turned down a little. I'm also interested in comments on my copy interpretation and vocal performance in general.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/breathing-lessons.MP3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Chris - You have very good articulation. The delivery should be a little more conversational, and I think picking up your pace will help with that.

    Judy

    Peer Feedback:

    I really like this genre for you, Chris! Still a little elongation of your words and a pace that is a little slow--more the pace for a children's book--but definitely much better! I thought it more conversational, there was variation in the pacing (example: "it had needed extensive repairs", and "maybe they'd just better not go"), the pitch variation seemed natural, interesting, and not swoopy. It kept my interest all the way through, and I liked your acting choices. Maybe you should put an audiobook coach on your coaching list!

    Peer Feedback:

    As Tonia mentioned, the immediate things that jumped out to me were the pacing and the elongation of words. I noticed it was for adult audiobook narration so I would think to perhaps increase the pace?

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you all for your comments. I have noticed that I tend to elongate my words when I talk, too, though not to the extent that I do it when I'm reading braille. As I recorded this script I noticed that I felt more confident and I think that increase in confidence will be a big help in making my delivery more conversational.

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    83 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear redfrohock's recording

    I"m concerned about the sound quality. getting feedback that sounded hollow, or that had an obvious noise/gate noise/reduction feature going on. Have adjusted microphone, and am working on cleaner delivery. I did NO noise reduction on this.. just voice leveler and normalizing. How does it sound? Is it too breathy? I have a worry about that.. Not the natural breaths, that go with the piece during long sentences, but more the other breaths, between sentences, or during transitions.. If that makes sense. HELP!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-95270/script-recording-77166.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I don't hear much noise at all. You must have a fairly quiet recording space. I would see what others with more experience would say, but you may not need a noise reduction? Sound faded out a bit with "In my simple mind". Prolonged breath/pause after the "fortune to the J. Paul Getty Trust". Otherwise seems like a solid read. Thanks for the feed back earlier.

    Peer Feedback:

    Im super surprised to hear that! To me, it sounds like one huge giant breathy gasp between sentences.. lol. I guess I might be hyper vigilant about it and it's causing me more harm than good. I hope to get a few more inputs from people.

    Peer Feedback:

    I do hear your breathing, but no background noise from the room. It seems quiet and no echo. From what I understand, breathing in an audiobook is not only expected, but necessary. Just so long as it occurs at the right moment and isn't overpowering when it is present.

    Peer Feedback:

    Your voice sounds great and room noise wise I didn't hear any reflection or echo either.
    Thought the breathing was fine and am in agreement with redrocket on the fact that breathing in audio books is expected but I did hear the breathing, but it didn't sound like giant gasps you felt they were. I think we are more super critical of our own sound though :)

    Good stuff !

    Terry

    Peer Feedback:

    months later.. i listen and hate the breaths.. I have found betters ways since this to handle it.. thanks all!

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    Central Station Synopsis By Walter Salles, Jr.

    Script:

    In the Brazilian film "Central Station", Dora is a retired schoolteacher who makes ends meet by sitting at the station writing letters for illiterate people. Suddenly, she has an opportunity to pocket $1,000. All she has to do is persuade a homeless 9 year old boy to follow her to an address she has been given. (She is told he will be adopted by wealthy foreigners.) She delivers the boy, gets the money, spends some of it on a television set, and settles down to enjoy her new acquisition. Her neighbor spoils the fun, however, by telling her that the boy was too old to be adopted _ he will be killed and his organs sold for transplantation. Perhaps Dora knew this all along, but after her neighbor’s plain speaking, she spends a troubled night. In the morning Dora resolves to take the boy back.

    Suppose Dora had told her neighbor that it is a tough world, other people have nice new TVs too, and if selling the kid is the only way she can get one, well he was only a street kid. She then have become, in the eyes of the audience a monster. She reems herself only by being prepared to bear considerable risk to save the boy.

    14 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear linnyayh's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-9166/script-recording-58699.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Crystal clear enunciation. Considering the subject matter, you need to sound much more sinister. Good job.

    Peer Feedback:

    You have a fairly light voice. You could probably make it sound more sinister by narrowing the pitch variation just a little. It sounds as if you let yourself read very slowly for a minute and then remember that picking up the pace might be a good idea. However, this read might call for a slow pace and a narrow pitch variation to make it sound scary.

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    Change Your Thinking

    Script:

    Your brain is much like a complex computer. What you think about is based, largely, on what you put into that computer. Successful people are careful about the things they allow into that “computer.” With the right inputs, success is the result. So how can you go about changing your inputs? First be a knowledge seeker. Constantly be on the quest for new knowledge. Then, fill your mind with the thoughts of successful people. This means spending time talking to them, reading their writing, listening to recordings of them speaking, or anything else you can do to fill your mind with their thoughts.

    96 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear eanderson2007's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-3414/script-recording-84948.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    So, I'm thinking that this is either a non-fiction, self-help kind of book/pamphlet or maybe an eLearning thing.

    Either way, you've got to give the listener time to ponder and absorb the message. So, slow down a bit. This can be heady stuff with somewhat complex concepts for a layman to absorb.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with the above. Not necessarily that your reading too fast, but that I need a pause between thoughts to register what has been said. enunciation and voice were clear and professional in my opinion. The recording sounds pretty good from what i can hear.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree this copy is perfect for your voice. Focus on punctuation and how it plays a part in the overall flow of the copy. I felt like you passed over many commas and periods and did not all the thought to process for the listener. "computer. Successful" I would begin by slowing down the pace and allow the copy to flow as it was written. Once you have that portion perfected, I hear some mouth noise that can be a bit distracting to the listener and you should look at editing that out as much as possible. See the video below for some helpful hints. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gjMpcinrSU

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    Chicken Pox

    Script:

    A spot. A spot. Another spot.
    Uh-oh! Chicken pox! under my shirt. Under my socks. Itchy, itchy, chicken pox.
    Don't rub. Don't scratch. Oh, no! Another batch!
    On my tummy, between my toes, down my back, on my nose!
    lotion on. Itching's gone just for now. It comes back - OW!
    Rubber ducky doesn't like my yucky, mucky oatmeal bath. But mommy says it's good for me..

    69 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear urbangraceb's recording

    Hi. I'm thinking of using this as part of a demo for children's books. I am looking to put 3-4 spots in the demo. Meaning this should be around 30 seconds. Any suggestion on where I should start and end? If I should use this at all in the demo, timing or character suggestions? Sound issues? Thanks everyone.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-104804/script-recording-83018.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    speed up the spot, a spot, part.. like building anticipation. you're itchy, and panicky.. not calm.. great voice though!

    Peer Feedback:

    You mean speed up the beginning?

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    Cockroach

    Script:

    The cockroach paused in her tracks. She knew that she could go without eating for over a month, and that her ability to survive a nuclear war, long after humans have perished, would now help her rescue her offspring. Plus her ability to reproduce quickly, in large amounts, when compared to humans, would allow her and her babies to tolerate any amount of radiation.

    31 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear abjgammy's recording

    I have moved my equipment into a smaller carpeted closet and want to know if the quality sounds less tinny.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-1769/script-recording-29537.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I think your sound is pretty good; I don't hear a lot of noise, and the sound isn't too metallic at all.

    There are a few things with the performance that you could improve with a little practice. There are times where your enunciation slips; you're not fully hitting each syllable of every word, and just going flat when you do this. This happens in "eating," "over," and other words.

    Also, it felt a bit rushed. Try to relax and slow down. Other than that, good work!

    Back to top

    35 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear Joe Cirillo's recording

    I want to sumitt this to ACX, what do you think?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-11382/script-recording-30806.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Joe. This sounds pretty good....I too am trying to break into audiobooks and have sent several auditions to ACX....still have not heard anything. I assume that this is in the Self Help category.....a category that I too am exploring. Not quite sure what they want. Is it to be a conversation, a lecture, the voice of the writer....not sure. Your delivery is good....you might try to insert a little tongue in cheek humor where applicable. I will try to post something as well...hope that you will critique....good luck!

    Peer Feedback:

    You have an excellent voice; tone, inflection, clarity, but I think acting a little more with something like this might help out. The more you feel what you're reading, the more the people listening feel it too. Keep up the good work. Good luck.

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    Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

    Script:

    I stood in the shadows of a deserted shop front across from The Blood and Brew Pub, trying not to be obvious as I tugged my black leather pants back up where they belonged. This is pathetic, I thought, eyeing the rain-emptied street. I was way too good for this. Apprehending unlicensed and black-art witches was my usual line of work, as it takes a witch to catch a witch. But the streets were quieter than usual this week. Everyone who could make it was at the West Coast for our yearly convention, leaving me with this gem of a run. A simple snag and drag. It was just the luck of the Turn that had put me here in the dark and rain. “Who am I kidding?” I whispered, pulling the strap of my bag farther up my shoulder. I hadn’t been sent to tag a witch in a month: unlicensed, white, dark, or otherwise. Bringing in the Mayor’s son for wereing outside of a full moon probably hadn’t been the best idea. A sleek car turned the corner, looking black in the buzz of the mercury streetlamp. This was the third time around the block for it. A grimace tightened my face as it approached, slowing. “Damn it,” I whispered. “I need a darker door front.” “He thinks you’re a hooker, Rachel,” my backup snickered into my ear. “I told you the red halter was slutty.” “Anyone ever tell you that you smell like a drunk bat, Jenks?” I muttered, my lips barely moving. Backup was unsettlingly close tonight, having perched himself on my earring. Big dangling thing—the earring, not the pixy. I’d found Jenks to be a pretentious snot with a bad attitude and a temper to match. But he knew what side of the garden his nectar came from. And apparently pixies were the best they’d let me take out since the frog incident. I would have sworn fairies were too big to fit into their mouths.

    115 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear redfrohock's recording

    sounds like an interesting read...thanks in advance for your input everyone.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-95270/script-recording-77149.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Red - This was fun to listen to. There were a few moments when your pauses between sentences were a tiny bit too long to keep the momentum of the story going, and just a few points where your pace was just barely too quick. Smooth all that out and it would sound like the perfect first person telling of this story. The sound quality and clarity are great too!

    Peer Feedback:

    Very enjoyable. Can't quibble with HCOkeefe. However, long form stuff (audiobooks in particular) will drive you bonkers if dwell on every tiny thing - i.e. one person's pacing may not be another's, much of it is truly subjective and/or "in the moment." But, in a proof listen, some of that could be taken care of with a little judicious and creative editing - depending on just how much of a perfectionist you want to be.

    There is still something a little funky with your processing. It all sounds a little "hollow", more apparent in the spaces (pauses) where there are no breaths. Are you applying noise reduction and/or a noise gate? Or maybe the order of your processing chain is a little skewed. I'd like to hear a raw, unprocessed recording to compare it to. Something tells me that your voice is a little "richer" than this.

    Peer Feedback:

    I will definitely re-work my audition settings. I am in a new space, and thought it was an improvement, but this is the second mention of a hollow sound. grrrrr.r But i'm happy to hear the narration itself was pretty ok. thanks!

    Peer Feedback:

    The thought just struck me. What bitrate are you rendering your MP3 to? A lower bitrate will sometimes leave the sound quality a little hollow because the sound file gets crunched too much so the quality isn't as good (it's not as full) as it might be.

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    Determined to Survive

    Script:

    The cockroach paused in her tracks. She knew that she could go without eating for over a month, and that her ability to survive a nuclear war, long after humans have perished, would now help her rescue her offspring. Plus her ability to reproduce quickly, in large amounts, when compared to humans, would allow her and her babies to tolerate any amount of radiation.

    55 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Mike Martin's recording

    By now we all probably have this memorized, lol. This is a second attempt after listening to the contest entries, feedback submissions and resulting feedbacks. So with "professional" in mind and using 2 PD .mp3 files I liked and thought fit the subject, I let Audacity do it's thing giving me more needed experience with mixing Volumes and tackling FaceIns/Outs. Of course I wish this had been my entry, I like it much better than what I submitted. Please let me know any thoughts you might have. I very much appreciate your time and evaluations. Mike Martin

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7863/script-recording-29833.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I love the music! The tone of your voice was right on for what the script called for, but I felt like you were riding waves when you were telling the story. Your energy was up and down, but you didn't quite connect with the cockroach. I really felt you were reading a book to me about a cockroach. I would try this again and either try getting inside the cockroach's head or imagine yourself as the entimologist, watching this cockroach with awe and wonderment and a bit of the whimsy I hear in your voice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Mike... Bad news pardner... I missed it completely too, "So with "professional" in mind: I like you, like probably quite a few others read Professional, when it was actually written Professorial! They wanted a teachers voice! I can't BELIEVE I MISREAD the instructions again!

    Mixing with music is an art in and of itself. I like the idea of a music bed, but it also adds an hour or so to my post processing. I viewed this as a dry read and did my performance that way. as an afterthought, I added music and created the popular "Cockroach Soliloquy in the Springtime" for fun. The thing with music is, it's another level. Probably more technically challenging is to do a dry, no music performance. There's nowhere to hide. All the pops, mouth noises, and general noise is there for you to remove... That's the tricky part for me.

    Keep charging! Nodo420!

    Peer Feedback:

    Nodo, your guess is as good as anyone's. Did the winner sound professorial?
    He completely misread the phrase "long after humans had perished."
    Wendi Ney was my pick from the start. I'd much rather hear her voice for 11 hours,
    and she sounded like a teacher. It's like the lottery.

    Peer Feedback:

    I would like to propose that this script is now off-limits for at least 6 months!!

    Peer Feedback:

    You're right, Tom!

    Peer Feedback:

    DArn, I just recorded it for feedback. Oh well I'l try something else.
    Mike, I LOVED the musical choice for this read. Very post Armagedon like. Your read seemed a touch slow to me, If I was listening to the book, I'd be wanting you to pick up the pace a bit.

    Peer Feedback:

    Henry, it's easy to get discouraged. The VO game is definitely one of contrary opinions. I have one, you have one and your neighbor has one.

    The contest does seem pretty random in a lot of ways. But there are also a lot of arbitrary factors in the thing. Is it a game? Or is it a challenge to help VOs face the realities of the field? I guess you have to weigh that for yourself. When I was in the newspaper biz as a photojournalist, I came across contest after contest where my peers had exceedingly differing opinions regarding the winners of monthly 'clips' contests and pics of the year.

    The point I guess I'm trying to make is that you have to choose your goals and means to achieve them. You said you were tired of the game. OK...I guess you see this as something people put up on the web to get 'suckers' to spend some money to try and get into 'the game.'...or do you see it as dangling a carrot out there for someone to try and grab?

    this forum is about people's time and talent. Time spent in listening and critiquing and talent in sharing and coaching/commenting. Time has a value. You've been here for a few months now. You've engaged with the coaches from what I gather.

    I wish you well. You seem a genuine and kind person.

    Professional Feedback:

    Hi Mike,

    You have a nice deep voice that would be great for this kind of a serious read. Your diction is clear and lovely.

    Overall, I'd like to hear you connect to the copy in a more engaged natural way. Even if the tone is that of an expert, there is a smoothness and flow to how we phrase things that is missing here. Everything in your read is very evenly paced, and phrases get very drawn out and chopped apart. Try to keep phrases together and flowing.

    Also, don't try too hard to "be" dramatic. Instead of focusing on how you sound, put the focus on your audience. Imagine them listening to you and use your natural hand movements the way you would in normal conversation. This will help you to simply communicate the information to your listener.

    Good luck with your training!

    Best,
    Noelle

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach April 9, 2012 at 7:21PM

    Peer Feedback:

    Right, Tom. I don't want to take up any more "forum time," or impose my views.

    Back to top

    16 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Mike Martin's recording

    Trial by fire again, Contest Entry. In amongst the 40 other entries, mine needs the polish some others can portray. For this read, using a styrofoam sound box I built with egg crates lining the inside and using my laptop with a Yeti (not Pro) microphone. I couldn't seem to get a dead backround. Positioned the mic on both sides of the laptop, forward close and back behind. Turned down Gain and even turned off the refrigerator to get some silence. Does anyone hear this in the backround? Could it still be that the box is reverberating or the microphone (new Nov '11) is failing? I plan to to try again outside the box for comparison. Next is my read too bright for the subject? Others sound more "matter of fact" or toned down. Love Nodo420's work and really appreciate his time for constructive comments, but thanks to all whom respond and Good Luck to the Winners Friday. Mike Martin

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7863/script-recording-29805.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Mike,

    I did not listen with my headphones--with my speakers I do not hear any background noise. there is a bit of echo or "harshness in the recording. Have you tried using blankets, pillows or something soft, rather than styrofoam? there is a website: foamforyou.com that sells a decent foam product far below the cost of like Auralex. Your read has great color and good variety, maybe a bit too much for an audiobook written by a guy that studies bugs and one that lives by numbers! ;-))>

    Larry

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi, I do hear some background noise. It sounds like white noise though, {which I think, but am not sure) is normal at much lower levels. Your read has pretty good flow and it sounds like your're casualy relating the story. That's good. But I believe it might have missed the mark as far as the directions for the contest were concerned. The director's notes called for a "professorial read." Richurd was the one that pointed this out to me btw. I think most people (including myself) read "professional read" instead. If I had paid attention, I would've given the read an entirely different tone. But oh well, there's always the next contest. : )

    Peer Feedback:

    Javier via Richurd and Mike--thanks for pointing out that overlooked direction. I need to just slow down, smell the flowers, eat more ice cream and read the words!!

    Peer Feedback:

    Mike I can hear room noise.
    egg crate foam is really ineffective, btw. you need "open cell" foam, which is what acoustic wedges and baffles are made from....

    instead, blankets are great! especially flannel, or frizzy textured or knit blankets.

    it's important to baffle around your mic, but it's really important to baffle behind you too...thats where all that echo-y room noise is getting into your mic. if you don't have the luxury of having a blanket festooned broom closet to use as a booth, try getting a simple room divider/screen and hang blankets on those.

    My two cents.
    cheers,
    DS

    Peer Feedback:

    PS - nice recording. good job, I think. Your voice reminds me of an actor that we would all recognize in the movies....Roy Brocksmith, I think:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBEVuzWHaOc

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    Determined to Survive

    Script:

    The cockroach paused in her tracks. She knew that she could go without eating for over a month, and that her ability to survive a nuclear war, long after humans have perished, would now help her rescue her offspring. Plus her ability to reproduce quickly, in large amounts, when compared to humans, would allow her and her babies to tolerate any amount of radiation.

    42 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Wiseash's recording

    This is my first try on the feedback forum. I was planning to enter the weekly contest but missed it by a day. I would appreciate any feedback you could give since this is a new setup and I am just getting started. Thanks!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6648/script-recording-29823.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    For your first entry on the feedback forum, this isn't bad at all! One thing I'd point out though is that the read is very rushed. Try to slow down to at least half that speed, if not more. Have you used the Words-to-Time calculator before? It's on the upper right side of this page. It's not a set-in-stone thing, but it serves as a helpful guide to how slow you need to go. Documentaries in particular need to be very slow. Imagine the footage being shown on the screen and try to talk along with it. I'd also recommend practicing talking along with a documentary- transcribe something from Netflix and talk back at it. Good luck!

    Peer Feedback:

    I'm with Jmm on the timing...But I also gotta agree, the recording is pretty good for a first post. Nicely done, will look for your stuff in the future.

    Peer Feedback:

    I love hearing how other people interpret a script. It gives me more tools for my toolbox. It expands my awareness. I like the way you read the first sentence and paused, as if she was at the edge of a cliff. Nice. The part "long after the humans have perished" had a diction flaw near the word "have." If you hear that as you record, just do that part again. You might want to watch for regional accents affecting the word "large" too.

    Nice voice, great first attempt.

    Jim

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Jmm, Nodo and Jim! I appreciate the feedback! Jim you are totally right about the regional accent. I thought I only had that when I called my parents :)

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    Devil in Iron ; a Conan story

    Script:

    4
    As the first tinge of dawn reddened the sea, a small boat with a solitary occupant approached the cliffs. The man in the boat was a picturesque figure. A crimson scarf was knotted about his head; his wide silk breeches, of flaming hue, were upheld by a broad sash which likewise supported a scimitar in a shagreen scabbard. His gilt-worked leather boots suggested the horseman rather than the seaman, but he handled his boat with skill. Through his widely open white silk shirt showed his broad muscular breast, burned brown by the sun.

    24 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Phil Chenevert's recording

    This is from my current book for LibriVox recorded with just my mic (yeti) in front of the monitor and some noise cleaning (Audacity) and the major flubs removed. I know it's sloppy and I want to improve the quality going in and then hear how I could edit better. Lots of mouth noises I know. <sigh>

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-49311/script-recording-52968.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Phil,
    Be careful to not speak in a choppy manner. There were a lot of pauses within your phrases. Some of the reading sounded as if you were reading a list. Try to let go and paint a picture of what it is that we should be seeing... sort of an aural movie!!!
    The editing seemed good in that I didn't hear any obvious sounding cuts on the first hearing. You voice is nice... keep working it gets easier the more you do!!!
    Best
    Jeff

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    Don't Count on It!

    Script:

    Chapter 1
    Don ’ t Count on It!
    The Perils of Numeracy
    *
    Mysterious, seemingly random, events shape our lives, and it
    is no exaggeration to say that without Princeton University,
    Vanguard never would have come into existence. And had it
    not, it seems altogether possible that no one else would have invented
    it. I ’ m not saying that our existence matters, for in the grand scheme of
    human events Vanguard would not even be a footnote. But our contributions to the world of fi nance — not only our unique mutual structure,
    but the index mutual fund, the three - tier bond fund, our simple investment philosophy, and our overweening focus on low costs — have in
    fact made a difference to investors. And it all began when I took my fi rst
    nervous steps on the Princeton campus back in September 1947.
    My introduction to economics came in my sophomore year when
    I opened the fi rst edition of Paul Samuelson ’ s Economics: An Introductory
    Analysis. A year later, as an Economics major, I was considering a topic
    for my senior thesis, and stumbled upon an article in Fortune magazine
    on the “ tiny but contentious ” mutual fund industry. Intrigued, I immediately decided it would be the topic of my thesis. The thesis in turn
    proved the key to my graduation with high honors, which in turn led to
    a job offer from Walter L. Morgan, Class of 1920, an industry pioneer
    and founder of Wellington Fund in 1928. Now one of 100 - plus mutual
    funds under the Vanguard aegis, that classic balanced fund has continued
    to fl ourish to this day, the largest balanced fund in the world.
    In that ancient era, Economics was heavily conceptual and traditional.
    Our study included both the elements of economic theory and the
    worldly philosophers from the 18th century on — Adam Smith, John
    Stuart Mill, John Maynard Keynes, and the like. Quantitative analysis
    was, by today ’ s standards, conspicuous by its absence. (My recollection
    is that Calculus was not even a department prerequisite.) I don ’ t know
    whether to credit — or blame — the electronic calculator for inaugurating the sea change in the study of how economies and markets work,
    but with the coming of the personal computer and the onset of the
    Information Age, today numeracy is in the saddle and rides economics.
    If you can ’ t count it, it seems, it doesn ’ t matter.
    I disagree, and align myself with Albert Einstein ’ s view: “ Not
    everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can
    be counted counts. ” Indeed, as you ’ ll hear again in another quotation
    I ’ ll cite at the conclusion, “ to presume that what cannot be measured
    is not very important is blindness. ” But before I get to the pitfalls of
    measurement, to say nothing of trying to measure the immeasurable —
    things like human character, ethical values, and the heart and soul that
    play a profound role in all economic activity — I will address the
    fallacies of some of the measurements we use, and, in keeping with
    the theme of this forum, the pitfalls they create for economists, fi nanciers,
    and investors.
    My thesis is that today, in our society, in economics, and in fi nance,
    we place too much trust in numbers. Numbers are not reality. At best,
    they ’ re a pale refl ection of reality. At worst, they ’ re a gross distortion
    of the truths we seek to measure. So fi rst, I ’ ll show that we rely too heavily on historic economic and market data. Second, I ’ ll discuss how our
    optimistic bias leads us to misinterpret the data and give them credence
    that they rarely merit. Third, to make matters worse, we worship hard
    numbers and accept (or did accept!) the momentary precision of stock
    prices rather than the eternal vagueness of intrinsic corporate value
    as the talisman of investment reality. Fourth, by failing to avoid these
    CH001.indd 6 CH001.indd 6 9/28/10 6:40:05 AM 9/28/10 6:40:05 AM Don ’ t Count on It! 7
    pitfalls of the numeric economy, we have in fact undermined the real
    economy. Finally, I conclude that our best defenses against numerical
    illusions of certainty are the immeasurable, but nonetheless invaluable,
    qualities of perspective, experience, common sense, and judgment.
    Peril #1: Attributing Certitude to History
    The notion that common stocks were acceptable as investments — rather
    than merely speculative instruments — can be said to have begun in 1924
    with Edgar Lawrence Smith ’ s Common Stocks as Long - Term Investments.
    Its most recent incarnation came in 1994, in Jeremy Siegel ’ s Stocks for
    the Long Run. Both books unabashedly state the case for equities and,
    arguably, both helped fuel the great bull markets that ensued. Both, of
    course, were then followed by great bear markets. Both books, too,
    were replete with data, but the seemingly infi nite data presented in the
    Siegel tome, a product of this age of computer - driven numeracy, puts
    its predecessor to shame.
    But it ’ s not the panoply of information imparted in Stocks for the
    Long Run that troubles me. Who can be against knowledge? After
    all, “ knowledge is power. ” My concern is too many of us make the
    implicit assumption that stock market history repeats itself when we
    know, deep down, that the only certainty about the equity returns
    that lie ahead is their very uncertainty. We simply do not know what
    the future holds, and we must accept the self - evident fact that historic
    stock market returns have absolutely nothing in common with actuarial tables.
    John Maynard Keynes identifi ed this pitfall in a way that makes
    it obvious: * “ It is dangerous to apply to the future inductive arguments based on past experience [that ’ s the bad news] unless one can
    distinguish the broad reasons for what it was ” (that ’ s the good news).
    For there are just two broad reasons that explain equity returns, and it
    takes only elementary addition and subtraction to see how they shape
    investment experience. The too - often ignored reality is that stock
    returns are shaped by (1) economics and (2) emotions.

    40 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear SteveO's recording

    Thanks for taking the time to review and make suggestions! They are greatly appreciated.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6428/script-recording-22432.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    This is not easy to listen to....boring material. You did a great job on it. This is where the money is....

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    Dracula By Bram Stoker

    Script:

    A great bat came flapping into the room. It drove the weird woman away. Poor Renfield fell down, fainting from fright. In an instant, the bat disappeared. In its place was the smiling figure of Count Dracula! He was ready to claim his victim! Once bitten by the vampire, Renfield became Dracula's slave. The evil Count wanted to go to England. Coffins, filled with Transylvanian earth, were taken to a ship and loaded on board. One of the coffins contained something else as well as dirt. Renfield guarded it well. When the ship landed in England, the horrified people at the dock found that the entire crew was dead. Only Renfield, now a raving madman, was left alive.

    36 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear TylerMW's recording

    This is my first voice over recording with my first microphone set up. It cost around $650. I have Blue Spark mic with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Pre-Amp, a $30 pop filter from Guitar Center, and a Vox Sound Shield. From the camped 8x10 office where I record, there are 2 bookshelves, a futon, a desk and a floor to ceiling cabinet. We have old wooden floors and windows that I cover with throw rugs. I use Ableton Live Lite to record and Audacity to convert from WAV to MP3... I really appreciate the feedback on how to improve my sound quality and my performance. Thank you!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-82995/script-recording-66684.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    For one thing, you (consistently) mispronounced Renfield's name. It's "Wren - field" (like the bird in a field). Names are something you always need to double-check (whether audiobooks, commercials or narration) before you start recording.

    One thing experienced audiobook narrators will tell you is to slow down. This started a little brisk (the first two sentences), but then you settled into a better pace. But almost to the other extreme. "In -- its -- place was the smiling figure of Count Dracula!" was just a little too "children's book" for me. Then you started breaking up sentences with breaths in seemingly unusual places - the flow of the story got choppy and disjointed.

    With all of those hard, reflective surfaces, I'm surprised that there wasn't more overwhelming room noise here than there was.

    Peer Feedback:

    For some reason it sounded to me like you had turned your level way down and even after turning the volume up to listen I could barely hear you. Because of this I couldn't judge the recording quality as well as I would have liked to. The pace of your read seemed slow enough to convey the sense of horror, though.

    Back to top
    "Dreaming in English," by Laura Fitzgerald

    Script:

    When I enter the coffee shop, Ike has thirty minutes left on his shift. I see him before he sees me, and I feel immediately bad for him because he looks so very tired, and also world-weary, not at all like he's excited about the conversation we'll soon have. But that's okay. I'm enthusiastic enough for us both. I'll make things right with him, and then I'll begin to kill his mother with my kindness. I love the idea that kindness can be a form of aggression.
    Ike is working the machines, making the drinks and serving as backup for the counter person, so I approach and wait.
    "Tall latte," he calls out, placing the drink on the high counter and noticing me, finally. "Hey, you!" I seem to be a pleasant surprise, thankfully. "You look gorgeous. What are you doing here--no class today?"
    "I'm waiting for my husband." When I give him my best smile, he can't resist smiling back. I'll kill him with kindness, too. "I have good news to share with you, Ike. News so good it can't wait even one minute from when you get off work, so I'm skipping English class."
    "Tell me now," he says. "I could use some good news."
    I shake my head. "I'll wait for you over there." I point over my shoulder at the armchair near the window. "I love you, you know."
    "I do know." His eyes both soften and sadden. "I love you, too, for what it's worth."

    52 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear chertan's recording

    Hi Carol, I worked with you several weeks ago to get coaching for a narration demo. I'm the TV news person trying to get the "announcer" out of my delivery. But my most recent coaching session with Vanessa brought us both to the realization that maybe I might enjoy pursuing an audiobooks track more. I certainly like it better. What do you think? I have listened to your talks about what is necessary for an audiobooks demo...four 3-5 minute pieces. Do you think this could be one of them? What do you think is necessary for me to get a good demo? I'll be honest. My parents live in the Washington, D.C. area and I was hoping to get it done at the end of June when I am visiting them. Is that crazy talk??? Thanks so much for your time. Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Cheryl Wieder chertan@rocketmail.com 757-685-8022

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/ecoaching-18036.mp3

    Professional Feedback:

    WOW! Cheryl! This is great work. Your connection, pace, and clarity are wonderful.

    If you haven't, you'll want to mark up your texts in the same way we discussed:

    Key Words
    Breaths
    Punctuation (add and/or delete)
    Transitions/New Moments

    There were only a few times I heard an opportunity to clarify and refine these elements.

    Next, you can afford even more to stay in the moment between the "moments". In other words, while pausing, keep with the image and intention and shifts of the story's drive.

    Your character differentiation can use even more subtle nuance.
    Create these characters as vividly as possible for yourself so they'll be even clearer for us.

    While I honestly think you're miles ahead, if you want to record this demo by June's end, I'd suggest you/we work once a week on one piece at a time, and then put them together and work the tweaks in the last week or so. I can't promise you'll be ready, but I have confidence that it's likely. You'll need to add to this piece, of course, and choose the other pieces if you haven't yet according to the other criteria: non-fiction, a niche genre, and one of your choosing - all contemporary, and at least 3 written by women.

    You don't need music behind the reads, so editing is less intensive.

    Minor-est of minor things:

    Watch the the d's in sadden (not sad -den, but sad-en).

    Really nice work! I hope to hear you soon!
    Carol

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach May 10, 2011 at 7:39PM

    Peer Feedback:

    Being one who listens to a lot a audio tapes I'm often turned off by the narrators delivery and will not listen to the whole book. I would listen to you. Your delivery is smooth, interesting, and enjoyable. Keep it up.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi. I was really interested in your post. I too was a tv anchor in another life and am dealing with the same issues about delivery, articulation, tone. I really liked your audiobook read and am actually exploring that genre as well. Good luck with your demo and thanks for sharing.

    Back to top
    Dubliners, chapter 1

    Script:

    There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Night after night I had passed the house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted square of window: and night after night I had found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly. If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse. He had often said to me: I am not long for this world, and I had thought his words idle. Now I knew they were true. Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.

    Old Cotter was sitting at the fire, smoking, when I came downstairs to supper. While my aunt was ladling out my stirabout he said, as if returning to some former remark of his:

    – No, I wouldn’t say he was exactly … but there was something queer … there was something uncanny about him. I’ll tell you my opinion …

    He began to puff at his pipe, no doubt arranging his opinion in his mind. Tiresome old fool! When we knew him first he used to be rather interesting, talking of faints and worms; but I soon grew tired of him and his endless stories about the distillery.

    21 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear peterduranplease's recording

    Hi, all. Here's another audiobook script I'm working on. (I did not attempt an Irish accent for this one). Any and all feedback very welcome.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-55562/script-recording-66540.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I really like your sound and delivery. The laid-back, close mic sound seems very appropriate for this. And your character change with Cotter is terrific.

    I only have a couple comments: You might make a clearer break before the 2nd paragraph - not necessarily more space, but maybe start with a different tone, or take an audible breath, just to better indicate the scene shift in the narrative. Also, you could put more time in the ellipsis with Cotter so it sounds like he's thinking - no need to rush through his lines.

    This style seems a good fit for your voice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Peter,

    Good read. Lots that I like. Good sound and tone. Everything was clear for me. I'm impressed with your command of the harder words in this one. Good change into character. Here is what my ears did pick up (really, just timing things).

    In the first paragraph, your pauses at the end of sentences seemed a bit long, as if we'd hit the end of a paragraph and we would be going into a new stream of thought. I didn't see the same issue later. You're first pause when in character conversely seemed too short. It appears that he would be search for a word before giving up and going on to the .....But.....

    After a couple of listens I put the headphones on and with them it was a bit bassy for me. May just need a little tuning for my ear (which is a questionable instrument).

    I like the read and was engaged.

    Peer Feedback:

    Sounds awesome.
    I noticed tho that when you said "Tiresome old fool" it sounded as if you were quoting that character again instead of the narrators thoughts.,

    Back to top
    Edge book example for testing

    Script:

    Just testing for sound quality, the script is not important.

    12 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jrblackwell's recording

    I'm only looking for comments regarding the quality of the sound, nothing with the reading. Thanks.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-49889/script-recording-55029.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    JR, I hear a buzz or a hum, maybe a fan, maybe something in your audio chain. I might suggest too repositioning your mic a little. There were some plosives and some sibilance. Voice sounds nice though. GL

    Peer Feedback:

    Overall sounds pretty good to me.
    Yes, there's definitely some HVAC (or computer?) noise in there, but I had to crank up the volume quite a bit to hear it. Noise floor seem sgood enough for demos, but probably not for real work.

    Back to top
    excerpt from Later at the Bar

    Script:

    Too long to type in here. Will send via email

    33 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear alfred's recording

    I'm considering this for one of my two fiction selections for my audiobook demo (the other will be from a murder mystery). So I'd like to know if you think the selection is a good one for me and my voice as well as your thoughts on my performance. Also: Many of the audiobook demos I've listened to--maybe half-- to do not identify the titles or authors of the selections being read. I'd like to do this too, in the interest of keeping it short as well as that several of the authors I like are female. In your view, is this kosher?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-5827/script-recording-26717.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I liked this. It's really a natural pace and very easy to listen to. you do a good job of inflection and differences in pacing to make it easy to identify the narrator and who is speaking. . The dialogue parts are clearly defined from the narration. The characters are clearly defined and the tone really matches that which you would find in a bar. I liked it a lot, your voice and interpretation lent itself to the story instead of detracting from it. Like it should be, telling a story. Nicely done.

    I'd eventually like to get into audiobooks, but the time outlay is tremendous. I saw a great 2 part article on VU, but can't find the links. It talks about the challenges in audiobooks and I found it to be very realistic. I have some more info on audiobooks if you look me up on soundcloud... nodo420, just pm me

    Peer Feedback:

    Vocal Performance Copy interpretation - Wow!! I like this. You got and held my attention from the first word. Good thank you for not including the script...I might not have listened to it but this way it seemed short and sweet so I listened to the whole thing. Enjoyed it so much I felt shock when it ended...I want more :) Wow!!!

    Peer Feedback:

    Alfred, this is great. Your performance draws me right into the story. Your variations for characters are spot on...it's still you, but I can follow who's who.
    You are clearly an experienced audiobook narrator. It was a pleasure to listen to.
    thank you.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Alfred,
    You're a good reader but I found myself ignoring that and being caught up in your voice. Please don't don't be put off by the suggestion but I think with a slight stretch you could pull off a rather decent Truman Capote accent. I'd be curious to hear that. Thumbs up with the exception of the cut off ending.

    Professional Feedback:

    Well, here we are!
    I'll get right to it.
    I think this read is way too fast, and I know we discussed this yesterday, after a less fast read. The best thing about it is that you're aware of your tendency toward speed. One thing to do for this is to practice reading ridiculously slowly. this should cultivate a sense of patience with yourself and the text and allow you to identify words, like those with long vowels, which can be elongated, stretched, relished more.

    The narrator voice and the Harlan need greater separation and distinction, but you'd already achieved a better differentiation by last night. Just keep an ear out for that, and think more about him, what he's like, and what he wants, as we discussed.

    So looking forward to our recording session!

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach February 2, 2012 at 6:21PM
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    42 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Loren Phillips's recording

    First go at an Audiobook script. new mic that seems smoother in the top end. I did leave a few breaths in - sounded more natural to me.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-82403/script-recording-64683.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Loren, recording sounded good to me.Early on in the read there seemed to be less excitement or flair, if I am conveying my thought properly. You had more passion in your voice as the read went along. I wish I read that smoothly, all in all it sounded very good.

    Peer Feedback:

    Very impressive, Loren. For a second there, I had genuinely forgotten I was listening to a practice recording (I assume it's practice...is this for an actual gig?) and became drawn in. Nice job.

    However, there was a hard edit right after your "hungriest aspirations resided"...easily corrected. There seemed to be an ever so slight change in the read and while I like the natural, southern pauses, some of them seemed a little less than natural. Although, that may be digging a little too deep. I suspect if I hadn't come out the place you put me in, I probably wouldn't have noticed...and the only reason I came out is because I remembered you wanted feedback, not for me to go to dreamland!

    Great read! Give us some more!

    David Michaelson

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks both of you for your helpful comments. They are interestingly related. I deliberately was trying to create an arch with the reading that began on the slower side picked up pace after "aspirations resided" and then slowed approximating the beginning tempo as I got to the conclusion. If you're hearing the beginning as less exciting that I've started too slow more than likely.That pregnant pause was deliberate to try to separate that, could be .5 second faster.. This VO stuff is hard!

    Thanks again guys for the encouraging comments!

    LP

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow. What a beautiful read. I thought your pacing was just perfect throughout. It picked up a little, but I would say the beginning was too slow either. Believe me, I've been studying audiobook pacing a lot, and this was right on. I didn't hear the edit point that Hank mentions. I thought maybe it was a mouthclick. Otherwise, I thought the production sounded great. Just enough breaths. There were one or two points where it sounded like you might have run out of air before the end of a sentence, but that could have been intentional. Great job!

    Peer Feedback:

    Very Nice Job Your emotion is great along with your pacing.

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    123 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jamesromick's recording

    This excerpt is the final paragraph of a nearly 16 hour long (160,000+ word count) audiobook (only my second) that I produced from my home studio through ACX for Redwood Audiobooks/University Press Audiobooks. I just got confirmation that it has been published and is now available for download on Audible, Amazon and iTunes (not a sales pitch, but if you have 15+ hours to kill for a listen, I'd appreciate the business). The book is about the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890 - a tragic and shameful event in American History - written by a retired National Park Service historian. I chose to audition for it (then won the contract to produce it) because I thought it an important narrative to tell. The massacre, itself, only lasted 20 minutes (covered in graphic detail in Chapter 11), but events leading up to it and its aftermath resonant even today. This is the end of the better part of 3 months of recording, editing, proof listening, punching in to correct mistakes, re-editing, re-proofing and re-proofing again. It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose it fits into the "better than good enough" category for Audible to have published it. Through the process, I have discovered that there are trade-offs and compromises to be made for (self-produced) audiobooks. Otherwise, the project would never get completed.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/AmericanCarnage_Ch16excerpt_JamesRomick.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey James! So nice to listen to you (rather than reading your excellent feedback!)

    Your read was very careful and articulate, authoritative, like an historian unfolding a tale. I've not listened to much nonfiction in audiobooks, but the pace seemed just a little slow. Also, I'm thinking the little boy was a bit too precise when speaking with his grandfather -- grandfather vs granfather. Would John Littlefinger's grandchild speak so carefully?

    Your voice is so sonorous, just right for this sort of read. And of course the audio portion was top-drawer!
    ~Laura

    Peer Feedback:

    The answer to your question is yes.

    In doing research for the book, I talked to some members of the Lakota tribes on the reservations in South Dakota referenced in the book. When speaking English, they were very precise in their pronunciations, as they are when speaking in Lakota. Slight nuances in words in the Lakota language can mean very different things. And, as I was told as I repeated the pronunciation of a Lakota word back to her, the woman I was speaking with (who was in her 20's) said I sounded like a woman. It seems that the same word may be pronounced slightly differently depending on whether you are male or female. That precision was a technique that I (hopefully) kept consistent when quoting "the people", as the author calls them. It was also a way to delineate between quoting them and the whites in the book.

    Most, if not all, of the audiobooks that I listen to are non-fiction. My preference is to actually read fiction because I like to create the world and characters for myself and not listen to someone else's interpretation. It's a prejudice I should probably get over. As one of my coaches told me, "So, wouldn't that be wonderful if you created that world and characters for someone else?" I'd actually never thought of it that way. The light bulb went off over my head or it was my V8 moment or something. So, I'm starting to audition for fiction as well.

    The pacing is also purposeful. Again, this is only my second complete audiobook (the first one was only 12+ hours long). I am still feeling around in the dark, so to speak. But from the coachings I am getting through sessions at the SAG Foundation VO Lab (the 2 engineers who conduct the sessions there work for Audible as well), slower is better, especially for non-fiction. I have a tendency, as many of us do, to rush a bit, especially on simpler sentences where the words are not difficult to pronounce.

    I sent about a 3 minute clip of the end of the book (which included this paragraph) to the author just before submitting it to Redwood. He seemed pleased, which meant quite a lot.

    Peer Feedback:

    That is just great, James! I should have known you would have done your homework! Wow -- you talked with the Lakota about this...You're a master...Going slower is hard for me and you've suggested it for my reads many times. I take heed...!

    I'm so excited for you that the author liked your work! Kudos!! Are you prepared to lock yourself up for the necessary time to do the book?
    ~Laura

    Peer Feedback:

    Congratulations James. Excellent work. Best.

    Peer Feedback:

    Bravo! I remember seeing this one on ACX and thinking about auditioning for it myself, but no way could I deal with a 16 hour book at this stage... And I'm not sure I would have done it justice by going to the lengths that you did in background research.

    To anyone considering doing audio book, I think what James said here is a key point: "I chose to audition for it (then won the contract to produce it) because I thought it an important narrative to tell." Stick with stuff that speaks to you, that has meaning, that you find interesting. As one of my coaches (Terry McGovern, not with Edge, and he was probably quoting someone else) said, "To be interesting, first you must be interested." My experience with ACX is that I find very few titles that I find compelling, but I only audition for those that I do. I don't just audition "for practice" or for the fun of it (that's what librivox is for, imo). And my offer rate is fairly high as a result. I've had to turn down a couple of offers because of various reasons (e.g., couldn't meet rights holder's schedule because of other commitments), so I've only actually done two books myself. And the ones I've done are short: 1+ hours and 3+ hours, something I'd recommend to someone just starting out. But James, I am highly impressed that you were able to pull off two 12+ hour books as your first projects.

    Peer Feedback:

    It's like they say, "it's a marathon, not a sprint."

    Oh, and by the way, my third audiobook is only projected to be 10+ hours long. I'm nearing the end of that one.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi James, really nice work. Three months is a long project indeed. Do you have an estimate of how many hours you might spend on the postproduction process, per hour of completed material?

    Peer Feedback:

    Still working on the work flow. What I can tell you is that it felt like it was taking much too long.

    People (like Scott Brick and Barbara Rosenblat) who are at the top of their game in the audiobook world say that it is a 3-1 ratio - three hours of recording for one finished hour of material. However, they do not do their own editing, proofing and producing - other people perform those functions - they just lay down the vocal, cut in if they have to and move on.

    My process is about a 6-1 ratio right now, if not longer - doing everything to get 1 finished hour of material. I make a lot of mistakes and I am also hyper-critical. It's very time consuming and I have to admit that sometimes I procrastinate or find excuses not to tackle it (like writing critiques on the Forum when I should be editing).

    I tried the editing by strategically placing the "hot key" shortcuts on my keyboard (my DAW allows me to configure it the way I choose) for my left hand as I manipulated the mouse with my right. It worked, if my fat fingers didn't slip onto other keys, and key combinations had me using both hands to perform them.

    I found a better solution with the Contour ShuttlePro2 controller, which has helped streamline the editing process.

    http://ergo.contour-design.com/ergonomic-mouse/shuttlepro-v2

    The buttons are totally programmable to mimic hotkey combinations. I control it with my left hand and the mouse with my right. I can concentrate on the wave form on the screen and not have to look at my hands to see if I'm hitting the right key combinations. It is a very powerful editing tool for only around one Ben Franklin.

    Back to top
    Excerpts from Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail

    Script:

    16 April 1963

    
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

    Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

    18 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Brian C. Topping's recording

    I would be grateful any feedback. Thank you!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-2061/script-recording-34150.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Brain T,
    If this were a straight technical read, this would be a good read,, but this is an emotional, thought provoking script,, I felt very little connection with the ideas, or the feelings,, it was more of a just the facts kind of delivery.

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    Faery Tale by Raymond E. Feist

    Script:

    With a note of satisfaction, echoing menace, the watcher in the trees whispered, "The Compact is broken!" With a spin and a glimmer, he vanished. His companion, hanging from a bare branch above, watched with glowing eyes as the cars disappeared over the hill. The Bad Thing didn't understand all its master's concerns, for it was a simple creature, its intelligence blunted over the years by pain and perversion. But it knew its master was happy, and that was good. That was very good. Perhaps now the master would let him have the dog, or the girl, or better yet, one of the two boys. With a slight sigh, and nursing odd visions of murder in its twisted heart, the Bad Thing crawled up the side of the tree, vanishing in the russet colored foliage above.

    71 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear b_church@yahoo.com's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-16247/script-recording-83227.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You started out of the blocks at a sprint and then midway through settled back into a good pace.

    Slow down! Let the story unfold for us.

    Peer Feedback:

    Ok, I'm not a long-form narration expert - but I know what is easy to listen to.
    If you slowwwedd this down (a lot), you would have so much more room to maneuver with inflection, and craft a detailed scene. You're making an effort to craft the character's line, why not paint a detailed ambience to go with it?

    I've noticed that pros read/perform aloud A LOT slower that I read silently.

    regards,
    DS

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    Faery Tale by Raymond E. Feist

    Script:

    With a note of satisfaction, echoing menace, the watcher in the trees whispered, "The Compact is broken!" With a spin and a glimmer, he vanished. His companion, hanging from a bare branch above, watched with glowing eyes as the cars disappeared over the hill. The Bad Thing didn't understand all its master's concerns, for it was a simple creature, its intelligence blunted over the years by pain and perversion. But it knew its master was happy, and that was good. That was very good. Perhaps now the master would let him have the dog, or the girl, or better yet, one of the two boys. With a slight sigh, and nursing odd visions of murder in its twisted heart, the Bad Thing crawled up the side of the tree, vanishing in the russet colored foliage above.

    86 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Richurd's recording

    Haven't been around in a while. I was bored and looking for something to do and the forum came to mind. For you old guys I'm still around and kicking. Rich

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-2158/script-recording-94350.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow. Horror story. Your voice is very suitable for this type. It makes the story thrilling and creepy. If some gloomy music is added, it will sure have greater effect. My only suggestion is that you should read a little faster because not every sentence should be read with the same slow pace.

    Recording quality is excellent. Everything is clear.

    Hope it helps.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Vickydovoice,
    I'm still nursing a cold so I just might take you up on that.

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    Faery Tale by Raymond E. Feist

    Script:

    With a note of satisfaction, echoing menace, the watcher in the trees whispered, "The Compact is broken!" With a spin and a glimmer, he vanished. His companion, hanging from a bare branch above, watched with glowing eyes as the cars disappeared over the hill. The Bad Thing didn't understand all its master's concerns, for it was a simple creature, its intelligence blunted over the years by pain and perversion. But it knew its master was happy, and that was good. That was very good. Perhaps now the master would let him have the dog, or the girl, or better yet, one of the two boys. With a slight sigh, and nursing odd visions of murder in its twisted heart, the Bad Thing crawled up the side of the tree, vanishing in the russet colored foliage above.

    The Dread Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    77 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Richurd's recording

    For those of you who wanted to hear it with music.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-2158/script-recording-94394.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Yes, this version is definitely better than the previous one. You chose the right music for this story. The volume of the music should be raised a little bit. Listeners can still hear you clearly. Wonderful job!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank You Vickydovoice,
    I don't disagree with you as I am by nature a perfectionist. Having moved away from the forum and into real world deadlines I have found that my desire to approach perfection had to be put on the back burner. When faced with a limited timeline perfection takes a back seat to expediency. Once it is recorded and there are no obvious flaws then it goes out the door. I've learned that generating a masterpiece is something even the best of artists nail but a few times in their career. So many actors have asked for one more take because they know they can do it better. That's why directors are put in charge because they are there to get the job done and get it out the door under budget. My nature agrees with you (that never goes away) but I could tweak this play project in search of perfection until everyone including me would be sick to death of the darn thing. So when good enough will do I move on. Its a practice that will in the long run serve you better. Thanks again for the kind words.

    Peer Feedback:

    I totally agree with you that true masterworks happen but rarely. You caught the dark side of this reading spot on ! And yes, the music was a perfect choice, if it's mix was perhaps on the slight side. All the better (to my ear) to bring out the eerie inflections in your voice. Well done, Richurd, I'd buy it !

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey thanks sentry40355,
    These dark characterizations are fun to delve into. I enjoy doing them. It disturbs me as to what that says about me lol. That aside I'm a big fan of Kevin Macleod and have been using his stuff for years now. He's brilliant. So any compliment for the music is his and his alone.

    Peer Feedback:

    More than good enough! Very nice Richurd- took me to school.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Marcus
    How nice of you to say but really just one interpretation. A different mind would see it from some other angle. Which I believe is why there are so many takes on Shakespeare, and all valid in their own right. Appreciation is always, well, appreciated so thank you.

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    25 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Mike Martin's recording

    Could not submit when this was the contest but did want to get in my practice. Yes of course I used what was said about the reads back then and made a worthwhile effort I hope. At least I got more Audacity experience in post production. Comment if you wish and Thank You, Mike Martin

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7863/script-recording-32928.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    The pauses are a little crazy. You can most definitely create suspense without the excessive use of pauses. The emphasis also tears the sentences apart. Think about the listeners. They have to follow along without the words in front of them.

    Take a look at the stress you put on the words: toward, going, again, scream, shaking, soaked.

    Its overdone, but it is far from helpless. The best thing you can do is tone it down.

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    Fatal Tide

    Script:

    Someone coming toward her. It was going to happen again. Helpless. Helpless. Helpless. The scream that tore from Melis's throat jarred her awake. She jerked upright in bed. She was shaking, her T-shirt soaked with sweat.

    21 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear rocnwan's recording

    I'm trying to find a way to eliminate my mouth sounds, but I can't believe that no one else has any. I have tried all suggestions and wonder if it could be my microphone. Do some do better at eliminating mouth sounds than others? I've been away from this for a while!!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-1746/script-recording-32647.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It's difficult to listen for mouth noises with so much background noise, as if your mike
    is sitting on the computer. Not bad voice! You don't seem to have a "take" on the copy

    Peer Feedback:

    Regarding mouth noise, be sure you stay hydrated. Practice relaxing your facial muscles and mouth. Tension from nervousness can translate into mouth noise also. Lots of people will share their remedies -- it's a common topic of discussion on forums, podcasts, discussions, etc. Good luck.

    Professional Feedback:

    Hi there!

    I'd try a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8oz of water. Also, green apples can help. If you haven't, get a pop filter and/or a foam cover for your mic.

    Your performance can be made stronger if you take more time and let the images, feelings, and actions truly occur to Melis. Let her discover them as they emerge; get behind them and inside them. Believe in the reality of them. As the narrator, mirror her point of view.

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach June 6, 2012 at 10:35PM
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    120 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jamesromick's recording

    This is an excerpt from Book 3 of Marcus Richardson's Wildfire Series. Apache Dawn: Book 1 is 18.5 hours long, The Shift: Book 2 is 15.25 hours long, FIRESTORM: Book 3 is 14 hours long. There is a novella, False Prey: Book 1.5 that is 3.5 hours long. And a prequel, The Source, that is projected to be about 9 hours long. In this series, I have had to create over 50 different characters with accents ranging from Russian (this one), Scottish, Cultured British, Lower-Class British, Irish, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, African (general), New York Bronx, Southern (North and South Carolina), Texan, Western (Montana/Colorado/Arizona), California Surfer Dude, Spanish, Mexican/Hispanic, Gang Slang, and some others that I've forgotten. The characters range from Presidents to Cabinet Officials to Generals to Admirals to Marines to Navy Seals to Doctors to Nurses to Villains and Villainesses to Lab Techs to Whores and Prostitutes to Teenagers to Dying Old Men to Males and Females to - well, you get the idea.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-21601/script-recording-94599.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Goodness. What can be said? The audio, the delivery, the characters...flawless. Very impressive work.

    Peer Feedback:

    I am in awe, James. I feel like such a "rube", unworthy of even making a comment, other than: "WOW !" Fifty-plus characters !?!?!? Have you ever received therapeutic medications for your schizophrenia ? If not, DON'T !!! You're fine just the way you are. I also finally figured out how to access older files and listened to several of yours. This is by far and away the very best I've heard on Edge Forum !!! You, sir, are a monster.

    bob

    Peer Feedback:

    This is just so easy to listen to and allow the story to paint pictures in my head. Excellent job James! Audiobooks are not for me at this time as I do not have the time to do them. However, if I ever do then I will have this to aspire to!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi! James.This is an ambitious and challenging project and kudos to you. But I have to say that here,your reading appeared forced and mostly all the different characters had a monotonal consistency to it. Best.

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    17 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear David_K's recording

    I had a few beers with my Step Dad and we were reminiscing about some past fishing trips. This one was a doozy. I realize there are a few editing issues with SFX and a couple of script changes. I hope you enjoy my story.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/Fishing with Frank.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Fun. Right off the bat, it kinda sounded a bit like a Wilford Brimley. Higher pitched voice, but the same kind of delivery. Some different regional accents. Kinda Chicago and kinda Minesota (in the quotation marks, dontcha know).

    Yeah, some of the FX are a bit much, and hot! First one nearly popped my eardrums.

    Nice colorful character(s).

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey, thanks James. I deleted the file in Audacity before I gave it a good listen I didn't think I would be posting it. First time I've heard the Wilford Brimley comparison, interesting. He was great in one of my favorite movies, The Natural. It's fun and helpful to mix things up once in awhile. Have a good one, Voice On!

    Peer Feedback:

    Dave
    I really enjoyed this production, great read i have to agree that some of the FX were bit loud.Are you recording with the background music playing in your earphones or you add it after recording the vocals?

    Peer Feedback:

    I add the back round stuff after the recording, I don't have a zero latency output with my mic or interface. When I added the sound effects I didn't have my monitors turned up and just left the sfx tracks at default gain. I'll re-record this one and really tweak it. Thanks for the comments.

    Peer Feedback:

    Kinda fun, but your delivery felt a little too much...too loud for talking to your buddy. I know that there are loud people out there, but this one came across to me like you were aware you were recording and not relaxing enough to where your inflections might come across more naturally. F/X too hot for the mix. And you should note that having the lyrics coming through distract from the read. Try and find something similar...possibly a little slower...and without lyrics. That too would improve this.

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    Fool For Love (Eddie) by Sam Shepard

    Script:

    And we walked right through town. Past the donut shop, past the miniature golf course, past the Chevron station. And he opened the bottle up and offered it to me. Before he even took a drink, he offered it to me first. And I took it and drank it and handed it back to him. And we just kept passing it back and forth like that as we walked until we drank the whole thing dry. And we never said a word the whole time. Then, finally, we reached this little white house with a red awning, on the far side of town. I’ll never forget the red awning because it flapped in the night breeze and the porch light made it glow. It was a hot, desert breeze and the air smelled like new cut alfalfa. We walked right up to the front porch and he rang the bell and I remember getting real nervous because I wasn’t out for a expecting to visit anybody. I thought we were just out for a walk. And then this woman comes to the door. This real pretty woman with red hair. And she throws herself into his arms. And he starts crying. He just breaks down right there in front of me. And she’s kissing him all over the face and holding him real tight and he’s just crying like a baby. And then through the doorway, behind them both. I see this girl. She just appears. She’s just standing there, staring at me and I’m staring back at her and we can’t take our eyes off each other. It was like we knew each other from somewhere but we couldn’t place where. But the second we saw each other, that very second, we knew we’d never stop being in love.

    20 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Steven Jay Cohen's recording

    Feedback on performance, mic, "de-Esser", etc. Is this Audition Quality or is this Job Quality engineering?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-81326/script-recording-63982.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Steven,
    I can't (yet) speak to the engineering, but I like the very personal feel to the performance. The main things that come to my newbie mind are (1) some clicking that sounds like it could be mouth noise, and (2) a few minor alterations to the script; personally, I like that you made it "yours", but to my understanding, in a VO audition (not sure about the theater) some folks may take issue with that. (Examples: "that red awning", "hot...hot desert breeze", "I mean, she just appears.")
    Good luck (and thanks for the feedback on my recording).
    Best,
    Peter

    Peer Feedback:

    This would probably be useful if it was intended as an audio recording for a an actor's scene study audio learning module like they sell at the Drama Bookshop in NYC or something of that. But as something for a voice-over or voice-over auditions, I'm not sure that this works. Stage acting and voice acting (and acting for TV and film for that matter) are two very distinctly different animals. I have spent 35 years of my working life as a stage actor and have only been pursuing VO for little over a year. Along the way, I have had to make major adjustments as to technique, style, delivery and POV. Only using your voice to tell the story - be it narration, commercial, audiobook, etc. - begs an entirely different delivery and style to the more self-indulgent style and affectation for the stage. A stage acting background (or for that matter, any acting background) is very, very useful to voice acting. The adaptation and transfer of those skills to this different genre is the tricky part. This excerpt is obviously from Shepard's play, and is great as an acting audition monologue (and something makes me think that you memorized it as such), but as a vehicle for VO, a lot of the "theatricality" needs to be stripped away to be acceptable. (And now I'll get down from my soap box.)

    As far as the read, production value and engineering go: There are a lot of mouth clicks and excessive breath sounds. Some of your words get slurred or not fully formed or one word gets a little slammed into the next which makes the listener wonder what they've just heard. That distraction causes the listener to think or question rather than listen, so the next thought may get lost on them until they get back to the story. Some judicious editing may be in order. You seem to have a nice, quiet environment for recording. I heard no excessive background noise on this, nor did I detect anything overly processed. But there are others on this forum with keener ears than mine, so take that for what it's worth.

    There are a lot of Shatnerisms in this read (I hear Toby McGuire here). Dramatic pauses and broken up sentences, that sound more "actory" than honest. Again, great if you're auditioning for the play or the film of the play. But for VO? Not so much. Even if it was a "thought balloon" type of VO for a film version of the play, it might be a little self-indulgent.

    Only my 2c. Take from it what you will. Or not.

    Peer Feedback:

    Your audio sounds very, very muffled, like you're speaking through a blanket.

    Peer Feedback:

    I loved this. I'd use the dramatic pauses a touch more sparingly. Mouth noise bugged me some. The breaths felt natural to me. Nice, soft tone that gives you lots of room for the acting but still loaded with emotional interest. Nice drama that's organic from the acting, and I think it's appropriate because it's closer to how dialogue would be because of the first-person point-of-view. The way the writer has written it, its viewpoint IS a little distant (not quite thoughts like one would have in one's head but more descriptive: "this happened, then that happened"), so I wonder if one might back off to a flatter, more narrator read and still have it work. But I loved it.

    Audio quality sounded a little muddy to me, like it needs to be enhanced in the higher frequencies for more presence (or not muted accidentally through other processing if that's possibly what happened, perhaps with the de-esser?).

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    69 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear msacay's recording

    Happy New Year! Just had my first Audacity class with Larry Hudson, so I wanted to apply some of the techniques. If it stinks, it isn't a reflection of Larry! Just my poor judgment of what should stay or go. I left a number of breaths in as I hear that is ok on audiobooks but I tried to find all my annoying mouth clicks...I have a big voice (stage actress) so I brought down the overall volume using the envelope tool and the amplify tool prior to normalizing it to help reduce the stridency in my voice in the more animated sections of the copy. I would like to use this selection (if not this take) for ACX as an audition demo. What do you think? Thanks in advance for taking the time to listen!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-105999/script-recording-86341.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi,
    I just pushed the play button without reading all of the informational copy that was there and started thinking as I listened...wow, this person can definitely tell a story. Then, I finally did some more reading and saw the "stage actress" part. Ok, that makes sense. I didn't really hear any issues to speak of in the recording though I didn't crank it up and scrutinize it to a large extent. I think the pace picked up some places in the end and when people listen to audio books , they have to process the current line while the next one (or two) is being read and you can overfill some folks buffer I think.. In general, it was paced well though, however, this is something to be aware of.
    -touzet-

    Peer Feedback:

    You really should make sure the script of your read is included so accuracy can be judged along with all else.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks touzet! I wasn't sure about the pacing on the more 'dramatic' parts for audio books. So I will definitely go back and slow it down a bit more there. Do you think that kind of script is appropriate to post as an audio sample?

    Sorry TxTom! I purposely didn't paste it in because it was quite long and was told once before on the forum not to paste in long excerpts because it throws off the line up of reading, plus it might be a copyright issue if it is a published selection. So now I'm confused as to what to do in the future....Suggestions?

    Peer Feedback:

    I'm probably the one that suggested not posting the script for this long of a submission. TxTom has a point, but the added block of text does tend to shove other submissions further down the page. And, at any rate, I prefer to listen to audiobooks and not read along. QC and proofing is your job.

    That said, IMHO, this was very good. The only suggestion I might offer is to place more separation to the component parts of the narrator. And what I mean by that is that there are 3 basic components to this first person narrative - the dialogue, the inner thoughts and the narrative description (or observations).

    Consider this. Make the dialogue big and boisterous like you did. Draw back a touch for the inner thoughts - let them seem like they are coming to you spontaneously and revealatory. And flatten out the descriptive stuff (the observation) just a little. It may just be a matter of changing the energy for each. The reason I mention it is two fold. If you maintain the same intensity that you gave to the dialogue throughout the other two components, the listener will tire. And could you keep up that constant energy for hours of recording at a time? Ride the roller coaster - up and down, high and low - instead of constantly barreling downhill.

    Good stuff.

    Peer Feedback:

    LOL! I tried not to point out any names. I like your suggestions! Yes in Oral Interpretation terms I need to shift my focus points more...make more distinctions between inner closed...open...and closed focus. I'll do it. Then repost. Thanks James!

    Peer Feedback:

    Just love your voice! I can listen to you for hours, and being a mixer that's a good thing! :) Great job!

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow! Thanks so much Total Mix anD master! That is very kind of you to say so! Hope future clients feel the same way!

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    75 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear msacay's recording

    Okay...I worked on toning it down and making it simpler. Maybe enough time has passed since it was last done in 1997, that it won't be as well known from when he performed it....and it is a different interpretation.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-105999/script-recording-86409.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Yep. Pulling it back made all the difference. Put it on your ACX profile page.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hooray! My first audition sample! Thanks James!

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    37 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear kzvo's recording

    Thanks in advance. I just finished putting together a new space, a booth, if you will. My ears are old and not as good as they once were. Looking for some feedback on the sound of the new space. This is not edited or processed in any way, just straight voice into a Sennheiser MK4, through a Presonus tube pre. Not using any drive into the pre.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-66607/script-recording-71697.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey, I wanted to take a listen. Sounds like your room is just a little bit too lively. Not too much, I'm thinking a rock wool panel or 2 or maybe a bass trap might deaden the sound just a touch. Sounds great so far, just a titch more and you're on

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    Give Us a Song, Ian Tyson

    Script:

    Give Us a Song, Ian Tyson
    Wallace McRae

    Write me a tune, Ian Tyson,
    With a beat sort of easy and slow,
    That will flow down each valley and canyon
    From Alberta to Old Mexico.
    Make it sound like the wind in the pine trees
    Or the plains muffled deep in the snow.
    Yes, please, write me a tune, Ian Tyson,
    Like an old one the cowboys all know.

    Write down some words, Ian Tyson,
    Words that put a sad tear in my eye.
    Words that speak of the unspoken yearning
    That I have for the old days gone by.
    Tell again of our shame, or our glory,
    With a shout, or perhaps with a sigh.
    Won't you write down some words, Ian Tyson,
    Of the West, 'neath a big open sky?

    Sing me your song, Ian Tyson,
    Would you sing your song only for me?
    Let the ripples of music transport me
    Like the waves carry ships on the sea.
    Make me fight, or just languidly listen.
    Sing of strife, or of sweet harmony.
    But please sing me your song, Ian Tyson,
    Sing it softly and easy and free.

    Teach us your song, Ian Tyson,
    So the cowboys can all sing along.
    And forgive when we stumble and mumble,
    Or we get the verses all wrong.
    It's your fate to be placed as the hero
    Of a bowlegged buckaroo throng.
    So we'll borrow your song, Ian Tyson,
    And then call it our own cowboy song.

    They'll steal your song, Ian Tyson,
    Steal the song that the cowboys love well,
    And they'll change both the beat and the lyrics,
    Then they'll merchandise it with hard sell.
    Let the Nashvillains ride plastic ponies
    Round and round on their fake carousel.
    Yet your song will remain on the ranches
    Of the West, where the true cowboys dwell.

    Thanks for your song, Ian Tyson,
    For the ballad that crept from your pen.
    Out here into our hearts in the heartland,
    To the home of the true saddlemen.
    For we're weary tonight of the strident,
    Of the tedious rock regimen.
    So, please sing one more time, Ian Tyson,
    Your song. Yes, sing it again.

    11 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear sundance kid's recording

    I'm heading out to old Santa Fe to see Ian Tyson in concert, so I'll leave you with some cowboy poetry. Straight read, didn't try to do a cartoon cowboy voice or anything on this.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-53623/script-recording-55441.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello Sir
    Well i'm Hungarian born so I couldn't comment much on the cowboy part of this performance. But I tell you this if I would have a cowboy hat I would lift it for you just for trying. Nice long read and well performed to my ears.
    Regards
    Balazs

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    Goodnight Moon

    Script:

    Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

    Script:

    In the great green room
    there was a telephone
    And a red balloon
    And a picture of--

    The cow jumping over the moon

    and there were three little bears, sitting on chairs

    and two little kittens and a pair of mittens

    and a little toy house and a young mouse

    and a comb and a brush and bowl full of mush

    and a quiet old lady who was whispering "hush"

    Goodnight room

    goodnight moon

    goodnight cow jumping over the moon

    goodnight light and the red balloon

    goodnight bears goodnight chairs

    goodnight kittens goodnight mittens

    goodnight clocks and goodnight socks

    goodnight little house and goodnight mouse

    goodnight comb and goodnight brush

    goodnight nobody goodnight mush

    and goodnight to the old lady whispering "hush"

    goodnight stars, goodnight air

    goodnight noises everywhere.

    75 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear eanderson2007's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-3414/script-recording-84447.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It sounds fun. I love it. I love the way you can express a poem with your voice. Really well done!

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice read...improved well after a comparatively bland start...and ended well.

    Peer Feedback:

    Excellent! One of the better reads I've heard here so far. If you're not getting work yet, you should be.

    Peer Feedback:

    Watch out for over-articulation in your read. For instance, you gave a soft (and preferred) "t" in "little (bears)" and when you got to "kittens and mittens", you went with a very deliberate hard hit on the "t" sounds. Since you're reading in a neutral American dialect, keep away from over doing the "t's" if you can. Brits will often hit those harder than we do, but that's their dialect. But again, if you CHOOSE to go with the precise "t", be consistent.

    You have a very clear delivery and nice technical sound. Keep up the good practice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Many thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

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    Grace no.2

    Script:

    Grace by Jane Roberts Wood

    Spring 1944

    Grace Gillian kneels before her hyacinth bed, her bare fingers raking the accumulation of decaying leaves from around the plants. She has long since shucked off her gardening gloves. She loves the feel of the earth’s awakening, the humid, fertile smell of it.
    Grace is thirty-eight years old. Slender. High cheekbones. Generous mouth. Dark brown hair, almost auburn with the russet highlights around her face. But it is her eyes, soft gray eyes tilting up at the corners,that one remembers.
    When she reads a poem she loves or when a student makes a perceptive comment, her face lights up and her eyes become radiantly blue. But she does not know she is beautiful. And, although her name is Grace, neither does she think of herself at all, it is in sensible, nearly mundane terms—teacher, gardener, friend. But she is neither sensible nor mundane. And on this day, as she rakes the sodden leaves from the hyacinth bed, she is thinking of John, whom she loves beyond telling.

    29 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Scott Martin's recording

    Hello again. Here is a remake of "Grace" after receiving feedback from some fellow students. Not sure I will please those who think the range is not wide enough, but there are some changes in the way I presented some text from the earlier version. Trying out on old mic with the new preamp. At least to my ears, the old mic with the new pre sound nice, but I need others to give me a more objective picture. Thanks for any and all comments. All the best, Scott

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8309/script-recording-30857.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Howdy Scott,

    I thought this was a lovely read, but the last line sort of threw me (and I am probably way off here, but...) when you read the last line, you intoned it like this was a bodice ripper. Is this story that kind of piece?

    Maybe I am just uncomfortable with romantic text.

    Overall, I loved the intimacy in your voice, and the gentle way you approached this.

    Good job!

    :)

    Regards,

    SteveO

    Peer Feedback:

    I'm inclined to agree with SteveO it was a lovely read, some of the inflections were a bit off, but I really enjoyed listing to your voice. hopefully you are doing Audio books.
    Joe

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Steve and Joe for the comments.

    I don't really know much about this story as there is just a short amount of text. I would not do a "bodice ripping" story either. Just choose this one at random from the script library.

    I didn't intend to imply anything by the way the last line came out. Did it last week when I had a cold and it came out that way, (sort of by accident) so I did it the same way in the remake.

    Thanks for the encouragement and thoughts.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Scott, this is obviously a "bodice ripper."

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    Grace

    Script:

    Grace by Jane Roberts Wood

    Spring 1944
    Chapter 1
    Grace Gillian kneels before her hyacinth bed, her bare fingers raking the accumulation of decaying leaves from around the plants. She has long since shucked off her gardening gloves. She loves the feel of the earth’s awakening, the humid, fertile smell of it.

    Grace is thirty-eight years old. Slender. High cheekbones. Generous mouth. Dark brown hair, almost auburn with the russet highlights around her face. But it is her eyes, soft gray eyes tilting up at the corners, that one remembers. When she reads a poem she loves or when a student makes a perceptive comment, her face lights up and her eyes become radiantly blue. But she does not know she is beautiful. And, although her name is Grace, neither does she think of herself at all, it is in sensible, nearly mundane terms—teacher, gardener, friend. But she is neither sensible nor mundane. And on this day, as she rakes the sodden leaves from the hyacinth bed, she is thinking of John, whom she loves beyond telling. My true, pure love. A love not fueled by desire. This is what she believes. She feels she has long since turned away from desire.

    23 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear eppervesce's recording

    I know the recording quality isn't great, but if you can comment on the performance, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-28067/script-recording-59521.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I enjoy listening to your voice. Very nice quality. There is credibility, yet just the right dose of emotion. You asked us to ignore the recording quality... so I will ha ha.

    Nicely done.

    Mike

    Peer Feedback:

    Overall, a good read. I think it could use just a touch more emotion; seemed just a little flat. Your pacing was great, I thought. And there is a pleasant, easy quality to your voice.

    Peer Feedback:

    As always, I appreciate the thoughtful remarks and find them helpful.

    Peer Feedback:

    As a blind person I have listened to audiobooks and to people reading to me in person all of my life. You have a great voice for audiobook narration, in my opinion. I'm not sure you would need a lot of emotion as you are just introducing Grace to the reader at this point in the story. Possibly, toward the end where you talk about her love for John a little more emotion would help. Overall, though, it was a compelling read.

    Peer Feedback:

    I thought the beginning a touch fast (since you're trying to ground the reading in the scene with senses, the feel of it, the smell of it...) The last couple sentences came off a little flat to me, like you hadn't really found a tone or a narrator's opinion for that spot and so it was more like straight reading.

    You have a very subtle way of changing tones as the beats of the story change. I thought it very effective, and that there's room to add in a smidge more feeling and opinion to those changes.

    I'm so picking on you though for a brand new talent. Cuz what you're doing (the clarity, the easy flow of it, the pacing for the most part, the subtle changes in tone), is, overall, pretty dang good!

    Peer Feedback:

    I am so open to all feedback and welcome the suggestions. Pick away! Thank you, everyone.

    Back to top
    Grace

    Script:

    Grace Gillian kneels before her hyacinth bed, her bare fingers raking the accumulation of decaying leaves from around the plants. She has long since shucked off her gardening gloves. She loves the feel of the earth’s awakening, the humid, fertile smell of it.

    Grace is thirty-eight years old. Slender. High cheekbones. Generous mouth. Dark brown hair, almost auburn with the russet highlights around her face. But it is her eyes, soft gray eyes tilting up at the corners, that one remembers. When she reads a poem she loves or when a student makes a perceptive comment, her face lights up and her eyes become radiantly blue. But she does not know she is beautiful. And, although her name is Grace, neither does she think of herself at all, it is in sensible, nearly mundane terms—teacher, gardener, friend. But she is neither sensible nor mundane. And on this day, as she rakes the sodden leaves from the hyacinth bed, she is thinking of John, whom she loves beyond telling.

    23 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Scott Martin's recording

    Hello! Trying a new genre, using a new mic and preamp. Appreciate feedback on both performance and recording quality. Thanks in advance. All the best, Scott

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8309/script-recording-30698.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Vocal performance - like it, like your voice. There isn't enough dynamic range for me. It sounds monotone. The piece held my interest only because I like the sound of your voice I couldn't tell you what it was about...it was not memorable. thanks

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for the feedback Sabrina! Will keep it in mind when I do another audiobook session.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Have to agree with sabrina re the dynamic range. A tad too even. When you got to describing Grace (second paragraph) the description felt read and uneven for some reason. I know that the different qualities are different sentences, but I felt that they should have been read off as if it were a long sentence with punctuation ...but flowing more smoothly together. You'd probably have to hear me do it to see what I mean because I don't think I'm describing it well enough.

    Voice was just fine. Mic chain sounds good.

    BUT...you dropped a word: "of" @ the accumulation of decaying leaves. Writer might argue they put that there for a reason. ;-)

    Nice read overall.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Tom for the thoughts and feedback. Will continue to work on it.

    I've had a cold for the last week or so but wanted to record anyway. It might have affected my range, but I will still try to improve on that.

    Great to hear about the mic chain as well. Same room, with same room noise problem, but the new mic and other equipment have given a good temporary solution.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey Scott,

    I enjoyed this take as well but was thinking just the opposite of Sabrina and Tom regarding your dynamics. Every so often, you hit a word more than necessary. Like "high" in "high cheekbones" and it just doesn't sound natural to me. Some really great moments in this where I forgot about your delivery and was drawn in to the story. Certainly sounds like a good, audition-quality set up.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Bill for the comments. Appreciate the feedback. I'll check out that "high" in "high cheekbones".

    Very happy you found some moments that drew you into the story.
    I really thought that might happen for some listeners with this recording.

    But I always need other ears to keep me honest.

    Thanks again.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Scott, you have a voice that is very easy to listen to....soothing pitch level and nice resonance. However, I agree with some of the above comments. Since it is so laid back, you might try to vary your delivery a little more...stressing important words, inserting dramatic pauses, creating images - i.e. the sentence that begins with, "But it is her eyes..." That sentence should paint a picture. Just a few thoughts.....lovely piece....thanks for sharing.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello Marianna,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Appreciate your comments, suggestions and compliments.

    Will try another version and repost at some point.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Back to top
    Harry Potter - The Boy Who Lived

    Script:

    The first page (or so) from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

    35 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Steven Jay Cohen's recording

    Recorded on an old Blue Snowball, in a makeshift porta-booth (Rubbermaid Tote with mattress pad foam), directly into Audacity. Then Normalized to -3 dB. Can you hear my furnace fan? Wondering if I need to do any sound proofing or just REAL sound treatment in my space.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-81326/script-recording-64538.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Steven --
    great audiobook performance! thoroughly enjoyed it.
    to my American ear, your English accent sounded authentic the whole way through (you're American, right?).

    great job.
    cheers!
    Dave Saunders.

    Peer Feedback:

    Yes we can hear the furnace,, and maybe ice in a glass , and it almost sounds like a printer ending at about :10 in . Along with some thumps,and bumps , like the one at about :25, and 1:03 .and Souffling paper at :56 maybe ? So yes what you did is a step in the right direction .. but its like Donkey in Shrek... there are layers... None of us,, ( or at least few of us) have a perfect environment to work in,, so it becomes a game of how to manage, manipulate, and recover in my opinion... Nice work ! Keep it up. Now I, in the past tried the self made sound box... don’t forget to do the floor of the box as well. ( many people do ) You can also play with placement of your mic inside the box. Another trick found that made a small difference. Even with the foam, round the corners, get rid of the 90 degrees and you can try angling the walls.. That way a sound wave will bounce off at a different direction,, instead of bouncing right back . When you say you used mattress pad,, hopefully its not the flat stuff,, better to use the egg create looking or wavy. Do you need to do more treatment, I don’t think so I think if you learn how to manipulate what you have , and learn Audacity, you'll be good. You might end up with a little more editing then if you had a treated room,, but its doable. I assume by your statement , that your new to audacity. I'd be happy to tell you my process for sound reduction , and it may help get your audio tone a bit less “down in a hole “ sounding ,, which comes with the box as well. Email me if you would like knm_voice@yahoo.com

    Peer Feedback:

    DON"T go to WallyWorld and buy eggcrate mattress padding. That stuff is not dense enough to give any real benefit for treating a space. There are certain sure realizations we all face. "Just reading into a mic will get me work." No...not so. "I can read in my bedroom/office/livingroom and fix things in the mix"...no...your reading space needs to be ideal. "Noise can be eliminated through software"....in a limited way, yes...but your space need to be ideal.

    I could go on, but the point is: don't expect to get away with a 99 dollar mic, reading in a closet and recording with free software. It does happen in very rare circumstances, but truly...this venture will cost your quite a bit if you're serious..in mic cost, in space treatment and in interface cost.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with TxTom, that in the end if you want to do it right,, it will need to be done right,, but along the way, I think you can get a better sound out of what you already have,, and then you can improve as you can afford it. Or decided you want to. What you dont need to do, is give up or stop right now, if you cant afford "the right" way...

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you all for the input.

    TxTom, I am planning on spending real money on my set up soon. But, I wanted to get an honest sense of the quality of my room "as-is" before doing any treatment or soundproofing. And, using my old, soon-to-be-replaced microphone.

    For microphones, I am considering:
    -Sennheiser MK 4
    -CAD Equitek E100S
    or an Audio-Technica 2020, 4040, or 4033

    I was thinking of pairing it with a Focusrite 2i2. I haven't found a separate pre-amp I like yet. And, I would like to compare the performance of the 2i2 to something like an Apogee One as well.

    Also, I am looking into building a vocal booth like one of these: http://dawbox.com

    Or, buying one of these:
    http://www.whisperroom.com
    http://www.studiobricks.com/index_en.php
    http://clearsonic.com/IsoPacG.htm
    http://www.vocalboothtogo.com
    http://www.sonicsoundrooms.com
    http://www.drumperfect.com/vocal_booth.htm

    Once I have a better idea of exactly what I need to make my space work.

    I am waiting until calendar year 2014 to make these purchases, so I can claim them as business expenses on next year's taxes. Since they are major expenses, the studio renovations will be amortized over a few years.

    KNM, thank you for all of the constructive feedback! It really helps to get the opinion of an unbiased set of ears. And, though I am not new to Audacity (this track was left untreated on purpose), I would really like to learn more about your methods for cleaning tracks. The more I learn, the better!

    Peer Feedback:

    For those keeping track at home.. I sent Steven a email with info on what I do with Audacity... If someone else shoud want it, let me know, and I'll do the same.

    Peer Feedback:

    The DAWBOX design works nicely, my booth is based on that design. I'm not personally familiar with the sound of the Sennheiser mic...but they own Nuemann, so they've got some great tech available to them. CAD has some well-regarded mics and on the A-T's, I've used the 2020 and the 2035 (which I still have for reading AT the computer) and my personal feel on the A-Ts is that they're a LITTLE too bright at the upper end. Just my personal experience with MY voice. Your mileage may vary. On that Focusrite...can't go wrong with red.

    Peer Feedback:

    can I ask a ball park of what the DAWBOX build cost? Did you do their ventilation? Did it work well?? Once we get moved I want to do something like this.

    Peer Feedback:

    TxTom, what mic do you use? And, what are you using between it and the computer? Also, about the DAWBOX, what is the thickness of the ceiling and floor? My room only has a 6'10" ceiling, so before I buy the plans, I need to know the internal height to be certain that I can still stand in the booth once I shorten it.

    And, you said "based on that design," can I ask where you deviated, and why?

    Thank you,

    Steven

    Peer Feedback:

    The DAWBOX materials ran just a little more than $600 as I used chipboard 1/2" instead of the more costly and MUCH heavier MDF. Where I deviated was putting 2x4's on the side with the door so I could use a regular solid core door. I also added 8" to one dimension as to give me just a little more room. I'm 6'3" and a 4x4 is a little confining. The extra length makes it just a little more comfortable for me. The height is 7 feet. The ceiling is the same chipboard with foam lining it. The floor is the chipboard WITH a layer of 1/4" MDF to make it JUST a bit more solid. Another deviation is that I put foam rubber floor mates and then an indoor/outdoor mat covered with carpet on top of that.

    I didn't put in a window. That's a difference also. I originally had 2" foam in the upper part of the walls and then carpet on the lower half. I also had some resonance issues or a boxy sound with that setup. I used that for several months. If you want to see the original config, I had done a short iphone video for some of my friends to see what I'd put together.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68481454/IMG_0527e%20-%20Wi-Fi.mp4

    I ordered some thicker foam and replaced the upper foam with the 4" foam and moved the 2" down to the lower half of the walls a couple months ago. The difference is amazing.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68481454/IMG_0858.JPG

    I've got a recording I posted on Sept. 21 doing a comparison between the before and after sound...using the same gear, just the thicker foam. I can't get to it myself as I get an error. Maybe you can pull it up through your account or something. One of the many errors of the Edge site.

    Peer Feedback:

    Oh, my mic of choice now is a Nuemann TLM-103 into an Apogee One into a Mac.

    If you can get to that sound file I mention, it was recorded through the AT-2035 because I wanted to use the same mic for the before and after and didn't have the 103 at the time I recorded the first half of that comparison.

    Peer Feedback:

    I was looking at the Neumann TLM 103 but considering either the Focusrite 2i2 or the Focusrite Forte to run it into my Mac. Are you liking the Apogee One?

    Peer Feedback:

    I like the Apogee a great deal. I did experience some finicky behavior from it once in a while. Can't be right next to my Mac or else some noise comes in, once in a while have to reboot the computer with the Apogee disconnected and then reconnect to get the inputs to settle into what I want. Finicky. But the sound is GREAT once the thing is set right. The Focusrite also gets great reviews.

    You'd asked about the ventilation. I'm actually working on their plans with variations right now. I'm splitting the box into two separate boxes so I can put the "pull out" vent at the top of the booth...that's where the warmest air is, right? I'll put the push box at the bottom of the booth.

    Peer Feedback:

    sounds good Tom,, I'm thinking of trying that when we get moved. I wish the site had an area where we 1.) could talk easier, and 2.) post stuff like shots of our studios and alike

    Peer Feedback:

    Anyone have any history with iZotrope RX3 Advanced? Im considering getting it.

    Back to top

    193 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear TallRobert's recording

    A pretty long read (4 min+ ) and my 2nd shot at this material. Mic's not the best, so looking more for performance notes. Thanks so much for listening!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-27041/script-recording-49689.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Robert, I absolutely loved it! Pacing is perfect! Ambient music also very nice. I'd be happy listening to you read the whole guide as we fly through the universe on whats left of our little blue green planet! Audio sounded a little too compressed and ended a little too abruptly for my tastes but still a great job!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you Alyx! Yeah, need to get a professional mic (will have access later this week, in fact)... the webcam one does... er.. little to enhance things..LOL

    Thank you so much for listening through the whole thing!

    -Robert

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    Holes By Louis Sachar

    Script:

    Stanley was not a bad kid. He was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. He’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather! He smiled. It was family joke. Whenever anything went wrong, they always blamed Stanley’s no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather!

    Supposedly, he had a great-great-grandfather who had stolen a pig from a one-legged Gypsy, and she put a curse on him and all his descendants. Stanley and his parents didn’t believe in curses, of course, but whenever anything went wrong, it felt good to be able to blame someone. Things went wrong a lot. They always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    20 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear eliehershfield's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-16403/script-recording-56317.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    There is a great deal of underlying static which distracts the listener from focusing on your read. Unfortunately, your delivery is a bit repetitious in tone and pacing and that can lead to monotony; you might want to work on those aspects in order to add interest to the story and draw your listener (and who is that?) in..

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    18 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Joe Cirillo's recording

    This is take 2 please let me know what you think. Thanks

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-11382/script-recording-30801.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Joe,

    You and I seem to be getting a dialog going....

    This one sounds better to me than the first. There are areas where the flow is right there, and if feels more like a story told by a friend. I guess that is what you want to shoot for. Imagine yourself sitting with an old friend over a drink or two, and you are telling him/her about something that happened to you. If you can get into that space, you will nail this, I think.

    Regards,

    SteveO

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Steve I appreciate the feed back.

    Peer Feedback:

    Good energy. Nice injection of humor when appropriate. I do notice that your pitch pattern of sentences is very repetitive. Listen again, ignoring the words, focus on the way the your voice goes from one 'note' down the scale as it were, in each sentence. Do you notice a repetition of sound? I understand this a fairly common thing to do, but it can make your read a little easier for the listener to tune out if not changed. Play with variations. Not every choice may be the best, but they are still choices! Cheers! ~Deborah

    Back to top
    Holes

    Script:

    Stanley was not a bad kid. He was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. He’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather! He smiled. It was a family joke. Whenever anything went wrong, they always blamed Stanley’s no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather!

    Supposedly, he had a great-great-grandfather who had stolen a pig from a one-legged Gypsy, and she put a curse on him and all his descendants. Stanley and his parents didn’t believe in curses, of course, but whenever anything went wrong, it felt good to be able to blame someone. Things went wrong a lot. They always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    32 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Joe Cirillo's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-11382/script-recording-30755.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I think your voice is great and the expression is good. I could hear the breaks where you edited the work. I could hear each spot you cut out. Just a editing problem. Try and do it all at once, though I know that is hard, but work on it, just as I do. Still is was beleavable and a great job.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Eric 1960, I'm not sure how you could here breaks because it was done in one take. I use a Aphex 230 Master voice maybe I need to set the attack smoother.

    Peer Feedback:

    Joe,

    It sounds over-processed to me. For an audio book, I would think that a cleaner sound is preferable to create that intimacy with the listener. Likewise, you could lower your voice volume too for the same reason. Your emotion and inflection sound great.

    Peer Feedback:

    Definitely over processed. For a book read, the volume or intensity felt a little strong. Didn't check the file stats...it might just be too hot.

    Peer Feedback:

    Howdy Joe,

    The one thing that stuck out at me was the fact that it seems that you dropped your tone at the end of almost every sentence. It became predictable in the piece.

    OTT, I think you read was great!

    Regards,

    SteveO

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I re-record this please let me know if I did better.
    Joe

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Joe, definitely smoothen out the gate on the aphex. its hitting to hard. the big bottom and exciter sounds good tho. it helps you with that broadcaster voice.

    Back to top

    60 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear gregalanreese's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6311/script-recording-22219.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    To me, at the beginning, it sounds like a business presentation. Towards the end, the flow improves. Throughout, I would go with a less-forceful voice.
    Also, I'm hearing "choppy" - chunks of long sentences strung together. I know the challenge of getting a very long sentence to flow without unnatural pauses. Try taking a deep breath, or, the "punch in" method and do some editing for flow. Pronounce the word "a" not as "a as in say" but as "uh".
    There are also clicks pops and other noises that need to be removed.
    Pronunciation: "Washington" has your regional accent. "professOR" = "professer"; "To" not "ta".
    Some sounds in words are not heard. E.g the "t" in "movement"; the t in first; d in and; t in that, and so on.

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    How to read copy

    Script:

    How to Read Copy by Adrian Cronauer

    “When you’ve finished reading this book you probably won’t HAVE all the skills needed to compete with professional voice-overs; that takes months, even years of practice. But you’ll KNOW what those skills ARE, and when you do practice you’ll know what you should be doing. More importantly, you’ll know what you SHOULDN’T be doing. That’s vital. Practice alone won’t accomplish much unless you know WHAT to practice. Practicing the WRONG things will certainly not lead to improvement. It will only serve to ingrain any bad habits you may already have. Study the principles outlined in this book, and you will have the foundation upon which to build your ability to take a piece of commercial copy, analyze it, wring as much meaning out of it as possible, and convey that meaning to a listener with naturalness, sincerity and believability.

    “There is no single correct way to read a given piece of commercial copy. Each voice-over person will have a different way to approach the same spot. But there are a lot of universal rules that they all will follow. This book will tell you what these rules are and show you how to apply them.”

    17 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Scott Martin's recording

    Hello, Working with a new mic and on sounding conversational in the read. Thanks for any and all feedback. All the best, Scott

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8309/script-recording-31062.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Scott,

    I loved it! It was very natural, good tone and most of all conversational. You've done some good performances and as I've said before, you have a great voice for this industry. Well done!

    Best of luck,
    LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks LCW for the compliments and encouragement.

    Wish you were a casting director!

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Very good read, Scott. Clarity, tone and pacing all sound really good to me. I think it could use a bit more casualness and warmth. The room tone and your volume --stronger than needed for this -- creates a bit of distance with the listener. Get just a little closer, speak just a bit softer, and see if you can dampen the room a bit. I think this would help. Great job though, Scott. Keep up the good work.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Bill for the comments, observations and suggestions.

    I have been working on overcoming the "room noise" problem for a number of months. The temporary solution that I came up with was to purchase a Shure SM7B mic, which was used on this copy.

    It has helped a whole lot. But I have purchased some sound absorbing wall hanging material that should help a lot more. We are planning to build out a small space for my studio, and the room sound should improve dramatically after the build out and making it less reflective.

    I did use the compounder in Adobe Audition on this file, and that may have take away from the softness of the read. I think it is used more to make the audio stand out for a radio spot than for VO.

    Thanks for taking the time and for good suggestions.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    I like it Scott!
    Yes....natural & relaxed!

    I use a couple of room dividers covered with blankets to dampen the room echo. It works! The closet was too close to the TV !!

    I agree with Bill...a little closer to the mic would be nice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Al for the feedback.

    Will try a little more "personal", up close type version and repost.

    All the best,

    Scott

    Back to top

    20 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Scott Martin's recording

    Hello! After feedback I worked closer to the mic and tried for a friendly, natural conversational style. No extra post treatment, other than normalization. Did I hit the mark or not? Thanks for lending me your ears! All the best, Scott

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8309/script-recording-31137.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Okay, less room tone for sure but now more proximity effect from your Shure mic. It's an awesome mic, BTW; I almost bought one last year myself. That's not really the issue I have though. You have a great voice, Scott, but this performance comes across as reading to me, mostly because of the inflection. A tell-tale sign is how often your inflection drops at the ends of phrases. You hit a word or two in the middle of the sentence, probably because they appear in ALL CAPS, and then your inflection drops at the end. Give it a listen and see if you can do a read that breaks out of this pattern.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Bill for taking the time to listen and for the feedback.

    I didn't like the read on this one as much as the previous myself but wanted to post it. I understand the problem with the proximity effect problem, but tried for a closer to the listener type of read.

    Will go over this one and work on sounding more natural (less dropping at the end).

    Appreciate your suggestion!

    All the best,

    Scott

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    In Flanders Field

    Script:

    by John McCrae, May 1915

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    122 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear boxermom2000's recording

    In tribute to our Veterans ... ~Laura

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-87511/script-recording-75873.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Very clearly enunciated. Very softly spoken, the way it was meant to be. I did notice some breath sounds every now and then. Keep up the good work.
    Mike W.

    Peer Feedback:

    I thought you had a lot of great flow, and I certainly commend your thoughtfulness!

    I feel like there was some gravitas that might have been missing, since your voice is so sweet, however. Honestly, it's just an odd juxtaposition in a call to arms, making it an unusual choice in performance pieces. I heard the right tone in your performance, but it was just still a little hard to get past. There was also a little whistling in there.

    Just want to be honest, since you posted for review :) I still think it's a wonderful gesture, and otherwise well read.

    edit: this is also the weekly poem for Librivox, if you're on there and want to share! I'm editing mine right now.

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    In the Witaak's Shade

    Script:

    It was dangerous to walk about in the veld, they said. Exciting times followed. There was a great deal of shooting at the leopard and a great deal of running away from him. The amount of Martini and Mauser fire I heard in the Kranzes reminded me of nothing so much as the First Boer War. And the amount of running away reminded me of nothing so much as the Second Boer War.

    26 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Peter's recording

    My studio is very new. My microphone is a Rode NT1A with just a Presonus Audiobox in the signal chain. The script was recorded with Audacity. I am looking for dry and clean. What do you think? I am new to voice acting and have not characterised the read as my coach wants me to find my natural voice.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-10606/script-recording-32280.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Peter, Nice smooth flow easy to listen to. For me, the read missed making me feel any of the danger and or excitement. The recording is dry, as in unprocessed, and quite clean. I listened with speakers, not my reference cans. This and several other types of read will surely fit your voice nicely.

    Larry

    Peer Feedback:

    I think your recording quality sounds really good. You have a pleasant, natural voice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Yes, I agree. Very pleasant voice indeed. Good pacing, but needs more emotion as Larry Oliver noted.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for your advice.

    Having listened and read through many comments now it really is great to see how supportive and constructive everyone is. I've been working on my story telling skills with my coach and now really looking forward to putting something up again very soon.

    When I've shifted this damned cold!

    Back to top
    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

    Script:

    Sorry I don't have a soft copy of the scrip.

    49 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear Kate's recording

    This is one of my earlier attempts at comedy. Please give me your honest opinion. Thanks Kate

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7330/script-recording-56772.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Interesting read. Nice story. Is it your own? There is a certain familiarity, but it is also somewhat detached.

    Loooong pauses between sentences. If you need them while recording, some judicious editing may be in order to give the story a smoother flow.

    As an American (and I think this is true of most of us), a British accent immediately signals more culture and gravitas to my (our) ears (deservedly so or not) which makes me (us) more forgiving when you mangle (too harsh a word) uniquely American idioms.

    The voice is pleasant and easy to listen to and your inflections are sometimes exagerated, but pleasing.

    I usually listen to someone's recordings a few times, but this piece is so long that I could only give it one listen.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for the feedback. The book is by Mandy Kaling (spelling?). It was a whole chapter so yes perhaps too long to include here. Agree pauses are too long too. She is an American writer so perhaps not the best choice for me - calling trousers "pants" (which is underwear where I come from) always feels odd to me. Anyroad, curious to know if the inflections are too much but truly this is how I would talk if I were telling this story. Thanks again Kate

    Peer Feedback:

    Just terrific! I listen to a lot of audiobooks and would happily revel in hearing your narrate an entire book to me. Must go roll around in some buttercream, now. Seriously, the inflection and pacing was perfect for my taste. The lazy, relaxed pace to the start helped me get into things and then you get into a faster clip for the amusing moments and the difference gave it texture for me.

    Back to top

    20 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jamesnutt's recording

    I have a new mic (Blu Snowball) and this is going to be my first contest and would like a little feedback on this recording. I will also be submitting another recording for feedback. ALL feedback welcome as this is very new tom me and I want to lead with my best foot forward. I know I tend to be a mouth breather and it can be heard from time to time. Any recommendations. Slow down so as to breath more easily and scrutinize my edit closer?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-2383/script-recording-22675.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi - you really need to add your personality to this read - think about how you would feel if this dinosaur was staring you in the face. You have to convey that - that is what will make people keep listening - if you sound believable. The recording quality could be a little better also. Overall at this point you really should work on scripts that really bring out your personality. Think about something you do vocally that makes an impact when people listen (like being funny, having an attitude, etc) and really incorporate that into your reads or do reads that will demonstrate your strengths.

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    18 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jamesnutt's recording

    Please render any feedback you feel necessary. I already submitted one sample for the same copy earlier today. One this recording I tried to add some more emotion and thus intensity and suspense to this although I noticed I can be heard breathing. This is a new mic (Blu Snowball) and this is only my third recording I have made with it so I am very new to all of this. Be brutally honest - I need good constructive feedback.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-2383/script-recording-22679.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I think you had good emotion and were connected to the story. I did feel like there should be a bit more of a contrast in tone between Tim's thoughts and the narration. I think this would bring more suspense to the moment just before the velociraptor moved on.

    I'll leave the recording quality comments for someone with better skills in that area.

    Peer Feedback:

    I think they are both good reads. I've never won one,, so I'm as much wondering what it takes as you are. Jump in and have some fun. .

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    Karate Masters 2: The Audiobook

    Script:

    Ken looked the young man straight in the eyes. "I can tell you have studied the technique, but you have misunderstood quite a bit. Boards don't hit back -- I do!" The young man chuckled slightly at the oncoming onslaught and readied himself. "So do I, old friend. So do It."

    16 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear richnice's recording

    Hello Voice Over peers, I would like some honest and constructive feedback on this audiobook practice recording, Mainly interested in perfomance feedback but will also be open to recording tips as well.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-12792/script-recording-57645.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You have a wonderful voice - rich, strong.

    Is the last phrase: "so do I" or "so do it" - I wasn't sure. (There are often misprints in the scripts.)

    Lukky

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, actually it was a misprint on the original script.

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    Keeper of the Light

    Script:

    Olivia Simon watched the downpour through the broad windows of her office. The rain sapped her concentration, and the journal on her desk was still open to the article she'd started hours before. There was something unnatural about this rain. It sucked the oxygen from the air and made it hard to breathe, and it pounded above her head like marbles falling on a sheet of tin. Just when she thought she could no longer tolerate the noise, it stopped. In the silence, Olivia watched the sky turn light and shiny, like the inside of an eggshell. Then suddenly, it was snowing.

    She walked into the reception area, where Kathy Brash and Lynn Wilkes had been playing pinochle for the last abysmally quiet two hours.

    “It's snowing,” Olivia said.

    They lifted their rained-dazed eyes to hers, then turned their heads toward the windows.

    “Unreal.” Lynn stood for a better look, her white coat scraping a few cards from the table.

    “It's beginning to be an annual tradition on the Outer Banks,

    79 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear Marianna's recording

    I will be working with an audiobook producer....but would like a critique on mood, interpretation, pace, timing, etc.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-458/script-recording-33472.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I have requested an Edge critique on this one....others are welcome to jump in...

    Peer Feedback:

    Recording quality was very professional. Pacing was great. Could have sounded maybe just a touch more sinister. Well done

    Peer Feedback:

    Okay, here goes. I think the first paragraph was just a little too smooth and...warm? The third-person narrator should express a little more of Olivia's mood...maybe with a slightly slower pace, a few more falling inflections, and a bit less supported/perfect delivery. I could be interpreting this wrong myself though. I like how you delivered her announcement that "It's snowing" with a sort of ho-hum tone, which made me think that the preceding paragraph could be just a little darker.

    I don't feel qualified to be very critical of your work, Marianna. Mostly, I just click play and enjoy it.

    Peer Feedback:

    Marianne: Was very captivating and kept me listening. That's what audio books are supposed to do, and you did it. I liked the texture and timbre of your voice and everyone was a separate entity. The only thing I heard with my bad ears is after "unreal" the narrator started in the character's voice for a few words. Well done. Always a pleasure to listen to you.

    Peer Feedback:

    Marianna, I am no professional but I wanted you to know that I listened to it and fully enjoyed it. Your voice is great for this kind of reads and you kept me interested at all times. Thank you for sharing and I hope to hear more of your recordings :) All the very best! Eva

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks to all....appreciate your input. This is only a part of the audition....had to keep it to :60 for the Edge critique. I will also be interested to hear what Carol Monda has to say.

    Professional Feedback:

    Hi, Marianna,

    Your vocal quality is wonderfully warm. It's lovely to hear that voice! I can't say that enough, so while you read the feedback, please keep in mind that you are absolutely in the right field!

    Areas for consideration, work, and improvement are:

    YOUR STUDIO:
    1. Technically, this is not a professional broadcast quality recording. It's too hot, the treble is too high, and you're very sibilant. I assume the producer with whom you'll be working will bring you into his studio? If not and you'll be using your set-up, I suggest you get a d-esser ( symetrix makes a good one - www.symetrix.co/), or use the built-in d-esser usually available through your software. You may also want to experiment with different mic placements and certainly a mic filter if you don't have one or if it's simply a pop screen; you'll want a true foam cover over the mic if the sibilance isn't addressed with the equalizer, d-esser, or alternate mic placement.

    2. Your mouth noises are pronounced. This is very common and can be addressed with a lot of water, water with lemon, water with a half or full teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, green apple and/or potato chips (I KNOW!). Avoid caffeine, sugar, and "diet "drinks.

    YOUR READ:
    1. Slow down. Find each new moment, - action, mood, subject, etc., and allow for its transition. See, hear, and feel the world you're describing, and as you "notice" things, let them be new - paint the picture with brush strokes your listener can "see". Let there be a moment of dawning before "There was something unusual about this rain..." at .11 seconds. You go from .10 to .11 without allowing a true discovery to occur.

    2. At app. .6 seconds, there's a de-nasal/stuffy sound that muddies the enunciation. It happens especially on the word "and" ( "and the journal on her desk..."). If ever you feel stuffy, stop and blow your nose and/or massage your mask. Avoid dairy. Always re-record the sections that are problematic.

    3. At app. .45 seconds, there's a strange hesitation and then a muddiness. These don't sound like choices but stumbles. Even tiny things like this can take the listener out of the moment. It happens on the line, "They lifted their --- rain-dazed eyes..".

    4. There isn't enough of a pause nor transition before "Lynn stood for a better look..." at .52 seconds. This is another example of the need for the listener to digest what's just been given them, the need for the narrator to adjust to the new moment or idea, and the need for the story itself to unfold with as much texture and depth as possible.

    Your point of view is nicely present in the narration; you can cultivate this even more by telling the story as it happens rather than from the perspective that it's already happened. In other words, invest in and be with the moment-to-moment action.

    Nice work and great book for your sound.

    You will do very well in this world.

    Best,
    Carol

    Professional Feedback by Edge Studio Coach June 26, 2012 at 11:36AM

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow Carol....great observations...I totally get what you are saying. The nasal sound is very frustrating...I need to address that immediately. The other issues are clear now that you have made reference. Will be hard at work...thanks.

    Peer Feedback:

    What can anyone say after Carols great observations.

    The only thing that I would add is that I felt the same way, at some points, that we need time to digest what we just heard.

    Other than that it sounded great!

    All the best,

    Scott

    Back to top

    26 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear laughterman's recording

    Based on some excellent feedback I received, I've recreated this reading using a lighter approach.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-14694/script-recording-34589.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I think you could get closer to the mic and lower your volume to make this sound more personal. You sound quite distant to me. Nice pace and emotion.

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    121 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear redrocket's recording

    Trying my hand at fiction. Not crazy about the computer voice.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-98164/script-recording-78012.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Read sounds good to me. Nice pace and good character differentiation. I got it. Maybe just a lighter, airy-er voice for the female computer, pitched just a half-tone higher - not a high falsetto though.

    Still a bit of popping though, with the P's and hard C's.

    I'm just about to begin my first fiction audiobook (been doing non-fiction so far) and thought I might want to get a little more intimate with the mic. But I occasionally have a bit of a popping issue as well. I have a cheap pop filter, but it isn't quite as effective as I'd like. So I did a little research, and decided to give this a try:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_354023&feature=iv...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU2AmQqGXUg

    Here's a link to the website if you're interested.

    https://www.editorskeys.com/products/recording-equipment/dual-layer-pop-...

    Peer Feedback:

    Recently bought this pop filter and use with my thinner cover on the SM7B. I'm still right up on the mic, and try to keep it off axis. I'll continue to watch for the popping. Thanks!

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CFXH4S6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s0...

    Peer Feedback:

    Redrocket, I really enjoy your reads. How long have you been in VO and how much training do you put in a week if you don't mind me asking? Do you have a website?

    Peer Feedback:

    Redrocket, having spent a lot of time listening to audiobooks as an OTR driver, I've listened to at least 1,200 hours/mo of books for over 2yrs. Man, not blowing any smoke by any means, your read is really good! Now, I will agree with you concerning the 'computer' voice - you have to give it that "trying to sound sexy" or more "robotic" sound (or a combination of both) and honestly you'll be right up there - IMHO.

    I don't really see anything in your plosives, but then again that could be due to my hearing, others may hear what I'm not.

    I liked the read. Keep punching brother, the KO is coming!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks guys. I really appreciate the kind words. I started back in Nov/December last year. Most of my practice has come in the form of voices.com and ACX auditions. Usually "practice" 5 hours a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. - Dave

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice pipes and a style that's very appropriate for the script. I noticed a couple times in this segment that there were some words that weren't annunciated well (1:01, 1:41) and that distracted a little. Great work at the mic--just the right distance to give the listener the sense of being very "close" to the story.

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    Let Go Of Judgments and Inhibitions

    Script:

    An important part of the woodshedding process is to experiment with your choices out loud, exactly the way you intend to perform the lines. This means you can’t hold back just because you are afraid of what someone nearby might think. Always keep in mind that you are an actor, and as an actor, your job is to perform. And in order to create a great performance, you must rehearse the way you will be performing.

    Be careful not to make the mistake of rehearsing and woodshedding silently or at a whisper. Unless you test your woodshedding and script analysis out loud, you can’t possibly know exactly what your performance will sound like. Your delivery might sound great in your head, but the minute you start performing on mic it will almost always come out of your mouth sounding completely different from what you had in mind.

    76 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Hubert Williams's recording

    General practice

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-3115/script-recording-79759.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hubert,

    Your recording quality is good. I feel you might be reading too fast, to understand what the message is?

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    Little Bighorn

    Script:

    It might be argued that the Little Bighorn battlefield became an archaeological site the moment the battle ended, or perhaps when the burial parties left the field, leaving nature to take its course on the debris of war left behind from the fight. However, it seems unlikely that anyone in June 1876 or the remainder of the nineteenth century even remotely considered that possibility. That they were part of an event that had historical import was not lost on the participants, and some even used the distribution of the dead and clusters of fired cartridge cases to make deductions about what may have happened. Though the importance of physical evidence was not lost on these individuals, preservation of the debris of war and the context in which those artifacts were associated likely never entered their minds. It would take time and the evolution of the field of anthropological archaeology over the next hundred years before the necessary theoretical and methodological means were at hand to tease information from the context of the fight's debris to build an increased understanding of the multitude of individual actions that is the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
    Interest in the physical evidence of the battle is not new. It began with the victorious warriors who took war trophies, with the soldiers who buried the dead and commandeered souvenirs, and with later visitors to the site who wished to have a tangible reminder of their sojourn on the hallowed ground.

    90 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear redrocket's recording

    I have a cold, so just looking for feedback on the flow of this read for an audiobook. Should it be faster, slower.? More inflection? Any input on the style would be helpful. I didn't try to clean up the read for pops clicks, etc.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-98164/script-recording-77147.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    i stopped it at the first sentence. It's fast. words are blending together.. but i can tell already, I love your voice for books.

    Peer Feedback:

    it took me a second before I realized you guys weren't the same handle, just talking to yourself lol

    You do start to slow down, but you did start very quickly.

    There was also a lot of breathing and I think some swallowing that needs to be edited out. At times, I felt you were just reading, and not conveying the thoughts as though you understood them.

    It was pretty mixed up with decent and eh, keep trying :) So keep trying.

    Peer Feedback:

    Yep. The pace is much too brisk. Too much information flying by much too quickly. The slurred words may be due to your cold and a thick tongue and clogged nasal passages. It could also be the reason for the perception of an inordinate number of breaths. It also makes many words inarticulate. That and the speed of delivery keep the listener's mind rewinding as if to say, "Did I just hear that correctly?" Which then causes the listener to miss the next bit. And if the same thing happens over and over again, it's a cycle of mentally rewinding rather than comfortably listening to the narrative. You are painting word pictures for the listener's imagination to formulate. Cut 'em a little slack.

    Slow down. Mark your script for breaths - it may help you sting more words together in groupings of complete thoughts. Find the words that give you trouble articulating, practice them by themselves and then fit them into the sentence.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for the input. Slow down is the take home message. That, and don't record when you have a cold. You are right. Everything is a slurred mess trying to breath through a clogged up noise. :)

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    Long Horn Big Shaggy

    Script:

    "Long Horn Big Shaggy" in Edge Library.

    68 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Bil-Bo@hotmail.com's recording

    The thought of doing an audio book makes my hair hurt. Maybe a western?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-4431/script-recording-90212.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Bil-Bo! I feel your pain when it comes to doing an audiobook. BUT, fear not! Just as is everything in life, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will get. As for this recording, it sounds like you have a really good pace. Obviously this audio hasn't been post processed, which would remove the background noise and some of the mouth noises, but that's the easy part (assuming you know your script going into the booth). With audiobooks, because they're completely LONG FORM, it's most important to be able to maintain the "character of the narrator" for the long run. Not going in and out of that "fee". Taking it a touch slower like you've done here, and really knowing what you're reading (even if it's just skimming thru one chapter before you record it to understand the feel for that chapter) will make the recording process go smoothly, which IN TURN, will make your post/editing MUCH easier. THAT's where I really get frustrated at times. If I know I have multiple edits during the read, then coming back to the waveform and having to edit those.

    In summation, I really like your voice. Western or not. I wouldn't be so quick as to say only western because of your accent. You DO have the accent, but you also have a nice deep, soothing delivery. Good inflection. Use your lips and mouth more as a tool to create more of a sonic environment for the listener. Especially if there are multiple characters. You have good pacing and pretty good sounding recording.

    Get on ACX! It's free, you'll DEFINITELY get the practice time while getting paid for it. And you can choose to start out with a short 1-2 hour book to get your toes wet.

    Good luck!

    Peer Feedback:

    Yep, Bil-Bo. Audiobooks ain't easy. Takes a lot of patients, commitment and concentration, and vocal as well as physical stamina.

    A Western is the perfect type of genre for you. Unfortunately they're in limited supply compared to other genres of fiction.

    If you want to get an idea of your potential competition and/or a really good delivery style in the genre, listen to some of J. Rodney Turners work.

    http://www.audible.com/search?ref_=a_mycart_vi_tseft&sprefix=j.+rodney+T...

    As far as I know, he produces his audiobooks from his home studio, and is quite prolific. But he can't do 'em all. So go for it.

    I agree with Scott. Get yourself a profile on ACX (it's free) and put up some samples (but find some original material) and start auditioning. It's easy to troll Amazon or Audible and see if your sample selections have already been produced as an audiobook. Be sure to read all of their suggestions and criteria for producing audiobooks. And watch some of their instructional videos on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbBRWl1PoeAjvuzGrVlbMhw

    Peer Feedback:

    DISCLAIMER: I don't know how to comment on, or direct an audiobook critique - so this is just me making it up.

    Awesome read.
    Bil-Bo, you seem to have got the storytelling knack! You're putting your "Rex Allen" to excellent use!

    My ears would've been a little more comfortable if you used slightly more spacing between paragraphs....the read had a nice, patient (stoic) pace, but it kind of flowed into one long stream of thought.

    Now you need to rig up your mic in front of a Lazy Boy recliner so you can read 1000 pages for a couple months. :-)

    cheers!
    DS.

    PS: you should contact Tom Lennon...another audiobook enthusiast.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey Scott and James!
    Thanks for listening and your tips and suggestions.
    Much appreciated.
    BillH

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Dave!
    Thanks for listening and commenting. I have heard some of Tom Lennon's posts and he has a great voice for audio books. I don't know if I have the patience to do an audio book. Much rather do a :30 or :60 commercial. I'm afraid I would be limited to westerns re: audio books and as James says, not much going on in the genre today. Just thought I'd try a little with "Long Horn Big Shaggy". Thanks so much for listening. Your comments are always thoughtful and encouraging.
    BillH

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    Long Horn, Big Shaggy

    Script:

    The bullet chewed into the meat of Jonah Walker’s dust gray horse long before he heard the shot. Jonah kicked free of the stirrups as the horse dropped. He tried his hardest to land on his feet, but didn’t quite manage the trick. He hit the ground like a sack full of busted bricks, smack dab in front of parched out buffalo skull. His ankle twisted and his knee sang out like a freshly skinned Siamese cat.
    He stared down at the buffalo skull.
    Big ugly thing.
    He could have sworn the dead hump bones were laughing at him.
    “Shut up skull. You’re dead and I ain’t.”
    If they were laughing, he was outnumbered. There was nothing out here but dead humps, as far as he could see.
    Dead buffalo, blown down to nothing but shiny white bones.
    Skulls and rib cages.
    Whole damn skeletons.
    Yes sir, the buffalo hunters had picked this range clean a long time ago. They had ridden through this country like a herd of gun toting locusts. They took the skins, and some of the bones that were close enough to the railroad tracks to sell for fertilizer. But way out here, this far from nowhere, in the shadow of the distant mountain that men call the Devil’s Anvil, they just shot the big humps dead and left them right where they fell. Which was probably what the booger that had just shot Jonah’s horse had in mind for him.
    At least he was still alive.
    The way he figured it, that put him way ahead of the hump skull.
    At least for now.

    34 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear David_K's recording

    Long script, I recorded a condensed version. Working on one of my character voices, trying to sound real and and not forced. Any comments always welcome, thanks. Voice On!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/Big Shaggy.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I like this read! Very consistent all the way through. Very nice job.

    Peer Feedback:

    OMG I love this piece for your voice! Amazing. The only thing I heard was "stirrup" should be stur-up and not steer-up. I really enjoyed this!!

    Peer Feedback:

    Amazing voice, David. What a gift. You almost scared me ha ha. But...in addition to the vocal quality, your delivery was deadpan enough to add the comic element where it was needed. Very well done.

    Mike

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you all so much for your comments. I heard someone else on the forum submit a recording for this script and one of the feedback comments were that this script, "Screams Cowboy Voice". I guess I'm very lucky, (Thanks Mike) this character voice is very easy for me and I could use it all day long without any vocal issues, Iv'e been using it my entire adult life just messing around with family, friends and co-workers in the workplace. My Dad and I were huge Rich Little fans back in the day and when the Old Man would throw a party he would always make me do my impersonations for his friends when I was a kid. Thanks very much Amy, I would have never noticed, "Steerups" I guess I had Longhorn Steer on my mind. I'm a South Chicago boy. Sorry Mike for scaring you, LOL. I think I'll slightly tweak this recording and use it for my Narration/Audible Demo. Thanks again.
    BTW, I finally found the Rich Little Reaganomics skit He used to do back in the mid 80's, I'll be submitting that soon, hopefully it will be entertaining. Voice On!

    Peer Feedback:

    Again: I think you're working too hard at the accent. Sorry. I couldn't listen to a full audiobook of this delivery. I live in Texas and don't know ANYONE in my circle of average people who talk like this. It's too over-the-top. To me...it sounds too cliche.

    Peer Feedback:

    Ok, thanks, Texas Tom.

    Peer Feedback:

    I'll try to do my best, thanks again Tom

    Peer Feedback:

    You've posted three recordings from what I see. (EDIT: I was looking at the last month total)
    Can you post something outside of "going deep and growly?" That's ONE aspect of delivery. Can we hear you do something away from that approach? You're definitely not shy at the mic, so do something in your regular, unaffected delivery so we can hear the real you! It's all about acting...act as yourself and let us hear that deep-capable voice in it's conversational, unaffected delivery. There's probably a lot of things you could do with that range. Just saying.

    Peer Feedback:

    No Tom, you have not offended me in any way. It's your opinion. I spoke with David Guzzone and he believes I should work on my gritty cowboy character voice so that's simply what I am trying to do. It seems some people like it.

    Peer Feedback:

    I won't critique if I offend. FYI, I had to search to realize you changed your ID here. You've posted 34ish times as I post this. Your "regular voice" is far superior to the affected SoMo things you've done. SoMo = "southern mouth". They've sounded artificial to my mostly southern ears. Your reads aiming toward American Neutral are much better.

    Just putting that out there after getting after your last couple reads.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks again Tom, I guess I get bored and enjoy trying new things. I've been doing some audiobook narrations or audibles as they call them now and it's quite a bit of tedious work for not much money. Trying to expand. Have a good night, Keep on Voicing!

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    Lyle

    Script:

    "Please," said Mrs. Primm, when she was connected with the zoo, "my crocodile isn't feeling well today. Could you kindly recommend a good crocodile doctor?" "Where is the crocodile?" a man asked. "He's right beside me, here in the living room." said Mrs. Primm. "Living room?" "Yes ... liv ... ing roooom. Please," continued Mrs. Primm, "he must have a doctor." "Well..." The man hesitated. "Yes, do go on," pressed Mrs. Primm. "Well, there is a Dr. Lewis James on East 25th Street who is very good with crocodiles." "Oh thank you. Thank you so very much," said Mrs. Primm gratefully. The instant Mrs. Primm put down the receiver, she realized she had forgotten to ask for the doctor's phone number.

    61 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear urbangraceb's recording

    I know the recording isn't great. i'm considering using this script as part of my children's book demo. Again, this may be a little long. So suggestions about where to cut, character, timing, if i should use it at all, etc. are all welcome. Thanks, Grace

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-104804/script-recording-83022.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Grace recording quality; just fine, don't sweat it! Performance, I got it, A convincing Mrs. Primm. If I had young children, I'd buy the book! Tampavoice.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Tampavoice. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Grace

    Peer Feedback:

    Recording quality is a little sharp on sibilance - the S's are a little sharp and ringing.

    The script is a good one for a children's book demo, I suppose. One thing you might think about is to set off the quotations a little more with a little more space - between different characters that are speaking.

    IMOH, this script isn't formatted (visually written) very well. Different speakers should have their own paragraphs - not two quoted speakers in the same paragraph. Which would visually make it easier for you as a reader to really determine who is talking and when. That might also subtly force you to give that "space" I mentioned.

    The last inflection was just a little odd, in that it sounded like an incomplete sentence rather than a "button" on the story.

    Peer Feedback:

    Great ideas, thanks.

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    Making Father's Day

    Script:

    The woman, sitting alone, tried to ignore us.

    “Now turn the wheel,” Father said.

    “Right?” I asked.

    “Right,” he said. “No, wrong! Left! Turn it left! Where’s your sense?”

    Father was adept with spacial relationships, not so much with ours.

    16 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear John Wang's recording

    Hi, I'm new to this site. I wanted to enter the contest but I think I missed the deadline. Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-91316/script-recording-72108.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Is this your "normal" speaking voice? Here's the reason why I ask.

    For an audiobook, as the narrator (anything not in quotes), you will have to maintain that first voice you presented page after page after page for hours and hours and hours. If this is not your "normal" voice, the question to ask yourself is, "Can I sustain and consistently reproduce this voice for hours at a time and days apart from recording session to recording session?"

    This read is probably more befitting a video game dialogue (just bits and pieces of dialogue recorded at a time) than long form audiobook (usually 4 hour sessions at a time with breaks). It hurt my throat just listening to it because of the obvious strain you are putting on your throat and vocal chords. Not something that I'd care to listen to for an extended period of time without reaching for a Hall's throat lozenge.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for the feedback Jamesromick!

    That is definately a valid point I had not considered when I recorded these lines. You are right! The son's voice is not my natural tone and it will definately get difficult to sustain it as the narrator for a long read. The father's voice is more closer to my natural voice.

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    20 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear amichaelgray@bellsouth.net's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-5268/script-recording-24833.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Micheal,

    A pleasant persuasive read. I liked the way delivered sentences like “I could do that.”

    Here are some suggestions for further improvement:

    You could do with a better choice of music.

    - "probably listened": This is clubbed now. Make "probably" stand out more.
    - "Just being aware": Work on "aware"
    - In "(Know many other jobs where you can make six figures and not have to dress up?)- End "other jobs" in an up-tone, pause for micrsecond before going to "where.."
    - " in various ad campaigns ": Work on "various" - stress ' r ' a bit more.
    - "professionals" in "career choice that many professionals.. " will sound better if stress at "fess".
    - "gave up" in (A doctor friend of mine recently gave up..) sounds like "give up"

    The changes you made in the script are fine, they don't take away the spirit of the script.

    All best.

    Regards
    Jothi

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Jothi, very good calls! your observations are right on point; I will be addressing these areas. Want to thank you for time spent in reviewing this read and others in the past.

    Peer Feedback:

    Michael,

    If I were being honest, I would say I have a bit of voice envy...you have some of the best natural pipes I have heard. You are well aware of your accent, but that can actually work to your advantage in the right situation. My suggestion would be to continue to work on pronunciation and diction, but I would NOT attempt to "lose" the accent. There are scripts that you would be perfect for. Scripts that I could never pull off. Best wishes.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for your honesty Dave, your comment is well received and appreciated. I am encouraged.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with a lot of the above, Great voice! Music, I prefer the dry reads to hear the voice quality unmasked myself. Work on pronunciation and diction! T's and D's and finish the words with confidence. Great pipes...

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    Management Memo

    Script:

    Hire thoughtful people and give them room to think. Trust them to find the best ways to reach your goals. In other words, don’t tell them how to get to Chicago, just where to be and when.

    51 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear joelscott81's recording

    This is my first time entering the Audition competition.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-110599/script-recording-99800.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice voice and pacing. I suggest that you smooth out the last phrase so that "just where to be and when" is less choppy. Good job!

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    Mass Murder in the Skys

    Script:

    As a literary criminologist for more than thirty years, I have studied and written about many of the most infamous crimes and criminals in U.S. history. One that has always remained with me is a pre 9/11 era bombing of an airliner in flight over Denver, killing all aboard. Though this is stunning and tragic enough, the circumstances and motivation of the mass murderer are even more shocking.
    In this true crime short, I revisit this frightening case of mass murder in the skies as part of our dark history and a forerunner for similar type acts of terrorism in modern times.
    ***
    Jack Gilbert Graham has a unique place in American aviation history. He was not a pilot. Nor was he a passenger on that fateful day in the fall of 1955. Graham's impact was that of a mass murderer. He planted a dynamite bomb in luggage belonging to his mother, who was taking a flight from Denver, Colorado en route to Portland, Oregon. with her ultimate destination being Alaska to visit a daughter.
    Graham's mother never made it to her destination. Nor did any of the other forty-four passengers and crew, as the plane exploded while airborne, killing those aboard instantly. And so began one of our nation's most shocking acts of terrorism.
    Jack Graham's motivation was apparently to collect insurance on his mother's death, though some believe it was a difficult relationship between Graham and his mother that led to the tragedy. Either way, the massive explosion not only cost many others their lives, but has played on the collective psyches of Americans ever since.
    Graham's mass murder did not go unpunished as he received the same fate as his mother and the other passengers aboard the ill-fated airliner, executed in Colorado's gas chamber less than two years later.
    Now the chilling story of Jack Graham and his date with infamy...
    ***
    The evening of November 1, 1955 must have seemed pretty routine initially for those making their way through Denver, Colorado's Stapleton Airfield that later became Stapleton Airport. This was likely just as true for the thirty-nine people who boarded Flight 629 bound for Portland, Oregon, as the five crew members. After all, there was nothing particularly unusual that would have tipped their hand that this was anything but an ordinary flight, much less, one for which no one would arrive safe and sound at the destination.

    31 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear teggray's recording

    I would like some feedback on this recording for a non-fiction audiobook. I'm interested in sending this in for an audition. Any thoughts?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7250/script-recording-24870.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi! I liked it. I would certainly listen to it.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Bil-Bo!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi teggray, your read sounds like a balanced delivery. I do have to ask why you ommited "Though this is stunning and tragic enough" in the first paragraph. You also omitted "Now the chilling story of Jack Graham and his date with infamy..." but that would seem understandable. The first seems to be a flub. On "I revisit this frightening case" you substituted "the" for "this". Hope this helps. Break a leg on your audition.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for the feedback. I made this with a bit too much haste. I'll rework this and resubmit it.

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    88 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear paulstefano's recording

    Hello, Trying to get opinions on mics. Please give me your feedback on what sounds best on my voice, based on numbers. 1, 2, 3 etc. Thanks so much for your time!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-107044/script-recording-85193.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I liked the second one better.. You have a good voice.. You need to reduce the rate of speech a little bit so that it will add even more clarity.

    Peer Feedback:

    The first mic is kinda sensitive and is picking up a little background ambient room fuzz and quite a bit of mouth noise.

    The second mic is a little bass heavy and kind of boom-y making the already un-enunciated words seem even more muddy.

    The third mic, even though it is less bassy and/or sensitive than the other two, seems (IMHO) to suit your voice well. It is also more forgiving with regards to mouth noise and background room fuzz. I'm guessing that it's a shotgun type of mic. Processing (like noise reduction, EQ, etc.) would be effective in enhancing the raw sound input from this mic.

    Peer Feedback:

    I like how the 4th read seemed to have a little more fullness on it. The last read was my favorite. Good pacing and inflection.

    Peer Feedback:

    I like number four. Very full and rich.

    Peer Feedback:

    The thing about this test is that all the reads are at different levels, and that has an effect on our perception of the sound. So I downloaded the audio file (and thanks to a certain member of the forum here for giving me a Hand with how to do that oh those many moons ago...), separated and normalized the samples, EQ's and tweaked them (they all needed some tweaking to my ear, starting with an 80 Hz high pass filter)... I didn't consider things like how much room noise each mic picked up, as I think that's something you have to get under control regardless of which you end up using.

    Here is my list in order of preference: 2, 1, 3, 4, 6, 5.

    Notes: 3 has a presence that makes it appealing at first listen, but I think would be fatiguing over time. I'm guessing 4 and 6 are dynamics (I know I shouldn't try to guess because I'll probably just end up embarrassing myself). 5 just sounds nasal and thin...

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello Everybody. First of all, thanks for the feedback!

    Here's the reveal:

    1. NT2A No switches engaged
    2. SM7B from about 10 inches away, no switches engaged
    3. SM7B from about 1 inch away, no switches engaged
    4. AT2020
    5. NT2A with the 80 roll off switch engaged.

    My point in all this is to help me shopping. I currently use the AT2020 in my studio and the others I borrowed from friends and colleagues. You are hearing mostly what I am hearing. I like the SM7B overall, and feel that has the most ability to tweak. Let me know if you feel differently after knowing the results.

    Thanks again for your time!

    Paul

    Peer Feedback:

    My fav for pairing your voice are the 2 - NT2A recordings. There is a crispness on your voice that allows it to cut through. The NT2A is a fav among many voice talent for that reason. I actually am thinking about getting one for my kit to travel. Listen to how clean your "s" sound are comapred to the others.

    For reference, I am listening to you recording through an Antelope Zodiac Mastering DAC and AKG K712 headphones. It sounds really nice compared to the others. The SMB, I would need to eq your voice a bit. The NT2A would pretty much drop right in a session.

    Peer Feedback:

    "Here's the reveal:

    1. NT2A No switches engaged
    2. SM7B from about 10 inches away, no switches engaged
    3. SM7B from about 1 inch away, no switches engaged
    4. AT2020
    5. NT2A with the 80 roll off switch engaged"

    This can't be right. There are 6 reads. #4 has to be the SM7B from 1 inch (strong proximity effect), and I'll believe that the AT2020 is #5, so there is something missing prior to what you've listed as #3...

    Peer Feedback:

    isn't the SM7B a dynamic mic?

    while generally great for onstage vocals and broadcast, most VO professionals use a condenser mic in a booth. more sensitive, warmer sound, etc, etc.

    If you're planning on doing a lot of VO stuff, go with the NT2A.

    if you want to spend a grand...thats a whole other ball of wax.

    just sayin'
    DS.

    Peer Feedback:

    Sundance, you are right there are 6! I don't know what I was thinking!

    #4 is the SMB7 and #5 is the AT2020

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    86 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear paulstefano's recording

    Hello Everybody. Still looking for a better mic, and I have 3 different in my possession now. Looking for opinions on the 1 best suited to my voice. Thanks for the feedback!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-107044/script-recording-85532.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    My 2c?
    The second mic.
    First one is good, but not as crisp.
    Third one is somewhat muddy.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, I know its only 1 response, but here's the reveal

    1. Rode NTG2
    2. Audio Technica AT2020
    3. Audio Technica AT4040

    My goal was to try a shotgun mic to help with side and rear noise rejection in my not so quite room.

    Do you think I could accomplish that and still get good quality for both narration and promos? Or is the NTG2 too muddled?

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Paul,
    I like the 2020 as well- crisp-I can hear more of your vocal range with it as well.
    I am new at this but the difference in the sound is quite marked on my JBL speakers.

    Peer Feedback:

    Shotgun mics are more forgiving as far as noise is concerned. And it does sound good. The biggest drawback is that they is sooooo directional that there's little room to play around with mic placement to find that sweet spot, especially if you tend to move around a bit as you record. If you're recording for a long time (for say, an audiobook), you'll probably get a neck cramp from having to stay in one position for an extended period.

    Think about spending the extra $50 or so for an AT-2035. The frequency response is a little bit better than the AT-2020. It also gives you a little more "body" to the sound, especially for the male voice. I got an AT-2020 at B&H to start out with, played around with it for a couple of weeks, took it back within their return policy period and traded up to the AT-2035, which also includes a shock mount. I'm really happy with it. IMHO, the AT-4040 is also a nice mic, but it is a bit overkill for home studio for the price the price. All of the bells and whistles it includes can be taken care of with software processing.

    Spend the rest of the money you'll save from the NTG2 and and the AT-4040 and put it into more sound damping (not dampening - that means wet) material for your recording space. Moving blankets are really cheap at Harbor Freight.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hmmm. My space is actually a booth constructed of 5 Producer's Choice Acoustic blankets. I created a cube over PVC pipe. I can't get anymore dense than that with blankets. Are you hearing a lot of bouncing around of the sound? Comb filtering?

    If so, it may be something inside the booth. Mic stand, lamp, PC

    Peer Feedback:

    Nope. Your space sounds fine. It was just a suggestion on how to better spend your money. Still think you should look into the AT-2035. Even a relatively inexpensive mic can sound pretty darn good in a well- treated space.

    Peer Feedback:

    speaking of moving blankets....I found these instead a Northern Tool:
    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200511670_200511670
    they're heavy and made specifically for sound dampening (because you pour water on the sound...lol), er, I mean damping.

    regarding the mic, the NTG had the cleanest sound, IMO.
    the others seemed muffled or like they were losing some high end.

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    61 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear urbangraceb's recording

    I am planning on using part of this as the final piece of the children's audio book demo. i'll be recording this as sell as the other three (asops, lyle, chicken pox) in a studio. So sound isn't really the focus. I'm concerned that is might be a little slow. I do want differences in the reads. This is a picture book , and I assumed should be a little slower. Does it drag? What part would be good to use for the demo? Any other thoughts?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-104804/script-recording-83041.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    LOL, thanks for the info. At least I know I can do spooky now.

    Peer Feedback:

    Not so much about the read, but I'm curious if you are going to have someone else (a director, so to speak) to coach you along with the recordings? It's always good to have at least one other set of ears as sometimes we aren't always the best judge as to what we're actually producing. that way you can just be the talent - not wearing too many hats.

    Peer Feedback:

    Good question. I would like to have someone coach me through it. However most online resources want me to buy a whole program instead of just a little guidance and a second ear for the demo recording. I can't afford thousands of dollars. I am starting a training voice over seminar next week. It is a five week course with Scott Shurian. And I don't know if he would be willing to stand in at the studio. Are you available? L.O.L. So yeah... I'd really like to get my demos done within the next few weeks. It's been holding me up. I've gotten thumbs up and even favorites on voices.com, but no one will hire me without demos on Voices.com. And on fiverr, I have been mainly doing e-learning, narration, and phone. I've gotten some DJ stuff and a few character roles. But mainly narration. So I'm guessing that's my nitch. So now that I've told my life story.....

    Peer Feedback:

    Even a friend who knows you with a good ear could help, just as long as they are critical and not placating - someone who will give you an honest appraisal. To paraphrase a former Supreme Court Justice, "I may not know anything about VO, but I know good VO when I hear it." Most "laymen" intuitively know when something's "off" in a delivery, even though they may not be able to articulate it. They'll also intuit when they hear something that rings true and good. Then you buy them dinner.

    Peer Feedback:

    sounds good. Thanks for the idea. Grace

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    My Summer Romance with Will (Shakespeare)

    Script:

    Just mentioning the name William Shakespeare can strike fear in the heart of high school students
    many theater-goers college freshman and let's face it even some actors
    Who is this Shakespeare anyway
    And why all the fuss about his plays
    In Shakespeare's plays lovers get separated and lost in forests regularly
    people find themselves shipwrecked a lot
    Lovers fight and break up people lose kingdoms
    But more often than not the lovers find each other again and
    the human spirit survives prevails and is exalted
    So be brave go and find yourself a Shakespeare play to see or read
    Who knows what wonders you may discover

    Narration - Audiobook
    A Summer Romance with Will (Shakespeare) 02
    Mary Cochrane-McIvor © 2009

    90 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear marycochranemcivor.vo@juno.com's recording

    I'm setting up my home studio. I've been having trouble with the infamous background 'hum'. Has anyone else found effective ways to deal with this for recording? I've checked and adjusted all the system inputs, software, drivers and settings as well as I know how to.I'm checking out grounding issues. I want to identify and get rid of the source of the hum. Thank you!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-96859/script-recording-78198.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey Mary! You did a pretty good job, and I have a few pointers that might help you. I'll start with what you mentioned about recording.

    Normally, the hum is caused by something ambient in your environment that leaks into your recording. Do you have a noisy computer nearby with a spinning hard drive? Are you recording near pipes or machinery in your house like a boiler that makes a constant noise? Are there fluorescent light bulbs in your ceiling that hum? Examine your environment and try to see what the source of the sound is and figure out how to isolate it (hard to do) or maybe move away from it (easy solution if that's possible in your home).

    It's also possible that the noise is coming from your actual equipment setup, like a low-quality mic issue or a low quality cable, but that's both harder to troubleshoot and less likely (you'd often notice other issues such as recordings occasionally dropping out so being low volume). Try seeing if your environment is the issue first.

    Another thing is to move just a touch further away from your mic. It sounds like you're so close to the mic that your mouth is about to touch it. Being close to the mic is good, but being TOO close causes awkward volume bumps that result in some of the recording being fine while more emphatic parts sounds distorted. If you're not that close, just try lowering the volume of your input; it'll go a long way to improving the quality of the recording.

    As for your performance, there's a few technical issues you could address. Your voice sounds very wet, especially in the beginning; the saliva in your mouth is audible. Just try to keep your mouth dryer; swallow right before you start recording and just be mindful of it. I don't know any exact exercises you could do to remedy this, but I'm sure other users here are more knowledgeable on that point.

    The only other thing I'd comment on is that your performance doesn't feel quite as natural as it should. Imagine yourself as a teacher in a classroom; would you use this tone of voice and cadence when lecturing a group of students? Probably not. Try to take deeper breaths and learn to exhale more slowly and subtly as you speak in order to keep your sentences flowing more smoothly and naturally.

    Peer Feedback:

    Is your computer close to the mic? What mic are you using? (some are not as impedance balanced as others.) Is there a florescent light or something with a balustrade or power supply close? Do you have some coiled cables? (That can actually create a magnetic field effect sometimes.) Did you think of replacing the cables? (A George Whittam trick.) Are you using shielded cables? Are you recording a little too hot and normalizing down or vice versa?

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    74 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Jenniferj_Burns's recording

    I have never posted on here before and would like feedback on anything/everything

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-89258/script-recording-88748.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Jen,

    Like your voice ! Good articulation and enunciation . Cadence is smooth. There was an echo in the room. You may need some padding in your room to take the "echo " out. I use harbor freight moving blankets and have a book case also to buffer noise, or echo. Also may need to position the mic a little closer to your mouth? Usually a "fist " away. Good job!

    Peer Feedback:

    I like this script it resonates with me

    your tones and inflections remind me to shed my past and move on good job getting that point across!

    A little echoey but thats easily remedied with a sound booth

    they sell good inexpensive ones all over the internet it might be worth investing in I know I will!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks very much for the feedback. I didn't hear the echo until you both mentioned it. I am new to this so ANY feedback I love. Also, really appreciate the input on microphone distance. I was looking that up earlier in the day.

    Thanks again. I have an elearning that I am posting as well. Appreciate any comments :)

    Peer Feedback:

    The rooms got some liveliness which would need fixing before really getting serious. I can hear what sounds like your computer's fan consistently in the background. Separating yourself from the computer is necessary...I've been at this a while so I've got my recording booth (a booth isn't necessary for everyone, but I live in a house with sound issues that made a booth necessary) in a different ROOM from the computer. Long XLR cable going down the hall into my office to the interface. Everyone has to work out the best solution for their given situation.

    You have a very pleasant and listenable voice. Your articulation is outstanding but could also lead toward being TOO precise. There's a fine line between "conversational" vibe and over-articulating. But like I say, very very nice voice.

    On the performance..."narrative audio" is a little vague as I don't know if you're doing your life story...a character doing THEIR life story or what. But what really stood out to me was during the read, when you get to a sentence with a type of list within it...a sentence with maybe three items separated by commas...you go uuuUUUPP, uuuUUPP, and uuuUUPP as you read these out. Like I said...I don't know if this is YOUR story or a character you're doing...or if this is something like an inspirational read...some might consider that type of inflection distracting and unusual for most areas of the country. If you're doing a "character interpretation"...I would suggest your character has a vocal tick. ;-)

    Nice submission.

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    24 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear lcw115's recording

    Wanted to try an Audiobook, as will be doing Volunteer Audiobook recording soon. I tried to edit this as best as possible. If you hear any phasing or screeching like sounds, it is coming from the computer. Please comment on performance and would appreciate constructive, positive, and courteous feedback. Thank you.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7256/script-recording-27764.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    This is going to sound strange, but I have multiple critiques... 1.) When I listened via my $20 computer speakers , I had the following experience. Over all it was a nice read, but the vocal treatment, and the text seemed at odds. The text is about being assertive, and the vocal treatment is very calm, and a bit airy... It would be a great read for a different topic. 2.) Then I put on my new fancy-smancy head phones... AKA “CANS” ,,, it sounds like you’ve done a bit of processing,, maybe noise removal,,and there is residual sounds, and echo's all around. I think this was lending to the cheaper speakers, making it sound as if you were delivering more “airy” then you really were... I'm guessing you have little to no treatment in the environment? I'm discovering some cheap and portable ways around this right now myself. You might work with mic placement, type, and level a bit as well. I realize you were asking for more comment on the non hardware side,, but I think what your saying, and how your saying it , is not being well represented, and it would be easy for people to make the wrong comments, and lead you in the wrong direction. Can you tell us about your set up?

    Peer Feedback:

    LCW, I do not have any experience with Audiobooks, so I'm not sure what is usually expected in that style. The primary comment I have is that it struck me that the pace was a little slow. If this is the beginning of a lengthy topic on negotiation, then it might seem that a slightly faster pace would help it to flow better. As for the sound, I hear what KNM hears with my headphones; there is a phasing sound which is probably from the software. It does not sound like room reflections to me. David

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi David,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I knew it was something internal with my laptop. Because at first, I thought it was the Audacity software whereas I unistalled it and the reinstalled it, but that phasing sound was still there. Now that I know this, I'm going to have a computer repair specialist look into it and see if the problem can be resolved.

    As for the read, I will redo this and read at a faster pace. Good looking out!

    Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

    LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    LCW,
    Are you using a preamp with your microphone?

    Peer Feedback:

    lcw, so what were the microphones that you tried? I have a Zoom H2, and Yeti pro by blue. I like them both. I don’t know what kind of an area you record in,, if you have a closet,, put some thick comforters on the back wall,, leave cloths and coats, on both sides of you, and throw another blanket on the door behind you,, boom , you have a treated “booth”, its better than nothing. My problem is I’m always on the road,, and most hotel rooms don’t have any good areas. If the mic's you were trying were not USB, you may have had an impedance miss-match. Some mics are powered, some are not,, blah blah blah,, its hard to tell with out knowing what you had,and what and how it was hooked up. I use audacity as well,, but I try to stay away from the processing,, because I was getting the same back ground trash,, its not a computer , or software issue,, it more just a recording issue,, you need to treat the space,, maybe get closer to the mic. Bring down your levels,, when I record, I turn off the heating system, unplug almost everything around. One hotel I was at,, when I'd put on my headphones, I could hear the terrible hum,, ends up it was one particular light bulb in a light fixture on the other side of the room. I un plug the refrigerators, when I’m in the hotels recording. We don’t notice it in day to day life,, but almost everything makes sounds. Audacity is a great program for free,, put it just cant take out all the crap,, with out effecting the remaining audio. When using noise removal and alike,, I try and give a 10 second sample of the ambient room sound,, with out me making any noise. This gives the computer a better chance of “getting it right” when it tries to remove stuff. The best thing is to try and do as little processing as possible, if you want send me a raw file ( my user name is my email) ,, and I'll play with it a bit, and see what I can come up with. Are you in a area where they have production houses? Maybe try to get some time with a local audio eng. They could show you first hand . I've found most people very open to helping.

    Peer Feedback:

    Had another idea,, your on a mini laptop yes.. I have one and use it as well. It has no fan,, so you should be able to isolate your self some pace with that,, and have very little out side sound. So now the problem is that your useing the mic on the laptop... it does not lend itself to a pop screen, and getting close to it to talk... until you can afford something else, I'd try one of the headphone/ mic units they sell for doing skype, and such, I cant be worse than the micon the laptop,, and it gets it closer to your mouth, and gives you a bit of a pop screen. Even if you just hold your hand on the opposite side to kill of bounce back,, this may reduce your need to do all the processing.

    Peer Feedback:

    if your in NYC,, carry your system over to Edgestudio and walk in the door and yell "help me" . I keep hopeing I'll end up traveling by one of the offices, so I can swing in. Plus your covered up in audio eng, and a like. Find a local community theater audio tech,,, by him a beer and a pizza, and he/or she will probaly teach you all kinds of stuff

    Peer Feedback:

    You know what! Not only do you have a good voice, but if Voice Overs don't worked out for you...You've got a great future in stand up comedy!!!! Whenever I see your name on this forum , I think of...."HARVEY"....LOL!!!

    I'm looking forward to your next script and make it something really funny!

    LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi KNM,

    Well, first of all let me tell you about what's being going on in the wonderful world of microphones!

    My friend purchased a microphone for me as birthday present, whereas it was delivered to my home. When I received it, it produced nothing but static on both my Desktop and my laptop. I notified my friend and sent it back to her, whereas she sent me a replacement from the company she brought it from.

    Needless to say, the replacement wasn't that great either. As it didn't have so much static, but it just was not a microphone for Voice Over Recordings, whereas I sent the replacement mic back as well. So until I purchase something of good quality that I feel comfortable with; I be recording using my mini-laptop and editing with Audacity.

    With the editing, I used noise removal, click removal, compressed, and then normalize. Now, maybe I did something wrong! If so, can you recommend another way to edit so my recordings will sound better.

    In regards to the script, this was a first attempt at Audiobook and will do this one over, but will be practicing with more Audiobooks in the future.

    Thank you for your comment and if you or anyone else has any advice for my editing; please let me know.

    Take Care, LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Richurd,

    No I'm not using a preamp, just recording with the built-in microphone of the laptop.

    As I explained to KNM, I have to purchase one as I need it for these recordings. But at the moment, I can't afford anything over $50.00. However, I can get something here (where I live) and even shop around on the internet (i.e. Amazon, etc...) as I just need a standard microphone for the practice reads and then eventually upgrade.

    Take Care,
    LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi KNM,

    I do most of my recordings in my bedroom, because the other rooms pick up a hollow like sound. The other bedroom is also good, but you can pick up a lot of outside environmental noise (i.e. buses, people talking, etc...) because it is in the front area of my apartment building; as I live in NYC and believe me, it is not a quiet city!!!!

    As for the closet, I do have a walk in closet so I'll try recording a script in there to see how it sounds. I'll send you a raw file in a few days and feel free to play around with it and in regards to the headphone/mic; that would be good for now as I do converse on Skype with my friends.

    Thank you so much KNM and I'll touch base with you soon.

    LCW.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi LCW,

    A few thoughts on your performance..pacing was a bit slow and deliberate. A little quicker pace and more authority would help, considering you're trying to help the reader become more assertive. You have a really good voice and you've made tremendous progress since I first heard you, keep up the hard work, it will pay off.
    As far as recording quality, I realize that you're just using the laptop mic. The "phasing" problem you appear to be having sounds to my ear like your recording has a low sampling rate. If you can change your sampling rate when you're converting it to mp3 iti would be helpful
    If you make it 128k, you'll have a more faithful recording regardless of the mic.

    Take care,

    Teg

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    28 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Kate's recording

    Hi there - I have recently started recording audio books for the blind as a voluntary job. I would love your feedback on how this recording might be improved. All feedback most welcome. Thank you Kate

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7330/script-recording-37892.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Nice start here. Diction very clear and very pleasant accent that doesn't distract at all to us cross-ponders. Your tone is nice for the material, but sometimes feels read and not as involved as the narrator should be. You should definitely keep at it.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey, great accent! Clear and not really weighed down with one of the more distinct accents from the motherland! You read well, but that's mostly what you're doing: reading. But a great start here on the forum. Liked it mucho!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Kate!
    You could read the legal notices in the daily paper and make them sound good. Please do more!
    BillH

    Back to top
    Next!? - by Herb Halloway

    Script:

    Five mirrors hanging,
    Four barbers ganging,
    Up on the hair which,
    Have grown astray.
    Combs zip through hair knots,
    Hair blobs and bald spots,
    Hairy and have nots,
    All cut away.
    Watch trainees hang on,
    Slick scissors bang on,
    Snip make the hair gone,
    Day after day.
    Long faces, thin cheeks,
    Fat features, head peaks,
    pug noses, long beaks,
    Sad sacks and gay.
    Spittoons on worn floors,
    Butt ends and fruit cores,
    Slam - open - close doors,
    Sit, snip and pay.
    Sink, strap and oil jugs,
    Grindstones and soap mugs,
    Goo stuff to kill bugs,
    Dug in to stay.
    No matter where at,
    Off with the ole hat,
    Haircut and that's that,
    Then n your way! .........Next!?

    This is a poem I have in a small book Herb wrote about boot camp in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. This particular poem is about the sheep shearing of our hair at the beginning of week 2 if you can imagine that.

    55 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear RobSmith's recording

    I tend to read a bit fast but I think the cadence is good for this poem. Let me know if there are any out of place pauses or it's too fast paced anywhere.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-112746/script-recording-88978.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    iMO, way too fast. this script is very clever, and listener will want to savor the story and the rhyming.
    and it seems like you were reading, rather than telling....

    hope that's helpful,
    DS

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, that is a problem that I have to overcome and I always have even when I was teaching in person. I'll try again tomorrow and resubmit. =)

    Peer Feedback:

    I rarely disagree with Dave, but I have to play devil's advocate here.

    This is a pseudo tongue twister, and tongue twisters are meant to be done as quickly as your mouth will allow you to spit the words out cleanly and clearly. So maybe in that respect, you do need to slow down.

    But one thing that is missing here is the fun of it all - you're just reciting words quickly, getting the rhymes, but the storytelling isn't present.

    Yeah, it's a poem. With triplet rhymes and the every forth line a rhyme as well. But so are some song's lyrics. (Look at the lyrics to Billy Joel's "Captain Jack" - the rhyme sceme is very similar.) And when coupled with a melody, the lyrics tell a story. And that's another missing element in this delivery - the "music" of the piece.

    Back to top

    10 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Tonia's recording

    Sorry if this is a duplicate post. Posting troubles... This is a non-fiction excerpt from the book Nurtureshock. Rough edits and normalized audio. You'll hear mouth noise, some editing artifacts, and maybe laptop hum. Please ignore all that. I'm still struggling with finding my voices/tones for non-fiction. I didn't post the script because I'm going for more general feedback: How's my pacing and tone? Is this a voice and tone you could enjoyably listen to for this 8-hour audiobook?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-31886/script-recording-62463.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Not having the text, I have a question. Did the author really use "...with freckles ACROSSED her nose..." in that sentence?

    There were a few passages where the thoughts as a whole got a little chopped up. Example: "But Morgan's first love is competitive swimming, with year-long workouts that have broadened her shoulders." That's the way I see the sentence as a complete thought. The comma is there only for good sentence structure while reading. Same kind of thing for the violin lesson thought. That was less noticeable and, if the breath after "orchestra" was edited out, the complete thought is there with an uninterrupted flow.

    You don't want to eliminate too many breath sounds, that would make you sound robotic and make a listener anxious from holding their breath. But there are a few, here and there, which might be eliminated to help with the flow.

    Peer Feedback:

    James, thanks so much.

    I had to laugh at the "acrossed" comment. My local coach nailed me on just that thing last week and I was completely surprised I'd said that. So much so that he had to play the audio. And then I promptly forgot about it until YOU brought it up. Duly noted!

    Helpful comments on the choppiness and breaths, too. I was reading without marked up copy to see how much I could get away with--same with leaving the breaths in to see what troubled folks and what didn't. I'm trying to get a feel for just how much work such long-form narration will take and find out the balance between what's critical to clean up and when to let it go. I clearly need to take more care with marking spots for breaths and edit some out.

    Appreciate your time!

    Tonia

    Peer Feedback:

    Here's an EWABS video of Dan Lenard editing his audiobook reads. Ship forward to 0:25:17 for the start of his "Tip of the Week" presentation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tFp23c-1Jk

    Peer Feedback:

    Ooo. Some cool stuff in there. Thank you, James!

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    Odd and the Frost Giants

    Script:

    Really, truly, with all his heart, Odd found that he wanted to believe that he was still in the world he had known all his life. That he was still in the country of the Norse folk, that he was in Midgard. Only he wasn't, and he knew it. The world smelled different, for a start. It smelled alive. Everything he looked at looked sharper, more real, more there.
    And if there was any doubt, then he only had to look at the animals.

    19 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear shiromi's recording

    Hi, I have just moved into a new recording environment and I'm just wondering how it sounds. Mostly I am worried about any low frequency, "boxy" sound. Thanks!!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-3103/script-recording-52476.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    The read was pretty good, maybe just one or two unnatural pauses. Your voice is very unique, and you should do well.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi, thanks for the feedback, although all I'm really interested in right now is the *audio quality* since I have just got a new vocal booth. The script itself was just something I grabbed for the recording. Thanks again!

    Back to top

    23 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Tonia's recording

    Sfx for Dave. :) Recording quality: You may hear the room and some laptop hum. I'm out in the open today as I rearrange my work space. For processing I dropped out frequencies below 65-70 to get out the mud, dropped a little at 100 hz for any nasality, and bumped 200-300 hz and 8khz for a bigger sound with more presence.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-31886/script-recording-64518.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Huh. I did upload the script, but I don't see it on my post. Here it is if you want to open in a different window.

    http://www.edgestudio.com/script-library/english-adult/audiobook#nid-64514

    Peer Feedback:

    Tonia -
    Great FX! I literally felt like I had poop on my boots! well done.

    Nice read. You really do these long story-telling read very nicely. You voice is extremely easy to listen to. Its easy to transfer my attention to the subject matter rather than the narration - which is the goal, I think.

    great job.
    cheers!
    Dave Saunders

    Peer Feedback:

    Very nice, sounds good ! My only comment,, and its very slight... This speaker (the one in the book) sounds to me ( in the text )to be, basically talking to them selves, as they wonder about these things. At points, if you added a little more wonderment in your tone, might be more like a persons inner dialog. There are a few spots , in your read that sound like its heading that way. But more , it sounds like you are talking to the reader. The Text starts that way,, but it turns to more of an internal discussion of the speaker in the text. And the reader just happens to be overhearing it... did that make any sense?

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    One False Move by Harlon Coben

    Script:

    Myron parked the car in front of Brenda’s dorm room. Except for the monosyllabic directions, Brenda had not spoken during the drive. Myron did not push it. He stopped the car and turned toward her. She continued to stare ahead.
    Reston University was a place of green grass and big oaks and brick buildings and Frisbees and bandannas. Professors still had long hair and unkempt beards and tweed
    Jackets. There was such a feeling of innocence here, of make-believe, of youth, of startling passion. But that was the beauty of such a university: students debating over life-and-death issues in an environment as insulated as Disney World. Reality had nothing to do with the equation. And that was okay. In fact, that was how it should be

    23 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear richnice's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-12792/script-recording-34964.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It sounds like your using a condenser mic in a fairly "live" room. I would add some form of wall treatment to cut down on the room's natural reflections. It also sounded a bit rushed. I think you hit the inflection of your speech well as it sounded very conversational as opposed to dictated. Maybe just slow it down a bit and breathe... I believe you edited out the breaths but didn't leave the natural pauses where the breaths were. If that's the case, try cutting in some room ambiance recorded pre and/or post roll so that you are able to maintain the pause, and not have the recording drop to dead silence.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Rich, vocally speaking, your pace to me was a little fast and I missed the emotions starting in the first paragraph, which I find the scene intense....
    I want to be able to "feel" what you describe of the place.....if you think about it, feel it yourself, find that connection.....your read will automatically carry that connection to the audience too! Liked your voice I must say! Eva

    Peer Feedback:

    thanks for the feedback. I did know that the recording quality was going to be less then ideal so i was really looking for just performance feedback and appreciate the critique's i've recieved. Sometimes it's hard to tell where you can improve until someone else points it out for you.

    Peer Feedback:

    You are right! You have the right attitude to work and take comments as a helping tool! Don't change that and will learn so much! Keep it up!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Rich: I like your voice. Nice warm, rich tone and velvety. Your read was soft and intimate and maybe could have used more volume. I jack up the volume in my reads in post production when I'm reading something I know will peak out during the recording. I think you can slow it down, you ran over the first part of "monosyllabic" which made me stop listening for a moment to try and figure out what I just heard. Also, there is tension between the two characters which you could play with to create listener interest. Good job. Larry

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    printer friendly version edit
    "Ordeal in Space "by Robert A. Heinlein

    Script:

    Maybe we should never have ventured out into space. Our race has but two basic, innate fears; noise, and the fear of falling. Those terrible heights—Why should any man in his right mind let himself be placed where he could fall…and fall…and fall—But all spacemen are crazy. Everyone knows that.

    The Medicos had been very kind, he supposed. “You’re lucky. You want to remember that old fellow. You’re still young and your retired pay relieves you of all worry about your future. You’ve got both arms and legs and are in fine shape.”
    “Fine shape!” His voice was unintentionally contemptuous. “No, I mean it,” the chief psychiatrist had persisted gently. “The little quirk you have does you no harm at all—except that you can’t go out into space again. I can’t honestly call acrophobia a neurosis; fear of falling is normal and sane. You’ve just got it a little more strongly than most—but that is not abnormal, in view of what you have been through.
    The reminder sent him to shaking again. He closed his eyes and saw the stars wheeling below him again. He was falling…falling endlessly. The psychiatrist’s voice came back through to him and pulled him back. “Steady old man! Look around you.”
    “Sorry.”
    “Not at all. Now tell me, what do you plan to do?”
    “I don’t know. Get a job I suppose.”
    “The company will give you a job, you know.”
    He shook his head. “I don’t want to hang around a spaceport. Wear a little button in his shirt to show the was once a man, be addressed by a courtesy title of captain, claim the privileges of the pilot’s lounge on the basis of what he used to be, hear the shop talk die down whenever he approached a group, wonder what they were saying behind his back—no thank you!
    “I think you’re wise. Best to make a clean break, for a while at least, until you are feeling better.”
    “You think I’ll get over it?”
    The psychiatrist pursed his lips. “Possible. It’s functional you know. No Trauma.”
    “But you don’t think so?”
    “I didn’t say that. I honestly don’t know. We still know very little about what makes a man tick.”
    “I see. Well I might as well be leaving.”
    The psychiatrist stood up and shoved out his hand.
    “Holler if you want anything. And comeback to see us in any case.”
    “Thanks.”
    “You’re going to be all right. I know it.”
    But the psychiatrist shook his head as his patient walked out. The man did not walk like a spaceman. The easy, animal self-confidence was gone.
    Only a small part of Great New York was roofed over in those days; he stayed underground until he was in that section, then sought out a passageway lined with bachelor rooms. He stuck a coin in the slot of the first one which displayed a lighted “vacant” sign, chucked his jump bag inside, and left. The monitor at the intersection gave him the address of the nearest placement office. He went there, seated himself at an interview desk, stamped in his finger prints, and started filling out forms. It gave him a curious back-to-the beginning feeling; he had not looked for a job since pre-cadet days.
    He left filling in his name to the last and hesitated even then. He had had more than his bellyful of publicity; he did not want to be recognized; he certainly did not want to be throbbed over—and most of all he did not want anyone telling him he was a hero. Presently he printed in the name “William Saunders” and dropped the forms in the slot.
    He was well into his third cigarette and getting ready to strike another when the screen in front of him at last lighted up. He found himself staring at a nice-looking brunette. “Mr. Saunders,” the image said, “will you come inside please? Door seventeen.”
    The brunette in person was there to offer him a seat and a cigarette. “Make yourself comfortable Mr. Saunders. I’m Miss Joyce. I’d like to talk with you about your application.”
    He settled himself and waited, without speaking.
    When she saw that he did not intend to speak, she added, “Now take this name “William Saunders” which you have given us—we know who you are, of course, from your prints.”
    “I suppose so.”
    “Of course I know what everybody knows about you, but your action in calling yourself “William Saunders,” Mr.—“
    “Saunders”
    “—Mr. Saunders, caused me to query the files.” She held up a microfilm spool, turned so that he might read his own name on it. “I know quite a bit about you now—more than the public knows, and more than you saw fit to put into your application. It’s a good record, Mr. Saunders.”
    “Thank you.”
    “But I can't use it in placing you in a job. I can't even refer to it if you insist on designating yourself as Saunders.”
    “The name is Saunders. His voice was flat, rather than emphatic.

    Recordings:

    Hear and comment on 11 recordings of this script that your peers recorded.

    Back to top
    Ordeal in Space

    Script:

    Maybe we should never have ventured out into space. Our race has but two basic, innate fears; noise, and the fear of falling. Those terrible heights—Why should any man in his right mind let himself be placed where he could fall…and fall…and fall—But all spacemen are crazy. Everyone knows that.

    The Medicos had been very kind, he supposed. “You’re lucky. You want to remember that old fellow. You’re still young and your retired pay relieves you of all worry about your future. You’ve got both arms and legs and are in fine shape.”
    “Fine shape!” His voice was unintentionally contemptuous. “No, I mean it,” the chief psychiatrist had persisted gently. “The little quirk you have does you no harm at all—except that you can’t go out into space again. I can’t honestly call acrophobia a neurosis; fear of falling is normal and sane. You’ve just got it a little more strongly than most—but that is not abnormal, in view of what you have been through.
    The reminder sent him to shaking again. He closed his eyes and saw the stars wheeling below him again. He was falling…falling endlessly. The psychiatrist’s voice came back through to him and pulled him back. “Steady old man! Look around you.”
    “Sorry.”
    “Not at all. Now tell me, what do you plan to do?”
    “I don’t know. Get a job I suppose.”

    17 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Eagleye's recording

    Do I sound like I'm talking to the Doctor in the script, or am I just reading the script? I'm more drawn to shorter reads although I think audio books would help me get into character more which I find interesting/challenging.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-88386/script-recording-74708.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    you sound more like an educational read. Work on making your emotions almost TOO big in your own ear. I was the same way. I had to really fight the straight read..
    But quality sounds great.

    Peer Feedback:

    OK , My apologies.. I just tried this one and it is really difficult to read. The phrasing is kind of weird. You did great!

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    Ozymandias

    Script:

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert... Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    117 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear boxermom2000's recording

    Nothing like a little classic Shelley to start off a Monday! ~Laura

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-87511/script-recording-75846.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Very clearly enunciated. A lot of sibilant "s" sounds though. Keep of the good work.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Laura! I think you did a great job. I didn't notice excess sibilance, but was just listening through my computer monitors. I loved your pacing.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Laura! Great job! Only thing I'd like to suggest is that maybe the 'd be read more like it's written. So stamp-ed and mock-ed. I also love Shelly, and her mother's writing. Thanks for sharing!

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    Photoshop: The beginners guide to Photoshop, Editing Photos, Photo Editing Tips, and How to Improve your Photography with Photoshop!

    Script:

    Using Photoshop can be an intimidating task for many beginners. However, the application has many vital features that can benefit many novice photographers and graphic artists in particular; therefore, despite the added challenge, they should learn to utilize the photo editing tool if they wish to become better at their chosen craft. If you are one of the many interested Photoshop users who have long wanted to use the application but don’t know where to start, then this book will help equip you with all the Photoshop basics you need.

    75 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear wseegers's recording

    I am brand new to the current VO/voice acting industry. I have radio experience from years ago, but through research have found that to be the scarlet "R" these days. I currently teach audio/video production and am an independent/freelance video producer. Most times, I do my own VOs for projects, but recently started using online VO sites to get fresh (more fitting) voices for specialized projects. I want to improve my VO technique for my own projects and add VO to my list of services to branch out. I think I need a VO make over to compete with todays pros. I may be an old dog, but I can learn new tricks. Let me know the good, bad and the ugly. Both technically and with talent. Lol. Its the only way to improve. Thanks in advance.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-134859/script-recording-99981.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    the pace was right on I think. could use a little more inflection to make it not so mono tone sounding. I heard a crack of a smile when doing this piece, smile on your face puts a smile in your voice. overall pretty dang good.5

    Peer Feedback:

    Very nice read. Only thing I heard was a pause after "better" in the line " if they wish to become better at their chosen craft." I wouldn't have pause. and after "you" in the next line. Makes it sound a bit choppy and read. Good job.

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    Pinterest

    Script:

    Pinterest maybe the newest social network on the scene but it certainly doesn’t lack credibility in what it has to offer. Pinterest has dominated the web with its huge presence and has welcomed a lot of small, medium and large business of that. It has revolutionized the way we buy, view and connect with products. I’m sure that at least once on the web you’ve heard someone say; “I got this recipe off Pinterest” or “I saw a cute outfit on this girl on Pinterest the other day”.
    When Pinterest first made its appearance, it became popular because it was a way of keeping some sort of ‘favorites’ diary of all of your interests and wants. But little do most people know is how to take advantage of this amazing tool for your own benefit and cash in the rewards. Its massive following and popularity has drawn businesses to this network, as it’s a great way of giving people what they want instead of them keeping those things as a diary of what they want.

    83 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear Sharon Hoyland's recording

    Hi, I wanted to have a go at doing some non-fiction voiceover. This is for a published book hoping to be made into an audio version. Very grateful for any comments! Thanks for your time. Sharon Hoyland

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-90005/script-recording-88211.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    This is the first time for me in wanting to do voice overs. I am an actor for film and TV been doing it since 2012. I have to say that you did a great job I love your diction and the accent you have for your voice. It was real good. As far as constructive criticism I really don't have any. I love the character you portrayed it felt real and authentic. The recording the sound was real good. I hope you get it and good luck.

    Peer Feedback:

    You're over-selling the text. It gets very sing-songy, metronomic and accented, like a musical score. The question becomes: Could you keep up that tone and energy for hours and hours on end in the recording booth? The delivery did tended to "level out" toward the end of this excerpt.

    The pace is also just a wee bit brisk - especially between paragraphs as there was hardly a "landing" from one group of thoughts (end of paragraph) to the beginning of a new set of thoughts (new paragraph). There are no hard and fast rules for those things (it's more of a "feel" than anything else), but I've heard that 0.4 seconds is a good jumping off point. Here, you kind of just plowed on. Again, the question becomes: Could you keep that up hour after hour without hyperventilating? It would also make the whole project seen like one single run-on paragraph. Slow down a bit and clump and separate the ideas and concepts.

    (In my experience - with fiction and non-fiction - the two things I've heard most often from coaches and instructors are: #1-Slow Down and #2-Give me less voice. You don't seem to have a problem with #2 or with the overall delivery volume - except for that accented, sing-songy quality mentioned above.)

    Since this a first person narrative, you would also assume the author's voice, i.e. his/her attitudes, character, prejudices and the like after reading the entire book first before diving in. No way to totally know that just from an excerpt, but some clues are in there.

    The recording quality is a little tinny, probably due to the FX processing (maybe the noise reduction?). There are some sonic artifacts - it sounds like you're talking into a short metal tube. Something to play around with.

    Peer Feedback:

    Going to lean towards agreeing with James on the tone and delivery. It's goes up and down and up and down in a way that actually become distracting. And would someone want to listen to a sing-song roller coaster for any length of time? Most often, the answer would be no...a children's fiction read might allow it, but not much else.

    Flattening out the inflections would help a lot here IMHO. I'll go with James on the sound quality as well. He's spelled it out sufficiently to where I don't really have anything additional to add.

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    Pocket Change, Promises and Prayers, Written by Linda R. Barrett

    Script:

    Pocket Change, Promises and Prayers
    Written by Linda R. Barrett
    Narrated by Kevin T. Cunningham

    Pocket Change
    Have you ever been cotton mouth thirsty, searching for a pop machine to satisfy your thirst? Then you feverishly attempt to insert your dollar in the tiny slot, only to have it reject? Your fingers explore the deepest areas of your pockets and finally strike gold. Your challenge has been conquered in having the right amount of change to purchase your drink.
    We all face dilemmas in life and require physical or spiritual change as well. God’s promises will educate us in how to pray for the answers we are searching for. “Pocket Change, Promises and Prayers” will help you with some areas you may be struggling with. Carry this book with you and refer to it as needed.

    110 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear RevKev55's recording

    Hi, I've been updating my studio and some techniques. I'd appreciate feedback on the overall recording quality and my performance. This is the opening of an audiobook for ACX.com. I am using an AT 2035 with an M-Audio interface and Adobe Audition software.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-80138/script-recording-76453.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Back off on the processing.

    It's way too loud - you appear to have hard limited the audio to -2.7dB or so, and your RMS Level is -12.451dB. ACX wants it between -23 and -18dB.

    Your noise floor is around -40dB. ACX wants it between -60 and -50dB.

    A lot of mouth noise.

    Performance-wise, there's too much smile for my taste. When you say "Narrated by Kevin T. Cunningham" it almost sounds like you're telling a joke (it's that out-breath right after Narrated - almost sounds like a suppressed laugh).

    Peer Feedback:

    Yeah...you're really not supposed to share scripts off ACX.

    Way too much mouth noise and processing artifacts. I stopped after about 10 seconds because the predominance of mouth noise just really gives me the willies. Listen to how you pronounced "written"...I actually hear two t's in there. That's far from "conversational" delivery. "Writ'n" would get you there and is totally acceptable. That's how non-robots speak.

    On the mouth noise...google the subject and you'll come up with a plethora of suggestions on how to address it. But you definitely need to pursue a solution.

    Peer Feedback:

    Have to agree with TxTom on posting an ACX audition here. You might be leaving yourself open to copyright infringement at most and/or an angry publisher at the very least (especially if you were not chosen to produce the audiobook).

    As per sundance kid's comment, you should check with ACX's audio guidelines for submissions. This recording would, more than likely, be rejected outright as being fairly unlistenable due to the recording quality problems. A recording of this quality would probably be rejected by LibraVox as well. (LibraVox has a different set of guidelines.)

    I have been attending quite a number of audiobook sessions at the SAG Foundation VO Lab in NYC. The two engineers that work there also work at Audible Studios in Newark. One consistent piece of critique that they offer is to let the words speak for themselves.

    This read is forced - it's injecting way too much "stuff" into the words and sentences (overly articulated and overly inflected), and thus lends itself to a more "condescending" tone (which I am sure is not your intent) than storytelling, which is what nearly all audiobook narration is. This sounds phoney and I feel that I'm being talked down to. I am not sure that I could listen through hours of this type of narration, even if I liked the subject matter. And the style of delivery would possibly be difficult to maintain throughout hours of recording.

    Just talk to me the way you might if we were having a conversation over the phone.

    Peer Feedback:

    Have to agree with everyone so far...fairly over-processed...

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    23 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Chris Coulter's recording

    I am emphasizing picking up the pace and not elongating my words unnaturally. Comments on these two aspects of my recording as well as any comments on recording quality and performance are welcome. I've received good suggestions here. Thanks.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/ricochet.MP3

    Peer Feedback:

    I really like the sound of your voice in this read and I feel your interpretation of the copy is great. However, I felt that some lines started to sound the same, giving the read just a little variety. For example, the ends of lines had similar inflections throughout the copy, and taking each line as it's own thought or idea may help you. I thought the pacing was good, so I am not sure if that was a reflection on picking up the pace, but maybe the unnatural elongation of some words here and there (giving them the same inflections at times). There were many times where you enunciated your words very clearly, I just picked up on the word "our" sounding like "are".

    I think your recording quality was pretty good; I heard a little fuzzy background noise, but I'm not sure if it may be your script moving. I am still working on the quality of my own home studio, therefore I'm still training my own ears (and reads) to pick up on the quality of home studios.

    Hope this helps! Good job and good luck!!

    Peer Feedback:

    The sound of your voice is great. I love the color you added through inflections. The thing that stood out to me was the beginning of the last sentence. The tone sounded like, "this is one of those dreaded stories about romance..." To me it sounds like this should have a more upbeat tone to sell the story, perhaps?

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks to both people who have commented. CL, I'll try your idea about the interpretation and see what happens. I have read other Sue Grafton books in this series and thought it would be fun doing a read where I already have some knowledge of the character. Hayley, as for your comment on the fuzzy background noise, that is something I'm working on, too. As many people on this forum know, I'm blind and put my scripts into braille in order to read them. That sound is my fingers on the page, and it's something I'm doing my best to minimize. I've asked for help from blind broadcasters and voice-over talents and they've been generous in giving me good suggestions, as have some people on this forum.

    Peer Feedback:

    I still hear a touch of elongation, but you're better every time to my ear, and, particularly in the beginning of your read, there's real variation in the pace that has a natural feel. Very nice. In the middle, I felt you drifted back into elongation/too smooth and steady a rhythm.

    There's a real narrator feel to this section (I'm not sure if Grafton's stuff is first person POV or not). As such, I would (and your mileage may vary) tighten up the dynamic range--less pitch-y in spots. Tighten it, perhaps, to somewhere between what you have and documentary or hard-boiled, film-noir detective narration. Then, when you color important parts, they'll land with more power. As is, I think they're getting lost in the crowd.

    I don't know if I'm making sense!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks, Tonya. The female detective in the series tries to be hard-boiled but she's got a heart of gold. With that in mind, I'm sure your suggestions on the documentary/film noir feel make a lot of sense.

    Back to top
    Saying Goodbye

    Script:

    Saying Goodbye...The island feels different without my dad. When we came here for our three weeks every summer, just the two of us, we'd stay in the little fishing shack right down by the water, curling up in sleeping bags on musty blown-up air mattresses...Every night, before we went to sleep, Dad and I would lie on our backs in the long sweet grass beside the shack and watch the sky, and he'd point out the constellations...This summer was my mom's idea. I didn't want to come, but she said it would make me feel less lonely for Dad...And you have a job to do there, she'd said with a stern look, as if I could ever forget what my dad had asked me to do.

    28 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear TedVoInSpain's recording

    This is a remaster of a read I did some time ago. I've been recording a lot of other stuff this past week and hopefully I'll be able to post some of it once it's approved. Until then, it's keep practicing for me. Thanks for listening and taking time to comment.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8990/script-recording-30278.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hello Nodo,

    It was very nicely done. The only changes I would make would be:

    when you say, "This summer was my mom's idea", there could be a little more change in the tone. In the previous section you were nicely nostalgic. But then it feels like there should a little more of a difference when you talk about this summer.

    And maybe a touch more emotion on the last line the young man speaks.

    Just some thoughts.

    Liked it a lot!

    All the best,

    Scott

    Peer Feedback:

    Nicely read. I think for this type of nostalgic text you might back off the mike a bit. I found it confusing to be that live and talking nostalgia.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for commenting. That's an interesting idea Lahnkd, I have been puzzling over the whole tone of the piece. I think you are right about using the nostalgia bit. I was going for drama and emotion when I think could have taken it down a notch. Thanks Mike and Lankd for taking the time!.

    Peer Feedback:

    This is a good addition to your collection of VO's. The sound quality is very well done. Keep up the good work!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you Michael! Very nice of you to say. Thanks for having a listen!

    Peer Feedback:

    Piece delivered a bit hot, Ted! I checked the file and it's peaking at -0.4 db. Before sending, normalize it down to -3 and you'll match most everyone. Whenever I do multi-tracks....I do them with the main volume at -0 so I can get the best noise reduction on the voice etc....but before sending, I remaster it all back down to -3. It's more consistent with the sound files you'll find on here.

    Nice departure from your normal vocals.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks Tom, Great tip. I did the re-mastering and didn't check the overhead. Thanks Pal!

    Back to top
    Script submitted by jforkum@gmail.com

    Script:

    A Visit from St. Nicholas
    By Clement Clarke Moore
    'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
    The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
    While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
    And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
    Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
    The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
    Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
    When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
    But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
    With a little old driver so lively and quick,

    68 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear jforkum@gmail.com's recording

    Just wanted to introduce you guys to how my voice sounds. What do you think?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-109577/script-recording-86159.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi! I believe Edge is actually using this script as part of their contest this time round. You have a bright tone in your voice. Your volume seemed good. You might play around with speed more, for it was a little fast. Also, careful of getting caught up with the rhythm of the piece too much so it flows more like a story, and let the imagery guide you. Easier said than done. Others can comment in more detail on the technical side of your recording much better than I. You should consider entering in the contest. They give good overall feedback as well on why folks are selected over others.

    Peer Feedback:

    First of all, msacay is correct in cautioning you not to post something included in the Script Contest until the deadline has passed. The theory of the Script Contest is that it is a "mock audition" sort of thing. And as such, only the casting person or client would hear the final submissions before making a decision. Therefore, seeking feedback from the general Forum may (or may not) be an unfair advantage over the other participants.

    That said: Since you included a larger section of the poem, I will offer my 2c.

    First of all, proof your recording - especially for something as well known as this. In the 4th line, you juxtaposed some words. It throws off the poem's scan and sounds odd to the ears of those who have heard this thousands of times since childhood (me included). And watch words like "while" which came out as "wall" - kind of a Midwest regionalism.

    Secondly. There seems to be a lot of room reflection (echo) and background noise in the recording during the vocal. Then the obvious use of a noise gate and/or de-breather, because that ambient room noise and reflection is totally absent (zero sound) between phrases. It causes a "pumping" effect that is analogous to entering a dark room, turning on the light, walking a few steps, then someone shuts the light off, you stop walking, then someone turns the light back on and you walk a few more steps. Rinse and repeat. The average listener may not know what you did with the processing, they just know (and feel) that something is "off" about what they are hearing.

    The performance:

    You have a clear and articulate voice (with the exception of that minor regionalism mentioned above). However, the delivery was just a little flat, robotic and emotionless, sounding "read-y" instead of personalized - getting lulled into the rhythm of the rhyme scheme rather than coloring the words.

    Who (that one single person) are you telling this story to? A friend? A child? If so, what age is the child? How are they reacting as the story unfolds? Can you see the story unfolding in your mind's eye? (Keep in mind that Clement Moore wrote this as a bedtime story for his children.)

    You varied the pacing when the action got swifter, but the emotional and vocal quality remained somewhat the same, rather flat and matter-of-fact.

    You have some obvious skills on the technical side and a clear, articulate voice. Perhaps some coaching on script breakdown and interpretation is the next step.

    Peer Feedback:

    Hi Jamesromick and Msacay,

    Thank you for pointing me to the contest. I apologize for posting the this read, as I had no knowledge that there was a contest. I am quite new at this site. I appreciate the feedback!

    I am working with my first attempt at a home studio and currently have a few cheap sound dispersers around the room and a blanket hanging on one wall... As I am able to purchase more materials, the echo will hopefully get better. I have the gate in use because my first reason to buy this equipment is to produce a podcast where, a majority of the time, there is background music covering the abrupt stops and starts. Next time, I'll try to rely on post-recording noise removal in order to increase the natural feel of the recording.

    Quick question, would a smaller room be more acoustically suited for voice over recordings?

    Peer Feedback:

    How "large" is your room? If it is like a bedroom size, you might consider partitioning off a portion by hanging moving blankets on a folding screen or something. don't forget about the floor and ceiling.

    Peer Feedback:

    It is bedroom size. I was considering getting some curtains or something that I could pull around my desk. Will thick fabric do?

    Peer Feedback:

    Moving blankets would be better than thick fabric. And they're relatively inexpensive. Here a couple of links:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=moving+blanket

    http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Moving-Supplies/Moving-Blankets-Moving-Pad...

    Peer Feedback:

    I believe you flubbed the first line. "when all through the house" is actually a very famous phrase.
    I'm hearing quite a bit of popping, also.

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    46 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear KarenDenise's recording

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-4800/script-recording-29638.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You have a very authoritative , yet pleasant tone, I could hear you doing educational reads as well as children's books.

    Peer Feedback:

    Karen,

    Your voice has good clarity and diction. However, there is some noise (like an echo) that can be cleared up with a few pointers from peers in this forum. I'm a beginner and rather not comment on this area, but there is great talent here that can assist you with any question and advice necessary to stay on track.

    Peer Feedback:

    I really like your vocal quality on this piece. I agree that you would be great on educational pieces! I, too, don't really have the setup or experience to comment on sound quality but it sounds like you either aren't using a mic, recording into the computer, or that the room you're in needs some dampening. If it's the latter, just make sure you're in a smaller space, i.e. not a 10X10 room, and throw up some blankets on the walls. The cloth will absorb the sound and keep it from bouncing back making that echoing quality. Good work!

    Peer Feedback:

    Quite nice overall. The room sounds are evident and I suspect you're reading into the computer's or webcam's mic. If you continue this pursuit, you'll address that as you can. USB mics (condenser) can be had for less than $100 and sound better than a webcam/computer mic. Room: another thing to worry about but later on that.

    Your articulation is fairly precise. Maybe a little too much so in a couple of spots. But what I hear more is a subtle accent that I detect at "paused," "her" and "babies." It keeps you from sounding neutral in delivery. There are times accents are wanted (this is voice ACTING after all)...but for most things, audiobooks included, neutral will be the preferred delivery. Like I said, it's subtle, but it seems part of your base delivery.

    Nice submission.

    Peer Feedback:

    I liked your delivery. You know you didn't fully pronounce "that" and "help." In an
    informational piece this is required.

    Back to top
    Script submitted by Kate

    Script:

    Sorry not able to upload script.

    20 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear Kate's recording

    Really interested to get your perspective on the overall read and how I could improve it thanks Kate ps would you hire me?

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-7330/script-recording-56768.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Kate, everything sounded good to me, with the slight exception of 'wanting to read the book themselves.' The pause between book and themselves feels too long to me. Other than that one instance, the pace felt very natural. I enjoyed the hint of amusement in your voice over the dubious recipes and the potato peel pie, and the pleasure expressed when you said 'we still meet'.

    Would I hire you? Yes, if I were in that position, I would. I found your rendition pleasing.

    Peer Feedback:

    Many thanks for the feedback. "Over pausing" for dramatic effect is something I am trying to get my arms around. My family is from Guernsey so this story has special meaning to me and I have just realized I did not submit a title - this extract is from the 'Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society', the middle section of this book is fantastic and really reflects the character of the local people: Great sense of humor, tough in hard time, not easily put down. Thanks again Kate

    Back to top

    75 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear me@maryeasterling.com's recording

    This is a genre I am interested in developing. Any feedback is welcome. I tried recording with more breath cntrol and edited out any obvious breaths I could hear- Go for it- I have a very tough skin!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-97132/script-recording-84732.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You definitely caught my attention. I really loved it and you painted the picture very well, I think. Two misreads at "animal SELF-confidence" and "came back THROUGH to him", by the way.

    I think the only thing that bothered me were the obvious edit noises: right after "Sorry."; right after "The company will give you a job, you know."; right after "And come back to see us, in any case." (in this one I can even hear what sounds like you moving right before and after the edit). I think you can leave in those small breath noises for the genre as the editing is distracting from the piece itself. Lastly, it ends so abruptly. I would have loved to sit on that last sentence for just a second before the take ended, but that's more of a preference.

    Overall great performance! I listened to it twice all the way through, and you captured my interest both times!

    Peer Feedback:

    What a lovely voice you have. I think you're working the words a little hard, especially in the narration parts--outside of the dialogue--so it's distracting for me. The third person POV is a close one, so I your the choice in theory, but if you go so big in a flashback conversation like this, you won't leave yourself anywhere to go when things get more dramatic in the plot. Also, I start thinking about your voice more than the story, and it pulls me out. I think a psychiatrist would be much less dramatic and more careful in his delivery as well. Empathy, professionalism...

    Hope this helps!

    Peer Feedback:

    thank you both for your comments. I agree with all of it and will work on these things during practice today.

    Peer Feedback:

    I have to agree with Tonia in that you're working the words too hard. The read was a little "actor-y". I've heard the note, "Flatten it out" before. Take that for what it's worth.

    The audiobook seminars I attend at the SAG VO Lab in NYC come up with a consensus of two major notes. Slow down. And give me less voice. Audiobooks are intimate. Imagine that you're talking directly into someone's ear from about 6" to 8" away.

    If you were going to use this for an audition - say on ACX - I would suggest stating the title and author. Then "read by" or "performed by" your name. Then take a beat before going into the text. Engineers that I've been dealing with who work at Audible Studios in Newark have given me guidelines that they follow as far as open space (pauses with room tone) are concerned.

    0.5 seconds before the start of a chapter.
    2 to 2.5 seconds after the chapter title before going into the text.
    1.5 seconds between sections if the chapter is broken up into separate parts.
    3.5 seconds at the end of a chapter.

    Those are good guidelines for ACX. I haven't had a project kicked back to me for revisions by using those guidelines.

    Breath sounds in audiobooks are perfectly acceptable, and most people who do them, directors, engineers and producers will say to leave them in. But there are some weird "double clutch" breaths in here that may be troublesome. The first obvious one was before "Why should any man in his right mind..." There were more scattered through out the piece. Something to be aware of.

    Peer Feedback:

    James, Thank you! This is exactly what I was hoping to get from the feedback- I was on stage for many years and the material can carry me away. I love VO but as you have stated before- these are 2 very differrent techniques. practice-practice!

    Peer Feedback:

    I have had a 35+ year career as a musical comedy stage actor, so I know where you're coming from. It was obvious to me that you were an actor. The transition from stage to VO (and the big and small screen for that matter) is in not trying to reach the cheap seats in the back of the theatre. It's also (generally) more contained and less broad - the major exceptions being animation and video games.

    The best suggestion that I was given (which really applies to audiobooks) is read aloud every day. When I prep a book, I read it aloud slowly all the way through before starting to record to get the style of the author, the tone, flesh out characters and play with their voices. Drives people around me on the bus and subway nutz, but I don't particularly care. I consider it homework away from home. For non-fiction with long, rambling run-on sentences, I will also mark logical places to breathe as to string thoughts together in some semblance of order and meaning.

    Peer Feedback:

    Fantastic job! Nice quality recording and the read was really nice. You have a future in audiobooks for sure! Best of luck!

    Back to top
    Script submitted by RevMo

    Script:

    If life were fair, the five depressing hours I'd just spent at the mall buying all-black school clothes for my youngest daughter Gina would have meant the worst part of my day was behind me and I could now relax with dinner, a good book, and a long bath. But of course everyone knows life isn't fair. So when I pulled into my driveway and discovered Kramer lounging on my front porch swing like he owned the world, I wasn't happy but I wasn't overly surprised, either.
    Normally his choosing my place over Jack's brought me a wicked sort of enjoyment, but today I was too emotionally drained to handle the inevitable upheaval caused by his presence. I didn't want to see Jack today, and I didn't want him to see my messy living room full of stuff I was in the process of boxing and hauling to the thrift store. Uncluttering my life was proving to be very messy.

    44 people have played this

    Audition Recording:

    Click to hear RevMo's recording

    This is an audition I recorded for an audiobook. I'm looking for critique in performance, mainly, but I'm trying out a simpler audition setup, so would like opinions on the technical end as well.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/BookAudition_1.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Performance was fine, just the right amount of emotion. Recording was crystal clear.

    Peer Feedback:

    Wow! I think the first sentence needs a couple of extra commas. You paused in the perfect spots. Nice read, I like it. Very nice quality except for a slight hiss in the backround. Good luck, Voice On!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for the comments. Yeah, Dave, the first sentence is a doozy (sp?)! As for the hiss, I used the Noise Reduction effect in Audacity and thought it took care of it. I can't hear it in my headphones. mwjrnc said the recording was clear, so I get the impression he didn't hear it either. Could it be because my headphones are lower quality? Maybe I should take a listen with various other formats-- speakers, etc. I'm hoping this setup will at least be sufficient for auditions because it's so easy to work with, and portable, too. Thanks!!!!!

    Peer Feedback:

    Hey Mo, purchase yoursef a pair of multi media monitors. I have the M-Audio AV40's.
    For $150 at Best Buy, I'm pretty happy them. Monitors are specifically designed for media playback such as mp3"s and wav files.When I complete a recording I'm happy with I listen through a Behringer usb dac (Which bypasses the cheap sound card in my laptop) digital optical out to a denon reciever into Klipsch Khorns which are considered some of the most revealing speakers in the world. If there is a hiss, humm, buzz, breath, etc. they will pick it up. With Audacity, zoom in on the wave form, silent sections should be a clear pristine single line. I hope this helps. Good Day, Voice On!

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    71 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear raithrovers1's recording

    Hi all! It's been a while since I last posted. I have been busy with life and VO and haven't had much spare time. I have improved my booth acoustics and have had a few more coaching sessions. Any feedback would be appreciated as always on sound quality and read interpretation. Thanks

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-113255/script-recording-96251.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    The quality of the recording sounds clear to me with no background noise and I like your accent. Its very pleasant to listen to and I don't have to do much work to see the story you are feeding me.

    A few specific things I noticed.
    :05-0:7 is unclear and it took me a few listens to realize you were saying "the register of his burial" instead of "the registers hovers burial"

    1:45-1:51 (a list of adjectives) could use a little more specific tone for each adjective. You aren't listing them but there isn't much difference between each one.

    Your "s" and "f" sounds tend to be a little harsh

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    Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    Script:

    Charles Howard had the feel of a gigantic onrushing machine: You had to either climb on or leap out of the way. He would sweep into a room, working a cigarette in his fingers, and people would trail him like pilot fish. They couldn’t help themselves. Fifty-eight years old in 1935, Howard was a tall, glowing man in a big suit and a very big Buick. But it wasn’t his physical bearing that did it. He lived on a California ranch so huge that a man could take a wrong turn on it and be lost forever, but it wasn’t his circumstances either. Nor was it that he spoke loud or long; the surprise of the man was his understatement, the quiet and kindly intimacy of his acquaintance. What drew people to him was something intangible, an air about him. There was a certain inevitability to Charles Howard, an urgency radiating from him that made people believe that the world was always going to bend to his wishes.

    28 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear joenc's recording

    Hi - newbie here, and this is my first feedback submission. I am interested in investigating audiobook work. Only working on the performance at this point; I have no studio setup yet. Any comments will be greatly appreciated! -joe

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-81848/script-recording-65792.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    It sounds very good to me. I am new too.

    Peer Feedback:

    Joe, Thanks for the recording. You have a wonderful rich sound. I listened four times then played a bit with the script myself. I would suggest that you play with the lists in the script: "but it wasn't, but it wasn't, nor" This is a series and each part has its own color. You might play a bit more with the verbs, they carry the action, they give the real color.
    I look forward to listening to other things you do.
    Bob

    Peer Feedback:

    Joe,
    You've got a good voice for a piece like this; however, it sounds like you're reading. Your pacing seems a bit rushed as well. You need to value the words a bit more and paint a picture. You need to be able to see and know who Charles Howard is, then using the text, describe him to us.

    In my opinion audiobooks is not an easy genre, but definitely fun! Play with it; put some personality in it. Remember, as the narrator you are a character in the book too!

    Josh

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with Josh, it is a bit rushed.

    There was a SAG Foundation live streamed event a couple of weeks ago on audiobooks, moderated by Scott Brick that I found fascinating. And another one from about a year ago. They are both on YouTube. Here are the links.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_pxKqTtZ8Q

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIgk7O8l4g0

    One thing that sticks in my memory from these is, one of the panelists said that one of the biggest mistakes (new) audiobook narrators make is reading too fast. His contention was that people are usually doing other things - driving, cleaning their house, exercising, etc. - while listening to audiobooks and their primary concentration is on that activity. The audiobook is more like entertaining background noise. So, the narrator not only needs to engage them, but lay the story out more deliberately (slowly) for their brain to take it in.

    IMHO - If you slowed this down and "painted the pictures" more vividly, the storytelling would come through much better than this rushing locomotive.

    Peer Feedback:

    joenc- As far as having no studio set up yet, there are a number of ways to work with that. Let us know what you do have, and we can help get the best out of what you have. For instance, their is a guy named TallRobert on here as of late, he's recoding with only a Iphone,, and its sounding pretty good. He started off sounding like this recording. As I understand it, he's recording in his car, Surrounded with clothing to kill the sound,, and is keeping close to the mic, with out over powering it. So, don't be afraid to ask for help. Also, there may be someone in your area, or like in TallRoberts case, he found out there is a free lab in his area, he maybe able to use. Its in LA, as part of a foundation for Don Lafontain. When I'm home I record in a living room with hardwood floors, and very little "treatment" to the room, and think I get an ok sound. Other times I record in hotel rooms, and houses I rent while Im working away from home... So I've tried all kinds of things.

    Peer Feedback:

    Joenc, you've got a great voice for this and an easy reading quality (at this point, I always feel like I'm fighting the copy when it's long). I agree with James that slower would have been much better. I look forward to hearing more from you!

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks to everyone for the great input! I'll do a lot more listening and then take another crack it it. This forum is great!

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    shadows in the sun

    Script:

    Americans look west for heroes, but Canadians look north. When winter came to the St. Lawrence,
    and ice storms shut down the schools in the town where I lived just west of Montreal, my friends and I would gather around a coal-fired stove in a shack on the riverbank and listen as the old priest who tended the fire spoke of his life in the Arctic, in the barren lands of Keewatin, a place, as he
    put it, of serious cold. He told us of the early years of the country, tracing our history in stories of the coureurs de bois, the runners of the woods, the fur traders who traversed a continent in sixty days in canoes made of tree bark. As a boy I memorized their routes, and could recite the portages as effortlessly as an American kid might name ball players. When I was ten, I paddled for two weeks across northern Quebec with a teacher who had been mauled by a bear. His strength and knowledge of the bush impressed me as much as the dreadful scars on his legs.

    Growing up in Canada, first in Quebec and later in British Columbia, meant, at least then, that a young person would almost inevitably be drawn to the wild. Summers in the mountains fighting fires, cutting trail, or logging were the backdrop of our lives. My first encounter with a larger world came in
    1968, when, at the age of fourteen, my parents sent me to Colombia, a trip that instilled a love of Latin America that has never faded. In the mountains above Cali, on trails that reached west to the Pacific, I encountered the warmth and benevolence of a people charged with an unfamiliar intensity, a passion for life, and a quiet acceptance of the frailty of the human spirit. At twenty I returned to South America as a student of ethnobotany, inspired by the great Amazonian plant explorer Richard Evans Schultes, the man who sparked the psychedelic era with his discovery in the late 1930s of the sacred mushrooms known to the Aztec as teonanacatl, the flesh of the gods. On a journey made possible by Schultes, inspired
    by him and infused at all times with his spirit, I traveled the length and breadth of the Andes, studying a plant revered by the Inca as the divine leaf of immortality, coca, the notorious source of cocaine.

    After eight years of intermittent fieldwork, mostly along the eastern flank of the Cordillera and in the Northwest Amazon, I was sent by Schultes to Haiti to seek the formula of a folk poison reputedly used by sorcerers to make zombies, the living dead. Arriving in Port-au-Prince, I expected to stay a few weeks. Instead, the study consumed four years. In the end I found myself swept into a complex world view utterly different from my own-one that left me demonstrating less the chemical basis of a popular belief than the psychological and cultural foundations of a pharmacological possibility. The zombie phenomenon in all its ramifications could not be extricated from the social, religious, and political matrix of the Vodoun society.

    Haiti is a land of transformation, a culture and a people deeply imbued with a sense of the spirit. Living among a dozen tribes in South America, working with shamans, ingesting their sacred plants, had opened my mind to the poetics of culture. A long sojourn in the remote hinterland of Haiti completed the process, shattering the rigidity of my scientific perspective. In later journeys to Borneo and the high Arctic,
    Tibet and the forests of northern Canada, the swamps of the Orinoco delta and the deserts of the Middle East, I found myself increasingly drawn to the wonder of cultural diversity, and especially to those societies that have yet to succumb to the forces of modernization.

    9 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear Balazs Pusztahazi's recording

    Unedited recording, would love to know if you could listen to this with my accent present. But all comments welcome. Regards Balazs

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-6709/script-recording-55613.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Balazs I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I enjoyed your accent as a compliment of the material. Suffice it to say for a long read you held my attention. good work.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thank you richurd for listening and your words
    Regards
    Balazs

    Back to top
    Short of the Glory

    Script:

    My mother, a shy 26-year-old back then, opened our flimsy trailer door to the church lady. When she asked my mom if she could take my little brother and I to the little Southern Baptist church on Sunday mornings I pleaded for her to say yes. She did and my life has never been the same.
    My first Sunday riding the green and white church bus was a treat. I got gum just for showing up. I also got to meet the church lady’s husband. He drove the bus had black hair that was real curly but cut so you couldn’t really see the curls. Church ladies’ husbands had to have really short hair. He was nice too and I liked him just as much as I liked her.

    When we arrived at the church we were led inside this large room in the back. There were pews and an old upright piano that a smiling teenage girl played. It was called Children’s Church and the Children’s Church preacher had the most genuine smile I have ever seen. He was happy. Not fake, just happy. I liked him too. His wife was mysterious to me. They didn’t seem to fit. She had dyed black hair in a curly perm that didn’t quite reach her shoulders. Her fingernails were the longest I’d ever seen. She was very petite and her skirt clung to her small hips, accentuating her tiny waistline. Her make-up was obvious in that 70’s way and she smiled as though she knew she was pretty. Not conceited I don’t believe; a confident Alabama, small town Belle.

    I remember kids holding up poster board with fun kid songs written on them in colorful marker. “The B-I-B-L-E”, “Countdown”, “The Lord’s Army” are songs I can still recite all the words to today. My own kids think they’re pretty lame. But it was the 70’s. No Nickelodeon or Mean Girls movies to persuade me that life was a little deeper- or superficial - depending on how you look at it.

    The Children’s Church preacher told stories—about what I don’t remember. What I do remember is that box of goodies that he held in his hand at the end of the service as he asked us if we wanted to invite Jesus into our hearts. I liked Jesus. I really liked some of the loot in the box he used to entice us. The Children’s Church preacher said that if we wanted to “get saved” to come up front so someone could pray with us then pick our “prize”. I find that remark so ironic today. Wasn’t Jesus alone the “prize”? The world sees it: we, as Christians, with all our gimmicks trying to sell God. I shake my head at God’s grace, how it intervened and actually took root in my life at all.

    I nudged my little brother beside me. Did he want to go up and get a prize; I mean get “saved”? He shook his head. No toy or gum was going to persuade him to walk in front of all the other
    kids. I wasn’t shy. I wanted treasure. I thought Jesus sounded nice too. I left my brother’s side and I walked to the front of the room. The preacher’s wife led me through a door to a room down the hall. It was a small room. I remember her telling me that Jesus loved me. Did I want to get saved? I nodded dutifully. This was starting to seem exciting and mysterious. Yes, I definitely wanted to get saved. I didn’t ask her what I was getting saved from and she didn’t offer. She just told me to repeat after her.

    She had her head bowed and while her eyes were closed I peeked at her long fingernails. I wondered if mine would be that long…”I believe You died on the cross…” when I grew up.

    “I’m sorry for my sins.” What was sin?

    “I want you to come into my heart.” I was done.

    We smiled at each other. Had I just joined a club? Back in the room I picked the green plastic watch. I got the prize.

    I really did, you know. I got the Prize and I knew it. In my seven-year old heart I knew I would never be the same. I knew there was something new on the inside.

    On the ride home something began to happen that felt almost giddy. As I walked by the Church Lady’s husband something welled up inside of me that I could not contain. As I crossed in front of the green and white Baptist church bus I had what I am sure was the first charismatic experience any of them had ever witnessed! I began to jump up and down as high as I could, all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, “I’m saved! I’m saved!” My excitement was spilling out everywhere and I didn’t care what anyone thought.

    It was no longer a question of what I was saved from. I knew with great certainty that Jesus Christ lived inside me. I was His and this was incredible; exhilarating. Mother, in an attempt to share in my moment ruined the whole thing by having me sit on the bed and tell her what it was like. It was one of those moments in which parents (myself included) make their kids feel awkward and stupid because they can’t help getting real serious and talking in unnatural tones. I shrugged, told her I didn’t know anything and ran off to play. But I did know and it wouldn’t be long before I knew that being saved didn’t always mean being protected.

    17 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear TedVoInSpain's recording

    I'm trying out longer passages. This is a 6 minute passage from a friends book... There is a slight weirdness in the phrase "...when the church lady asked my mom if..." that whole phrase is a difficult one and I'm waiting on some info from the author before I change it. Could you please close your eyes for just a bit and see how long it interests you? I find the longer I read, the smoother I get, and that is what I'm practicing for. I'd appreciate any feedback, thanks. Nodo420

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-8990/script-recording-26722.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    You did seem to get more into it as you went on and it became more believable. When you speed up, you sometimes combine the words so close together that its a little harder to understand.
    The problem I had from the beginning was that it was in the south and you have a slight accent that isn't southern (midwest?). Obviously, I don't know the whole story and maybe the family moved to the south from somewhere else. But just going from what I heard, your voice didn't fit the story for me and that made it harder to get into. But hey, maybe thats just me.

    Peer Feedback:

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and to give me your feedback. Amazing ear! I am from the Midwest, I didn't want to do a southern accent because it's not me and continuity would be difficult. But I modestly thought I had an almost

    If I didn't fit the story for you, That is invaluable feedback to me.If I didn't fir for you, it's quite possible that it will happen with others. And it's nice you explained so that I can understand why.

    I'll also look to clean up my diction a bit, I listened and in an effort to sound folksy and of course 7, I did run some of the sentences together.

    Thanks so much for the feedback and taking the time to listen. :) Nodo420

    Back to top
    Silkworms

    Script:

    One of my other cousins ran up and bashed his brother in the back of the head with a tree branch. My tormentor lost interest in me and let me go. The boys chased after each other. I could have followed, but I liked being alone with my silkworms.

    76 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear clayputt's recording

    I have attached a raw, unedited file to compare two mics. The file has two reads from the two different mics. I purchased a new mic to see if it would have less background hiss. Should I keep this new mic, is it that much better than the one I already have? Thanks for any comments.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-114298/script-recording-95772.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Second take seemed to have more depth, prefer #2.

    Peer Feedback:

    I had to listen to it a few times. I am using earbuds, but could make out the slight difference between that takes. the second one does have more depth to it. Almost a little more emotion to it as well.

    Good job! Keep up the good work.

    Ken P.

    Peer Feedback:

    There is slightly more "body" and low frequency to the second take. But I prefer the first take. It's brighter and more focused. The second take is just a touch muddy with the enhanced low end frequencies.

    I had to turn up the volume quite a bit with headphones on to hear the hiss - more in the second take than the first - but it's not so bad that a little NR couldn't take care of it.

    #1 is my pick.

    Peer Feedback:

    I prefer clear, and the first microphone is more clear.

    Peer Feedback:

    Good morning clayputt,

    I liked #2 overall. It all seemed to be read in the same tone. I think more emotion would make it. Like on the words bashed and chased.

    Back to top
    Sophie's Choice

    Script:

    In those days cheap apartments were almost impossible to find in Manhattan, so I had to move to Brooklyn. This was 1947, and one of the pleasant features of that summer which I so vividly remember was the weather, which was sunny and mild, flower-fragrant, almost as if the days had been arrested in a seemingly perpetual springtime. I was grateful for that, if for nothing else, since my youth, I felt, was at its lowest ebb. At twenty-two, struggling to become some kind of writer, I found that the creative heat which at eighteen had nearly consumed me with its gorgeous, relentless flame had flickered out to a dim pilot light registering little more than a token glow in my breast, or wherever my hungriest aspirations once resided. It was not that I no longer wanted to write, I still yearned passionately to produce the novel that had been for so long captive in my brain. It was only that, having written down the first few fine paragraphs, I could not produce any others, or - to approximate Gertrude Stein's remark about a lesser writer of the Lost Generation - I had the syrup, but it wouldn't pour.

    116 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear James Burton's recording

    Decided to try this one again with a little bit more passion and variety. The goal was to still keep it kind of subtle - though I've not actually read the novel myself (I know, I'm a traitor to my country), I understand it to be rather bittersweet - while still introducing more vocal variance. In addition to my performance this time around, does the audio quality and editing sound professional at all? If not, what steps can I take to help it sound that way? Thanks in advance for your input.

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-86905/script-recording-78742.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    I have been attending a bunch of audiobook sessions at the SAG Foundation VO Lab in NYC. Both of the recording engineers also engineer at Audible Studios in Newark, so I trust their judgement. Here's what they might say to you (because I've heard them say it over and over to session participants).

    First - Less voice. Think like you're talking directly into someone's ear. Close and intimate. This will help with the next one.

    Second - If it's good writing, which this is, let the words speak for themselves. There's no need to punch (like you did with "had" in the first sentence) or force an emotion (like you did with the phrase "arrested in a seemingly perpetual springtime"). That's not to be mistaken for "stressing" something. In these cases, sometimes less is more. Talk in a normal tone of voice and let the words take care of themselves. You're jabbing at them like a prizefighter.

    Third - Slow down a touch. Let the listener take in the good writing and relish the story. One thing that those engineers keep mentioning is a kind of "spontaneity", like the words come as thoughts would come, without a plan. That's why some advocate not reading too far ahead as you're reciting. (Yeah, I know. There's just the opposite school of thought too.)

    There's just a little bit of inarticulation in here too. The first instance was "apartments" - it came out "aparrmenss". This character is a writer and would probably be a little more "eloquent" with his pronunciations, but not overly so.

    There are a lot of errant noises too, tongue clicks and lip smacks. A good lot of them are in the clear and could be snipped out with some judicious editing.

    Peer Feedback:

    I agree with James about the less voice and letting the words speak for themselves. That is such a tricky one, because we want to make sure to bring it to life. However, just like James said (hmmm, is there a pattern here? ) when you have good writing, the words really so much of the work for you. You have a nice vocal quality. There is a gentleness to it that I really like.

    Peer Feedback:

    I'm new to this business myself, so am listening with great interest. I like your accent, and your voice has a nice warmth to it. As the others have commented, I did notice a recurring emphasis on certain words, like HAD, so LONG, FIRST, which can create a monotonous effect. Also I noticed with Gertrude Stein you emphasized her first name, where I would expect emphasis on the second.

    Back to top
    Sophie's Choice

    Script:

    In those days cheap apartments were almost impossible to find in Manhattan, so I had to move to Brooklyn. This was 1947, and one of the pleasant features of that summer which I so vividly remember was the weather, which was sunny and mild, flower-fragrant, almost as if the days had been arrested in a seemingly perpetual springtime. I was grateful for that if for nothing else, since my youth, I felt, was at its lowest ebb. At twenty-two, struggling to become some kind of writer, I found that the creative heat which at eighteen had nearly consumed me with its gorgeous, relentless flame had flickered out to a dim pilot light registering little more than a token glow in my breast, or wherever my hungriest aspirations once resided. It was not that I no longer wanted to write, I still yearned passionately to produce the novel that had been for so long captive in my brain. It was only that, having written down the first few fine paragraphs, I could not produce any others, or - to approximate Gertrude Stein's remark about a lesser writer of the Lost Generation - I had the syrup, but it wouldn't pour.

    92 people have played this

    Practice Recording:

    Click to hear James Burton's recording

    As always, there are some things I want to retroactively fix, but there are only so many tweaks I can make to the script and performance before I run my voice hoarse. That being said, I played around with editing this and discovered how to reduce the noise of my breaths, so hopefully it sounds a little better this time around. I think I could definitely improve more in the breathing area, but naturally, let me know what you think. I also feel like I wasn't as articulate this time around...something to correct in the future. I turned up the gain on my interface a bit for this one, so please let me know if I still need to go louder or project more. Thanks in advance for your critique!

    /sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-86905/script-recording-78474.mp3

    Peer Feedback:

    Slow down! Less voice.

    This excerpt is from the novel and not the screenplay, but the approach should be the same. As a first person narrative, you have to inhabit this character, become that person, create a life for them and tell their story. The words need the feel of spontaneity, like these thoughts are coming to you as you speak.

    Example: The first sentence.

    "In those days (maybe give yourself a slight contemplative pause - thinking back - a twist of the head) cheap apartments were almost impossible to find in Manhattan (an amusing smile in your voice, a shake of the head), (shoulder shrug) so(oooo) I h