We've moved to http://librivox.org
About Recording for LibriVox
NOTE: LibriVox is always looking for more volunteer readers. Read a bit more about volunteering, or visit our forum, or leave a comment on this blog, or send an email to: librivox AT yahoo DOT ca
Below you will find some specific requests if you record for LibriVox, and some general how-tos & advice, both practical and technical.
Recording for LibriVox
- Introduce the segment by saying: "This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information on how to volunteer, please visit: librivox.blogsome.com."
- If you wish, say: "Recording by [your name], [your podcast, blog etc, if you wish]"
- Say: "[name of book], by [author's name], chapter [number]."
- At end of the recording, say: "End of chapter [number]"
- Save the mp3 file with the following filename format: booktitle_chapter#_author_lastname (eg: secret_agent_2_conrad)
- Export the files to mp3 with 128kbps, if possible (see File Formats from more info)
- In the ID3 tags use:
- album: bookname ... (the secret agent = "secret_agent"; crime and punishment = "crime_and_punishment")
- title: chpater number ... (chapter 1 = "secret_agent_ch_1")
- artist: author (joseph conrad = "conrad_j")
- Read the text at least once before recording (it helps to know what you are recording)
- Talk slowly, very slowly, very slowly, slower than that even
- Pause between sentences and paragraphs; take your time
- E-n-u-n-c-i-a-t-e ... every syllable, don't eat your words
- Project your voice, make it loud and clear
- Modulate your voice, give it life!
- Test first - make sure you're not too close or too far from the microphone
- Put your microphone at an angle, so your breath doesn't hit the mic full on (making that ugly loud puff sound)
- Turn off your phone, and shut your door while you're recording!
- Try to record in several different chunks (but provide ONE file) to avoid mental exhaustion
- When you make a mistake, leave a second or two of silence, or tap your microphone, and start again at the beginning of the sentence/paragraph - go back and edit later
- You should edit your chapter on something like Audacity, to get rid of mistakes, lip-smacking, telephone interruptions, etc.
- check out general podcasting advice from Jack Herrington.
- Visit our forum for more advice
Technical Advice about Recording
- Audio software
You need some audio software. The free software, GPL, cross-platform Audacity is a good place to start. Other options include Garage Band, Sound Studio, for macs, and AudioRoom for Windows. There are many options. You can also record to some mp3 players, such as the iriver.
Note1: LibriVox needs your files in mp3, and to export files to mp3 from audacity, you need to download and install the LAME encorder anywhere on your computer.
Note2: see below for mp3/ogg discussion.
Most computers these days have an internal mic, which gives you a passable quality, but usually lots of noise. A cheap microphone (such as the Sony F-V220 microphone - C$24.99) will plug right into the mic jack on many computers, and makes things much better. Apple's ibook doesn't have a mic jack. Don't ask me why. For apple, you can get an imic, which is a regular mic-to-USB adapter. You can also find USB mics. If you want, you can spend lots of money on a fancy mic, or even more money on a fancier one, and the sound does improve significantly.
If you spend money on a fancy mic, you'll want to get a pre-amp, like this one.
- Examples of studio set-ups
See our forum for some LibriVox studio set-ups, and to throw in your 2 cents. Or check out some random podcasters who describe their studios: dan bricklin, the roadhouse, hugo schotman.
- File formats (mp3 & ogg)
mp3s are the standard in audio file formats, so LibriVox will offer mp3s. However, mp3 is a proprietary audio format, and the owner Fraunhofer charges royalty fees. Ogg Vorbis is a free & open audio format, equivalent to mp3. Now, all this is complicated legal stuff, but in general, we the people of LibriVox we support things free & open, and so we support Ogg Vorbis. But we also want everyone to hear whatever public domain audio that they can.
-We ask you to record & export your mp3s at 128kbps (this is the bitrate, a higher bitrate means better recording)
-In audacity, you manage mp3 export bitates in File/Preferences/File Formats
-When LibriVox uploads to archive.org, a 128kbps mp3 is automatically converted in to a 64kbps mp3 AND an ogg file. So we get 3 files (high-quality mp3, medium-quality mp3, and high-quality ogg) for the price of one. Nice. This is not the case with lower bitrate mp3.
A note on copyright etc.
All texts in the LibriVox project are in the Public Domain texts. All LibriVox recordings will also be in the Public Domain. If you do not wish to liberate your voice recording to the public domain, this is not the project for you.