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Voice Recording


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Since I can't code yet and while I would love to write a mod (not being able to code it presents a bit of a problem) I thought maybe I could help by doing voice work.


I talked with my wife and she was interested as well. Of course all this is pie in the sky until I can get a handle on the recording end of things. I just pulled out my old band gear and managed to get sound recorded...LOL...if you want to call it that but it occured to me I've really no experience on the recording end of things.


I'll continue work on it but anyone who wants to share their own tricks or experiences, even a 'how to' link I may not have found yet that would be great.



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Thanks for the reply. I did find that one...plus JCCompton's addendum and I have actually managed to get it up and running.


I guess now its just bang around in it until I like the quality. Well that and figure out how to turn it into an actual soundset. First one's written though, for a fighter, so maybe when I get some samples someone would be interested in telling me how it is for feedbacks sake if nothing else.

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All I can add to Wynne's excellent advice is "Get Audacity."


Audacity is a free, open-source sound editing program that will let you clean up your recording, modify it as desired, save it to a variety of formats, and edit already recorded material. It is available for Windows, Linux, and OSX. It comes with a number of useful features like normalize, fade in/out (vital for editing musical selections), noise reduction, and a pitch-changing protocol that does not speed up the clip.


I record at 16-bit 44.1 KHz, but if I wanted to a smaller file size, I could go with 8-bit 22 KHz.


How to get a clean, near-professional recording:

  1. Record your line, allowing plenty of lead time before you start talking and allowing it to continue recording for a while after you have done speaking. If your line is more than one sentence long, allow an extra-long pause between sentences, drawing breath, if necessary. You can edit out the air intake later, and adjust the length of any pauses. Hold the microphone far enough away from your face so that you do not oversaturate the recording. You can tell if it's oversaturated because the displayed waveform of the recording will look like it's got the tops and the bottoms of the waves clipped off.
  2. Select the entire recording by double-clicking on it. Make whatever adjustments to pitch you desire. Then click "Normalize" and choose "center on zero," but do not set maximum amplitude at zero, as this has the same effect as oversaturating the recording.
  3. With the entire recording still selected, "Amplify" to a maximum dB reading of -1 dB. This will make the noise bigger.
  4. Select a portion of background noise. This is why you left a pause before you began speaking and after you were done. Don't accidentally select an area where you might have drawn breath.
  5. Click "Noise Reduction," then "Step One: Noise Profile."
  6. Select the entire recording again, then click on "Noise Reduction" again. Preview your recording to see if it sounds all right. If it sounds noisy still, you can move the slider to the right for more noise reduction, or to the left for less, if it sounds a bit tinny. When you're happy, hit "OK" or whatever the button on the bottom says that indicates that you're satisfied and want to apply it and close the noise reduction feature.
  7. Any breaths you took during the pauses between phrases will appear as tiny little blips in an otherwise flat baseline. Select them, and just edit>cut them out. Play through the recording and adjust the length of the pauses between the phrases. It has an "undo" feature, so if you make a mistake, you can back up several steps.
  8. Select the entire recording again. Click "Amplify" and set the maximum at -4 dB, which sounds more or less on par with BioWare.
  9. Select the portion of your recording that contains the voiced lines, getting rid of the time before and after the recording. Play the entire thing to make sure you are happy with it and to ensure that you didn't accidentally clip off any closing consonants when you got rid of the pause following your recording.
  10. From here, you can save directly as OGG, or you can save it to WAV, or whatever.

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That was great! Thankyou. I have some finished pieces I would like to get feedback on. My goal is to make an entire soundset for a fighter (never liked the choices much). I have the set of 35 in ogg now (left out Hide in shadows success) but most I need to go back and tweak with what you just taught me. And then I assume I have to figure out how to code it.


So is there a way I can go about getting feedback on them? I'm not familiar with how that works.


And thanks again that really helped a lot.

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I agree :) I fired up the printer and hard copied it (just in case) as soon as I read it. Helped my out a lot.


And then from that it gave me the idea to record several variations in one pull and then pick the one I liked best, or cut and splice once I realized I could do that.


Once again very awesome Berelinde Thanks


Maybe I'll see you over at the workroom. Going there now to figure out how to put up my first draft. Just finished the soundset now I need the what I did wrong part... that's all you (well and others of course).

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A couple of tips I learned the hard way, that might be helpful for someone:


Additional tips from me would be: The 'noise removal' button is by default set at the middle of the Less-More interval. I find that sliding it down to about a quarter or even less is better because it still gives you that desired 'straight' line between your words and prevents the voice from sounding metallic. The little noise glitches that still remain between words you can just silence out.


When you have two parts to one record and one is significantly lower in volume than another, Amplify the two parts separately, to achieve consistent amplification. That one shouted word usually prevents the rest of the record to be amplified at all.

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Belated advice! I'm new to modding but experienced with recording and vocals. I hope this helps.

  • It's a bit retro, but I find that holding a sheet of glass behind the mic when I speak gives me a much nicer, crisper sound. I use the glass slide from my lightbox, but a piece from a picture frame or something would probably work just fine. Of course, you can probably achieve the same "sharpening" effect in a sound editor (once again, Audacity is love) but this works well if you want to do it in a more physical manner.
  • If you have the option, use an instrument mic rather than a vocal mic. It's a matter of opinion, but I strongly think that instrument mics sound better when it comes to voice-acting.
  • ACT LIKE YOU MEAN IT. It's horrible to listen to an actor when they're holding back or embarrassed. You have to go for it with confidence or you will sound bad. Also, don't turn up the mic/hold it closer to compensate for speaking quietly. Speak up instead!

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