Friday, December 10, 2004

Coming Soon? You Decide

Ever since Zelda put up an audioblog the other day I've been thinking about doing that myself. Yeah, I've seen them before, it wasn't the novelty that appealed to me. Sometimes just I'm not sure that the right inflection or tone comes across when I write, especially when I write something sarcastic. I try to use bold and italic when I want to put a particular stress on something, but what are the odds you're putting the same emphasis in your mind's ear? Dunno. So I've been kicking around the idea of recording stuff that I've already written, in my voice, and posting it here.

I went and looked at how to put an audioblog post on my page and to be honest, I'm not crazy about that setup. I don't like having to make a phonecall. So what I'm thinking about doing is recording them here at my desktop, saving it as a low-bitrate mp3 (it's monophonic spoken word, after all) and linking to it. If I record it here, it's obviously much easier to edit, re-take, etc.

My initial thought was to have a completely separate blog, identical except that it is only the mp3 clips. Now I'm thinking maybe I should make the title of entries on this blog the link. Since you people are the ones who would potentially listen (or not) to my voice (which I hate), I'd like to hear your opinions and suggestions.

[Edit: Ok, I've done a test recording, and although it sounds like I have a bit of a lisp, I assure you that it's merely the poor-quality recording. Anyhow, this is approximately what we're talking about.]

52 Comments:

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I can't just hit on Cute, Single, Christian Guy! He's way out of my league, and I'm totally lacking in the confidence it would take to pull off a scheme like that. What the heck have I got to offer him?

Umm...The above explanation really confused me because I know nothing about technology (which would also be why I'm not hacking into your computer), so do whatever you want. Although I'm not sure why you'd want to record your voice for random strangers to listen to if you hate it so much. I mean, I hate my legs, and I'm not sending pictures of them around to everyone. It just doesn't make much sense.

And 33 is actually very young in the grand scheme of things. What you have to understand about me and my friends is that most of us can't even imagine turning twenty. I mean, my 19th birthday is next week, and I feel ancient. My teen years are almost over...And I'll never get them back. That's scary. So yeah, we don't even want to think about where we'll be in 10+ years. I apologize for any psychological damage we may have caused by ragging on you about your age. Repress the pain, and in 15 years when I'm a world famous psychoanalyst, I'll make everything better for you. Or, if I'm a lawyer, I'll help you sue Leanna for all she's worth. (And she's planning on becoming a doctor...)

 
At 1:43 AM, Blogger tinyhands said...

The point is so that you hear the emphasis I intend, and is hopefully funnier. I am sometimes rather animated when I talk and I fear it doesn't fully come across when I write it down.

As for the other stuff, it's on your blog.

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

please please PLEASE do this!!! I'm not sure I'd ever leave my computer!

 
At 3:19 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

For what it's worth, spoken and written are two entirely different things at the receiving end, even if the words are the same. (They're usually not.) I read a lot faster than it is possible to listen (unless you gabble *very fast*) and in my mind's ear ... well, I'm not quite sure what is happening exactly, but I don't 'hear' the words, I 'hear' the meaning. Or something. I don't 'hear' you gabbling at the speed I read.

Emphasis (such as bold, italic and so on) assign additional meaning to words, but not in the same way tone does in the spoken word. You are right that the reader assigns tone to written language (it's called the 'information structure' in some grammar systems), and it is explicit in spoken and implicit in written language, at least for fluent readers. It is not quite the same thing as spoken tone, though.

I suspect that if you decide to do both, you might eventually find yourself wanting to make them a bit different, to take advantage of tone and complex grammar (for speaking) and denser vocabulary (for writing). Speaking uses simpler vocabulary and more complex grammar (to generalise wildly). Otherwise your speaking will sound as though you are reading (which is how your example sounds - not that this is a bad thing, but it is clearly written language, not spoken), and/or your writing will read as though you were transcribing written speech. This could be good - Garrison Keillor is an excellent example - but it's not the same thing as 'speaking'. And from what you say, 'speaking' is what you want to do.

It would be an interesting experiment. Why don't you try writing something, reading it over and then taping yourself telling it (without actually reading it)? You might capture more of what you're wanting to if you don't simply read what you wrote.

(Can you tell I studied a bit of this sort of thing?)

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

I think it would be neato.

Just don't get nervous. I get so flustered speaking/singing in front of people. I tried to record myself singing a song I've been practicing, but even though I was alone in my house and no one was going to hear the song unless I wanted them to, I got nervous and started warbling. And I tried to say something before I recorded Jethro snoring, but I was too nervous and I sounded like it.

And just so you know, I am a kook now, but I wasn't a kook when I did my interview with Shern Min Cow, I mean Chow.

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger amy said...

Where's the link to hear thy charming voice?

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Jethro said...

Go ahead and do it. While reading, some people may misread your emphasis.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Adrianne- Please do it, but you'd never leave your computer? How do I know that's such a good thing?

Theic- You're right on all counts, of course. I too read a lot faster than I speak/listen and I'm very aware that what I recorded sounds like I'm reading. It's a bit dry, but then this example wasn't a funny story and I want to see if its understandable. For the sake of clarity and any accent I may or may not have, if I continue doing this I think I will continue reading what I've already written at let it evolve naturally. (Excellent use of what you learned at university though!)

Z- The take that's posted is the 3rd time I did it. The first time sounded very "girlie" to me, and the 2nd time I tripped all over my tongue. This take is also edited to remove some lip-smacking between paragraphs.

Inky- Click on the title of the entry.

Jeth- I'm going to have to train myself to speak faster though. As Badaunt points out, written & spoken are much more different in reality. I still want to make sure everyone can understand me.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger April said...

i think you should do it. i reserve the right to make fun of your lisp though. hehe. no, it was fun but also a little weird to talk to, well, myself, while I was recording it. it ended up being more trouble than it was worth for me, but if it's that important to you that you put across the right tone, then go for it.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Tasty said...

OK, 'splain me why you hate your voice.

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

I like your voice. You sound like a radio personality on a classical music station. Very lulling.

Would you be practicing for stand-up comedy?

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger se7en said...

okie, after mulling it over a bit, here's my 3 centimes worth.
I am not really interested in hearing your voice. It's more fun to imagine what you might sound like. (you don't sound like I imagined).
Not that you sound bad or anything like that, not at all. Actually you did quite well. I personally get this mental image of what people look and sound like when I am reading anything, even a novel for example. I always imagined what Stephen King would look like and I was not far off after seeing his photo somewhere, lol. If I want to hear what people sound like then theres plenty of TV and radio. Am I mental, maybe haha. If you decide to do this I am sure i'll check it out and maybe enjoy it.
While writing this I thought it might be fun to add in some of my ideas of what you guys look/sound like.

Heather=I know what you look like from your pic. Voice=a bit breathy, not in Mr Hands breathy/sinister way but a nice feminine breathy. hehe

Jethro=I have also seen your pic, I imagined you with both an interesting asian accent and a boring american accent. Not sure there.

Zelda=Medium brown hair, tallish, medium build. Voice=bold and brassy, almost bossy, but pleasant.

inky=Seen your pic as well,nice. Voice=a bit high pitched and sassy, matter of fact manner.

Mr Hands=no mystery! seen pics somewhere and also heard your voice. oh well.

Badaunt,Stacey,April,mellancollyeyes=not enough info yet to form a mental image/voice print lol

I am probably way off in my descriptions but that's the fun part!

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

April- I had to read that 3 or 4 times before I realized you were talking about your own audioblog experience. I'm just slow like that.

Stacey- I thought it was common knowledge that everyone hates their own voice, until I remembered how much my mother likes to hear herself talk. I think I sound nasal.

Z- Thanks...I have thought about stand-up, but I've seen guys completely crash and burn on stage. I don't know if I could handle that kind of immediate rejection. You know me, I like the long, drawn-out torture.

7- Excellent point. There is something to be said for a writer who can make the reader form a mental image (whether it's the right image or not). Now you've got me thinking that the audio version is kind of like cheating.

FYI- Pictures of Zelda & Stacey aren't too hard to find. April had a picture up until earlier this week. Cuties all. I'm disappointed to know pictures of me are still easy to find...I had hoped to remain at least a little mysterious. :( Next week I'll post my PIN.

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger se7en said...

You are right! I did a bit of poking around and found a few pics of Zelda on Jethro's blog. And I have to say I was not far off at all, appearance wise, very nice Z (Jethro is one HELLUVA lucky guy). How's that for inflection? heh. I still have the voice mystery though. I also saw Stacy's pic, also very nice, but I saw it before I got the mental image going, can't tell now if I would have been off. I'll cling to her voice mystery, lol

Badaunt, mellencollyeyes/Adrianne i'll stalk you 2 later and get an image/voice print going eventually, lol

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Seven: "Feminine breathy"? That reminds me of Jenna Jamison...I'm a teenager, not a porn star.

Granted, I'm an okay actor, so I can manipulate my voice to serve whatever purposes I so choose, so I suppose I could pull off the porn star sound if I wanted to. In general, my voice is either very soft and sweet ("nice" voice) or commandeering ("I have an opinion" voice). It's been described as a good lawyer voice.

Tinyhands: I just listened to your recording. Why don't you like your voice? It's soothing.

 
At 12:51 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I can't believe I forgot to mention this...

I was at Goody's today, and I actually saw the hideous reindeer sweater. In real life. I almost tried it on.

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger April said...

sorry, that was my fault, i overedited my comment and took out the part where i said "i did the audioblog thing" i'm slow like that sometimes ;o)

 
At 7:58 AM, Blogger se7en said...

Heather=sorry if you feel offended in any way, "porn star" was definitely not in my mind, in fact far from it. Besides, I can't seem to imagine Jenna Jamison with a breathy voice. lol

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Gary said...

Eve though it's my job, I hate heaing the sound of my own voice.
I don't know how you can do it!

Also - just to be really negative - not everyone this side of the pond has broadband connections and it would take me an age to download and listen to your audio entry. :(

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

Seven - I don't think have a brassy voice, but I can see how you'd get that impression from how I write. On paper I'm opinionated and I swear a lot. But in person, I swear less, and have a huge vocabulary and kind of a quiet voice and I really go in for inuendo more than sarcasm. Unless I've been drinking. Then I get loud and talkative.

And Jethro has a sexy voice and no accent.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

Your voice is way hot...why would you hate it? And by "never leave my computer" I meant that in a good way...I'm already addicted to your blog, and I imagine that by having everything voice-recorded, I'd be poised at the computer, waiting anxiously for the next installment. I didn't mean it in a creepy, I have no life, eating bon bons and talking to my online boyfriend in Canada sort of way. It was meant as a positive.

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Allie#3ga said...

ok tiny - i gotta throw my .02 into the mix. i like it. i'm on dial up - so there is some skipping ... but i like it - and i think you have a great voice - suprizingly accent free ... i like reading your words - but i also like hearing it in your own voice. yay to you.

 
At 6:48 PM, Blogger se7en said...

Zelda, nothings better than inuendo well done, but I also love sarcasm, oh and silliness! can't forget that, silly women rule!
hehe

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Tasty said...

Ooh, lookit! I got complimented. Thanks -- those are always enjoyable.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Tinyhands,

I urge you to reconsider your audblog plan. It would be the first step down a slippery slope of media escalation.

First you get a blog, then I get a blog. Then you start audblogging, so I'd have to audblog. I'd retaliate by posting pictures and video, so you'd have to do the same.

Next thing you know, we're both inviting people over to our houses to stick webcams up our respective sphincters.

Nothing good can come of us.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

You know Seven, methinks you had me pegged as a member of Large, Loud & Lovely. Medium build indeed. That's polite man-speak for 300+. Please, for the love of GOD tell me I look different than what you pictured. I have low enough self-esteem as it is. ;-)

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Tasty said...

Aw, Zelda, you're a BABE! I've seen your photo, and I know of which I speak.

Personally, I'm a happy member of the "Large, Loud & Lovely." Mostly Lovely, of course. (I mention this principally so I can talk about myself - tee hee.) Also, I have the voice of a 20 year old girl. Except when I have a bad cold, then I sound real Kathleen Turner-esque. Either that, or lesbian-esque. Whichever.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

Stacy, you are a doll. I sooooo needed an ego boost today. I think it was the "medium build PLUS the bold, brassy, bossy voice that killed it. Basically it described my sister's first grade teacher who fit that description exactly. And she was a holy horror.

I have the voice of a 12 year old, except when I have a cold. Then I sound like Louis Armstrong. I go around the house singing Wonderful World and it amuses people. Bless you. :-)

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger Allie#3ga said...

are you kidding? zelda is a hottie. we all know this, and trust me...we are jealous.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I like how we use this space to talk to each other instead of to tinyhands.

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Tasty said...

I like that, too, Heather.

 
At 3:28 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

I like it how we're all talking to each other instead of Tinyhands. :-)

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger se7en said...

Zelda, quote "(Jethro is one HELLUVA lucky guy)." end quote Now unless I am misreading what I wrote, I think it means Jethro is one HELLUVA lucky guy. I'll be a bit more specific (and maybe a lil' bit sexist)You are 1 hot chick. Hows that? =) Maybe Mr Hands is right, audioblog would be easier to understand the correct intention. Naaa it's more fun this way, to go back and 'splain yourself lol

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Allie#3ga said...

if we can call him tinyhands - i think we should call me bigrack.

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

If we name you "bigrack," I think we should designate two others "bighands" and "tinyrack." Only then will the circle be complete.

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I also like how Seven felt it necessary to say "quote" and "end quote" in their respective positions...Because the quotation marks didn't make it clear enough...

Seven, you remind me of a stalker I once had. I say that like it was a long time ago when actually it was just the beginning of this semester. Anyway, said stalker and I are now friends, so I don't suppose that's a bad thing.

And Zelda is very cute. But I'm not jealous.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

Dang, I wouldn't be jealous of me if I saw me walking down the street. And I like Seven. He lives in New Orleans. I love New Orleans.

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger se7en said...

Yeah, I wanted Zelda to actually go back and reread what I said and I figured that "" might not be quite funny enough or quite enough emphasis.

Oh, I haven't been labeled a stalker before, but I have been stalked a few times, does that count? =)

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger se7en said...

whoops, Mr Hands is gonna be mad when he sees the mess we made of his comments, lol

Maybe he is just ignoring us to see just how far we will go...

Or maybe he got lucky last night and he is too tired to blog...

Or maybe he got really lucky last night and is presently getting even more lucky...

What do you guys think?...

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

He seems like a guy who wholeheartedly deserves to get lucky. With a girl. Just joking. I'm a little drunk.

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

My presence here is truly optional. I laughed many times, except at Mike. I will destroy you. Happy Holidays!

Z- Which part is joking? 'deserves to get lucky' or 'with a girl'? Don't make me drive out to Fort Bend County!

 
At 12:00 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Happy Holidays?! Does that mean we're not getting anything else until after Christmas? Because that's not okay with me. I protest.

Let's take a vote. Who says Mr. Tinyhands should update at least once every day for the rest of his life?

::raises hand::

C'mon, kids, who's with me?

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Bonnie Heather- Quiet you, I'm working on today's entry right now. That other comment was for Mike. Shouldn't you be studying?

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger christ*el #3tx said...

comment fairy here....

i agree that TH should update EVERY day. how else can i steal his funny ass material and claim it to be my own? DUH!

p.s. once i write funnier stuff, i might get 43 comments on MY blog too... instead of 7. yay.

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger me said...

sounds like you're ready for all things considered.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

I love NPR- If everyone who thought I should be in public radio would kindly email them and let them know I need a job.

Note to guys: Women always approach me when I'm wearing my NPR sweatshirt.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger amy said...

Um, Seven? My voice isn't high pitchy.. I love my voice. I used to be a radio announcer. And when did you hear me??? And why do you have more comments on this site than anyone else?

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Gary said...

Ok, I have to ask, what is NPR?

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger tinyhands said...

National Public Radio. They don't actually broadcast, they just create a lot of the programming purchased by local public radio stations. NPR Website

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Is this like the bbc?

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Only in terms of quality of content and left-leaning bias (although I'm not too sensitive to political bias). I was under the impression that the BBC also controlled the individual broadcast stations, from cameras/microphones all the way down to the actual transmitter. All or nothing.

Here, public radio (and public television) is directly supported by listener contributions and the content is whatever the station manager(s) decide to purchase and broadcast. That usually means a combination of programming from NPR and PRI (Public Radio International) with some locally produced content. Thus, no two public radio/TV stations are exactly alike. Houston Public Radio. Boston Public Television (WGBH) is a huge producer of content for public TV stations across the country but there's nothing that says local public TV stations MUST purchase/broadcast the programs they create.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Gary said...

ah, in that case it's completely different to the bbc!

 

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