My experience of Podbang started with a very giggly morning at the Slashpad, when, drunk on the idea of oodles of new long podfic, and goaded on by a very excited paraka
, I agreed to sign up for two. I'm a little fuzzy on how I came to that decision. I remember something about wanting to involve kronos999
, and something about the inherently sublime math of doubling, and something about there being plenty
of time before NaNoWriMo.
Ah, the naivete.
So then there was a whole lot of procrastination, a nasty and pernicious cold, a promotion complete with weird-ass shift work, and a day off during which freaking leaf blowers
ran pretty much all day directly outside. In the end, I did both projects simultaneously with MLing for NaNo, and took several vacation days to make sure I got the recording done.
Stuff I learned:
- The mic on my MP3 player delivers better sound quality than my stick mic. I wound up recording all of Of Dice and Jen(sen)
holding the player in one hand and my hard copy of the story in the other. I then uploaded the resulting WAV files to Audacity for editing.
(Why didn't I read from a screen, you ask? Because I hate the racket of the computer fan, leaf blowers, passing buses, passing airplanes--we live near an airport, on the flight path for small craft--refrigerators, furnaces, and clattering roommates. As a consequence, I recorded only when I was alone in the house, and paused for every passing vehicle, working appliance, turn of the page, etc.)
- I need to know more about Audacity than perusal of a few informal podfic tutorials can tell me. I need to allow, like, four times the length of the recording for editing I had to request an extension due to this miscalculation, and I still only managed a bare minimum of the editing I'd have liked to do.
- My mic really can't cope with shouting. Really. At all. And I need to allow further extra time to re-record the bits where I inevitably exceed the mic's capacity. And I apparently can't resist the urge to yell when the dialog requires it. This is weird, because I'm usually a quiet speaker.
- I need to edit each part soon after I record it, so that I don't waste time carefully editing a section that I later repeat in its entirety. And to take care of the aforementioned shouting issue.
- My mic mostly doesn't pick up the various appliance and vehicular noises that I so carefully waited out, but it does pick up paper crackling and clothing rustling sounds that I had no idea I was making. Live and learn.
- My reading has somehow magically improved by, like, a zillion times compared to my first pitiful attempt at podficcing a little over a year ago. I haven't practiced, so how could this be? paraka
suggests that I've learned something through the sheer volume of podfic I've listened to in the intervening time. Three cheers for the power of osmosis!
- I can hear my canadian accent when I listen to my recorded voice, even though I'm deaf to it in everyone around me. How weird is that?
- I should avoid working on two large projects in the same fandom so close together, as I seem to have J-squared myself out for the time being.
In the end, I'm pleased to have recorded the story, because I love it. (How could I not? These Are My People.) I hope that countess7
enjoy it, and that through it a few more people discover the delights of epeeblade
's stories. (She has an SF BDSM 'verse: how awesome is that?)
The group podfic was a different experience again. We all used the same recording equipment, thinking it'd help make our separate bits sound similar. I recorded my parts in two days, after I'd finished recording my solo, and they seemed to go much more smoothly than the longer parts of the other had. I did a quick-and-dirty edit, and handed them off to kronos999
two days before the deadline to polish and paste together with the rest.
It was kind of weird reading just those parts with the one character's POV. I'd only read the whole thing once, back when we got permission to record it, and I didn't have time there at the end to review the parts that I didn't have to read. So I was only getting, like, 1/3? 1/4? of the story. Sometimes the leaps in plot were a little disorienting.
But in the meantime, reading from Jensen's uniquely child-like (though not at all childISH) perspective was surprisingly delightful. I actually had to edit out a whole bunch of spontaneous interjections along the lines of, "Oh my god, he's so cute!"
I still don't know how the finished book sounds. I expect I'll get around to listening to it somewhere in the midst of gobbling up all the lovely long podfic we've produced.
Thank you so much to the podmod collective, to the other readers, to the authors and artists and betas and editors who've made it all possible. And extra thanks to my fellow Slashpad peoples for putting up with my whining, my procrastinating, and my noisy editing, for politely reminding me that, hey, that deadline is getting closer, for instigating, enabling, encouraging, and editing, for sharing equipment and space, and just generally being awesome. I wouldn't have done it without them.