Audio Version of “Hunger”

I’ve been meaning to put out a few audio stories for quite some time: now, at last, the time has come. I give you “Hunger”, presented with a cool accent and with handy text for easy reading along.

I’ve altered my voice slightly (mainly in order to keep those of you who like to assign gendered pronouns guessing), but the cool accent is authentic. It is also pretty much optional, so feedback on the relative coolness/comprehensibility of the accent may have an effect on any future audio stories. (A Twitter survey confirmed my assumption that cool accents are worth a slight loss in comprehensibility, but the very low response rate mostly served to confirm that I should probably work on my Twitter platform. Perhaps I ought to upload more humorous biscuit packages.)

Please enjoy!

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8 thoughts on “Audio Version of “Hunger”

  1. I really like how the text works in the video – it looks very complete – which is kind of annoying because I’ve been specifically avoiding doing it for mine. 😄 Was it a lot of work to put together?

    Also, I definitely think the cool accent was a good call. It adds a lot of character. What did you use to record this?

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    • Glad to hear it: thank you!

      I recorded it at home using Audacity, which is great (among other reasons) because it makes noise removal very easy. Obviously I couldn’t quite get rid of the occasional pop, but at least the sound of my computer fan is filtered out.

      Actually putting the video together wasn’t too much work (it took me less than an hour, even though Blender (possibly not the best tool for the job?) crashed once and my entire computer crashed another time while I was doing so), but figuring out how to was. Half a day of being confused about video editors, less than an hour of actual work, and another entire day spent trying to work out which option I had to fiddle with in order for the text to actually be legible (turns out I was rendering it in a tiny resolution). It would be a lot easier a second time.

      There’s probably a way to generate text directly inside of Blender, but I wasn’t able to figure it out before my patience ran out, so I ended up just making the images separately.

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      • That’s weird. I recently tried something a bit new with Blender and the problem I hit was that I could generate text directly no problem at all, but importing images was a real pain. I’ve been using Kdenlive recently, which works great for simple stuff like popping sequences of images together (it’s also what I used for the Epistory video review), but there’s no Windows version yet if that’s what you use.

        Audacity pretty much seems to be the go-to sound software for this sort of thing. I’ve always been happy with it. What sort of mic are you using?

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      • The reasons to switch to Linux just keep mounting up. I’m not quite ready to make the change yet, but if I do I’ll keep Kdenlive in mind. The trouble with Blender seems to be that the UI is just so complex that it’s hard to become familiar with it quickly, and very easy to miss something.

        I used one of those tiny clip-on mics on a long cable, only I was holding it by hand instead of having it clipped on, and it’s old enough that the foam covering has come off (hence the popping). I do actually have a better mic available, but it’s a good deal less convenient to use, which is why I didn’t. Might be worth a try in the future, though.

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      • Somebody seems to have set up a virtual machine with Kdenlive preinstalled: https://sourceforge.net/projects/kdenlive-on-win/. That would be one way of running it on Windows (though you’d have to install VirtualBox or similar to use it).

        Blender’s UI seems to be legendary for its difficulty of use. I find that if a program is well designed, I can typically get it to do what I want without a tutorial. With Blender, I’ve put together three audio visualisations but wouldn’t be confident tackling a fourth without looking things up.

        For the microphone, you could probably come up with some kind of homemade pop filter (though I don’t know if that would be any less hassle than using the other mic). The fairly professional recording studios at the university have little clip-on ones: I’ve been meaning to get hold of one myself but there are guides online that suggest using embroidery hoops and pantyhose, which sounds simple enough.

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      • Thanks for the link! That or a live CD would be a good way to get it running.

        A homemade pop filter sounds like an excellent idea: I’ll try and make one forthwith.

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      • I was actually running this computer from a live USB for an embarrassingly long time before I managed to scrounge up a hard drive. I think at one point I had 4GB storage and 8GB RAM. That kind of setup is surprisingly usable, especially if you don’t need a whole bunch of different programs installed at once.

        Do let me know if you get good results with the homemade filter. I’ve actually got a cheap one sitting in my Amazon basket now but I probably won’t order it until I’ve lined up enough stuff to qualify for free delivery.

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