Progress report, talking funny edition

I had the girl yesterday, but today I finished off Chapter 2 of Trang. I made a point of listening to what was there before and matching my voice to it--it's not like there aren't a couple of places where it's fairly obvious (at least to me) that things were recorded at different times, but this last batch actually matches pretty well.

The other thing I was playing at was noise removal. One of the issues I've been having is that I sometimes exhale with the last word of a sentence ("Have a nice dahhyhhhhh"--among my other vocal shortcomings, I also have a breathy voice). That makes it hard to cut out the breathing sound without having a really obvious cut-off (you either have a partial breath sound, which sounds really weird, or you lose the last letter of the word, which is obviously unacceptable). But I realized that you can set noise removal so that it only decreases the noise instead of eliminating it. I still have a couple of obvious cut-offs from earlier, but this time I was able to eliminate the problem breath sounds without making conspicuous cut-offs by taking this more subtle approach.

What's really interesting is that when a character voice is speaking, it sounds more natural to leave in the breath sounds, because that's how people talk. But when you switch between character voices, it makes it so much harder to follow if you leave the breath sounds in. I think unconsciously you think the character is taking a breath to talk, and then it's confusion when a different character or the narrator suddenly starts talking--it's like, Where did that guy come from?!

Jim Self mentioned that Joanna Penn has interviewed podcasters/audio book people, so I was looking at that, and this interview with Brendan Foley amused me. He said:

You . . . become aware of how localized your speech is. As an Irish man I gave the UK director and sound man a few giggles when pronouncing tree hundread and tirty tree!”.

Oh, God, can I ever relate. It's been a quarter of a century since I lived in California, but my audiobooks are going to be Cali accents on parade!