Sound Project 2: Voice Recording

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-Choose a poem or excerpt from literature
-Record two minutes of a classmate speaking that text [25 p]
-Recording must have at least two distance variations (microphone proximity), be careful to get good sound (no noises, no pops, etc.) [25 p]
-Write a paragraph about the differences in audio quality of these differing proximities and post the recordings and comments as “Sound Project 2:
Voice Recording” at Gallery [25p]
-Do critique on 3 other works [25p]
-Due on Wed, 10pm

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Discussion 56
  • Alice and the Mouse
    Naomi Sternstein
    Naomi Sternstein Posted on 2014-11-14 09:43:44 -0500.

    I commented on On Women, Prufrock, Schlachthof-fünf

  • Prufrock
    Kevin Lee
    Kevin Lee Posted on 2014-11-13 09:02:44 -0500.

    The fact that the readings are different make comparison slightly more difficult, but I enjoyed the variety in selections. I wouldn't say that the closer recording was as "piercing" as you may have thought. It may seem so in comparison to the far recording, but i think it simply comes out clearer. It is interesting to hear the level of background noise in the far recording, as it seems that you weren't in a private environment. However, this becomes much less obvious in the closer recording as there are few sounds other than your speech and the occasional rumble from the mic moving. This is a nice demonstration of the difference mic position makes in a recording.

  • Malloc lab
    Kevin Lee
    Kevin Lee Posted on 2014-11-13 08:58:48 -0500.

    Interesting selection of reading. It was very easy to tell where the mic was based on the sound of the recording (close, far, close, far) and I agree with all the observations you made about the differences. I'm not 100% that I understand by what you mean in saying that the it sounded more like a "recording" when the mic was further away. Is it because background sounds are audible and the voice doesn't have the same quality/tone as you would hear in person? If that is the case, then I agree. It sounds more like a recording when the mic is far and more like you are listening to an actual person when the mic is closer.

  • On Women
    Naomi Sternstein
    Naomi Sternstein Posted on 2014-11-13 07:55:47 -0500.

    I agree with Dan, that the first recording really draws you in to the content of what you are reading because the voice seems much more inviting and dynamic. For a close recording, the sound is surprisingly clear and distinct. The farther recording is less clear and picks up on the echo of the voice more than the voice itself. It was nice to be able to hear such a distinct difference between the too.

  • Prufrock
    Naomi Sternstein
    Naomi Sternstein Posted on 2014-11-13 07:49:57 -0500.

    Its funny, because when I first listened to your far sound I assumed that it was close by. It wasn't until I listened to the close by sound that I noticed the difference. I think you found a very good spot with your "far" away version- it is a really great middle ground where you don't lose the tones and richness in the voice by being to far, and you don't have the muffled sound by being too close. It was very clear.

  • Schlachthof-fünf
    Naomi Sternstein
    Naomi Sternstein Posted on 2014-11-13 07:47:26 -0500.

    The farther away sounds to pick up on the echo of the voice more than the voice itself, and in the closer one the voice was much clearer and richer. I also had a constant hum from the room in one of my recordings that I didn't notice in real time, and I only picked it up on the mic. I wonder if there is some way to isolate and get rid of that sound.

  • Schlachthof-fünf
    Amal Sahay
    Amal Sahay Posted on 2014-11-13 01:12:16 -0500.

    I'll echo Francisco's thought - the removal of the hum is surprisingly nice on the far recording. I didn't realize the presence of it nearly as much until I heard it removed in the latter. Now if only we didn't have to lose the power of that voice...

  • John 3:16-21
    Amal Sahay
    Amal Sahay Posted on 2014-11-13 01:09:04 -0500.

    You're right to bring up the movement of the speaker's lips and the sort of "sub-vocalization" (if that's a word) that comes with speaking in the near recording. I think your two readings are a perfect example of the difference between inside and outside the critical distance!

  • Prufrock
    Amal Sahay
    Amal Sahay Posted on 2014-11-13 01:05:56 -0500.

    The readings aren't the same! So it's a little harder to comment on the distinction. And actually, surprising though it may seem, I sort of like the reading tagged as far - it's not too far, and I think the "piercing" quality you allude to is a little harsh for the selection.

  • Catcher in the Rye Voice Recording
    Abhishek Tayal
    Abhishek Tayal Posted on 2014-11-12 23:19:22 -0500.

    I agree with Kristen. That isn't the kind of observation I'd make on my own, but now that she points it out, it is an interesting fact. I found the way your further recording echoes to be rather interesting. Its almost like a 'perfect' reverb effect - in that very little information is lost, it doesn't sound distorted, it simply sounds reflected. By that count, I might even say your far recording actually makes for a more polished piece.

  • Sound of Silence
    Abhishek Tayal
    Abhishek Tayal Posted on 2014-11-12 23:15:14 -0500.

    Okay, for one, I just wanna say I LOVE that song! I definitely liked the nearer one more. It almost sounded like a professional recording. I'm really amazed by how you had absolutely no noise whatsoever in your near recording. I think your further recording really captures the entire 'reflected sound' idea. As such, you chose how far you went well.

  • Squeeze
    Kristen  Smith
    Kristen Smith Posted on 2014-11-12 22:47:53 -0500.

    Despite the fact that it was softer, I think the second recording was better able to pick up on the humor in the reader's voice; this may be, in part, due to how it was read. Because the microphone was farther away, the reader may have unconsciously enunciated more and stressed the emotions in the piece for the mic to pic them up better.

  • John 3:16-21
    Francisco Rojo
    Francisco Rojo Posted on 2014-11-12 22:40:51 -0500.

    It is very evident in the second recording that other noise is being picked up. I think it was clever to turn up the gain so that the speaker's vocals could be heard more clearly, but I guess that also made the extra noise more audible.

  • Malloc lab
    Kristen  Smith
    Kristen Smith Posted on 2014-11-12 22:38:54 -0500.

    I love how you chose to read the Malloc instructions. I also actually liked how you changed the microphone distance 30 seconds into the reading. Rather than listening to one recording, closing it, pausing a few seconds, opening the second recording, and trying to note the difference, the listener is jostled by the difference immediately because it's so much more apparent. For some reason, i think of the far away recording as having less human characteristics. It may be the lack of breaths or lack of richness in tone, but having the microphone far away strikes me as seeming more impersonal, especially in this recording.

  • Schlachthof-fünf
    Francisco Rojo
    Francisco Rojo Posted on 2014-11-12 22:38:38 -0500.

    It's interesting that there was a trade-off in having the mic either in the same room or in a different room with the speaker. I wonder if in more professional recordings they ever place the mic "far away" in order to deter some other unwanted noise (like that hum in your recordings).

  • Catcher in the Rye Voice Recording
    Kristen  Smith
    Kristen Smith Posted on 2014-11-12 22:32:08 -0500.

    While your comments seem to be correct, I find it interesting that your consonants still come through just as clearly in the out-of-critical-range recording as in the critical range recording. Your t's and s's at the ends of words are almost equally as sharp in both.

  • Catcher in the Rye Voice Recording
    Amber Jones
    Amber Jones Posted on 2014-11-12 21:55:43 -0500.

    I agree that there definitely was an absence of background noise in both recordings, I also agree that the close-up recording is much louder than the recording outside of the critical distance. In addition to loudness, there is more bass in your voice in the close-up.

  • Sound of Silence
    Mauricio Cano
    Mauricio Cano Posted on 2014-11-12 21:41:58 -0500.

    I love this song so much. The closer recording sounds so much better, none of the extra echo-y sounds that come from being so far away from the speaker's mouth. Probably has to do with the fact that before the voice reaches the mic, it has already bounced off from the walls and is reaching the microphone from different directions.

  • The God of Small Things Excerpt
    Mauricio Cano
    Mauricio Cano Posted on 2014-11-12 21:39:57 -0500.

    Fricatives and stops in the first recording end up sounding so much louder than they ought to, probably from being so close to her mouth. The second recording is a lot more pleasant to the ears.

  • Green Eggs and Ham
    Mauricio Cano
    Mauricio Cano Posted on 2014-11-12 21:37:55 -0500.

    It's easy to hear how the quality of the sound in the second recording supersedes that of the first. The first one had a lot of extra noise, besides the voice.

  • Yaar Tha Gulzar Tha
    Amber Jones
    Amber Jones Posted on 2014-11-12 21:34:31 -0500.

    I definitely agree with your point in saying that there was less bass in your recording outside of the critical distance. I actually noticed that in my own recordings as well. However I actually think that the reverb in both recordings is about the same. In both recordings I noticed a same rate of echo in your voice, but in the recording outside of the critical distance, the difference was that the mic is capturing all reflected sound as opposed to reflected+direct.

  • Alice and the Mouse
    Amber Jones
    Amber Jones Posted on 2014-11-12 21:29:47 -0500.

    I definitely agree that the close-up recording is more inviting! Another thing that I noticed with your far-away recording is that the mic seemed to pic up the reflected sound of your voice in the room rather than the direct sound. It was a very dramatic difference, you were definitely in a room with a lot of reverb (I assume there aren't a lot of things to absorb the sound in your recording location).

  • The Giver
    Ivan Wang
    Ivan Wang Posted on 2014-11-12 21:16:31 -0500.

    It's hard to tell, but I agree with you and Amanda. The sound does appear more balanced in the second recording. Perhaps an interesting experiment would be to try recording with the mic on the opposite side and see if the sound is heavier on the left ear.

  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy Excerpt
    Ivan Wang
    Ivan Wang Posted on 2014-11-12 21:13:14 -0500.

    I really enjoyed the readings-- you picked an excerpt from one of my favorite trilogies! Regarding the two recordings, I did notice a difference in both volume and emotion. The mic picked up a lot more variation in tone as you spoke in the near recording, whereas it was harder to pick out in the far one.

  • Green Eggs and Ham
    Ivan Wang
    Ivan Wang Posted on 2014-11-12 21:05:36 -0500.

    Throwback to childhood-- I like it! I can hear a slight improvement in the closer recording (more emotion, better quality, and variations in tone) that is slightly less noticeable in the far one. That said, by adjusting the gain and volume, it's pretty hard to tell them apart, which demonstrates the mic's sensitivity even an extra foot away.

  • Green Eggs and Ham
    Jeremy Sonpar
    Jeremy Sonpar Posted on 2014-11-12 21:04:53 -0500.

    I commented on The Lord of The Rings (Jake), Bartimaeus (Amanda), and 1Q84 (Eunice).

  • 1Q84 Recording
    Jeremy Sonpar
    Jeremy Sonpar Posted on 2014-11-12 21:04:16 -0500.

    Yeah your voice is significantly quieter in the second recording and has to compete against whatever that is in the background, I'm not exactly sure. Anyway, besides the difference in volume, I think that the recordings themselves sounded pretty similar. In the other sound clips I've listened to it seemed like there was a dip in emphasis and emotion that I didn't really hear in this, which is kind of interesting.

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Eunice  Oh
    Eunice Oh Posted on 2014-11-12 21:02:40 -0500.

    I agree with the how clear both recordings were as there was barely any background noise heard while he was talking. Echoes could be heard in the recording done further away while the recording done up close was clear with no interference as if he was actually speaking to you in person.

  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy Excerpt
    Jeremy Sonpar
    Jeremy Sonpar Posted on 2014-11-12 20:58:32 -0500.

    Yeah there's a huge difference between your near and far recordings. You said you were only three feet away but it sounds to me like you were pretty far. The near recording sounded like it had a lot more emphasis and emotion even though I'm assuming you delivered them the same way each time.

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Jeremy Sonpar
    Jeremy Sonpar Posted on 2014-11-12 20:54:42 -0500.

    No but seriously though the close recording definitely sounds better than the far away one. I'm pretty sure I talked about the same way each time but the close one definitely carries more of what I was saying. Also I stumbled over Ringwraiths in the far recording and it sounds REALLY awkward.

  • The God of Small Things Excerpt
    Eunice  Oh
    Eunice Oh Posted on 2014-11-12 20:50:34 -0500.

    The first recording was very loud and when the speaker pronounced the letter "s" in some of her words, it was very harsh to the ears. The second recording was better with reducing these sounds as she was further away from the microphone, and I could feel that she was at a distance in comparison to the first one.

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Jeremy Sonpar
    Jeremy Sonpar Posted on 2014-11-12 20:40:22 -0500.

    Dangit Jake.

  • King Lear
    Tonya Sedgwick
    Tonya Sedgwick Posted on 2014-11-12 20:38:13 -0500.

    Yea, you're right I probably should have cut that bit out--I lost my spot on the script, haha!

  • Sound of Silence
    Tonya Sedgwick
    Tonya Sedgwick Posted on 2014-11-12 20:37:21 -0500.

    I actually thought the reverb effect from the room you recorded the far one in was kind of cool. It makes it harder to understand, and really isn't appropriate for S&G's calm lyrics, but in a different circumstance it could be used as a tool to make an effect.

  • The God of Small Things Excerpt
    Tonya Sedgwick
    Tonya Sedgwick Posted on 2014-11-12 20:35:21 -0500.

    The farther recording is much better. The first one is so loud and forced-sounding (probably from the clipping and over-emphasized stop-plosives) that it feels like the speaker is mad or yelling the words. The farther one sounds good, though.

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Tonya Sedgwick
    Tonya Sedgwick Posted on 2014-11-12 20:32:44 -0500.

    I agree with Eric that the consonant sounds are much sharper in the closer recording. Also, I noticed that the variations in intonation are much clearer in the closer one, giving more of a sense of the speaker's feelings while reading the segment.

  • Catcher in the Rye Voice Recording
    Eric Terui
    Eric Terui Posted on 2014-11-12 20:11:51 -0500.

    I commented on the Lord of the Rings, The Death of Allegory, and the 1Q84 Recording.

  • Catcher in the Rye Voice Recording
    Eric Terui
    Eric Terui Posted on 2014-11-12 20:08:31 -0500.

    ^I'm sorry, I meant that the closer recording was much clearer than the recording taking outside of the critical distance (the far recording)

  • The Death of Allegory
    Eric Terui
    Eric Terui Posted on 2014-11-12 20:05:33 -0500.

    I definitely agree with your observation of a reduced crispness in the far recording. I also found that the close recording had a more intense quality even though the content of the passage was exactly the same.

  • The Death of Allegory
    Amanda Marano
    Amanda Marano Posted on 2014-11-12 20:05:12 -0500.

    Nice observations; while listening to your far recording, I could barely hear the words you were saying, though your strong consonants did come through. The close up recording definitely highlighted your strong speech style, which in some circumstances can lead to popping. The sound farther away was very muffled and soft and all of the distinguishing characteristics of strong speech were lost, leaving murmuring and indecipherable sound in places.

  • Catcher in the Rye Voice Recording
    Amanda Marano
    Amanda Marano Posted on 2014-11-12 20:01:14 -0500.

    I definitely noticed the sounds you mentioned when you were closer to the microphone, and the same thing happened during my recording. The sounds of me breathing or licking my lips became much more apparent when I was closer than farther away from the microphone. However, I disagree about the sounds from the farther distance being clearer; they seemed fuzzier and the contrast between tones of voice is much clearer and distinguished at the closer distance, and so it felt like you were speaking with more emotion when you were closer.

  • 1Q84 Recording
    Eric Terui
    Eric Terui Posted on 2014-11-12 19:57:47 -0500.

    It's interesting how the far recording seemed to pick up more background noise. The first recording is very clear in comparison.

  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy Excerpt
    Amanda Marano
    Amanda Marano Posted on 2014-11-12 19:56:21 -0500.

    I commented on Eric Wang's project (The Giver), Eric Terui's project (The Catcher in the Rye), and Kristen Smith's project (The Death of Allegory).

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Eric Terui
    Eric Terui Posted on 2014-11-12 19:55:06 -0500.

    The far one is slightly fainter, but in comparison with some of the other voice recordings in the gallery, it is still pretty clear.The main difference seems to be sharper consonant sounds (such as "s") for the close recording.

  • The Giver
    Amanda Marano
    Amanda Marano Posted on 2014-11-12 19:54:35 -0500.

    I think your interpretation of the sound was spot on; at first, listening to the first recording the sound seemed clear, but as it went on it became easier to notice that the sound was more concentrated in the right ear, and the second recording had much fuller sound. Although, maybe with my headphones, the sound fluctuations seemed very similar between the two recordings for me, because your voice didn't have much fluctuation in it to begin with, but the second recording definitely picked up more sound.

  • The Chinese Room
    Eunice  Oh
    Eunice Oh Posted on 2014-11-12 19:46:51 -0500.

    There was a large difference in the recordings with the first one being very clear and loud and the other was competing with the other noises in the background. The first recording was very soothing and definitely sounded like I was listening to an audio book. But when I listened to the second recording, I was distracted by the other sounds in the background.

  • The Chinese Room
    Eric  Wang
    Eric Wang Posted on 2014-11-12 19:33:07 -0500.

    The first one makes it seem you are right there talking and this was a recorded conversation. But the second one like commented previously is like you are being read a story which can be enjoyable in a different sense.

  • 1Q84 Recording
    Eric  Wang
    Eric Wang Posted on 2014-11-12 19:30:34 -0500.

    The second picked up a lot of background noise. If it was recorded in the same room, does this mean that the first recording drowned out those background noises and our ears didn't pay attention to it?

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Eric  Wang
    Eric Wang Posted on 2014-11-12 19:27:24 -0500.

    The first one was a lot fuller but with a muted sound, and the second sharp and unregulated. Really interesting seeing the spectrum with just distance.

  • On Women
    Dan Cheng
    Dan Cheng Posted on 2014-11-12 19:17:50 -0500.

    Nice job, these two audios are really different. I agree with you that the second one is distorted even though it gets rid of the noise of breathing, but in the same time, it picks up some background noise too. Even though the first one has reading noise like breathing, I am more focused on what you are reading than in the second one.Since In the second one, the foreground sound is not loud enough and there are more background sounds, which make it distracting.

  • The Chinese Room
    Dan Cheng
    Dan Cheng Posted on 2014-11-12 19:12:11 -0500.

    The first one is pretty good, it is clear and loud. When I listened to it, I will not be distracted by other things. But I like the second one better, the second one only pick up the reading voice, not other sounds like breathing. Since it is not very loud, it sounds more soothing and comfortable. It is like a audio story that I can listen before going to bed, very relaxing.

  • Sound of Silence
    Dan Cheng
    Dan Cheng Posted on 2014-11-12 19:03:52 -0500.

    I like the near one better, it sounds clearer and I more focused on what you are reading. In the second one, since your voice is not loud enough and there are other sounds in the background, which distract me from your reading. I even tried to pay attention to what is going on in the background.

  • Sound of Silence
    Jacob Weiss
    Jacob Weiss Posted on 2014-11-12 18:49:14 -0500.

    I like the idea of using song lyrics! Also I laughed near the end of your further recording when you said "echoed", because the whole thing sounded a little echo-ey. As you said, both recordings were pretty easy to understand, but the closer recording gave a much better sound.

  • Lord Of The Rings Excerpt
    Jacob Weiss
    Jacob Weiss Posted on 2014-11-12 18:44:25 -0500.

    I commented on King Lear, Sound of Silence, and The Chinese Room.

  • The Chinese Room
    Jacob Weiss
    Jacob Weiss Posted on 2014-11-12 18:43:01 -0500.

    Like you said, I notice a humongous difference between the two recordings. Not only does the second recording sound far away, but you can hear some background noise, and the vocals sound muffled, whereas the first recording sounds very nice and clear. Also, I like the photo you uploaded.

  • King Lear
    Jacob Weiss
    Jacob Weiss Posted on 2014-11-12 18:35:05 -0500.

    The short distance version was recorded very nicely. I agree that it is much crisper than the long distance version. The one suggestion I have would be to cut out the silence in the short distance recording at around the 1:10 mark.