Hermione Laake, Contributing Editor

How to Record Voice

Your expectations:
Expect to spend some time finding a suitable app. New apps appear all the time; select one appropriate for your needs. The best app would be one that simply records you voice.

What you need:

  • You need your voice, excellent knowledge of languages and the willingness to carry out some research for authentic recordings.
  • An audio recorder. You will need one with a playback facility that you can forward via email. (Expect to spend some time researching this.)
  • An hour (You may find that the initial recordings take up to an hour per piece while you get used to recording the piece and then recording the biography at the end.) Once you’re are practiced this should reduce down to around fifteen minutes.
  • A quiet place to work, without interruptions. Sound effects are added afterwards, and some slight background noise can be removed; aim for a nice clear recording.
  1. Begin by selecting a suitable piece from the archives; around 3 minutes is a good length for the recording. If you are working with a longer piece then write yourself a script so that you remember to introduce the piece as an extract and point the reader towards the full version of the work on the e-mag.
  2. Read the piece through before you record to check for unfamiliar words and typos.
  3. Check the dates on the biography. There is nothing worse than coming to the end of a recording and tripping up over your words because the published work mentioned is dated two years ago, and your script reads “is forthcoming…”
  4. Expect to do several takes before you get it right. Individual pieces of writing vary a great deal; most require a performance of some sort.

What you’ll do:

  • Introduce yourself and the piece: “Sam reads The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes.”
  • Record the piece from beginning to end, or to the point at which you have decided to stop.
  • Leave a short space, and introduce the biography.
  1. Playback to troubleshoot, and send on to your supervising editor.
  2. Complete the production using iMovie. Training is provided for this.

Further information:
YouTube rewards regular content. Aim to produce a piece at regular intervals for your audience.

This is a very rewarding voluntary role which will fine tune your linguistic and performance skills.