Professional is Necessary; Professional Sound Quality is Not

It took a little bit of tweaking, but I think I’ve got my voice ready for the listening test.

Unfortunately, my computer won’t let me finish the project.

I’ve mentioned before how, at the school where I work, we are responsible for writing our own exams and recording the listening portions of each exam. For the past few years, to save our sound and recording expert colleague a great deal of extra work and stress, we’ve begun editing our own recordings (using Audacity) and burning them to CD.

This year, I tried something a little different. Out of the blue, when I was testing my headphones and making sure Audacity was updated, I decided to go ahead and record the monologue portions of the test. This would save us all a lot of time in the recording studio at the school where I work. (Note: “recording studio” is a strong word to describe the cheap equipment in the recording booth.) All I would need is a couple people to record the conversation section and then I could sit down and edit everything.

The recordings I made were pretty good, but the “enemy of good” part of me took over (as in “perfectionist” not as in “if you only knew the POWER of the dark side” although that’s pretty cool, too) and I began to worry if the recording made with my forty dollar USB headset mic was too rough and sloppy to be useful.

I considered recording everything again in the “recording studio” but instead just played around until I got things passable. As one former colleague pointed out, we’re not doing this for movies or as part of a professional sound design project.

I took that to heart and all the files are tweaked and ready. Unfortunately, the DVD RW on my computer won’t open and I can’t actually burn the CD. Instead I get to do it on a Japanese language computer tomorrow.

That has the potential to turn me toward the dark side once and for all forever.

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