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Cambridge Spy

Want another voice actor?

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I decided to join the Dark Mod forums. Do you want any new voices for your project? I'm a voice actor over at the Silgrad Tower project for Skyrim, and I'd like to do some voice acting in other interesting projects, such as this one.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa42yx2-m_Y

 

This video shows off my two types of voices. I'm hoping they could be used in the Dark Mod. Will you accept either of them?


"Let me guess - little blue men with three heads stole your sweetroll?"

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Welcome, and thanks for the offer!

 

Our voice folks should be by at some point to discuss.

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Hi Cambridge Spy,

 

and welcome to The Dark Mod!

I am nowhere in a position to decide whether your friendly offer should be accepted or not. I just would like to make a remark regarding your recording setup and gear. For my taste your technical setup is not quite up to the quality I would love to hear in the game. There's a massive amount of hum in your recordings. Also your mic sounds cheap and makes your voice kind of muffled. Do you have a pop filter like this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_filter ?

Maybe you should consider an upgrade if you would like to "professionalize" your voice acting?

 

Have fun!

Narrator

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Hi CS.

 

I have to agree with Narrator...your recording equipment sounds a little rough, and it's creating distortion whenever you raise your voice.

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I'm still open to new male vocal sets, but they'd have to be something special, and/or fill a niche we didn't already have. We definitely need more female vocals though.

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Yep, that would be one of those niches. Though we'd need a script first.

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Hi Cambridge Spy,

 

and welcome to The Dark Mod!

I am nowhere in a position to decide whether your friendly offer should be accepted or not. I just would like to make a remark regarding your recording setup and gear. For my taste your technical setup is not quite up to the quality I would love to hear in the game. There's a massive amount of hum in your recordings. Also your mic sounds cheap and makes your voice kind of muffled. Do you have a pop filter like this here: https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Pop_filter ?

Maybe you should consider an upgrade if you would like to "professionalize" your voice acting?

 

Have fun!

Narrator

 

Yeah, when I did these recordings I just left them as they were. I later made another video in which the voice clips have been edited with Audacity so it has a bit of Noise Reduction, but I really should have converted the clips from Stereo to Mono.

 

Also, I was thinking the female voice could come in handy for female guards, if you ever decide to make new character models.


"Let me guess - little blue men with three heads stole your sweetroll?"

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Sadly noise reduction won't help the over-modulated stuff (when the mic was blown out), it can't put back lost info. If your meters are going into the red when recording, need to either lower the levels and re-record, or move the mic further from your mouth/the sound source (like you see pro singers do when they are belting out stuff live). Not having it directly in line with your exhale can mitigate needing a pop filter too. If things are too low after it's recorded, you can amp it up a bit usually okay, as that's taking info that exists and multiplying it, but you can't lower data that was beyond the scope and doesn't exist in the recording--IE, what's 90% of beyond infinity?


"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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If your meters are going into the red when recording, need to either lower the levels and re-record, or move the mic further from your mouth/the sound source (like you see pro singers do when they are belting out stuff live).

 

Yes. Best best is to be sure to record in 24-bit, and you can keep your input (recording) levels very low (average amplitude at -10 to -12 dbFS). You'll never worry about clipping (going into the red) and you can safely increase the volume later without noise problems.

Edited by southquarter22

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@CS we have more than enough male voices atm, what we need is more female versions of our current lines.

 

Are the team happy with them though? I don't want to be too harsh but some of the guard voices are pretty ropey. Better voice acting would be great imho.

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Sorry Biker, I didn't intend to offer my services :) I'd give it a go but as an amateur song writer/musician I'm well aware of how bad my voice is and I've not an drama bone in my body.

 

Perhaps whoever did the voice acting for the intro to the recent FM might like to give it a go?

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@MrM, if you want todo a replacement set of lines of the aformentioned guard vocles, we wont say no. How about a sample..?

Indeed. I cringe every time I hear my old builder vocal set.

 

I haven't gotten sick of hearing myself as Benny, though. :D


yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

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Indeed. I cringe every time I hear my old builder vocal set.

 

I haven't gotten sick of hearing myself as Benny, though. :D

 

Well I meant no offense Mortem. And Biker, who I think made some of the guard vocals.

 

If anything, it highlights what an outstanding job Mr Russell did for the original games.

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The recording still sounds very tinny to me. But to be honest: I never heard a headset that sounded like it could be used for serious recording ...

 

I looked a the frequency spectrum of your sample and noticed two things:

 

1) A sharp cut-off at around 16 KHz - probably related to the codec used by Youtube, so that's not your fault, and it's also nothing you should care about as there is nothing beyond 16 KHz that adds anything audible to a human voice anyway.

 

2) A similiar cut-off at around 7 KHz. This one is important as this is what makes your recording sound like you were talking over phone. There are no more frequencies beyond 7 KHz. This is probably directly related to the quality of your headset which may be unable to pick up those higher frequencies.

 

So in short: I don't think you will get any naturally sounding recordings with that headset.

 

If you would like to invest some money in new gear, the only mic I can recommend (out of personal experience) is the AKG C1000S. Sometimes it's called the Swiss Army Knife of microphones as it can be used for different purposes and in different situations, be it for recording instruments or voices, in- and outdoors. For nearly ten years this was my first and only mic and it has never let me down quality wise. I used it extensivly for interviews and was often asked with which mic I made my recordings because for voice it sounds very crisp. It definitely is a good starting mic for approx. $230, £180, EUR 150.

 

I am sure others may have different recommendations for even lower prices. I can only testify that this mic is able record professional sounding quality if used correctly.

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On a technical note, there's a distinct hum in the background.

 

But beyond that, if I'm being honest, the vocals don't sound very convincing. The accent seems a bit inconsistent, and the lines are pretty monotone. It sounds very much like someone reading dialogue.

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I don't think it would be any different loud or soft. Its not about volume, IMO, its about inflection, i.e. changes in volume when someone speaks which comes about from emotion of the narrator about the situation or dialogue. Basically - acting.

 

Is this how someone in this situation would verbalise this? Like Springheel mentioned, they do sound a bit flattly read. There isn't enough emotion coming through from the performance to make the performance believable.

 

On the technical side from what I've read, the mic functions best for voice recordings at 24bit 96khz setting or above. There are quite a few complaints about the voice quality at 16bit. Also, there shouldn't be anything else plugged in to the same USB hub that it is, as that apparently can cause background noise in the transmission. USB is notorious for picking up motherboard chatter which is why a lot of people use discrete sound cards

 

I'm not aiming to be harsh, just trying to be critically helpful. ;)

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I realised I made a mistake - as well as speaking quietly, I actually saved the files in Stereo format - the voice files used in TDM are all Mono format. I'll redo the voices tomorrow. In the meantime, here's something else I had done using my new Blue Yeti:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxAuIBccrYY


"Let me guess - little blue men with three heads stole your sweetroll?"

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I realised I made a mistake - as well as speaking quietly, I actually saved the files in Stereo format - the voice files used in TDM are all Mono format.

 

My criticisms had nothing to do with the format of the files.... It's the delivery that is the problem. The example above has exactly the same issue. It's loud and clear, but the delivery sounds flat and forced; not natural at all. I don't want to be harsh, but I don't want you to waste your time correcting things that aren't really the problem.

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