LibriVox is quite clever in their approach to many things. Starting with the One Minute test, which is basically a tongue twister with as many hard and breathy consonants in it as possible – it reads thusly:
“People were pleased to find that Peter Piper had picked a couple pages for fable fans at LibriVox. Thankful that this was Thursday the thirtieth, the Piper anticipated forum fun and a wonderful weekend of recording! This is a test by YOURNAME. Had it been an actual LibriVox contribution, it would have been a Public Domain text, previously published and probably interesting.“
I believe I can post this here, since LibriVox is committed to the Public Domain it would seem to me that this snippet of text isn’t copyrighted. The wiki page for this recording also reflects the tongue-in-cheek humor often encountered on the site.
So, all the P’s, F’s, S’s and Th’s in there are to see if your recording is free enough of plosives to not annoy the average listener. I took a few minutes to listen to some of the other volunteer’s recordings, and found a very wide range of both vocal performance and technical variance.
One of the really nice things about LibriVox is that if you need help in doing anything for them, the moderators and other volunteers there are quite knowledgable and usually very helpful. They will help you through the process as much as they can, and if you are using a standard setup to record (USB mic, Windows or Mac, Audacity) they can answer most any question a new narrator will run across. Kudos to all those who answered my questions and got me on the way.
Speaking of, I did my mine and got a thumbs up from the appropriate people there. To my disappointment, they didn’t actually shut down the site and offer me the Golden Mic award for my outstanding submission. Apparently, I am not the best narrator ever in the history of Public Domain recording. I was able, however, to deflate my ego enough to take the direction they offered and begin looking for a suitable and engaging work for me to record.
The thing is, the Public Domain has a lot of really boring stuff in it. But even if only 1% percent of it is not totally boring, that still yields at least many years of recording to pursue. So, Onward!
Is there other intelligent life out there?
In an audio universe this big, there must be other civilizations, so I did some snooping around and found a reference or two to ACX, which is a site that connects authors to narrators in order to produce audiobooks from their works. Who knew? I registered, and looked around a bit. Time will tell if anything comes of it.