Have you ever been working with the iPad and your articulation app had the wrong word to go with the picture? Or what about the time we discussed on twitter whether the audio on a word sample for an app had the schwa at the end of the sound… and all you can think about is how lame that is? How you could do it better? … yeah..me too.
I have to admit though, that’s changed a bit lately lately. Probably because I’ve spent the last several weeks (no, not at once!) splitting audio files for my soon-to-be-released-and-otherwise-unknown-but-not-a-complete-surpirse app.
My daughter will tell you, recording audio is just no fun. My Girl agreed to do the audio for Categories Learning Center and when that was well received she agreed to do the audio for the new app. I was very thankfully as I had done a few recordings and realized that 1) I hate the sound of my voice on the recorder and 2) I have a tendency to have a slight whistle in my /s/. It took a LOT of concentration to get rid of it. (Ooops. I bet I know someone who can help me with that!)
Now, splitting audio files is kind of fun…for the first 200 or so. After that it just gets challenging to make sure the words are complete but no extra lag time, the right intonation, the right … well, you get the picture. I am ashamed to admit that there have been a couple of times with this app that I’ve split files (without headphones) only to come back later and realize that I’ve clipped it a bit short. Thankfully the original recordings are still there so I can redo it – but still. I can just imagine what it must be like for someone with 1000s or hundreds of 1000s of words. One of the #SLPeeps (Hi Dean!) is one of the co-owners of 2Gals Speech Products and mentioned one of their products has 22000 audio files associated with it. My hat is off to her! I can’t imagine listening to that many.
I honestly don’t know how many words I have in this app…Yes, I could figure it out, but I’d much rather write this blog, or … you know, actually split the audio files I have remaining (you know, so I can actually send the app to the developer and it can get released before school starts). Actually, I think I can see the end…but sometimes it seems that just when I manage to be almost done, someone puts new folders with more files in there. Either that or word files breed like bunnies – and if that’s the case this app is gonna ROCK!
Anyway…the point of this post is two fold…Hopefully you’re just a little bit curious about the new app that’s coming. I’m sure it will be out soon…and secondly, to create a bit of thinking. Sometimes we, as humans, tend to become overly picky about little things. I’ve learned through my adventures in audio to still expect perfection – but when it doesn’t happen (and it frequently doesn’t) to recognize the human element.
So…I’ll let you know now, when this app comes out there most likely will be a few things that don’t sound exactly the way YOU want them to sound (don’t worry – remember I said expect perfection – I’m trying very hard for perfection). Heck, there are days they don’t sound exactly like I want (thankfully audio will be optional) …but they will be real . If for some reason there’s something you just can’t stand, I hope you’ll send me a gently worded note that I can keep to add in an update (rather than say nasty things about the app in general)…and that you’ll forgive the human element that comes into play. Be careful though…I may just recruit you to do it for me next time!
Until then…Adventure on!