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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Zeus: Adventure Design » MP3 Narration Files
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Topic Subject:MP3 Narration Files
Maggie
Pleb
posted 05-21-01 19:31 ET (US)         
In the Adventure Comments section, DJF asked how I created the MP3 narration files for the Cheers adventure. I answered him there, but I figured I should probably paste my answer here, too:

DJF wrote:

"Thanks for the sleepless night! Just got to the last episode, and so far this adventure is excellent. If you don't mind, what program and microphone did you use to create the mp3's?"

Thanks DJF! Glad you enjoyed Cheers! For software, I used "Cool Edit 2000" (www.syntrillium.com) to record the narration. I downloaded and purchased the full program, but a free demo version is available. The program allows you to record sound and save it in all kinds of different formats. The MP3 conversion-compression is much better than any other utility I've tried, so the resulting files were much smaller (which is important, because all those files once zipped, have to come under the two-meg upload requirement here at Zeus Heaven). Thanks again to Cleavus on the forums for pointing me to Syntrillium's website. Using Cool Edit, in order to get the smallest file size possible, with the least degeneration in sound quality, I opened each new file with the following parameters: Sample Rate - 44100; Channel - Mono; Resolution - 8 bit. Then I recorded the narration. Then I hit "SAVE AS"; chose MP3 format and using the CoolEdit Presets, chose the "32 kbps for voice." After fooling around with various settings, I found the above gave me decent voice quality with the smallest file size and highest compression possible. (I was anxious to make sure the files were small enough to fit within the upload limit. As it turned out, the adventure STILL didn't fit the two meg limit, so I had to get rid of a third colony and downsize the adventure accordingly in order for it to come under limit.)

For hardware, I used a cheap microphone I purchased at Office Depot for about $10 or $12! It's a "Labtec AM-242 NCAT." A better microphone -- one that softens breath pops and exhalations on such consonents as "p" -- would definitely be nice! If anyone knows of such a mike, please share that info with us!

Have fun!
Best,
Maggs

AuthorReplies:
Nightwolf
Pleb
posted 05-25-01 01:07 ET (US)     1 / 8       
Beautiful explanation - mind if I keep it?

Actually, what I'm asking is: I'll eventually get my web site finished (http://myth-edit.4t.com/ -- explaining the Zeus Adventure Editor), and I'd like to include your explanation of how to create a sound file for an adventure.


Wolfie.


David "Nightwolf" Masters
dsmasters61@gmail.com
my Facebook page

"When facism comes to America, it will be waving the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis
Maggie
Pleb
posted 05-29-01 03:31 ET (US)     2 / 8       
Certainly, Wolfie, you may use the sound-file explanation.

Making the narration really is a fun project, although it does seem to be a lot easier for a "light-hearted" adventure than a more serious one. My newest adventure is a bit more melodramatic than Cheers, and I'm having a helluva time trying to bring a somber gravity to the narration... I keep cracking up! (grin) It's a good thing I don't do this for a living!

Best,
Maggs

Nightwolf
Pleb
posted 05-30-01 22:50 ET (US)     3 / 8       
Thankee. (I'm also adding your "quest statue" explanation to the site... when I finally get un-lzay enough to start work on it again).

I actually have all the equipment here to make MP3 files for my adventures... but I just don't feel the urge.

I believe that you're the one who mentioned that you had trouble keeping the filesize down when uploading to Zeus Heaven, because of the MP3 files... have you thought about doing it twice? That is, upload your adventure to ZH *without* the MP3 files, and include a note (another text file or something) explaining to people that you have MP3 files available for that particular adventure, and would email the MP3s directly to those who requested them?

Just a thought...


Wolfie.


David "Nightwolf" Masters
dsmasters61@gmail.com
my Facebook page

"When facism comes to America, it will be waving the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis
homegrown
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 06-13-01 15:30 ET (US)     4 / 8       
Or do two submissions with one containing the bare minimum files, the other containing the mp3s and titled something like "Adventure Name Sound Add-On".

A Tale in the Desert
Flogging will continue until morale improves.
bobT
VIP
posted 06-13-01 20:54 ET (US)     5 / 8       
splitting the files seems to work well. I have Dead seas Adventure posted and added a post called deadseassound as an addon. The larger file holds all the Parent narrations and the smaller file has colony and ending narration.
Caesar Alan
Pleb
posted 06-14-01 05:26 ET (US)     6 / 8       
When we did our first Zeus contest over at CBC.net, we did much the same thing. Although we weren't as restricted by file size, we simply made the sound files available as an optional download.

Caesar Alan
CityBuildingContests.net | The Appian Way | The Trojan Horse (currently offline)
captain_prelims@hotmail.com
This season I will be mostly doing... Microwave Spectroscopy

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 06-14-2001 @ 05:27 AM).]

Bradius
Pleb
posted 07-08-01 17:20 ET (US)     7 / 8       
I just want to bump this discussion back up. As we now have a new expansion pack with lots of neat new stuff, adding audio files to your adventure can really be fun and not too difficult. I followed Maggie's advise and in a couple of days had the 22 audio files I needed for my last adventure completed and sent to the misc. downloads section as an "add-on" to the basic adventure.

Thanks for your help Maggie, this is great stuff!

Bradius

Nosferatu Zodd
Pleb
posted 06-14-08 15:02 ET (US)     8 / 8       
Is there a way to customize the narrations with voice and custom music? I tried to do this and it worked...sort of, but the original music that plays during the mission introduction screen plays with my custom music. Is there a way to use custom music in place of the original tracks when creating an adventure w/o removing them from the Zeus folder?
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