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Battlescape Chatter Project


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#1 kafros

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 10:56 AM

We need to transfer the Battlescape Chatter Project guidelines in the wiki, but first some proofreading needs to take place. I'll post Lfo's original version (in wiki format) in the following quote, and after that I'll post my first draft. Feel free to comment on anything you feel that needs improvement. :)

I would greatly appreciate it if this could be done ASAP.

=Battlescape Chatter Project=

==Introduction==
It's easy to recognize a person's voice. When a player tells their favorite sniper to do something, they expect the sniper to reply using the same voice as they always have, both earlier in this mission and in previous missions. The SND doesn't have the resources to provide a large variety of voices, and we don't want all of the soldiers to sound the same, so we're asking all project members to consider lending their voices to the X-Corps.


==Who==
Everyone working on Xenocide, from Senior Member to Recruit, is encouraged to contribute. You may have noticed that our team is a bit male-heavy, so if anyone can talk girlfriends or friendly girls :) into helping out, that would be useful. We will also accept submissions from individual contributors not associated with Xenocide, but you will agree to some terms of use - PM the SND Leader via the forums if you are interested in this.

We need to maintain some level of quality control, and the SND leader may reject any submission for quality reasons. However, proper use of inexpensive PC mics should yield sufficient recordings. The Tutorials section at the bottom of this page will help your get started.

If you provide fairly clean recordings, SND can run them through an effects chain, giving them a common sound (to be developed, most likely emulating the sound of radio communications).


==Process==
The Phrase List below is a guide to what is required from each contributor. For each type of phrase (Type[X/Y]):

Select and record X items from the list. Also write and record Y individualized phrases. These should be more light-hearted/humourous, or in your primary language or a regional dialect. The intent is that the majority of the phrases be serious, to set the appropriate tone for the game, while the minority (the "individualized" ones) provide variety and humor.

Recordings should be in .wav format, 16-bit resolution, 44.1 kHz sample rate. If you want to record in another format (because, for example, you have a handheld mp3 recorder), ask [http://www.xcomufo.c...topic=242026460 here]. Please do not compress - that will be done post-processing. Send your complete contributions to Red Knight so they can be uploaded to SVN.

Include a note indicating your first language and/or country of origin with your submission; we may try to match up soldiers' original names with appropriate accents at some point.

< Phrase list removed for now >

=Recording Tutorials=

==Setting up your PC==

Given the variety of Operating Systems, sound cards and microphones that everyone will be using, I can't put together a simple guide to setting up your PC to record. I can, however, recommend a solid, freeware Audio program that you can all use: [http://audacity.sourceforge.net Audacity]

Conveniently, if you click on the Help tab on the Audacity site, you can find documents, tutorials and FAQs that may help you to get your hardware and software working together.

If you're having problems, please feel free to PM or e-mail me, and I'll help if I can.

==Recording Tips==
The environement (room) in which you record will greatly influence the quality of your recordings.

===Noise===
Microphones are sensitive. Inexpensive PC mics, as many of your are likely to use, are particularly bad about picking up noise. The noise you hear in your recording may not sound like the actual source of the noise does to your ears, so don't count on being able to identify noise sources this way - when you're ready to record, make an effort to quiet all noise sources.
*Turn off all televisions, radios, the AC/heater, or any other noisy device.
*Try and record at some distance from your computer, to avoid picking up fan noise.

===The Sound of the Room===
If you're ever seen a professional recording booth, you may have noticed that it is small, and that the walls are covered with padding. That padding is sound-absorbent, and is expensive stuff. The goal of these booths is actually to get a very "dead" sound - to eliminate all the small echoes and reverberations that you hear, but don't notice, in normal rooms. A "dead" sound works as a sort of blank canvas for audio processing - its a clean starting point.

This professional sound booth concept is misleading - particularly its size. Since you don't have expensive sound-absorbent padding in your closet or bathroom, recording there would result in a lot of undesirable reverb. Instead, try to record in a medium-sized room with lots of carpeting and upholstered furniture - soft, pourous materials will help to absorb the echoes. If you have wood, concrete or tile floors, try putting a rug on the floor where you're recording.

===Levels===
If you record at too loud a level, the sound "clips", or distorts badly. Every audio device has a point at which it will clip - fortunately, you should only have two devices to worry about - your microphone, and your sound card. It will be fairly easy to tell if your sound card is cliping - when you look at your recording in Audacity (it should look similar to the picture at the bottom of [http://audacity.sour...ommon_ed_2.html this page]), the waveform should not touch the top or bottom edge. The picture in the link is an example of a good recording. You may notice that, at the beginning of the pictured sample, the waveform does dip down and touch the bottom edge - if you see something like this, listen for a pop or click - "if it sounds good, it is good". Cliping for a few miliseconds like this is okay - if you're cliping all over the place, its going to sound bad.

On the other hand, if you record at too quiet a level, your Signal-to-Noise ratio will be bad, and you will lose a lot of resolution. So, make sure you have your recording volume high enough that your recording looks something like the one in the link above.

=Battlescape Chatter Project=

==Introduction==
It is easy to recognize a person's voice. When the player orders their favorite unit to act, he expects it to reply using the same voice as always, both earlier in a specific or even in previous missions. The SND does not have the resources needed to provide a large variety of voices. As we do not want all of the soldiers to sound the same, we ask all project members to consider lending their voices to the X-Corps!

==Who==
Everyone working on Xenocide, from Senior Member to Recruit, is encouraged to contribute. Due to the fact that the majority of our members are male, you are encouraged to ask female friends of yours (girlfriends preferred, hehehe!) to consider contributing. Submissions from individual contributors not directly associated with Xenocide will be accepted only if the individual agrees to our terms of use. Thus, communication via e-mail or PM with a senior is vital.

A standard level of quality control needs to be maintained. For that reason, the SND leader may reject any submission with increased fuzziness or noise. However, proper use of inexpensive microphones should provide recordings of sufficient quality. The “Tutorial” section later in this page will help you to get started.

If you provide audible recordings, SND can run them through an effects chain, giving them a common character (This will be developed in the near future and it will most likely emulate the characteristic timbre of radio communications).


==Procedure==
Format: (Type[X/Y])

<Type of phrase>[<Number of phrases needed>/<Variations for each phrase needed>]

Choose X phrases from each type and record Y variations for each phrase. These should be in your native language or even local dialect. Although our main objective is set the appropriate tone for the game by using serious-sounding samples, a minority of them may provide a humorous character.

Recordings should be in wave format (.wav), 16-bit resolution and 44.1 kHz sample rate. If you want to record in another format (because i.e. you have a handheld mp3 recorder), ask [http://www.xcomufo.c...topic=242026460 here]. Please do not compress, as that will be done in post-processing. Send your complete contributions to Red Knight so they can be uploaded to the SVN.

Include a note indicating your first language and/or country of origin with your submission; we may try to match up soldiers' original names with appropriate accents at a later phase.

< Phrase list removed for now >

=Tutorial=

==Setting up your PC==

Given the variety of Operating Systems, sound cards and microphones that every individual may use, it is practically impossible to write a universal guide for setting up a simple recording studio on your PC. Nevertheless, a standard procedure can be provided, and for that reason, you could try an open-source program called [http://audacity.sourceforge.net Audacity]

Conveniently, if you click on the Help tab on the Audacity site, you can find documents, tutorials and FAQs that may help you to get your hardware and software working together.

In case you have any difficulties working with the software, do not hesitate to PM Lfo at the forums or send him an e-mail.

==Recording Tips==
The environment (room) in which you record will greatly influence the quality of your recordings.

===Noise===
Microphones are sensitive. Inexpensive PC microphones, as most people are likely to use, are particularly bad due to easy capture of noise. The noise you hear in your recording may not sound like the actual source of the noise does to your ears, so do not count on being able to identify noise sources by ear. When you are ready to record, make an effort to quiet all noise sources.
*Turn off all televisions, radios, the AC/heater, or any other noisy device.
*Try and record at some distance from your computer, to avoid picking up fan noise.

===The Sound of the Room===
If you are ever seen a professional recording booth, you may have noticed that it is small, and that the walls are covered with padding. That padding is sound absorbent, and is expensive stuff. The goal of these booths is actually to get a completely "dead" sound, which means to eliminate any small echo and reverb, which you actually hear but cannot notice, in normal rooms. A "dead" sound provides a clean starting point for the sound artist. In real life, small echoes are picked up by your brain, aiding your positioning and detection abilities, so a “sound-dead” room may feel weird or even give you a feeling of sadness, which is vital for a successful recording.

This professional sound booth concept is misleading - particularly its size. Since you do not have expensive sound-absorbent padding in your closet or bathroom, recording there would result in a lot of undesirable reverb. Instead, try to record in a medium-sized room with lots of carpeting and upholstered furniture - soft, porous materials will help to absorb the echoes. If you have wood, concrete or tile floors, try putting a rug on the floor where you are recording.

===Levels===
If your recording is too loud, the sound "clips" or distorts badly. Every audio device has a point at which it will clip. Fortunately, you should only have two devices to worry about, which are your microphone and your sound card. It is easy to tell if your sound card is clipping - when you look at your recording in Audacity (it should look similar to the picture at the bottom of [http://audacity.sour...ommon_ed_2.html this page]): the waveform should not touch the top or bottom edge. The picture in the link above is an example of a good recording. You may notice that, at the beginning of the pictured sample, the waveform does dip down and touch the bottom edge. If you notice something like this, listen carefully for a “pop” or “click” sound. Keep in mind that "If it sounds good, it is good". Clipping for a few milliseconds is acceptable, continuous clipping is not.

On the other hand, if your record is too quiet, your Signal-to-Noise ratio will be low and you will lose a lot of resolution. So, make sure you have your recording volume high enough, similar to the level above.

#2 kafros

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 09:17 AM

No comments? I'll wait until tomorrow and then I will write it in the wiki :)

Edited by kafros, 20 August 2006 - 09:18 AM.


#3 red knight

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 06:19 PM

Publish now, very high quality stuff.

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

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Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#4 kafros

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 02:24 AM

Roger that! :)