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To create audio files, you will need a microphone. A headset style is best. You will also need recording software. The audio format of choice is Ogg Vorbis, because it is a free format. We recommend that you download Audacity for free.
Now, record a word. At first, just experiment with the software. Try it a few times and listen to the results. Turn the microphone input volume up. The biggest waves should take up 50-70% of the height of the graphical window. If it is too quiet, it will be hard to hear. If it is too loud, that is, visually going off the edge of the graphical window, the sound will distort.
Move the microphone around. Place it close enough to your mouth to pick up the sound well, but off to the side, so that you don't blow air directly into it when you speak. (Blowing air at a microphone causes a distracting popping sound in your recordings). If you can say "Peter Piper" without hearing puff-puff-puff, then it's in the right place.
Besides that, listen for clarity of your recordings. Put some inflection in your voice and enunciate, maybe a bit more than usual, but do not alter your pronunciation. Make sure nothing is chopped off at the beginning or end. Use the trim and silence buttons to remove extra noise at either end. Leave a bit of empty space, but not too much.
One more thing, before beginning
You'll also need to create an account on Commons. Besides being better equipped to police multimedia content, Commons allows all projects to share the content you'll create. However, if you have a visual disability or use a text-based web browser, please note that the registration process for Commons is optimized for sighted people using a mainstream graphical web browser who plan to upload visual images. If you plan to upload audio pronunciations and you cannot see images in your browser, you will need to ask an administrator to help you create a Commons account.
Once you can consistently create clean sound files, you'll need a routine to upload them. The following is Dvortygirl's well-honed routine. With practice, it takes less than one minute per word.
- Record a word.
- Select just the word in Audacity, removing excess blank space and noise at the beginning and end.
- Listen to the selection to make sure you didn't clip off too much at the end, and there aren't any stray noises in it.
- Go to File, Export Selection as Ogg Vorbis.
- Type the file name in the box. Call it ll-cc-word.ogg, where ll is the language code (en for English), cc = your country (us, uk, fr, etc.), and the word that you have pronounced. Thus, the word "associate" in UK English would be titled en-uk-associate.ogg.
- In a Commons tab, paste the following, updated for your information.
[[Category:English pronunciation|associate]] Pronunciation of the term in US English, recorded by [[User:Yourname|Yourname]], 14 June 2006
- Choose a license for your audio. There is a dual license, the first choice under "own work" that works well.
- Review the information and click upload.
- Go to the word article and paste
If you are doing batch audio, keep this template in your paste buffer.
- Check that the word is blue linked in the Wiktionary article. To update a red link on a page that you already saved, upload the correct file to Commons and append ?action=purge to the end of the URL for the Wiktionary article.
- For the Commons tab, just hit the back button and replace the word in the file path and the template.
- There are a few cases where you'll want to change the audio template text to match the file name. Heteronyms are one of them:
Shtooka Recorder is a Windows program designed specifically for recording pronunciations. The recorder and other modules are available for download. The recorder takes in a list of words from a text file and displays them. It highlights one word at a time. In recording mode, it detects when the volume of speech into the microphone goes above and then drops below a certain threshold for a given amount of time. When it determines it has recorded a word or phrase, it saves a file and highlights the next item in the list.
Shtooka recorder includes settings for the thresholds, times, file naming, and file tags.
The arrow keys will advance to the next word or backtrack to the previous word.
Note: The creator of Shtooka is also collecting freely licensed pronunciation files for use in the language projects he is pursuing. He asks that you contact him about uploading your pronunciations via the email address on the Shtooka website.
contact shtooka(a)moostik_dot_net [http://]