02 August 2010 @ 09:45 am
Introduction to Podfic  
Hello all!

[info]lilithilien suggested that I spread the podfic love over here by way of an intro to podficing.

What is podficing?
According to Fanlore, "Podfic is a podcast of fanfic, read aloud and recorded by a fan."

Basically, it's an audio recording of a fan reading a fanfic. Like a fannish audio book.

That way you can listen to fanfic while doing housework, driving or on your mp3 when you're out for a walk or on the bus. Personally, I fell in love with podfic when I was doing order entry for a living. I meant that I could go to work every day and listen to podfic and get paid for it. It was awesome!

A Brief History
The idea of making an audio recording of fanfic had been around for a long time but it's only been recently that the term podfic was coined and it's still in the process of being popularized within fandom. Some fandoms have a ton of podfic (mainly Stargate Atlantis, Due South and Supernatural) but many fandoms (even large popular fandoms) have none. It all depends on whether or not the fandom has decided to embrace the idea of podfic or not. Lets make AWZ one of the fandoms with lots of podfic!

Who Can Podfic
Can you read? Can you speak? Do you have access to a microphone? Congratulations, you are now ready to start podficing!

Still not convinced? I know, I know, most people hate hearing recordings of their voice, but just because you don't like how you sound, doesn't mean that others do. Don't be self conscious! I can't tell you how many conversations I've stumbled across where a podficer will mention that they are self conscious only to be flooded with comments from people saying how pretty/soothing/sexy/awesome listeners find the podficer's voice.

I've also seen a lot of people say that they don't want to podfic because of their accent or because they're not a native speaker.


Accents are awesome. And, actually some of my favourite podficers have accents different then mine/the show in question. Some aren't native English speakers. And lets be honest here. AWZ is a German show, and this is an English language comm, we've already got a layer of dissociation.

An additional note for non-native speakers: there's no rule that your podfic has to be in English. If you don't feel comfortable reading in English, try and find a fanfic in your own language. Or see about having one of your favourite fics translated into your language and read that.

How to Start
Now we're getting into the nitty gritty. I'm not going to write a tutorial myself (or this will never be posted, also, I use non-standard equipment) but here are some links to awesome resources that will give you tutorials:
-The Audiofic Archive
This is a podfic archive. Most of the podfic out there is on it. You can search by fandom, pairing, reader, author and more. They already have an Alles Was Zählt section but it needs to be expanded! My tiny podfic is getting lonely there all on it's own.

-Newbie Guide to Podfic

-Some Tutorials

-[community profile] amplificathon / [community profile] amplificathon
These comms are run by the same people that run the archive. Amplificathon started off as a yearly contest to promote new podfic and rare pairings/fandoms (hint: AWZ counts as a rare fandom, so would any of the pairings in it, so you'd get extra points for posting AWZ podfic for that challenge). The comm has since grown and runs other things throughout the year. The next thing they'll be running is Podbang, which is a seasonal gift exchange where people podfic stories at least 35K words long.

-[community profile] podfic_tips
Is a great place to ask questions or get answers to questions you didn't even know to ask.

-[community profile] podficmeta
This is where a lot of discussions about podficing culture takes place.

-[community profile] podremix / [community profile] podremix
While I'm pimping things, let me just throw in my new podfic comm. This is a multifandom comm (that accepts newbies that haven't podficed before) where you take a story that someone else has already podficed and make your own podfic of it.

Not a Tutorial
OK, I'm still not writing a tutorial, but I will pass on a few words of advice that I've gathered through my vast experience (ie. by making a lot of mistakes ;).

-Speak slowly. It makes editing a million times easier, you screw up less and it's easier for others to follow.

-If you mess up, don't stop the recording but don't just repeat the word, if you can get away with just repeating the sentence (or sentence fragment as is usually the case with me) do that. Some people need to repeat the whole paragraph to make sure the flow is ok. If you just repeat the messed up word it can be hard to edit out the mistake and keep it sounding natural.

-Breathe. People write in much longer sentences than we speak. It's not uncommon for me to run out of breath before the end of a sentence. Try to find commas and natural breaks to breath but it's much easier to edit out taking a breath where you shouldn't than fixing the strain in you voice because you've run out of air.

-Choose a quiet place to record and check the levels of your mic. I know with my recordings if the air conditioner/heater come on while I'm recording, my mic picks it up and there's a level of background noise. I'll try and adjust the temperature on my thermostat before starting to make sure they won't come on. The other day though, I did a recording with the dishwasher on and the mic barely picked it up. YMMV.

-Project your voice. This is something new I've discovered but it works amazingly well. If you speak as though to someone across the room (assuming that won't overload your mic) you end up with a better sound quality. It might feel ridiculous as you record but it makes your voice that much louder than the other noises that your mic picks up. If you speak too quietly the hum of the background can almost drown you out.

Good luck podficing! And I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. If you want any kind of help, feel free to email me or leave a comment here. My email is parakaproductions at gmail dot com (email works better for me than DMs).
( Post a new comment )
[info]merkyderry on August 5th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
I'd love to hear what you think of Blessed Event, even if you totally hate it. LOL.

Sure! In about 2 weeks or so--I bought it from Calif--I'll post a rambling comment in your journal about it, lol.

I think I shall friend you. Whether you like it or not! :-)

Of course! Friended you back. Pleased to make your acquaintance :-)
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