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Request to Inventors

I am working this afternoon to put a narration track on my climate movie.  The problem is that I don't really want to hire a narrator, and I don't really have that strong of a narration voice.  What we need is some kind of digital filter that I could apply to my narration mp3 file to make me sound better.  Click on "bbc" and suddenly I would sound like I have a lovely British accent.  Click on "darth" and I would have James Earl Jones' deep baritone.  In fact, in anticipation of such technology in the future, I think James Earl Jones needs to spend several days in a sound booth reading the dictionary so that future generation will have access to his voice, at least digitally.

Posted on October 24, 2007 at 04:00 PM | Permalink


It's hard to do that in .mp3, because the MP3 is an encoded file, and you're talking about more than just a pitch transform. It's a hell of a lot easier to implement in .wav, which is an unencoded raw file.

Accents are, as we engineers say, "non-trivial" to implement. Pitch change is pretty easy, with just a basic sound editor.

Posted by: Loweeel | Oct 24, 2007 5:01:28 PM

And so, why do you not just ask someone with a 'voice' to narrate?

Alternately, just try drinking a couple of orange sodas and smoke a cigar.. that works well for me.

Posted by: Klatz | Oct 24, 2007 5:07:49 PM

I've got a friend with an absolutely amazing voice. I know he's interested in doing voiceover work too. If you'd actually be interested in going that route, let me know: josh at joshourisman dot com.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 24, 2007 5:53:17 PM

Since you post a great deal of political stuff, I thought you’d be interested in our findings in the new “Confidence in Foreign Policy Index.” In short, our Foreign Policy Anxiety Indicator measures American attitudes toward current foreign policy and the nation’s place in the world, while providing policy makers, journalists, bloggers and ordinary citizens with the public's overall comfort level with America's place in the world and current foreign policy. Here is a snapshot:

- The number of Americans who say they worry at least “somewhat” about a terrorist attack has increased seven points in six months.
- More than eight in 10 people give the government a grade of C or worse on controlling immigration – a finding that has increased nine points since 2005
- Nearly six in 10 say we have a moral obligation to the Iraqi people, while only one-third say the United States should act in its own interest without regard to how it affects the Iraqis
- When asked if U.S. troops should stay in Iraq to control the violence even if it means more American casualties or withdraw even if it means more Iraqi casualties, 55 percent said the United States should still withdraw

Of course, these are only a few of the issues mentioned in Public Agenda’s new report. Check it out at http://www.publicagenda.org/foreignpolicy/index.cfm. Feel free to get back to me with any questions or comments!

Posted by: William Hallowell | Oct 24, 2007 6:53:31 PM

This would be a skeptic's PoV climate movie right? Count me in for a donation. My currency is unfortunately trading 3.375 to the dollar, so it would probably pay for maybe a subtitle or two...

Seriously, you have my support!

Posted by: Scott | Oct 24, 2007 7:10:47 PM

You're making a movie?!

Posted by: Craig | Oct 24, 2007 9:22:05 PM

I'll star in the movie!

Also, James Earl Jones would have to record every word like 10 times, with all sorts of different inflections...I actually saw once, years ago, the woman who did the operator voice for when you mis-dial a number. She had to record each number three different ways. First, the intonation goes up, then it stays flat, then it goes down. That way, it sounds like a real person is speaking. It's easer to explain if you can hear it.

Posted by: la petite chou chou | Oct 24, 2007 10:15:20 PM

Have you considered the Voice Acting Alliance?


Posted by: Some guy | Oct 24, 2007 10:21:54 PM

I've done some voice-over and radio work. I'd love to be a part of it!

Posted by: David Simms | Oct 25, 2007 7:25:40 AM

Hire Sean Connery.

Posted by: dearieme | Oct 25, 2007 9:22:38 AM

I'd be glad to do it. It would be an honor.

Posted by: John Adams | Oct 25, 2007 12:00:06 PM

Have you considered placing an ad on Craigslist.org? There are tons of aspiring actors and actresses out there willing to work free or cheap for the experience and credit.

Posted by: Matt | Oct 25, 2007 5:48:16 PM

Have you tried running it through pitch transposing software? It may start to sound weird, particularly if you manipulate it too much. However, with some EQ and reverb treatment, you may consider it an improvement. For example, my music recording software has a number of capabilities for treatment of audio that may help. However, it will not make you James Earl Jones any more than it would turn your singing into Placido Domingo.

Posted by: dmb | Oct 31, 2007 3:11:40 PM

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