I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Audio experiment

FINALLY...

As Nathalie and I discovered, there are various ways of embedding a playable audio file in a post, none intuitive, none in the end effective. For deep-seated personal reasons I was compelled to refuse Marly's recommendation (Mac stuff) and Avus's (YouTube). When MikeM suggested Picosong the process seemed too easy. A glitch occurred but it was down to me, not the software. Second time around I managed to record and play a SONNET I wrote some years ago.

Then I sang and recorded Schubert's

 ABSCHIED *

the song I'm presently studying. The minute I knew it worked I deleted it. The performance needed work.

It still does, despite six or seven goes. Two things you must know. This is a classic German Lied where voice and piano enjoy equal standing. My version lasts two minutes, the real thing is double that, the text being separated into lovely islands of sound surrounded by moats of elegant keyboard stuff. Mine is in no sense authentic.

It's also work-in-progress. Without a piano my a capella voice wanders away from the notes. And I'm well aware there's an umlaut in betrübt also that Germans don't pronounce the -chen diminutive suffix the way I do. All I can say it's better than it would have been half a year ago.

Thank you all for your interest, help and patience.

* Now re-sung and re-recorded (many times). Best played fairly quietly.

27 comments:

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Don't give up. Try this link about exporting a recording:

http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/basic_recording_editing_and_exporting.html

marly youmans said...

Use Audacity with Lame, and then use iTunes for youtube to post to youtube... There are other ways, but that is the easy way I used yesterday on my own page--I only like easy.

Roderick Robinson said...

Natalie/Marly: I have downloaded Audacity and recorded a sonnet which plays as an mp3 file on Audacity. The problem lies in exporting the mp3 file to my blog. The logical way would seem to be to use Blogspot's Link function but this requires a URL or, I assume, some other unique address for the file. Which I haven't been able to discover.

Unfortunately Google is experiencing self-admitted problems about access to certain websites, especially those which concern Google itself. I've uncovered various sites which promise to explain how to embed and/or play mp3 files via a blog post, all of which turn out to be inaccessible.

On top of that I am experiencing a radical failure regarding the receipt of emails which my ISP says may take up to 72 hr to fix. You might say I'm almost incommunicate and certainly witless.

Iphones. Many years ago I took a solemn vow in front of a notary public never to have anything to do with the products of Apple Corp. I do have a mobile but phoning is all it does, and that not very often.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

This tells you how to do it:

http://digitalwriting101.net/content/how-to-embed-an-mp3-file-into-a-blog-post/

Roderick Robinson said...

Natalie: Alas, I have seen this site. Fiddled with the instructions until I realised that they referred to Wordpress blogs, not BlogSpot (which is what I have). Thanks for the suggestion, though.

marly youmans said...

Did you also download LAME to go with Audacity? I'm assuming so, as I don't think it would export without it. But you may have to re-record if you did not. Do you have a mac? Because it's very easy to use iTunes-for-youtube, and it lets you add an image, too. And I'm not that good at this sort of thing but managed that way.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Oh, I didn't notice that it was Wordpress. But Blogger must have a similar option though I haven't checked. I seem to remember seeing sound clips embedded in some Blogger blogs. Will see if I can find them.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Here's a link but I haven't read all of it:

http://www.bloggerbuster.com/2012/07/how-to-add-music-player-in-blogspot.html

mikeM said...

Upload to Youtube is pretty straightforward. Point the camera at a wall if you don't want us to see you.

Roderick Robinson said...

Marly: I did incorporate LAME with Audacity and I have created an audio file which I think is playable (ie, it has an .aup extension and the player graphic presently showing in the post is no longer displaying Invalid Source).

However clicking on the arrowhead in the player graphic simply toggles between Play and Pause; I need to find the device that automatically returns the recording to zero.

Yes, I know all about Macs, but I believe the company to be guilty of restrictive practices and also of charging high prices. I don't do Macs.

Natalie: There may be similar options between WordPress and Blogger but they are not obvious. I'm also well aware that audio clips can be played in blogposts; the first stage is fairly easy - downloading and installing the free player programme; what's difficult is getting the player to recognise the audio file.

The bloggerbuster tutorial you cite has got me a lot of the way forward (ie, I've installed the player) but player and audio file still remain incompatible.

MikeM: I can't bring myself to associate with people who are wedded to YouTube - it's not my kind of world. The bloggerbuster tutorial (cited by Nathalie) proves there are other, less corrupting systems and that's what I'm presently wrestling with. But as with many people who know computers bloggerbuster's master often forgets simple but vital details

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

I can see the bar but nothing happens when I click the 'Play arrow. Maybe it's something to do with my computer, or maybe you still have to tweak the instructions. Anyway, it's progress! You need to position the sound clip bar lower down the page - at present it sits on top of some of your text: not a big problem, it just need to move about 2 or 3 paragraphs down.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

I hate to be defeated by techy problems and generally scratch away until a solution emerges. So I've just noticed this in your comment to Marly above:

"...it has an .aup extension"

I think this may be the problem - it's probably not the right extension. You can convert it easily to other formats with this free online converter:

http://audio.online-convert.com/convert-to-mp3

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Also see this:

https://www.freestockmusic.com/audio-formats/

and try .aiff as the extension instead of .aup

Roderick Robinson said...

Nathalie: (1) The player control is not covering anything up; it consists of three lines of HTML code and can be easily moved anywhere within the post when the post is in edit mode. As I have just done.

As I say the arrowhead toggles between Play and Pause. Let your cursor rest on the symbol and right-click; you will see the word Pause (or Play) appear. But nothing happens.

Let your cursor rest on the numbers 0:00:00 and you will see the figures -30s appear. The words Time Elapsed/Skip Back appear if you just let the cursor touch the edge of -30s.

Both these reactions suggest that the player does what it's supposed to - except it doesn't engage with the audio file.

(2) The .aup extension is the result of working on the audio file with Audacity. And Audacity is supposed to create files suitable for playing in blogger. I have already tried .mp3 and .wma versions of the audio file and both flag up Invalid Source.

(3) I'll try the .aiff conversion later today.

(4) HERE SURELY IS THE PROBLEM. The player doesn't ask for the audio file, it asks for the URL of the audio file. But files don't normally have URLs; they identify websites. How does one create a URL for a file?

Aha. Finally I've arrived at the question I need to ask. I've asked it of Google, got an answer. It still doesn't work but here's a new area to explore. Watch this space

mikeM said...

picosong.com worked perfectly with a 6.6 mb mp3. Took about 45 seconds.

mikeM said...

http://picosong.com/taQF

can't make it a hyperlink in comments

mikeM said...

The link I got from Pico works in email as well. Not sure why your url is so long...seems it should come up short like mine, as Pico advertises.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: I misunderstood picosong first time round. Now, as you see, it works as it should. All I need to do now is improve my performance of Abschied.

Roderick Robinson said...

For the moment I sound like a frog.

mikeM said...

Our master's voice!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Very glad the technical hitch was solved by Mike and Pico! I'll have to try this software too some time.

Your voice comes over well in the Schubert, even though it's not currently at the standard you're aiming for, but there's a lot of feeling...and those low notes really hit the spot! I'm no music critic but dedication is evident.
I couldn't hear the sonnet recording very well, but the problem is my hearing.

mikeM said...

A quality voice for sure, evident in both recordings. Don't they make karaoke tapes for Schubert? Seems like practice would be a lot more fun with some instrumental reference points. Perhaps the Teach could lay down a track for you.

Roderick Robinson said...

Nathalie/Mike: Thanks for your responses. As I listened to Abschied now (06.35 am, Friday), with the techno-struggle behind me, I'm inclined to think I'd have done better to have kept quiet on the blog and gone on practising Schubert another two hundred times.

The voice lacks resonance but then it's only six months old. Those terminal semibreves are hit uncertainly and then, frequently, they wobble. One of the "wohls" is two tones down on what it should be. I concentrated on the higher notes: the Cs ("schwinden all") and then the toughie three Es ("hör verschwimmen") and got them, more or less, but in doing so the timbre of my voice changed, became lighter, tending towards strangled - someone else's voice, rather closer to a tenor than my supposed baritone.

The computer as recorder is merciless. For some time I sang and re-sang those lovely ascending opening notes because initially they just didn't sound like music, more a harsh shout. I was letting Schubert down - a conviction that just grows and grows, especially as V reveals the song's tiny intricacies which fit together and make such a beautiful whole. I could go on.

The question is: should I have done it? The answer's a qualified yes, but only for me, not for you. You're entitled to compare what I've sung with any other singer you care to name. And to rightly conclude this is an imperfect performance, if it really is a performance as such. The ways singers arrive at an acceptable performance is of only passing interest to those who listen to music mainly because they like doing so.

As for me, I'll let this performance stand as the most modest of milestones. A reminder that learning music in any form is, or should be, unemotional. One doesn't search for beauty, one looks for faults and then tries to rectify them. It's then just conceivable beauty may emerge. I'm hoping that in another month or so there'll be improvements: that "Uber die Berge..." will be closer to that climbing pathway Schubert had in mind, leading to the musical thrills of "kommt an man - chen..." (How simple it all looks on the score!). I'll continue, hoping only that tomorrow's today will turn out to be better than yesterday.

The rewards for me have be technical and phrased just so. When I've moaned about those strangled Es V says "You must remember your Es can be fine." Meaning that they ring out truly in scale exercises. Which is some comfort. But, ultimately, I'm not learning music to sing scales; I want the Gods for company.

Thanks for holding my hand or (if you prefer) my epiglottis in different ways.

Rouchswalwe said...

O, I found your post yesterday, but did not listen. I was tired after a full week of work. Now I am awake, refreshed and well-rested. Bravo on this milestone, lieber Robbie! You may hear the imperfections, I heard the deep baritone (gave me chills in a good way) and the emotion you've put into the music Schubert wrote. Vielen Dank for including us all in your music journey!

Roderick Robinson said...

RW (zS): Today's Monday; at 10 am I'd normally be over at Little Dewchurch where the music stand would be reduced in height (one of V's other students, a woman, is taller than I am) and I'd be awaiting instruction. But V's taking a week's holiday and I'd love to be able to show her I've progressed when we meet next Monday. Since first posting Abschied I've sung and recorded it perhaps two dozen times more, improving my intonation here and there, creating faults elsewhere.

Given this amount of work it's important to pick a song that can stand up to such repetition, that doesn't "wear out" as it were. Abschied is just that. Thanks for the nice things you've said but I do hope you are able to make time to hear it properly sung. I was going to recommend you go to YouTube and key in Christian Gerhaher; his performance has been the baritone standard I've used. Alas, I now discover this track has been removed for copyright reasons.

Schade.

mikeM said...

I had listened to this version before I listened to yours:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1bBW3ANYeI

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Wow! Very nearly TWICE as long as Gerhaher and DF-D. But with a tone like that you can see why. You can also see how far I've got to go.