Audio Versions of Articles may be found on our Podcast page.
Information for Volunteers
We are seeking volunteer narrators to produce audio versions of our articles. Those interested in being volunteer narrators, and who have the technical capability and ability to submit good quality readings of articles, should contact us. To avoid duplicating effort, we suggest you contact us first for scheduling purposes.
Once you are scheduled to narrate an article, please follow the instructions below. If your submission meets our standards for audio quality, you will be asked to sign a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licensing agreement, and then it will be posted with attribution to you. Thank you for helping to promote libertarian scholarship.
Please begin as follows:
“Welcome to Libertarian Papers Audio, where volunteers read articles appearing in the journal Libertarian Papers, on the web at libertarianpapers.org. This is [name of reader].
[“Present Payments, Past Wrongs: Correcting Loose Talk about Nozick and Rectification” by Jan Narveson].
…body of article…
“This has been Libertarian Papers Audio. This recording is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. I’m [name of reader]. Thank you for listening.”
Do not read the bibliography, author’s footnote, citation information, or footnotes that are only references to other works. For substantive footnotes, use this script fragment:
“Footnote X: [full footnote text; details of citations may be omitted] end of footnote X”
Statement of Audio Quality Standards
We accept only fully-edited (less than 3 sec silence before beginning, and less than 3 sec of silence at end) MP3 files, with minimal background noise, hiss, and pops. We expect the reader to clearly articulate all words with voice modulation that is appropriate to the tone and content of the article. We expect the reader’s voice to be audible at all times: dynamic volume is expected to some degree, but since these are scholarly works, we expect the reader’s volume will stay within a range such that the typical listener will not have to adjust his volume knob during the course of listening to the article.
Tips to Achieve Audio Quality Standards
Keep your mouth close to the microphone. By close, we mean right up there on the microphone, with lips within an inch or two of the microphone head if possible.
You might get a few audible, airy popping sounds when you speak the letters P or T directly into the microphone or some windy noises from S sounds. To remedy these plosives and sibilants, you can use a pop filter, a circular piece of thin fabric suspended between the microphone and the talent’s mouth. Professional pop filters aren’t terribly expensive, but if you need to improvise one, you can bend a wire coat hanger into a rough circular shape and stretch a pair of women’s nylon stockings over it.
Articulate and Emphasize
We hardly notice it anymore because we’ve grown up with television in our lives, but more often than not, the speaking voices you hear on TV and radio are more emphatic and dramatically charged than those we use in everyday life, and they over-articulate their words. Actors and news anchors are trained to take their words a little “over the top” and what sounds like corny over-emphasis is in fact just right for most audio applications.
Wet your whistle
Prepare your voice for recording by sipping on a cup of hot water with a twist of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. It’s best to avoid most other kinds of beverages, especially carbonated sodas, coffee and tea. If you must drink something other than water, try lemonade, a sports drink, or something else sugary but non-carbonated. The sugar and citrus can help calm a tickle in your throat.
Pick a place with good acoustics and minimal background noise. Sometimes a portable MP3 player/recorder will give you the freedom to pick the right place that a PC does not.
Technical Info; Cleanup of Audio Files
Narrators should submit audio in high-quality MP3 format (larger file size, but highest fidelity). At the present time, we do not have the capacity to add bumper music (the intro and outgoing music). Please submit a file to us with the intro/exit music mixed in, using similar fade-in/fade-out times as used in previous podcasts. The music we use is from “Asturias” by Dylly, used pursuant to a Creative Commons License; the mp3 may be downloaded here.
Any suitable application, such as the free Audacity software, may be (and should be, where necessary) used to combine separate audio files together or trim out conspicuous or significant gaps, mistakes, interruptions, etc., but try to keep your files in high-quality throughout and when submitting to us, because if you submit medium- to low-fidelity MP3s (160kbps or less) for post-processing, the resulting MP3 we produce could contain a lot of audible artifacts as a result of double compression.
After we mix your audio file with bumper music, we will use Audacity to export to a good-quality mp3 recording at the lowest possible file size (probably 64kbps mono, 44.1 kHz, constant bit rate MP3).
To upload your files, contact the editor to obtain a dropbox URL.