page is a guide for those of you who wish to submit an audio recording of
yourself reading/performing any one of the featured creative pieces
located throughout The Bright Light Café.
is our aim to maintain a high standard of professional presentation
throughout the website, so our preference is for you to submit a good
quality digital recording to complement and augment the written piece you
achieve this goal, you need the following pieces of equipment:
A Personal Computer
with a sound card installed that you can plug a microphone into.
A microphone to
plug into the sound card. Some PCs come with a small desktop
microphone, or have a microphone built into the monitor/screen
area. PC and consumer electrical stores sell these items at
reasonable prices too.
software. Your computer may even have an audio editor that came
'bundled' with a bunch of software when you bought it. Or, you
can download a copy of decent freeware, or 15/30 day
timed-demonstration sound wave editing software from places like
Software to convert
the soundwave file that will be produced when you record your voice
(eg: myvoice.wav) to a MP3 file format (eg: myvoice.mp3). The
MP3 format creates much smaller sized files than .wav files whilst
maintaining good digital quality. And they can be emailed and
published on the web without creating an enormous download
overhead. CNet and TuCows also have the freeware product you
need to do this. If you read the notes of the audio software
you're thinking of downloading to record your voice, you may find it
has "convert to mp3 format" as one of it's features.
Now it's time to record your reading. If you follow the steps below,
you should end up with a good quality recording.
your microphone into the microphone input jack on your PC.
After you have downloaded and
installed your soundwave editing software, launch
your wave editor and place it in "Pause/Record"
mode. If this function is not immediately obvious, refer to the software's help files.
reading the chosen creative work several times in front of the
microphone. Watch the loudness meters on the software interface to
ensure you don't "spike" the meters with too loud a reading, or
that you're not so far from the microphone that you're too quiet.
comes the trial and error bit!
a test recording of yourself, and when you've finished, stop the recording
process and playback your voice track. Unless you've done a bit of
recording work before, you might think - "That isn't me!", when
you replay the track. Most people aren't used to the sound of their
recorded voice and it can sometimes be a bit of a surprise.
it's not impossible that you're a "one take wonder", but the
more likely result is that you'll want to record the track again - and
again - until you are happy with your performance, and the quality of the
can keep any number of your "takes" and decide on the best one
later, but remember that wave files are quite large, so be careful that
you don't take up valuable disk space by saving too many versions.
you've decided which is the best track for performance and quality, you
can clean up the front and back of the track by highlighting and deleting
any unwanted noises. Read the software help files if you're in doubt
about this. Save the file again.
Now you're ready to convert the Wave file to MP3 format. Either
the wave editing software you've been using, or a specific file
conversion software program you downloaded will need to be employed
here. Software varies in functionality, but there should be a
"convert your file" choice under the File/Save As area of the program.
Once you've achieved the conversion and saved the new file, check out
the different file sizes of the wave and MP3 files, and you'll notice a huge
the Audition Guidelines for information on the process of how to submit your audition piece.