1. LibraLass
    Offline

    LibraLass New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1

    Voice Recorders??

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by LibraLass, Nov 11, 2009.

    Not sure if this is the right place for this...

    It seems whenever I am exercising or driving that I have absolutely brilliant ideas how to smooth over an upcoming plot glitch or stunning dialogue unfolds in my head. Naturally, I want to capture all this spontaneous inspiration, and I generally have a notebook with me for this purpose. However, I can't pull the car over to take notes every time I have an idea.

    Soooo, I was going to ask Santa for a digital voice recorder but I have no idea what to look for, and I'm sure my Santa will be at a loss as well. My cell phone has a record feature, but its too clunky to access when I'm whizzing down the highway.

    Does anyone else use a recorder? Any recommendations (or warnings)?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Edward
    Offline

    Edward Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    My mom used one to record lectures last year when she was studying nursing.
    Hopefully it'll help you a little more...

    I don't know what kinds of recorders there are out there, but I will say that it's a great idea, and it's a lot more useful then having to pull out paper and pencil whenever you have an idea.

    Of course, it might make you self conscious about your voice. I can't stand to listen to recordings of myself.
     
  3. WaltzElf
    Offline

    WaltzElf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    The best recorders come from either Sony or Olympus. You should be able to find them at pretty much any electronics shop.

    I own a Sony, and it's never done me wrong.
     
  4. InkDream
    Offline

    InkDream Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    the Evergreen State
    A lot of college students use them to record lectures. You would probably be able to find some at a college book store and compare the prices elsewhere. I've never used them myself but they could be pretty handy.
     
  5. Tall and Weird
    Offline

    Tall and Weird New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Australia
    I bought one I while back that has a voice activation function which is not to actually say that it is activated by voice alone - any noise in the vicinity starts it recording. One night, I accidentally left it by my bed set to record and got a heck of a lot of snoring which was really not that interesting...

    The one I got can't connect to my computer so I am unable to upload the recordings which I now realise would've been a better choice. And the batteries run out pretty quickly.

    But on the whole, I would say that it has helped me save some of my ideas that would otherwise have vanished back into the dark and foggy recesses of my mind.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you have voicemail or an answering machine at your home number, and a hands free earpiece for your cell phone, you could call your home phone and leave a message if you have an idea while driving. Other than that, I would not recommend any device to record an idea while driving. Distracted driving is too serious to take lightly, and the statistics on it are alarming. It is challenging drunk driving as the leading cause of highway fatalities.

    I do have a digital voice recorder. I didn't choose it by brand. I just walked into a Best Buy and selected one that had a decent capacity and a USB interface. I can dictate a passage into it if I have a quiet moment when it's not convenient to use my laptop, and then transcribe it into a document with a voice-to-text program (I use Dragon Naturally Speaking). With a minute or two of cleanup, it's in my manuscript, or in an ideas document. The voice recorder fits into a shirt pocket, and takes up slightly more space than a pack of chewing gum.
     
  7. ManhattanMss
    Offline

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14
    I haven't looked into this recently, but I imagine there are some with bluetooth capabilities (which you should look into if you're gonna be recording your thoughts while "whizzing down the highway"). Either that or a microphone that'll plug directly into your recording device.

    Having transcribed several tons of stuff over the years, some of which was recorded as folks were driving, I can tell you that the sound of the car engine (and other things, like traffic) may seriously interfere with the sound quality. So will surrounding noises in, say, a cafeteria or park setting--even window air conditioning units and other motor-driven noises--if you're dictating your thoughts in a place that's not quiet. I've also transcribed stuff that was dictated while the speaker was exercising, eating, or even in a few cases, while, uhm, going to the bathroom--any of which will distort speech patterns and make it harder to understand on the listening end. Of course, your own thoughts will be clearer to you than they would be to someone else who's relying on hearing alone (absent the benefit of recall). But the point is that a microphone attached in some way to your person will give your voice a much clearer outcome than a recording device that's simply picking up whatever sounds there may be (beause it will pick up all of them equally).

    I recorded questions and answers on a road trip with someone to Maine (my very first interview experience); and it was largely untranscribable due to sound quality (and I was the one with the questions!). Of course, I was dealing primarily with verbatim transcripts and (way back then) was working with tape recordings rather than digital, so you'll probably get better mileage on ideas that are coming out of your own head and are meant only to shape your storytelling later. But IME, both digital and tape sound quality are affected by exactly the same kinds of environmental and mechanical noises they pick up.
     
  8. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Libra, There are many fine, and small, voice recorders, some about the size of a small candy bar, others no bigger than a large ink pen. The pen type tend to have smaller memory but even that is changing with advances in micro-tech. Still, I prefer a "candy bar" one, which I can use with a wired mic or with the "on board" one. It also has a jack for headphones if you want to listen in private. They run in price from around $30 (wouldn't recommend it) to over a bill ($100) (Also wouldn't recommend paying that much!) Some are 'voice activated' which, as you already know, does not necessarily mean it will be activaled only by voices. But, if you are using it with a clip-on mic, you can adjust the volume at which it picks up sound and can control what does turn it on. Mine also has a sync cord for my computer ... way cool! They are generally small enough to fit easily into your hand or a shirt pocket. (The pocket thing is iffy unless you use a wired mic because you cannot really record from your pocket without picking up a lot of audio 'lint') I have used mine at writers' conferences and used to use it for writing when I'm away from home. Even though I am a public speaker, I have found that the sound of my own voice distracts me and I cannot write other than to make notes and ideas for a story line. You may find you don't have that problem.

    Of course, the bottom line is, you have to decide what you need in a VR and buy accordingly. My best suggestion would be to take a day or two, shop around to see what is out there and what bells and whistles are available in the various models. Gauge that against the price you are willing to pay and go from there.
     
  9. LibraLass
    Offline

    LibraLass New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the input!

    I'm really not that excited about hearing my own voice chattering away, but I do need to find some way to start capturing more of these ideas, especially the random bits of dialogue that come out of nowhere. I'm sure if I could tuck them away for safekeeping, they'd find a home in a story sooner or later.

    Need to do some online research and then send Santa a link or two!
     

Share This Page