(86d) Production Notes

There are many places to discuss HPMoR and argue the merits of various fan theories (I know of at least three). I cannot keep up with them all, so I’m simply posting my own speculation here. It’s entirely possible that this has already been brought up by someone else in one of those forums.

Based on the way Moody describes AK in this chapter, I think it’s likely that Harry was two words and a wand-twitch away from killing Dumbledore back in 81 with:

“I cannot let you go into debt to Lucius Malfoy, Harry! I cannot! You do not know – you do not realize -”


Harry didn’t even know which part of himself had spoken, it might have been a unanimous vote, the pure rage and fury pouring through him. For an instant he thought that the sheer force of the anger might take magical wing and fly out to strike the Headmaster, send him tumbling back dead from the podium-

I wonder how long it will take Harry to realize this.


I mentioned a while ago that it hadn’t occurred to me to strip out all the “he said”s from the audio version once I got a larger cast until someone else mentioned it. I had generally left in the first occurrence of each in an episode, so a listener is reminded who sounds like what. I’ve eased off on that lately. I figure after this many episodes, the voices are probably pretty well known. I realize that first-time listeners who start with the latest episode will still need the prompt, but that’s probably not very common anyway. In these long chapters spread over multiple episodes, it’s sometimes a bit clunky to reintroduce a character in the middle of a dialog.

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  1. I find Moody’s voice very hard to hear – he speaks very quickly and softly so that I’ve had to turn up the volume and replay, then turn it down when you (Eneasz) took over again. It became such a chore that I had to just read the original text whenever Moody speaks.

    Sorry to be all negative, but does anyone else feel the same way? You could try changing the pitch and speed of recordings to make them fit better with each other.

    • OK, I’ve slowed down his speech, and increased his volume. Is it OK now? I can adjust further if needed. Once I’ve got it right I’ll go back and do the same to the previous parts of Chap 86 as well.

      • I_Am_Melvinicus

        As long as we’re asking for tweaks to characters’ dialogue, can we get a volume bump and (possible) slight slowing of Tracey Davis’ lines through the SPHEW arc? Y’know, if you can find time, I know it’s a lot of audio to dig through, and whatnot, but…

    • Sorry, cheap microphone. I’ll see what I can do.

    • I completely agree in regards to Moody.

  2. Ambivalent Wanderer

    Sadly I must agree with Melvinicus. I have not yet heard any edits to lines by Tracey Davis that you might have made in those revisions you mentioned a few weeks back, so I apologize if I am behind with the times, but basically all of her lines to me seemed.. incredibly low quality.

    I don’t mean by the voice actress herself, however. I actually think the way she speaks fits Tracey’s character incredibly well. But the quality of the recording just seems.. off, compared to everyone else. It sounds like it has an echo to it.. or something. Something about anything she has ever said has always seemed off to me in a way that makes it hard to understand what she is saying. Maybe Melvinicus it right with his suggestions, I’m honestly not sure what seems wrong about it to me.

    I’d always thought this to myself, but in for some reason never occurred to me to actually mention it in a comment before. But yes, if you are accepting criticism in regard to making future edits to the podcast, I’d greatly appreciate and recommend something be done about Tracey. Keep up the great work.

  3. I also had problem’s Moody and Tracy. I’m in the habit of listening while in the bath and I found I had to be motionless otherwise the slightly splash covered the noise of the dialogue.

    When I’m doing audio editing of this type I tend to run everything through Audacity’s Compressor effect with a ratio of 10:1, threshold of 9 (although this depends on the original recording), compressed based on peaks and make up gain to 0db options ticked. You can set a noise floor above the ambient background noise so this isn’t also boosted.

    The result is all the dialogue is the same volume, as loud as it can be without clipping or distorting, but still sounds like natural speech.

    This means that whispers are the same volume as a shout but I’ve found you don’t notice because the tone of the performance makes it clear which it was.

    The volume boost does mean the audio has to be relatively clean to start but most of your voices are. And you could always noise remove just on the problem sections first.

    The upshot of all this is I think you might just be able to run the entire final recording through this Compressor and it would balance all the voices for you. Worth a try at least. Audacity can even process and output multiple files.

    And even if you, Eneasz, don’t want to do this because you like the more natural varied volume, there’s nothing stopping other viewers doing this to their copies.



  4. The quality of certain voices can sometimes be a problem, because I don’t feel comfortable asking people to shell out $100 to contribute to a podcast. About half the voices are people I know who live near me, so they can use my setup. And a number of the others have their own equipment already. But sometimes someone comes around with an incredible voice (like Leppy, who is a perfect Tracey!) but without a good setup. In the interest of having a large diverse cast, I’ve gladly accepted such submissions. I do what I can, but that’s limited. Echoes are virtually impossible to remove. :/ So in some ways the podcast will always be imperfect. I wish I could get everyone into a professional studio, but I don’t have the funds for that.

    That being said, I will try slowing the tempo and boosting the volume of Tracy in the SPHEW arc, though that’ll be later in the month. And I’ll play around with Ayaron’s compression suggestion as well. I enjoyed the volume variation, but I guess most people do not. :)

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