Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Looking for Volunteer Voices

I am in the process of converting my book Future Imperfect into an audiobook. It has embedded quotes from a wide variety of sources and it occurred to me that, instead of reading all of them myself, I should get each read in a voice different from mine and more suitable to the person I am quoting. The voices I need are:

Chinese accent (for "May you live in interesting times")
English accent (Arthur Clarke, George Orwell, Samuel Johnson)
New York accent, possibly Queens (Richard Feynman)
Sophisticated East Coast accent (William F. Buckley)
Russian accent (Manny from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress — other accents for him are possible — and a KGB agent from "The President's Analyst")
Mark Twain accent (recordings probably exist)
H.L.Mencken accent (a recording of an interview exists)
Female Cornell administrator
Female scientist (a different female voice from the preceding)
Girl's voice — Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
Sexy woman's voice
French accent
Arabic accent
Shakespearean actor (Hamlet)

There are a number of other quotes that just need a clearly understandable voice that isn't mine.

It may be a crazy idea, and I may give up and do all the quotes myself, but I thought that the magic of the internet and the open source approach to doing it might work.

Most of the accents should be mild — I want all of the quotes to be easily understandable.


Tim Worstall said...

I'd happily do your English ones for you. Sam Johnson wouldn't have had what we'd today call an English accent - at least not one an American would recognise. But no one would really understand his likely Staffordshire today. Orwell and Clarke were both RP and I'm not quite that but closer than many others would be.

You can hear what I sound like here:


Mitch said...

I'm from Queens...

Rebecca J said...

I'd be happy to do one of your women's voices. I'm pure Midwestern, if that would suit you.

Anonymous said...

I remember Clarke as rather rhotic. Didn't he have something like a Cornish (I.e. pirate) accent?

Tibor said...

I've always imagined Manny with a Spanish accent.

Joshua Brulé said...

I'd be happy to do a "clearly understandable voice that isn't [you]".

Gor Nishanov said...

I'd be happy to do Russian accent. (That is the only I can do :-) ranging from mild to heavy as needed)

David Friedman said...

The book is webbed at:

The list of quotes is webbed at::
wwwdotdaviddfriedmandotcom/Future_Imperfect/Quotations in Future Imperfect.docx

I have had people do the two Russian quotes, although I would be happy to have Gor else do them as well if he wants so I can choose which sounds better.

Tim is welcome to do Samuel Johnson and Orwell if he wants to.

Mitch can do Feynman from Chapter 18

Rebecca can pick any couple of the female quotes. The two long Cornell ones should be done by the same voice, since the second is pretending to be by Barbara Krause, the person who did the first.

Joshua can do Mark Morrisey on Chapter 10 and "Vectrex had cheats" from Chapter 4

I have been producing audio books using the microphone built into my iMac, so any reasonably good mike, including one built into a computer, should do.

Thanks all. Send your recordings as attachments to email:


Sorry to take so long.

David Friedman said...

Someone with a suitable accent has done one of the Feynman quotes, will probably do the other two. Mitch is welcome to pick any of the other American men an do a quote or two. Or he could pick one of the email responses to the fake Krause message in Chapter nine and do that — ideally each of them will be done by a different voice.

Tim Worstall said...

I did Orwell, Johnson and Clarke. Also Ridley, if you've not got him doing it directly. Files should be with you already.

Rebecca J said...

I've sent you the two Krause letters, David. Let me know if you want me to do any of the others.