I’ve mentioned on Facebook that I’m learning the importance of properly aligning my new microphone so it’s pointed straight at my mouth. This is all part of the process. I don’t mind, I’m learning.
But today, for the first time, I lost “production” story: fiction that I hoped to sell, not just an experiment. The microphone was just slightly misaligned, but that was enough to render the text incomprehensible to Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Microphone angle changed
That’s a picture of the sound before and after I accidentally changed the microphone angle. At about 43 seconds, you can see a very slight bump to the microphone, and you can actually see how the noise level changed.


And that’s the sound as recorded by the microphone. Note how at the bump, the road noise becomes louder, and my voice less clear. Enough less clear to confuse Dragon.

Obviously, I’m disappointed; but I’m not ready to give up on that story! Unlike Coleridge, I’m not going to let some bloke from Porlock stop me from finishing this story.
So I considered my alternatives (besides giving up)…
1. Transcribe manually. In my past experience, that takes me three times as long as the original dictation. But I can do it!
2. Pay iDictate to transcribe it for me. I can do that, but it’s no longer my preferred alternative.
3. Start over. Tell the story over again. Dean Wesley Smith teaches about redrafting: telling a story over again without referring back to the original text, just relying on your memory and your sense of story.
But tonight, I thought up a new solution: Redictation. I will go into a quiet room. I will plug in my earphones. I will listen to the original text, a line or so at a time; and then I will dictate roughly the same text (maybe with on-the-fly corrections) back into my recorder. When I’m done, I’ll run this clean version through Dragon.
Now Redictation may sound odd, but I think it may work great. It will be faster than manual transcription, and cheaper than a service. It’s almost the same as starting over; but I think of it as kicking Porlock in the keister and picking back up where I left off.
I’ll report on this method when I’m done. It may be a few days before I get to it.

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