Voicing my displeasure


A few days ago, I finished my mock-up of my first book trailer (I have more than one planned, if all goes well with the first one).  The basic design and structure I created as a series of slides within the Microsoft PowerPoint application.  When run as a slideshow, the presentation simulates what the trailer would look like as a video.

I feel good about the overall creativity and content.  I think you readers will like it and, most hopefully, new readers will be attracted and curious.  In one of those amazing and fortuitous situations that serve as both a surprise and a reminder to me how much I don’t know about the available resources out there, apparently there is a company that will convert a PowerPoint presentation to video at no cost.

I immediately took advantage of this opportunity, if only to see how the slideshow would look in video form.  The delivery is fine, but there was a technical hiccup.  I contacted the company and they are looking to see if there is a solution to the issue.  Money is no object (if it’s too expensive, I simply won’t pay it!), but I’m hoping it’s something that can easily be remedied either at their level or, if necessary, in my original presentation.

One aesthetic I noticed right off, though, is the absolute absence of sound.  I had not added a music track in the background and, while the trailer communicates without sound, it seemed a little dull to me.  Because of that, I decided to go back and add narration to the presentation.  And that’s what’s got my fur ruffled.

The process of adding narration to slides in PowerPoint is simplicity itself.  The output, however, is less pleasing.  Not only did I have to turn my volume all the way up to hear the character’s voice, but there is an annoying crackle of noise, static or something else, that accompanies every slide.

Adjusting gain levels within PowerPoint had little effect on the eventual output, which left me with a handful of questions.  Is the microphone sub-standard?  Is my computer too old and the mike connection not sound (no pun intended)?  Is it PowerPoint itself; a flaw within the program that doesn’t handle the sound function as well?

I’ll try to solve question one first by picking up a higher quality microphone this weekend and seeing if that makes a difference.  I’ll also experiment some more with my current microphone and futzing around inside PowerPoint a bit to see if I’m missing some setting or other instruction.

It would be disappointing to get this far in the process and still ultimately have to turn it over to someone else to “shoot” my video.  Heck, finding a decent voice for the character took me six or seven tries alone, so crying “uncle” after that effort seems wrong.

Ah well, all fun times and discoveries on the road to figuring out how to market my book to a wider audience.  As regular readers, you get a free ride alongside me, which means you’ll be the second to know when I finally hit my “aha” moment!

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