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How to have VA but still keep the file size small   by Chris

Indeed - we already have a small collection of helpful articles about how to keep file size down. But this time I want to make some suggestion especially concerning Voice Actor files:
Voice Actors are a great feature for Kamishibai and are more and more used in the latest Kamishibai Stories. But they also bare a very unpleasant file size that can easily bring the overall Kamishibai size from a few kilobytes to quite some megabytes. There are two ways to prevent a literally files size explosion:
a) you resample your waves to a lower quality
b) you create an additional "sound package"
And because I won't let you down with solely those suggestions I will try to explain how to do what ^_^

If you want to resample your waves this is easily done. All it takes are your waves (of course) and a sound editing program. As an example I will take Creative Labs Wave Editor "Wave Studio" that comes with every Creative Labs Sound Blaster which is commonly known and used. Open up the program and load your wave. For this example I took a wave file that is 18 seconds long and - originally in unresampled quality - 3,3MB in size. The original quality is 44.100 Hz; 16 Bit; Stereo; 172Kb/s. Now when resampling the Kb/s are very important for you. The smaller the Kb/s the smaller your files size. With Wave Studio you click on "Options" and then "Convert". In the new window you scroll up to something about 11.000 or 12.000Hz and make your choice. Voila, your files size shrinked from something about 3MB to something about 300Kb or less. You may complain about the quality, but you have to experiment a bit until you find the right quality/quantity mixture. However I experienced that if you convert a wave file down in several steps the quality loss sometimes isn't that obvious. That means that if I convert my wave from 44.100 Hz; 16 Bit; Stereo; 172Kb/s to 22.050 Hz; 8 Bit, Mono; 22Kb/s and then to 11.025 Hz; 8 Bit; Mono; 11Kb/s it is 200Kb in size and still sounds very good. But as I said you have to experiment a bit. The smallest file size (and quality) you can have in Wave Studio is 8.000 Hz; 8Bit; Mono, 8Kb/s. My example file that originally had 3MB has now only 150Kb but since I resampled down in steps still sounds okay.

Another thing I mentioned above is an extra file that includes all your VA files and a new gamefile.txt that defines the waves and scenes. This has the big advantage of a small file size of your story and people who want VA still can download the additional file. Disadvantage is that not everybody has his own webspace where one can host such additional files and Otakuworld does not offer such a service for additional Kamishibai Files. However - in case you have additional webspace and can host such files you always have to mention the URL in your Kamishibai and still should try to keep the files size of your wave files small. So one can download the "sound package" in one small and fast move.

I hope this could help some of you, maybe especially those people who are new to this and want to try to keep their stories small but yet don't know how. Keep on 'VAing' and good luck with further projects

Chris



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