Introduction (This part is a bit long and I should've written it as a separate post, but anyway, you can skip it)
As some of you (people using alphas) will know, we've recently been adding in a few features, including;
* Super Emphasize
* Clickable Bars
* Tip of the Raid
These 3 features were all meant to be part of our first release after the Ace3 rewrite (BigWigs 3.0), but alas we did not complete them in time. Then 3.1 was ninja-released without my approval and so the features didn't make that release either.
But now we're on track. For the next major BigWigs release (3.2, currently in alpha), all these features will be available. They are, to some extent, already implemented in the alpha builds, although a few key things are still missing, they will be done for 3.2.
For Tip of the Raid, we've enlisted the help of Ensidia, Premonition and stratfu.com, who have all contributed a big set of excellent raiding tips -- although they are not part of the alphas yet, I'm still waiting for stratfu.com's submissions.
Clickable Bars really needs no outside assistance, but it will be a welcome feature for many, I think.
What's this about?
In any case, let's get down to the point, this post was not supposed to be about our next release, but rather about the "Super Emphasize" feature, and specifically the "Countdown" option we have there.
As some alpha users who have tested this feature will have noticed already, Ammo found a Creative Commons-licensed female voice counting "5, 4, 3, 2, 1", and committed it as a first example of this option. However, we're not entirely happy with her voice, and we're now asking you, the community, for help!
If you think you have an awesome voice, whether you're a man or woman, we want you to submit some good quality countdowns that we can include in our next release!
Record your voice with a recording application of your choice and a good microphone while saying the following sound bits:
"1", "2", "3", "4", "5", "Mark" and "Zero" Note: One file per word, please!
If you're a Windows user then I think Microsoft bundles an application called "Sound Recorder" already that you can use for this purpose. I'm a Linux user myself so I'll do it with Audacity or simply gnome-sound-recorder. I'm sure KDE provides their own alternative. For Mac users, I have no idea, but I'd be surprised if they don't have a sound recording app as well.
After you've recorded them to WAV, if you have storage space to upload those anywhere, then please do.
If not, you can use any MP3 converter software to convert your wave files. I did a quick Google search and the most promising WIndows freeware program I found is http://www.dors.de/razorlame/index.php (unless you are comfortable with the command line DOS, then you can use LAME directly). But there are more examples of encoding software at http://www.mp3-converter.com/encoders/lame_encoder2.htm if you want other options.
If you're a Linux user there are many ways of converting WAV to MP3, including lame and bladeenc. Audacity can also save to MP3, and there are tools for Gnome and KDE to do the same (gstreamer, kdewavencoder, etc).
After you've recorded the voice samples, you can either;
* Mail them to [email]email@example.com[/email] (note that this is not the character I play with any more, but it's still my nick here :p)
* Create a BigWigs ticket and attach them there, naming the ticket something like "Voice recording: Rabbit (male)", where you replace Rabbit with the name you'd like to be presented with in the config options.
* Upload them somewhere and post a link in this thread.
If you didn't manage to convert them or just want to provide us with the raw wave files, please upload them somewhere and instead of attaching the files, just give us the link somehow. Either via e-mail, ticket or this thread.
All submissions must be made available to us under a Creative Commons license (any of the licenses listed at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ will be fine), and you must acknowledge that simply stating your nick in the configuration dropdown and possibly in the About panel is enough to satisfy the attribution clause).
When we're closing in on the 3.2 release, we will package all the voice samples we receive as a BigWigs_Voice separate addon, and the BigWigs configuration screen will get a dropdown where you can select which one to use (and preview) for Super Emphasize.
We will also make it extremely easy to add your own voices, in the cases where guilds want to make an internal voice pack (which I suspect could become quite popular to do -- I know my guild will do it, at least!).
Note that a countdown doesn't necessarily have to be "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, MARK!", it can be any number of fun things, including just screaming "AAAARGH" with an increasing volume, or cursing louder and more obscene every seconds, or whatever you can think of. Note, however, that the ones we include in BigWigs core will most likely only be of the "5-1 MARK" type. BigWigs_Voice will include everything that we get!
For those of you who maybe lead raids or have some more usage for a microphone than just recording these 1-5+MARK sounds for us, like me, I've been looking at the Audio-Technica AT2020 - http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb06/articles/at2020.htm
I'd link AT's site, but they don't even have a photo of the mic on their product page. What the hell are they thinking? Idiots.
Anyway the AT2020 is not cheap compared to the Logitech one, with prices around $90 to $150 USD, depending on store and accessories. If you want a tripod and such, you'll probably have to pay closer to $130-$150.
It might just be my setup, or it might be the audio files. But for me the sounds were very soft and I could barely hear them. I tried adjusting my sounds some to see if I could turn them up, but they were the same. But like I said could just be my levels, I'll try to tweak some more. Although I can hear the 'clunk' that I play when earth shield expires. Just thought I'd report my observations so far.