Wikinews:Audio guide

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
(Redirected from Wikinews:Audio)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page is considered a guideline on Wikinews. It is widely accepted among editors and considered a standard that all users should follow. However, it is not cast in stone, should be treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions are expected. Edits should reflect community consensus and best-practice. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

Policies and Guidelines

Neutral point of view
Content guide
Style guide


For Wikipedians


The purpose of this policy page is to establish guidelines for the integration of audio files into the Wikinews project.

Wikinews articles featuring audio




On the upload page of the commons, go to the Basic Upload Form. Fill in the appropriate information and paste the following template in the Summary section replacing the text that was originally in it:

{{Audio upload


A sample of what this will display is:



Created by
  • Spoken by: Willmcw
  • Written by: Authors of the article
Date recorded



U.S. California





  • File_name should be of the form: name_of_file.ogg
  • Title refers to the title of the actual article.
  • Time is the length of time in minutes and seconds of the article, for example: 12:34
  • User_name is the name of the user who read/uploaded the file, for example: Willmcw
  • Date should be a link to the revision that was read, for example: 2005-04-18
  • Accent is the regional accent of the reader. See Wikipedia:Regional accents of English speakers for the possibilities.
  • Sex either Male or Female

When uploaded, list your article at Wikinews:Audio_Wikinews/Releases under the proper heading.

Recording spoken versions of existing Wikinews articles

Icon of loudspeaker
Icon of loudspeaker
This audio file was created from the revision dated 1970-01-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (audio help)

Add the following template:

  • {{Audio|FileName.ogg|YYYY-MM-DD}}
    Remember to update the date when uploading a newer version.

New template as of September 20, 2008:

  • {{Audio box|filename=insert file name without image|date=insert date}}
    Insert this tag immediately after the date, and eliminate blank lines between this and the start of the article
    See this discussion for more information

Transcripts of original audio reports


Audio tags and templates


Among the various ways to link an available audio file to a Wikinews story are templates. The following list shows examples of templates and possible uses for them.

Audio Box

{{Audio box|filename=filename.ogg|date=YYYY-MM-DD}}

Audio Box 2

With customized title: {{Audio box 2|filename=filename.ogg|text=Your Title Here|date=YYYY-MM-DD}}
Without customized title: {{Audio box 2|filename=filename.ogg|date=YYYY-MM-DD}}

This audio box is intended to be placed directly above a vertical infobox. If the "text" tag is not included, a customized title is not inserted. Instead the default text "Listen to Audio" will be used, as seen to the right.

Wikimedia supported audio format


Working with .ogg files


Here are some guidelines for making great spoken articles.

Production Notes

  • Ogg Vorbis audio is the format to use since it is the only format supported by Wikicommons. We recommend that you use the following settings: 48 kbit/s, 44.1 kHz mono. (see Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spoken_Wikipedia for how to achieve this).
    • That is technically incorrect. midi is now supported. as well as FLAC, and Speex in ogg containers. However you should still always use Ogg vorbis.
  • The resulting filename should consist of the article title in canonicalized form plus the ogg extension. If you upload it to the Commons, the title must be prefixed by "en-".
  • Treat links like text when reading. Any vocal indication of every link would disrupt the flow. However, you are free to pick out the most relevant links and mention them at the end.
  • Speak slower than normal, about 25% slower. You should have about 150–160 words per minute so people can comfortably hear an article. Most conversational speech is at 200 words per minute or more. [1]
  • Tell people where it's from. Begin your recordings with:
    "Article name, from Wikinews, the free news source, at wikinews-dot-org." and end each one with "This sound file and all text in the article are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License."

Production tips

  • Speak across the microphone or to the side of it, rather than directly into it, to avoid pops and breath noise. A distance of several centimetres away from the microphone is recommended.
    Another method of reducing pops and breath noises is to make a homemade screen. Form a circle with a coat hanger, cover it with an old pair of tights/pantyhose, and speak through it into the microphone.
  • Mess up a take? — Instead of stopping the recording, just stop speaking, then speak out "three, two, one" and then start reading again. You can easily edit out the "flub" since the countdown gives you a cue on where to make the edit, and gives you some "silence" to edit in.
  • Stay relaxed. Whenever you realize that your voice is becoming tenser than normal, or you're having more and more trouble speaking fluently, take a break, and resume when you feel muscular tension going away. Keep some fresh (not cold) water into reach, and drink some whenever you feel your mouth drying out.
  • Volume levels — make sure your audio levels are high but not clipping and if you have the ability, to compress and normalize your audio.
    For those unfamiliar with "audio" terminology, a brief description of these terms:
    • Compression is a dynamic levelling of audio, making loud parts quieter, and the quiet parts louder, so that a consistent sound level is achieved (on professional audio gear where 0 dB is maximum, −12 dB is a good place to level the average RMS for speech). Beware of excessive compression, as it will make noise stand out (even after noise reduction) and could exaggerate some sounds of speech.
    • Normalization is a calculated adjusting of audio so that the loudest peak is set to maximum potential volume, generally it is close to 0 dB (on professional audio gear where 0 dB is maximum, −10 dB is a good place to normalize the average RMS for speech).
    • RMS — see Audio power
Removing noise

You should remove background noise from all your recordings. Here is a guide to doing this in Audacity.

  • Make your recording.
  • Select a chunk of the recording where you were not speaking. You should see a slight bumpiness on the line, representing the background noise.
  • Select Effect → Noise Removal → Step 1 → Get Noise Profile.
  • Select the entire recording (Ctrl+a).
  • Go to Effect → Noise Removal → Step 2.
  • Drag the slider a little to the left, towards Less.
  • Select Remove Noise.

The reason for moving the slider is that the default setting is rather powerful, and is likely to affect the sound quality by removing too much noise. When in doubt, remove too little rather than (irreversibly) removing too much. A clue that you might have removed too much noise is hearing "bubbles" ("speaking in a glass"-like sounds) in the recording.

Even at the lowest setting, this tool should remove all audible background buzz. If it is not able to deal with the background noise, then you probably need to record it again, this time without buses and motorbikes going by your window!

If all this seems like a lot of hassle, then send a message to a fellow contributor and he or she will do it for you.

Sound levels

You should adjust the recording volume so that the peaks you see on the screen do not touch the top and bottom when you speak. If they do, then "clipping" will occur (part of the sound information will be lost) and you'll just get a blaring noise. On the other hand, the volume should be set fairly high.

Once you have finished the recording, you should always then boost its volume. In Audacity, press Ctrl+a to select the whole recording, then go to Effect → Amplify.... This will bring up a dialogue box with a slider which is already as far to the right as it can be without causing "clipping". If the value is above zero, then hit OK. If it is zero, then the software can't boost your voice without clipping. In this case, the chances are that you set the recording volume too high. It is also possible that there is a peak at some point in the recording because you made a loud noise (common culprits are: shouting the first few words of a sentence; coughing; clicking the tongue; choking on food; scraping your chairlegs on the ground...). You should try to edit that out, or perhaps just have another try.

It is also possible to select individual sections of your recording and boost them separately.


Use audio recording software that can record section by section, like:

See also


External references for broadcast style