Who should use Glyssen?

Glyssen is designed for use by both novices and experts in recording projects. It will help translation teams prepare and produce a multi-voice recording of Scripture. Basic computer skills are necessary.
The Glyssen step for ‘Identifying Speaking Parts’ requires knowledge of the target language in order to correctly identify which biblical character is speaking. Whenever feasible, utilize someone on the translation team for this task.
The Glyssen steps for ‘Cast Size Planning’ and ‘Assign Voice Actors’ are best done by the person responsible to recruit the voice talent cast and handle the logistics of the recording project and cast. This might be a member of the translation team or a local leader. Again, basic computer skills are necessary, though computer tasks could be delegated.

When should you use Glyssen?

If you wish to do audio recording as a naturalness check of the translation, use HearThis to quickly produce a single-voice recording.
If you wish to invest in publishing a single or multi-voice recording for long-term use, wait until the text has been consultant checked and then utilize either HearThis or Glyssen in your recording project plans.

How does Glyssen get the Scripture text to start with?

A Glyssen project starts with Scripture text from a live Paratext project on the computer or from a “Text Release Bundle” (The format used by The Digital Bible Library to store published texts).

See the Resources page for more information about Text Release Bundles.

After I create the recording script in Glyssen, how do I record the audio?

You can use HearThis version 2 or later.

Otherwise, your options for recording are to utilize one of these existing services:

If you plan to use one of these services, please discuss your plans with either SIL IMS or FCBH before you begin a recording project.

Can I record only a few books?

Yes, you can select which book or books you would like to record. Glyssen calculates the cast size recommendations for the exact set of books selected in your recording project.

Should I use Glyssen if I want to produce a single-voice recording?

Although you could use Glyssen for this task, if you’re doing it all yourself HearThis may be a better option.

Should I record all the epistles using single-voice recording?

You may, as there is basically no dialogue. But if you opt for multi-voice with Glyssen, a few benefits are built in:

  1. The title, introduction, chapter announcements, and section heads (when included) can be recorded by a different voice. A female voice often works well (depending on the target culture).
  2. Old Testament Scripture quotations can be spoken by a different voice – God, the prophet, etc.

Can I also use Glyssen to record the Old Testament?

Yes, Glyssen is essentially usable for dramatized recording of all 66 books of the Bible. However, for some OT books, some aspects of Glyssen may not yet work as well as you desire. In the Psalms, Glyssen does not yet provide a way to assign different narrators based on the psalmist (when identified). Most prophetic books are more difficult for Glyssen to process as multi-voice because there are different ways of interpreting the nested quotes and dealing with self-quotes, and passages with the narrator referring to himself in the third person, etc. For those books, we suggest recording the text using a single voice actor (Glyssen sets that as the default for those books).

Can Glyssen add a reference text in a language of wider communication to each block of the recording script?

Yes, this is now standard behavior. Glyssen currently ships with a complete set of English reference texts for the entire Bible and a set of reference texts in Russian for the New Testament. More work remains to be done to complete the OT for Russian. Faith Comes By Hearing can also help you prepare a script in Azeri, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Solomon Islands Pijin, Spanish or Tok Pisin. The text in these languages has not been released for general distribution by the respective copyright holders.

Do I have to go to all the trouble of aligning the vernacular text to the reference text?

Probably. But if you are not using FCBH or other “outsiders” for field recording or post-production, you might be able to do without. If you do not need a reference text, you can save some time in the Identify Speaking Parts phase by using the Select Characters mode (the one without all the pretty rainbow colors) and the Unassigned quotes filter.

Can I get a clip list?

Yes. That is one of the options when exporting from Glyssen.

Can I do ‘incremental publishing’, recording new books every few years?

We’re still discussing possible best practices for that process. Contact us with your thoughts. Nothing in Glyssen specifically prevents this, but there are likely going to be some special challenges that need to be addressed.

Does Glyssen support dramatized (i.e., with music and sound effects) audio Scriptures?

The reference texts that come with Glyssen do include the necessary annotations to allow the team at Faith Comes By Hearing to correctly add music and sound effects during the post-production phase. If this is your intention, be sure to coordinate your recording project with FCBH.

How is Glyssen licensed?

Glyssen is licensed under the MIT Open Source License.

Is Glyssen really free?

Yes! There is no cost to download or use Glyssen.

Will Glyssen work on my OS?

Glyssen only works on Windows. Our current plans for Glyssen do not include producing versions for Mac OS or Linux. However the field recording tool (see next question) is expected to be cross-platform.

What’s next?

We are hoping to work together with Faith Comes By Hearing to support them in their development of a new field recording tool that will take the output from Glyssen and make it easy to:

  • Schedule actors for recording sessions
  • Manage cast changes during the recording phase
  • Record and manage all the clips
  • Facilitate multiple recording stations
  • Communicate concerns and proposed changes back to the translation team
  • Manage the review of chapter-length audio assembled from the recorded clips