How does the writer create an affordable recording studio for narrating audio books? The following tips will ensure the audio book recording will pass ACX quality test without the expense. This will ensure your book will be sold on to Amazon, Audible and Itunes.
Studio Quality Sound for Audio Recording
|Recording your own Audiobooks|
A large recording studio with complex sound equipment is not necessary for recording great audio books. In fact, a small room is often preferable to a large room.
The first thing to look out for is sound reflections and echoes, even if they are slight. Sound reflections are caused by reverberations from walls and ceilings. Stand in an empty room with hard surfaces, and the voice will echo harshly. Reverberations are not desirable for recording audio books. Absorbent material will absorb sound echoes. Professional sound artists will often use concertina foam material or similar. Products such as studiofoam wedges or dampening foam can be found easily in online stores. These convoluted sound dampeners are often concave in shape to create an enclosed recording space.
Low Noise Floor in Recording Studio
But a cheaper alternative can be found in the form of soft material, which might be duvet covers, pillows or fleece fabrics. Echoes can be completely eradicated by recording in a small room, which might be a large cupboard, shed or box room. It doesn’t matter so long as all sound reflections are eradicated by using sound-absorbent material to create what is known as a dead room.
Studio Quality Recording For Narrating Books
Recording equipment has been explained in detail in another article, but to summarize, essential sound kit for recording audio books should comprise:
A reasonably fast computer which could be Mac or Windows (no older than version 7). This will bring all the recording equipment together. Also needed are:
A good quality large condenser microphone.
Microphone accessories include: XLR cable, phantom power, Shockmount, stand and pop filter for the mic.
Earphones. The sort that rests over the ears is more comfortable.
Audio interface. M-Audio MBox or Scarlett provides robust sound cards to support the computer.
External drive for backing up sound files.
Recording software such as Audacity, Cubecase or Garageband are popular choices for sound editing.
Sound Recording Dos and Don’ts in Voice Overs
But even the best recording equipment will not guarantee great recording for audio books. Make sure the studio is in the quietest location of the house. Avoid rooms where outside noises can be heard, which might be passing traffic, airplanes, birds, neighbors, or any background noise that is likely to be picked up by a very sensitive mic. More about the recording studio is explained in another article.
Watch out for the fan kicking in on your computer during recording, as the humming will be picked up by the mic. Keep the computer in a sufficiently ventilated or cool location that will prevent the cooling fan from cutting in.
Place the mic on a stable surface, preventing unwanted vibrations that the shockmount might not handle. Noise floor is also something to be aware of. Noise floor is the sound level when no narration is taking place. This is the room tone or ‘resting sound.’ The lower this is, the better.
Equipment for a Home Recording Studio
A good light source is essential for reading from a script. Avoid harsh artificial lights that are harsh on the eyes if reading for a long time. A reading light or night light will come in handy in a dim room.
Ideal Recording Studio Space for Recording Audio Books
A suitable recording space for narrating audio books is as important as the recording equipment. A room free of echoes or harsh resounds is best. Some recording artists will kill echoes by using absorbent foam material, but any absorbent fabric can be used such as fleece blankets. Avoid rooms with boilers or outside noises such as passing traffic. A small room will often be better than a grand room. The recording equipment should be placed on a stable surface and of course, comfort is paramount.
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