Category Archives: audiobook

so it begins

Set the computer at eye level, hit record and start to read off the copy I put on-screen.

What did I get?

Too much echo, if I go quiet and move really close I get a lot of mouth noise. There has to be a better way.
I edge backwards and forwards, I never realised just how much mouth noise I have when I speak.

I arranged and rearranged acoustic foam behind and around the microphone. I purchased a pop filter and a shield that mounted behind the mic trying to cut the echo.

To get rid of the mouth noise I started recording in shorter and shorter samples. This gave me another problem, the clips added a click between each phrase. Not just the click of stopping and starting, but what turned out to be a common problem with audio clips that need to have the zero point perfectly aligned.

This meant each recording session gave me a hundred clips to trim, align and edit … is this how it should work?

The gear…

I have a Blue snowball microphone, hp headset and a retired dell xps laptop.

The dell is overkill, but as my day job is computing I buy a new computer before the current one dies. So, cleared of sensible stuff, the dell is a pretty good ‘playtime’ machine.

The blue snowball was purchased 50% based on reading reviews and 90% on it looking cool. Yes, the maths shows heart ruled head. It is, however, a good microphone. However, see later progress before rushing to the stores.

Headset … I needed something for online meetings, they work … what’s the problem?

Last time I tried this, I had to set up my recording studio each time and this meant every session sounded different. This time, new office, I could set up and leave it all in place. Should be better quality, right?

Microphone, and computer set up on a head high shelf.

Software?

I’ve dabbled for years and always end up back with Audacity. I’ve tried to get my head around Reaper, but it hasn’t yet grabbed me. I will, I know one day give it another go, but at the moment, Audacity is the easy choice.

The pro favourite appears to be Adobe, but I am not in the creative league that justifies that kind of spend!

Audiobooks – How hard can it be?

A long flight, or a day of rain on holiday proves that if you read solidly for a full day, you will finish most normal sized books.

My children and grand children know I love to read out loud.

The idea to record me reading a book seemed a good one. I switched the microphone on my pc and read. I was reading one of the Narnia books, a favourite of the grandkids and of mine. The result seemed quite good and so I decided to do a bit more.

A while ago I bought a ‘decent’ microphone, with a view to trying some recordings. I actually got some way through recording Pog, but a house move killed the last bright idea.

New office, new sound.

I worked through the first few chapters. No matter how much I tried, I could not convince myself it sounded great.

Was this a technology, technique or talent failure?

I invite you to join my journey into the world of trying to make an audio book.