How To Record Your Own Audio Book
These days we have a large variety of video screens, and glimmering lights howling for our attention, some people like to to unwind their visual cortex and return back to the spirit nourishing art of good old storytelling.
Let’s talk about business and concentrate on what are the tools that are needed to record an audio book. We will try to keep it cheap:
- Microphone (Preferably one with either foam over it or a pop filter.)
- Sound recording and editing software (for example Audacity.)
- Something written
- Pencils and/or colored pencils.
Once you have your recording software installed and you have thoroughly reviewed the instruction tutorial that comes with the software (You can find it menu under Help). Have plugged in your microphone and headphones and also tried them a bit. Assume that the book that you intend to record is in your hand.
Preparing your material
Go through your book. Use colored pencils and sticky notes so that you could make notes regarding how you want the things to sound. Use of colored pencils are suggested so that you could highlight the part of the book you would like to revert back for making changes or have visual clue as to how you want certain part of the story to sound like. For example you can mark green for happiness, red for anger etc.
Also it is suggested to record the noise of the room in which you are recording. Record the silence, it can be used later to fill in the gaps.
Recording at the highest quality as possible or at least a minimum of format of 16 bit 44.1 KHz is required. This will make a large enough file size, however it is better to decrease the size of the file and retain good quality than to try to dig out quality from smaller, and poor quality file. Try to record in stereo also if possible
You’ll additionally need to watch out for the Input Levels because you will get sound distortion if they hit the zero mark. Alter your Input Volume as needs be as you record.
Ensure you have your notes all at one place, a room that is free from unwanted sounds, and that other people in the house knows that you are recording and not to bother you. You might need to think of a visual method for them standing out enough to be noticed just in the event that they truly require you, say perhaps if there’s an important telephone call. If you need, you could go for an On Air light
Your audio book can be recorded the way you like, however a couple of ideas are here that you may consider i.e. Straight Recording and Punch Recording. Just reading and recording and editing the mistakes later on, is called Straight Recording. Whereas, in Punch Recording you have to record it and edit it as you go. You will find Straight recording much quicker and easier but difficult to edit. Straight Recording is a better technique specially when there are other performers and somebody looking after the editing thing.
It is recommended the break down the content of the book into reasonable sizes. By reasonable sizes it means the portion of text that can be read out easily by the narrator. Preferably a whole chapter should be recorded at a time. However sometimes it’s not possible as some chapters of the book are merely a couple of pages and the other chapter can be 33% of the book. This tip will keep the narrator’s voice crisp and make your recording sound smooth.
Some people make a big mistake of speaking too fast while recording, thinking that they would finish the task quickly this way. However realize that you are telling a story. Take some time and imagine that you are telling a story to someone and you want him to absorb each and every word.
Sound Effects and Character Voices
You always have a choice of using special voice for each character and using sound effects. You can play around a lot with that so that the listener’s pleasure can be enhanced. But remember that you have to be exceptionally consistent all through the book with voices and sound effects. For example if a character begins with a mid-western pronunciation, he should have it throughout the book or it would be difficult for a listener to identify when that character is talking.
Format Your File
Now you should record and edit each chapter, with a number and clear file name. For example, Chapter 1 – The Beginning. This tip not only makes it easier to find the chapter on your computer but also make it easier for people to find your book on internet. The next task is to convert each file into a usable and compact format. The common format is MP3. In Audacity, you would tap on File > Export. Click on ‘Options’ in the new window that opens. Here you can set the Bit Rate Mode and Quality for the MP3. 192 kbps is prescribed by a number of people, however you can go for 128 kbps too. Click OK and watch it working.
You are almost there. For the remaining chapter, just follow the export procedure and you have got an audiobook. Now you have so much to do with it – submit it to LibriVox, iTunes or any other sites that distribute audiobooks for free. You may even just record an audiobook to CD and keep it safe to be used in the future. You can even get a vinylLP design out of your recording just for $80. Isn’t that really cool?