Let us look into some of the tips for creating an audiobook at home-
Create an account with ACX–ACX is actually part of Audible.com, an Amazon.com subsidiary. They help in building and managing audio content that gets sold on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. When you start your account, all you’ll need is your bank information so that they can pay you royalties and find your title in the Amazon database. Once you have your account created, just take a look at the Audio Submission Requirements. Basically, you should know to:
- Include separate opening credits, chapter files, closing credits, and a 1-5 minute sample.
- Try to leave silence at the beginning and end of each chapter, and read the chapter headings aloud.
- Reduce noise on the low end, and make sure it’s not louder than -3dB Export at 192kbps MP3 at 44.1kHz
- Get your studio ready. Of course, by the studio, it will mean anywhere you can set up. All you’ll need is:
- A computer or an iPad. Using a Mac has a great benefit — because every Mac comes with many great features.
- Recording software. Garageband is the name of an app that comes free with a Mac. For more complicated projects at our studio, we can use ProTools, but for a single voice, Garageband is simply perfect. It is easy to use, even for beginners. It comes free with iPads, too. If you’re working on a PC, you’ll need an alternative too. I’ve heard from several people that Audacity is freeware and it’s outstanding. Also, recording options aren’t limited to mac folks.
- A microphone. You can try to get away with the internal mic on your computer or iPad, but a cleaner or less noisy sound is preferable and you’ll want to have a better mic. You can find some microphones here. Usually, an AKG C3000 (about $200, there are a lot of good mics in this price range) is used. But there is also a USB interface called a DUET2 that the mic plugs into (another $600). If you don’t feel like plunking down a huge amount before you’ve even started, here’s the good news: there are plenty of USB mics that are good enough for this work, and can also plug directly into your computer or iPad.
- Headphones. If you want to monitor yourself, you’ll need a pair of headphones. From my experience, basic headphones should be good enough.
- A quiet space. It’s obvious and logical too. Any extra room for noise can ruin a recording, so choose a space with very little or no extra noise. Also, open spaces with nothing on the walls can spring back the sound all over. Use blankets, foams, or whatever you can to dampen the sound effect.
- Start recording! Create a new voice track, and go. There isn’t meant to be a detailed tutorial on Garageband, so I won’t go into terminology or every setting, but generally here’s what to set in everyday language:
- Try making sure your master volume just hits the “yellow” during loud moments, stays in the mid-to-high green area, and never hits the red.
- Under Controls make sure your “noise gate” is checked, and set to around -65dB
- Also under controls, click on the compressor, the EQ, and give yourself a wee bit of reverb.
When you are ready to hit the record button & start speaking, keep this information in mind:
- Try keeping the mic about 6″ – 8″ from your face. You can also play around with this to find the perfect distance for your voice. When you have to whisper, you can come a little closer, and when you have to scream or shout, then pull back, and turn your head away from the mic a bit.
- Make sure that you’re speaking clearly, and make as few mistakes as possible. This keeps your flow going, and gives you a visual cue when you go back to edit and shows up as a little spike in the waveform. For a bigger mistake, stop recording, delete that range, and go again.
- Make sure that your pace is not too fast and not too slow. Try it in a few different ways, play it back. Let someone else listen to it and then compare.
- Minimize loud breath sounds, lip smacks, tongue clicks, pops, and other noises too. Moreover, you’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to edit out all this. You can also buy a cheap pop filter that helps with some of this, mostly the “p” sound.
- Try to keep characters, voices, and accents consistent, without making them too over-the-top or cartoony. And keep the energy of performance consistent
Once you’ve recorded your opening credits, try to create a new track. Then for each chapter, repeat the same things. So in the end, you’ll actually have a separate track for each chapter. This makes it easier to organize and export things.
So, these were some of the tips you can try while creating an audiobook.
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