My husband and I have recently started recording audio books. I have logged many (many) years of acting on stage and in film and Doug has put in an equally large number of years performing and recording music. We both love reading books and listening to audio books, so when the opportunity arose to narrate and produce an audio book, we thought, "Absolutely! This is right up our alley(s)".
I mean, how hard could it be, right? Little did we know . . . .
When I was asked by the author of that first audio book to write as a guest blogger about my experience, we thought it would be a nice short piece, but (as you can probably tell by this long-winded introduction) I just couldn't seem to stop writing, so it became a 4-part series.
This is Part Two in that series
With the first hurdle cleared (getting the contract to produce a book), the real work began. Now we had decisions to make. How do we set up the recording space? Which microphone do we use? Which pre-amp? Do we use a compressor? Which program will we record into and edit with? How do we map out a schedule? It seems with every question we answered, a new one materialized.
Fortunately, for me, we had my husband’s experience to guide us. As a musician, songwriter, and composer, he’s logged hundreds, possibly thousands, of hours recording, editing, and manipulating sound. He already had the basics we needed to produce a quality recording. The fact that his expertise was in music rather than the spoken word, meant we had some adjusting to do; but for the most part, we had all the tools we needed.
We set up a spare bedroom as our sound booth. Old duvets lined the walls and hung in strategic positions to baffle the sound and muffle outside noises. After testing various microphone/pre-amp combinations, we settled on the one we liked the best. We set it up in a portable isolation box to isolate the sound even more. I brought in my water and green apple slices (which I’d been told I would need, but wasn’t really sure what to do with), sat down in my chair, my copy on the music stand in front of me, eager to finally get into the “fun” part.
I couldn’t see or hear my husband. He was in front of the computer in the room adjacent to mine, holding a copy of the manuscript in front of him so he could follow along for continuity.
“Are you ready?” he yelled.
“I said, are you ready?” he yelled, louder.
“Yes” I yelled back.
“Ow! You don’t have to yell! I can hear you through the headphones!”
We were off to a great start.