How to Create Professional Audio Books from Scratch

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My name is Alan Twigg and I’m writing this article to offer advice to anyone thinking of creating their own professional audio books.

In the New Year I came up with the idea of creating professional children’s stories and offering them for download on the internet. The thing was, however, while I had someone to write the stories – my mother – and someone to market the stories – me, I knew nobody who knew about how to record the stories professionally. I knew it must be reasonably easy, since I only wanted to create an audio book containing speech.

I started doing research on Google – but all the articles I found contained so much technical gobbledygook – I was soon put off. So I went to my local music store for advice on what to buy. I decided to use my computer to create the audio books and this is what I bought:

1 microphone stand

1 pop-screen (that’s a piece of material that is placed just in front of the microphone to stop your “Ps” from popping)

1 studio microphone

1 software program (Wavelab)

1 USB Audio/MIDI interface (TASCAM US 122 with phantom power)

1 pair of heaphones

It all came to 650 euros (800) dollars.

I connected my Audio/MIDI interface (this is basically a really good sound card in an external case) to my computer using the USB cable provided. I then set up my microphone and attached the microphone cable to the MIDI interface. After installing the software, I was ready to go.

The results have been great and I find Wavelab software powerful and incredibly easy to use.

Some Audio Book recording tips

I first get my entire copy ready before starting the recording. I pin the sheets of paper with the text that I am going to read in front of me onto the wall. Then, at about 8 inches away from the microphone, I start to talk. The more natural you can be the more interesting you will sound to your listeners. I found that the best thing to do is to stand in front of the microphone and make gestures in the same way as you would when talking to a close friend. If you stand there stiff like a statue, you’ll come across in the same way in your recording.

Another thing that I like to do before starting the recording is to get myself into a really good mood. Again, this will add to the impact of your recording. I always listen to a few uplifting songs and get enthusiastic before starting. You should also try to make sure that you keep the same distance from the microphone.

And that’s it – I hope that this article will save you a little bit of time setting up your own home recording studio and I wish lots of success with your audio books.

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