Best software for talking book recording

Geoffrey1928

New member
I am hoping to set up a little home recording studio, which will be purely used for talking book recording. I will of course have many questions to ask, but initially what would be the best software to use? I would like to occasionally use sound effects, perhaps on occasions to slightly alter voice. Help would be appreciated.
 

DaleVO

Poor Farm Productions
Geoffrey'
"Best" is a subjective term. I am inferring that you are just starting out, in the audiobook recording realm. Until you get your feet wet, I would suggest giving Audacity (it is free) a try. It will let you learn the basics of recording and editing, while providing enough tools to start your learning curve. If you are recording audiobooks for a rights holder, I would suggest asking them about adding sound effects. Typically, sound effects are not added to commercially-delivered audiobooks.
Dale
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I hate recording this kind of stuff. The amount of editing and repairing means it takes huge amount of time - and is also incredibly boring. probably more interesting if it is your voice, but then you'll get even more picky about retakes.
 

DaleVO

Poor Farm Productions
I hate recording this kind of stuff. The amount of editing and repairing means it takes huge amount of time - and is also incredibly boring. probably more interesting if it is your voice, but then you'll get even more picky about retakes.
Yep- it's not sexiest form of VO work and a low RoI. But then again, I am no Don LaFontaine, although I have tried to play him on occasion.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
I hate recording this kind of stuff. The amount of editing and repairing means it takes huge amount of time - and is also incredibly boring. probably more interesting if it is your voice, but then you'll get even more picky about retakes.
As someone prone to talking to himself, I get pretty tired of hearing my voice, not to mention the one in my head but I digress.

I had sort of the same issue with video editing till I got serious about logging my work. Run your recordings in established sections such as pages and keep a log book marking notes and time. Leave it run and mark your time and log, "strike last take" if you didn't like it. Even add it verbally into the recording. The pauses are important as it is easier to visually find the breaks. The what software choice should be second to the work flow for this type of work. This is where you'll save most of your time.
 

Geoffrey1928

New member
First of all, although you may find it boring Rob, I find it far from boring. I did a lot of recording some 15 years ago (did a lot of recording on classic literature that was sent to Russia). , I can't for the life of me remember what software I used. I have been involved with the theatre i the past, so know all the ins and outs of sound effects etc (copyright). My first piece of work will be A Christmas Carol, although I may start doing a number of Facebook pieces (no face....just audio from me). I did my thesis at University on Jack the Ripper and have a great deal of stuff, I even got a guided tour round the real Black Museum in London. I have been in contact with a local group who do a talking newspaper for the blind....so I know there will be a great deal that I can get my teeth into. For the term best, swap decent. Audacity is the name that seems to keep cropping up, so will probably be my first port of call.
 

Geoffrey1928

New member
As someone prone to talking to himself, I get pretty tired of hearing my voice, not to mention the one in my head but I digress.

I had sort of the same issue with video editing till I got serious about logging my work. Run your recordings in established sections such as pages and keep a log book marking notes and time. Leave it run and mark your time and log, "strike last take" if you didn't like it. Even add it verbally into the recording. The pauses are important as it is easier to visually find the breaks. The what software choice should be second to the work flow for this type of work. This is where you'll save most of your time.
Thanks for your post - I posted before seeing it. I always used to insert notes into my recordings, thanks, hopefully I can call on you in the none too distant future.
 

Orson

Member
I found audacity a pain in the bum. Just when I thought I had mastered it I found problems with it after rendering. To be honest with Reaper you get a free bash with it and its only $60.00. You will start from scratch again but??????

I would concentrate on your voice booth, because I guarantee you will become obsessed about any noises because everything with audiobooks is in your headphones.
 

DaleVO

Poor Farm Productions
For the term best, swap decent. Audacity is the name that seems to keep cropping up, so will probably be my first port of call.
When I started VO recording, I used Audacity (decent), for a short time. About 9 years ago, I bought Reaper and have not looked back since that time. It has never failed me.
Dale
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I'd didn't mean to imply the end product is boring - but sitting there while somebody reads, and mispronounces one word wrong 17 times really is mind numbing to do for other people - as I said, if you record yourself it's very different, but progress is so slow. I worked out that at best, ten hours worth of words in a novel took at least 20 hours to record, and then another 20 hours to edit. A standard size novel - not an epic, is easily a weeks work - and one thing I did learn was to number takes very very carefully or the edit is a nightmare. Whenever there is a stop and a pickup, I always got them to read out the chapter and page number every time so you can get things in the right order. Chapter 4 page 62 take 6 - comes in soooooo handy. This would be saved as 4-62-6.wav so in the list, everything can be sorted numerically.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
We had an internal guy who formally was on classical radio. Great voice, good sense of timing but you add a producer and creative director, sessions would drag on. His voice was often used in radio ads but also in every corporate video and even the phone system. You couldn't escape hearing his voice.
 
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