Narrating an Audiobook #2


The most difficult part about editing the audio version of Ballad of the Northland was controlling the sound– far and away a harder process then writing the book in the first place (at least it seemed so at the time!).

Everything from mice scurrying in the walls to a jet-liner droning overhead at thirty-thousand feet, a toddler crying (our son Julian) several rooms away, to a logger running his chainsaw in a distant wood lot–controlling the sound for the audio production was one of the more hair pulling-ly frustrating experiences in recent memory.

I was using a fantastic little piece of hardware called a Roland–05 Wave/MP3 Recorder, a     hand-held piece of  technology that in theory meant that I should be able to just take my manuscript and set up shop wherever it seemed ‘quietest’ to me–an assumption on my part that unfortunately did not work out quite as I planned….

The qualities of sound & silence turned out to be more complex than I’d ever imagined–if I recorded a passage in my office, the passage sounded one way; if I moved outside, or to a another room, it sounded completely different (sometimes it would even sound like it were being recorded at the bottom of a well if the space were too enclosed!).

I ended up standardizing that particular piece of the formula–speaking  in terms of where I would set my ‘studio’–and settled on our old dog food/tack room, the same place I wrote the manuscript in the first place.

The ‘book’ filled up eight individual 700 MB CD-R’s for a total length of 10 hours & 20 minutes, and took approximately 60 hours of recording and nearly 75 hours of editing to bring it to completion–mind you, I’m only counting my time; my wife spent many many hours creating the labels & art used to decorate each individual disc. The editing tool I used was this fantastic piece of software pictured to the left, Roxio Creator 2011. There was a very steep learning curve right at the outset of the project, but the payoff was immense!

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….

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