I haven’t finished the UPF Assault Carrier yet as this week has been pretty crazy. It’s close, but not quite done. I still want you have a post this week so we’re going to try something new. This post would have gone up earlier today but I ran into some technical issues that I had to work around in getting this post up. This will be a fairly short post.
I’ve been thinking about making an audio book out of my Discovery novel. Not so much because anyone is clamoring for one but because I want to play around with the format and gain some more experience in recording and audio editing.
To that end, I sat down, busted out my Blue Yeti microphone, fired up Audacity, and recorded the prologue to the book. That took about 15-20 minutes. Then I sat down and started editing. That took a bit over an hour. Maybe close to an hour and a half. I wasn’t actually paying that close attention. Partially because I needed to fix things, and partially as I had to remember how to get around in Audacity.
I learned quite a bit even from this short exercise which I’ll discuss a bit below. Some I expected and others I should have expected, but none of them were real surprises.
In any case, here’s my first cut at this, a 12 minute clip of the prologue. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Here are some of the things I learned while working on this initial part of this project.
- I need to breath quieter. Most of it has been edited out and there were definitely parts where you couldn’t hear my breaths but I still needed to edit out quite a few, especially in the long pauses. And I’m sure there are a few I missed.
- I need to work on my tonal inflections a bit more. This wasn’t bad for a fairly cold read. I had read over the prologue once before I started reading, and I’m the one who wrote it, but I probably could have put some more time in to thinking about exactly how I wanted certain passages to sound.
- I should practice a few different voices. I put some variation into the voices of different characters but not a lot. That is definitely not my skill area.
- Don’t be afraid of retakes. There were several passages that I completely flubbed. I just paused and started over. These were super easy to remove in editing and I shouldn’t be afraid to reread anything for a second or third take. I should also be willing to go back and redo sections that I notice while editing. I didn’t do that this time so you might have caught them. There was even one section where I used the first few words from the first take and the rest from the second take since I liked the intonation better for the beginning of the sentence in the first one.
- This doesn’t go fast. I had originally thought it would take about half an hour to edit the clip but it ended up taking over twice as long. I’m sure it will go faster as I get more experience both in making fewer mistakes that have to be edited and in editing more efficiently. But I still need to budget a sizeable chunk of time to this.
- I need to learn how to use Audacity (or some other tool) more effectively. It has all kinds of bells and whistles but I only know how to do very basic stuff with it. That might be able to help speed up the editing process.
I’m definitely going to keep working on this. I don’t know how often I’ll actually do the recording or how often (if at all) I’ll post segments here, but it will be a fun project to pursue.
I’d be very interested in hearing your feedback. Did it read too slow? To fast? What audio issues did you pick up on? Do you have suggestions on improvements? How does my voice sound?
That last one is definitely one I’m not qualified to judge on. As everyone knows, your voice sounds much different to you when you hear a recording as opposed to when you’re speaking. That’s due to some of the sound you hear while speaking is from vibrations transmitted through your head and skull to the ears which isn’t present in the recording. I’ve gotten used to the sound of my recorded voice, but I’m still not a judge of whether it is pleasant to listen to. My wife likes it, but she’s biased. What do you think?
In any case, I hope you enjoyed it. If you’d like to have me post more segments regularly, let me know.