My Audio Book Recording Method, Part 1

If you're not already familiar with recording and audio production, you might be curious as to exactly how it's done.  I'll share my current method here, but keep in mind that, while there are accepted techniques, everyone has their own way of doing things.  Also, since we're always looking to make things faster and more efficient, methods will evolve over time with new equipment, software, or learned techniques.

When I'm working on an audio book, I like to record full chapters.  One of the challenging things about long-form narration is that you simply cannot do it in a single session.  The voice can only handle so much work at a time!  The difficulty is keeping the sound of the recording consistent over several sessions.

Many factors contribute to the sound of a given recording.  Some are easy to control, like your equipment (microphone, digital interface, etc.) and your recording space.  Some can take some effort, but are fully in your control.  These include where you microphone is positioned and how where you are relative to it (distance, angle, posture, etc.)  Some can be difficult to control, such as the general condition of your voice, which will vary day to day based on things like how well you slept the night before.

Microphone positioning is very important to getting a consistent sound.

Microphone positioning is very important to getting a consistent sound.

So what this means is that if you record a part of a chapter one day and then come back to record the second part the next day, they may sound subtly different.  It may not be much, but it's likely to be detectable to a listener, and it can be momentarily jarring to have that sort of shift in the sound in the middle of a chapter. 

Because of this, I prefer to do all the recording on a chapter, including the first editing pass, in a single session.  This makes it much easier to make the chapter sound seamless, even when having to go back through and make edits.  The tough part is that it requires a lot of 'studio' time, which can be difficult to come by for me.

Next time, I'll go into more detail about what actually happens as I record.

Thanks for reading!