How to Create Professional Audio Books from Scratch

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.