I have used Findaway for producing the audiobooks for The Bullet, Atlas Broken and the Paranormology Series. This involved building an audio-booth, buying equipment, training myself to speak properly, learning how to mix and edit, and then fighting with ACX requirements to make the audio acceptable.
By Cooper Alley, I think I’ve got the process down pat. It’s a lot of work, a lot of fun, but there’s a problem. Tedrick. Tedrick is the problem. Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef is at around 80k words, a far jump from the shorter 20k I was doing. Not an issue, just four times as long, right?
Right. Therein lies a couple of issues. I don’t have that time. Between work, family and other commitments, spare time is scarce. I doubt I would be able to get more than an half an hour’s worth of work in a night, and considering how many hours the final audiobook would be (around 9 hours or so), that’s a lot of recording and editing and re-recording for one little fuzzy headed guy to do on his own.
The other side is that Tedrick’s voice wants to be accented. The book is written in the Australian vernacular, but my voice is unsuited to it. It wants to be gravelly and tired and, while I might be able to get the accent right for a short while, keeping that up for days on end simply won’t work. Speaking of accents, unlike The Bullet, devoid of speech, and Paranormology, with only a handful of characters, Tedrick boasts over twenty five different characters, male and female, old, young, domestic and foreign and, darn it, I’m just not that good.
On top of all of this, Tedrick is a series. I would have to do this all over again. And again…
This is the situation where you look at your own capabilities and think ‘sure, I can do it, but can I do it well?’ Kind of like looking at your house and thinking, ‘sure, I can paint a wall, but can I paint a whole house?’ Given enough time, sure, but there are bound to be errors along the way, the finish won’t be all that great and you’re going to be bushed by the third room. If you need a house painted, you call a painter. If you need a car repaired, you call a mechanic.
This is where the professionals come in. The professionals who have trained their voices to be crisp and clear, who are no stranger the microphone, who have access to proper sound booths (not just wooden structures held together with screws, foam and staples), who have earnt a living out of doing just this. If you need an audiobook, you call a voice artist.
In short, I’m taking the plunge with Tedrick. I’m going to Findaway to enlist the services of a professional voice artist. We’ll see how that pans out.