Literary Monster


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Recording Audiobooks

Last updated Apr 5, 2023 Edit Source

A reference guide for recording and publishing my own audiobooks.

# Equipment

# Limitations & Problems

# My Recording Location

My tiny urban condo lacks a closet or small room suitable for recording, and cities are noisy, so I use my building’s movie room. It has moderate soundproofing and soft walls. Combined with my microphone’s isolation shield, it’s not bad!

Audiobook files need to have a noise floor (silence) of -60DB. When I choose a quiet time of day, I can record at -56DB. That’s pretty close, and I can tweak the noise floor a little when I process the files.

# Recording as Proofing

To streamline my work I’m combining audio recording with proofreading. Once a chapter is complete and edited (content edits + line edit) I begin recording.

When reading work aloud, proofreading errors stand out clearly. I pause the recording, fix the error in the manuscript file, and re-record that sentence, all on the fly.

Update 4/23: This works really well! In my first complete recording of an audiobook I found 10 small errors that had slipped through despite editing and beta reading, across 62,000 words.

# Preparing the Manuscript for Recording

# Pre-Record Checklist

# When Starting a New Project

# Useful Commands in Audacity

# Punch and Roll

For backing up and re-starting when you’ve messed up.

Place the marker (line) before your spoken error or flub. Hit SHIFT + D and the previous five seconds will play. You can speak over your own voice to get into the correct rhythm. At the marker, recording will resume.

# Audiobook Plugins for Audacity

ACX Check Loudness Normalization

# Audiobook Editing


# Mastering the Audio Files


Audiobook Mastering - Audacity Wiki Preparing an Audiobook File for Recording