Set Up - What You Need
I'll admit that I'm Apple-biased. Our home computers are Macs, and we use iPhones. The hardware is solid, the computers work great, and the phones play really well with the computers. So, needless to say, this post will be centered around Apple products. Not saying you can't follow it using a PC, but you'll have to make some adjustments.
Also, I'm not a professional sound technician. I'm not going to tell you to make a sound booth or get a thousand dollar mic. Most of what you need you should have at your home already. Since we're on the subject, let me reiterate, I'm not a professional sound technician. Just an author who wants to record his own audiobooks and sample chapters and spent a bit of time figuring out how to do it.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let's begin!
Though you can spend $$$ on a microphone, there are other options that give really great results too. When I recorded the first chapter of 122 Rules (see the 122 Rules Home Page for the sample chapter I recorded), I borrowed a mic. I was so happy with the quality that I bought one of my own.
The Miracle Sound Deluxe Lapel Mic is inexpensive and delivers high-quality sound.
|Miracle Sound Deluxe is a Miracle Mic!|
As I said in the beginning of the post, I'm a Mac guy through and through. So, if you can afford it, drop a little extra now and save yourself a ton of time and frustration. A couple of years ago, Erin was using my Windows Notebook. Updates and patches and failures and hardware problems had this saintly, patient woman climbing the walls. Finally, we bought a refurbished Mac with a one year warranty and AppleCare (in case something went wrong).
Erin's frustrations vanished, and she never looked back. We got Word for Mac, which is completely compatible with its PC cousin, so she could run her editing business and write.
The Mac comes with GarageBand for free which is designed to do things like create audiobooks.
|Garage Band - Free With Mac|
You will need a good pair of headphones for editing your tracks. Pops, snaps, breaths, and so forth will all need to be edited out, but that's impossible without being able to hear them. I tried it with just a standard pair of iPhone earbuds, and if you're in a pinch, they can work. But I recommend something a little meatier.
There are some great headsets out there, but Sony makes a super decent pair for a little bit of $.
Most people I know don't have a sound recording booth just laying around. So look around your home, and then get into the closet! We have a small walk-in closet, and the clothes make an amazing sound dampener. If you have a carpeted living room, you can even give that a shot. What you are after is someplace that doesn't allow the sound to echo and that will filter out ambient noise.
* Turn off your furnace/AC, dishwasher, etc. The microphone will totally pick up these background noises.
* Stay away from external walls and windows where the noise from cars, dogs, neighbors, etc. can spoil your recording.
* Avoid rooms with hardwood floors where the sound will echo.
That's it for part one. Get all your stuff set up, and in Part 2, we'll discuss getting Garage Band ready to record your masterpiece.
Ready to keep going? Part 2!
Until then, adventure on!