Tag Archives: J.R. Lowe

New Narration Studio.

I have been working on a new narration studio.

I started my career with a audio program, a headphone-microphone set and a comfortable quiet apartment.

In NC my office has a lot of hard surfaces. I upgraded my microphone and noticed I had considerable echo and background noises. I moved my office around to get to a solid inner wall.

I tried a pvc frame with heavy comforters over it to quiet the extra noise. I purchased a better quality condenser microphone. That gave me better sound quality.

I had a mixture of success. I made a sound box for the microphone. That helped too.

I continued to struggle for a way to improve my studio situation. So recently I sat and listened in my basement. It is much quieter down there. Up against the two solid walls in the back.  We have a bit of humidity and run a humidifyer down there.

So I got the bright idea of making a studio down there.  Being on a tight budget I had to work with materials that were cheap and readily available.

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I trimmed the cardboard refrigerator box down about a foot and a half with a jig saw. The bottom of the box was a little bit whimpy and lacked some integrity.

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I framed it on the outside with furrn strips 1″ X 2″. I stapled them with a power stapler from the inside.

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It made a nice tight frame. I screwed through the strips into the plywood floor I’d made from recycled materials I had around the garage. I used the jig saw to cut a door way in the smaller side of the box.

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Later I’m going to reinforce the door with a bit of the furring strip material. I also have to cut a window yet.

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I have some interesting plans for decorating the outside.  Of course inside needs a light. I still have to figure out air flow… I will need to make that window I mentioned so that I can see the computer monitor of the audio program from inside the “studio”. I will also need a shelf outside to hold the computer and monitor.  I will need some kind of shelf inside for the condenser mike. I also need something to hold the tablet with the script on it.  I have a chair that doesn’t squeek.  I will need some carpet for the floor.  I will also need to coat the inside with foam.  I have something like the textured foam (egg crate).  It should make a nice surface for live quiet recording.

The sky is the limit.

Tardis

 

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Woes of Professional Narrating

This summer I moved from my temporary home of Chattanooga, TN to a community that I found I could make connections and dig my roots in deep.  Waynesville is a small town outside Asheville, NC. It has a folksy village feel. The arts community is diverse and rich here. Every move even good ones are unsettling.

I spent some time derailed. Unpacking, making home comfortable. I battled with narrating all summer and fighting my computer. I finished one book and got it into the hands of the publisher. My computer kept crashing with the narration program. Then September we went to Dragoncon. I came home with conference crud. You can’t narrate without a voice. I’ve realized this is something to be protected.

I was out six weeks with coughing and no voice. I start settling down to finish the book I am working on and the computer just can’t go on. So, I give in and send it to someone to have the thing completely reformatted to see if it fixes the issues. 

I brought “Bessie” home and reloaded the audio software, did the prescribed updates. The sound was horrible….distant and bottom of the well.  I won’t bore you with all the details. I spent two weeks troubleshooting with the software company. I removed and reloaded the software, dabbled with all the settings on my computer and the software…bought a new microphone….loaded the software onto another computer. Finally my S.O. bought me a desktop. We loaded the software there and it worked. I furiously went to work narrating. While I did this I kept the browser open. I would hear a little ding each time a email or FB message loaded. I thought nothing of it while I narrated ten chapters.  

Then, in listening to a segment for editing I heard a little ding in the background. I have to do my own sound engineering for the job. I realized that little audible ding I heard from the email/FB somehow recorded into the system. 

I now have ten chapters to listen to every word…every word…with intense focus listening for that little ding to re-record the sentence.  In a job where time is money. I just shot myself in the foot.

Dang… hard first year lessons of a narrator. 

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First Hard Lesson Learned

Well, the first hard lesson of this adventure is behind me.

One of the female characters in the book has a beautiful, yet unusual name. I wrote to the author and asked her how to pronounce it. I ‘thought’ I had it.

Eighteen chapters into the story narrating it. I just kept having this nagging feeling that I wasn’t getting that name right.  I did four sound bites saying the name different ways.

Sure enough. The way I had been pronouncing it for Eighteen Chapters was WRONG> Ah laws a mercy.

Now, fixing that kind of mistake can be done without renarrating the entire work. However, each time you say someone’s name there is different kinds of inflections based on what is being said in the sentence.

Never the less. I really want the author to be happy with the work. Nothing is a bigger turn off than not saying a name right.  I hopefully won’t need to make this mistake again. So, here I go fixing my flub up.

 

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Let The Journey Begin

Thank you for dropping by today. I am beginning the journey as an audio book narrator.

I have always had a good voice. I missed the opportunity to be a radio D.J. The station manager tried to get me on the team after hearing my voice over the phone. I was young and silly and headed in a different direction at the time.

Then during my motherhood years my MIL said with my “voice” I could always get work on one of those 1-900 sex phone lines.

err. I didn’ t think I wanted to do “THAT” LOL. I just didn’ t know how to use the career guidance until now. Audio Books! Proof that you can re-invent yourself all along the journey.

I promise to share the ups and downs, the aww’s, the ohhh’s, the O craps. You will laugh with me and perhaps sometimes “AT” me. It’s all cool. I hope you will come along for the adventure.

 

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