I have only done two audiobooks so far, and I must say it is a painful process. It takes about twenty hours just to read the book, and then you have to spend long hours going over it wincing at the sound of your own voice. About three weeks, full time, in all.
I was a finalist in the Parsecs with Valhai, so I decided I had to do it REALLY well with the second book, Kwaide. I asked for a decent microphone from the family for my birthday, got up at four in the morning to read two episodes each day (to avoid birds singing, cars passing, etc.) Then I declicked the whole thing by hand … which takes a loooong time. I didn’t want to just press the declick button in Audacity, because it seemed to degrade the sound quality. Then I added space because I decided it all sounded too rushed. In short, I spent a lot of time trying to make the quality of the audiobook much better.
Result? Turns out that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! Although listeners have been generous, the one technical constructive criticism I have read says that Kwaide is not so good as Valhai, which was recorded on a 12 Euro microphone, declicked automatically and normalised! And that the spaces are too long, and spoil the thread of the story. And I am afraid they are right!
So … my pretensions of actually becoming a Parsec winner one day will have to wait a while! I have absolutely no idea what to do with the next book … how to make it a better audiobook, how to actually achieve that level of “excellence” I was aiming for.
I seem to have a very “clicky” mouth/jaw, which drives me round the bend, and nothing I do seems to make it better. I can eat, not eat, drink, not drink, and the clicks are still there.
Another thing. If I use the Levelator it brings the audio up, but I can hear the clicks more. If I declick by hand the audio quality (I think) is better, but I don’t know how to declick in the middle of words … I spent a long time trying to find that irritating click buried in the audiowave. Then you chop away at it, only to find half the word has gone too.
So – if you are expecting advice on how to record a perfect audiobook, I am obviously NOT the right person to talk to! I hope I will slowly get better, but believe me … it is not as easy as you might think! Advice welcome.