If I Want To Begin A Home Studio For Audio Books?

Updated On
22-May-2020
By
Ken Theriot

Below is the latest in Home Recording Yahoo Answers Q&As.  There is a bit of a departure in this question, as it relates primarily to starting an audio business. 

Also, the answer that was posted is pretty much in line with our advice!  That, also, is a departure from the norm;).  See the Home Brew Audio reply to this question at the end of the post.

Original question and answer

Q: I am thinking about putting together a home audio studio to record audio books. Any ideas what equipment I might need? I already have a microphone with a usb hook-up. Will I also need an interface of some kind? And what about a sound room? Can you make much money recording audio books? Thanks.

A (not the HBA answer): With a USB mic you can download audacity and start recording right away. Record in a small room or build your own isolation booth to reduce room noise in the recording.

There might be some legal issues to worry about regarding rights to the work. I have no idea who to contact about that . Maybe the publisher, if you can find out who that is.

On the budget question, I can see going either way. You'll probably wont make much unless you land a deal to do a lot of books or something like that, which is actually pretty unlikely and rare.

Here is the Home Brew Audio answer

We agree with starting out using the USB mic.  If the mic is close enough to your mouth, and you don't have a lot of noise in the room, you don't really need a sound room. 

However, anything you can do to reduce room noise (the reverb and echo that comes off the walls in the room) and other noise (babies crying, dogs, lawn mowers, etc.) would be helpful. 

We disagree with the "small room" aspect of the published answer.  A bedroom would probably suffice, but the bigger the room, the longer it takes sound waves to travel to walls and ceilings and back again, so getting your mouth close to the microphone (like 3-4 inches) will work better (less echo and reverb).

There are two excellent articles on this site that will help you. First is about voice-over recording and how to get started - Voice Over Jobs: Useful Tips For Landing Them and the 5-part series How to Build a Home Recording Studio.

Some of our helpful courses

Also two of our courses that will be very helpful for voiceover recording are:

How To Create A Home Recording Studio (4 different budgets) and 6 Mostly Free Tips For Making Your Audio Sound Expensive.

As far as the money to be made -- voice over work is extremely competitive.  there is money to be made, but you have to be VERY persistent about auditioning for work. 

BTW, do NOT just read a copyrighted book and try to sell it.  That is extremely illegal.  If you want to sell your own book projects, go to Librivox.org for a catalogue of books in the public domain.

Cheers!

Ken

2 comments on “If I Want To Begin A Home Studio For Audio Books?”

  1. If you would like to do this on a regular professional bases, here's what you'll need:

    -A contract with a publishing company.
    -An audio interface (like these M-Audio ones): http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&ID=USBinterfaces
    As you are recording just a reading voice, an interface with 1 input will do just fine.
    -A good microphone for voice, like the RE20 (used in radio and audio books) http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=RE20&_sacat=See-All-Categories
    -Recording software. Anything basic works, but I suggest Pro Tools.
    -Good reference studio monitors for EQ of voice. http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&ID=studiomonitors

    Hope this helps!
    References :
    Digidesig Certified
    Apple Certified
    Recording Engineer for 6 years.

  2. with a USB mic you can download audacity and start recording right away. use a small room or build your own isolation booth to reduce room noise in the recording.

    there might be some legal issues you'll have to worry about regarding rights to the work. i have no idea who to contact on stuff like that (publishers, writers, distrubuters, etc).

    as far as money goes i can kind of see that going either way. more that likely i bet you wont make too much unless you land a deal to do a lot of books or something like that. you never know
    References :
    recording engineer

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