Everything You Need to Know About Recording an Audiobook in Melbourne.
Updated: Jan 23
If you're looking to produce an audiobook, Melbourne is a great place to do it. There are a number of professional recording studios available, as well as some great home-recording options. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the pros and cons of both methods, and how long the entire process should take. We'll also give you an idea of how much it will cost to have your audiobook produced.
First let's talk about the recording process of an audiobook. There are two main options. Either you record it at home or you go to a professional studio. As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to both. Let's take a look!
Recording At Home
There are a few things to consider before recording your next audiobook in a home studio. On the pro side, it can be more affordable than working with a professional recording company. You also have complete control over the recording process, so you can ensure that the final product meets your standards. Additionally, you can usually get started recording more quickly than if you were working with a professional studio. However, there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider. For one thing, you may not have access to the same high-quality equipment that a professional studio would have. This could result in lower-quality audio. Additionally, you'll need to be comfortable with handling all aspects of the recording process on your own, from setting up the equipment to editing the final recording. Audible ACX have very strict standards for the delivered audio of an audiobook that is very technical. If you don't know about these terms in audio and what they mean, you might be in for a few late night Youtube sessions. The next thing that is really important is a quiet place to record that doesn't have any reflective surfaces. If you have noise coming into your recordings from some builders next door or you live under a flight path, you will have a lot of extra work to do in editing. But if you're up for the challenge and willing to put in the extra work, recording your audiobook in a home studio can be a great way to save money and maintain creative control.
Recording At A Professional Studio
There are a number of pros and cons to recording your audiobook in a professional recording studio. On the plus side, you'll have access to high-quality equipment that can help you achieve a polished, professional sound. You'll also be able to work with experienced engineers who can help you troubleshoot any technical problems and learn from the tips and tricks they have learnt from years of recording audiobooks. They also have a soundproof vocal booth with comfy chair and iPad Pro to scroll quietly through the book as you read. They will also proof read all the words you are recording and will check you are sticking to the script and to any characters voices that might appear in the audiobook. This means you can relax and concentrate on your performance. When it comes to the editing process, most engineers will guarantee their fils will be accepted into the strict Audible ACX standards for audio deliverables. This takes a lot of stress out of the process, knowing that a professional is editing the audiobook to a professional standard. On the downside, professional recording studios can be quite expensive, and you may need to schedule your recording sessions around the studio's other clients. You'll also need to be comfortable working in a formal setting, which may not be ideal if you prefer a more relaxed environment. Ultimately, whether or not recording in a professional studio is right for you will depends on your budget, your comfort level, and your desired end result.
Editing and Mastering Your Audiobook At Home vs Professional
Editing and mastering your audiobook at home vs professional is a matter of personal preference. If you have the time, knowledge, and patience, editing and mastering your audiobook at home can save you money. However, if you're not confident in your abilities or if you don't have the time to do it right, professional editing and mastering is worth the investment. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.
If you plan to edit and master your audiobook at home, you'll need to invest in some quality audio equipment. This includes dedicated software with editing facilities and noise reduction plug-ins. You will need a good area to work in that has minimal reflective surfaces around you. You will also need some studio monitors and a good pair of reference headphones. These are headphones designed for mixing and sound quite different to headphones designed to listen to pop music on. You'll also need to be comfortable with using these tools and have a basic understanding of audio editing. If time is an issue, keep in mind that editing and mastering an audiobook can take several hours, depending on its length and you may need to re-edit the whole thing if it gets rejected from Audible ACX because of a technical issue such as the noise floor is too high.
On the other hand, if you hire a professional editor and master, they will take care of all the technical aspects for you. All you need to do is provide them with your raw recording. This can save you a lot of time and stress. Professional editors also have access to better quality audio equipment than most people have at home, which can result in a higher quality end product. The downside is that it will cost you money to hire a professional, and you may need to wait a few weeks or months for the final product.
How Long Should Recording and Editing Take?
The length of time it takes to record and edit an audiobook depends on its length, how well-prepared you are, and whether you're recording at home or in a studio. A good rule of thumb is that it should take twice as long to record the audiobook as it would take someone to read it aloud. So based on 55 words per minute or 9300 words per finished hour. That means if your book is 85,000 words it will take around 19 hours to record and will play for around 9.13 hours.
Editing time will usually take twice the time that the recording took. So on your 85,000 work book that took 19 hours to record, expect 38 hours of editing. So all up thats around 57 hours of studio time. This may vary depending on how complicated the text is and how many characters the book has. If there are lots of different characters involved, you are constantly having to check the tone and accent of the various characters throughout the book to make sure they don't change or vary by the end.
How much will it cost to record and edit my audiobook at home?
If you're thinking about recording your audiobook at home, you might be wondering how much it will cost. The short answer is: it depends. The cost of recording your audiobook at home will depend on a number of factors, including the length of the book, the quality of the recording equipment you buy, and the fees associated with hiring a professional narrator if you are not narrating yourself. To give you an idea of a basic setup with laptop, software, a mic, pop filter, reflection filter, headphones, recording interface, studio monitors and finally some sound treatment for the space, you will be looking at between $3,000 for budget gear and $5,000 for high end gear. That might sound like a lot but if you are planning on producing multiple audiobooks, then this is around the same cost as paying a professional studio to record and edit the audiobook for you. With this in mind, if you are only planning the one audiobook, it may not be worth it once you add in all the learning you will have to do but if you are planning a series of audiobooks, it may be well worth it.
How much will it cost to record and edit at a professional recording studio?
Studio professionals charge audiobook recording in two different ways. By the hour spent in the studio and by a finished / produced hour of audiobook. For example, if a studio charges $100 per hour and the recording session lasts six hours (about the time that it takes for 1 x hour of completed audio), the total cost would be $600. However, if the studio charges $500 per finished hour of audio, the cost would be $500. So, which pricing method is better? Ultimately, it depends on the project and the client's budget. But one thing is for sure: a good narrator is worth their weight in gold.
When averaging out the total cost of producing an audiobook in Melbourne, lets look at an 85,000 word book. Here are the calculations based on the $100 per hour or $500 per finished hour of audio.
So 85,000 words will be 9.13 hours of finished audio and take around 50 hours of recording and editing time int he studio. This means that method A (hourly will end up costing you $5,000 and method B would be $4,565. Remember though, the advantage of method B is that the cost is relatively fixed and has less chance of blowing over budget. With method A, it could end up costing less if you are very efficient and a good reader, but it could also blow over budget if things don't go to plan.
Should I hire a professional Narrator or read it yourself?
There are many things to consider when deciding whether to hire a professional narrator or record your audiobook yourself. On the plus side, professional narrators have years of experience and can usually provide a polished should that you may never be able to achieve. The sound of the voice is very important when someone has to listen to it for 9 x hours in a row! The best thing to do if you are not sure, is ask for the opinion of the sound of your voice from a recording professional and also some friends before deciding. However, there are also some drawbacks to hiring a professional. First of all, it can be expensive. When compared to narrating yourself, an 85,000 word book may cost you an extra $2-4000. In addition, you may not have as much control over the final product if you're not the one doing the recording. Finally, there's always the risk that the narrator simply won't be able to do justice to your book. Ultimately, it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide what's best for your project.
So that's it, everything you need to know about producing your audiobook in Melbourne or Australia. Beak Tank is a professional audiobook production studio in Melbourne that can help you with all your recording and editing needs. Contact Ben at Beat Tank today to discuss turning your book into a great sounding audiobook.