Thursday, March 1, 2012

Island Earth - First Steps

So. I visited Project Gutenberg to begin looking through the books that are freely available. Actually I looked through the “short story” category. I figured short stories would be some good practice before moving on to a full-length novel. Several of the stories interested me so I downloaded the text as possible narrating projects. I even found one from one of my favorite sci-fi writers, Ben Bova.

I also started looking at some possible software packages for recording and editing. The industry standard in the audiobook world is Pro Tools, a very nice package that runs anywhere from $300 to $500 and on up depending on which features you want. That’s not in my budget obviously. I went to Google and searched for free alternatives (free is about all I can afford) and came up with several possibilities. They all sound good on paper and the only way to know if they’ll do what I want to do is to try them out, so I picked one basically at random and downloaded it. It’s called TrackAx. I’ll give it a try and see how it works.

I also looked at microphones. Like anything else, you can spend about as much money as you want on a microphone, and there are lots and lots to choose from. This isn’t like the free software where I can try one and if it doesn’t work try something else. This will be a purchase so I need to get it right the first time. I went to Audiobook Community for help. Real live narrators hang out there sometimes and they’re always pretty good about answering questions from people who are interested in the craft. I posted a question about microphones and got a few responses pretty quickly and a suggestion or two. I’ll probably be doing my narrating on the laptop since I can’t very well haul my desktop to the basement. The laptop doesn’t have a regular microphone jack in it so I’ll need a USB model. I also asked the crowd at ABC if USB mic’s are as good as the traditional type and got mixed responses. That will take a little more research (and budgeting) before I can dive in and buy one.

Finally, I’m also beginning to work out a logo for Island Earth Audio. I found a few pieces of clipart on the internet that might work well. I have a pretty good idea of what I want it to look like, but haven’t actually begun putting it together yet.

And those are my first steps. Not much action yet, just planning and preparing, important steps toward reaching any goal. More updates to come later.

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