Mindset and Setting

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Your mindset for recording your book is one of the most important things you require to start this journey. If you come at it as a chore it will show up in your voice. If you are scared, this is also going to show up in the way that you sound. So before you start you are going to want to get yourself into a peaceful state of mind. Listen to a meditation or music that is soothing and relaxing. Perhaps you want to have a more upbeat sound, listen to some upbeat music or go for a walker run to get yourself hyped up. Do whatever you need to do to get you in the mood for recording.

Have some warm tea or other beverage near you as well as water to keep you hydrated. You will go through a lot of liquids as you work because doing audio work not only is a physical job, it is also brain stimulating as well and when you are thinking a lot you are using energy and energy creates sparks in the neurological pathways in the brain. This burns up the water in your brain and so you want to make sure you are replenishing your liquids constantly. You will also have a more consistent sound as you record. You won’t sound all gravelly as you progress through your book because you are thirsty. No one wants to hear someone who sounds like they have been walking through the desert for days without water.

Don’t eat or drink any dairy the day before or the day of recording because it will cause mucus in your throat and that causes trouble with your voice.

Make sure your surroundings are quiet. A TV in the other room, the refrigerator, people talking anywhere near your recording space will be an issue.

Naked floors and walls…this is an interesting one that I never thought about before I started recording. When you are sitting next to a bare wall, the vibrations from your voice will bounce off and create an echo. This goes for wood or concrete floors or even a large table. When you record you want to surround yourself with surfaces that are not entirely flat or even cover them with fabric or soft paneling to cushion the sound vibrations. You can take them out post production, but it’s extra work that you really don’t want to have to do and it won’t sound exactly right, so set up the space before you record to get the best sound quality.

Sometimes planes or cars will go by. If this happens I stop my recording and restart when it is quiet again. It is annoying, but again, we want consistency in our background noise and if someone is listening to it later they aren’t going to want to hear a plane or car in the background.

Random things that you wouldn’t think of…

Don’t have your smart phone next to your recording device. It is crazy how much phones are transmitting frequencies even when they are not being used. When I was recording my audiobook I kept hearing random faint buzzing and I realized it was my phone. I had to put it in the other room in order for it not to get picked up on my recording. This also happened with a heating pad I was using. I was recording in the winter and didn’t want the sounds of the heater going on and off so I used a heating pad to keep me warm. The heating pad was also putting off an electrical vibration that the microphone was picking up on.

You want to try to do your audiobook in the least amount of time as possible. This is why…
From day to day your voice and your energy are going to change. It’s just the way humans are. If you are going to have consistency in the tone of your voice you are going to want to do it on the same day or close to it as possible. This isn’t necessary, but I think you will hear the changes in your voice as days go on. Try to keep your tone the same as you go through the book. Not monotone…but not super energized and then exhausted at the end. Keep a similar energy through out the entire thing if you’d like to keep it professional sounding.