Wednesday, 17 December 2014

To Wear or not to Wear Studio Headphones in Audio Book Narration for Audible Books

Professional quality audio books rely upon the best sound equipment, which includes studio condenser microphone, audio interface, computer and recording software. Not forgetting a soundproof room lined with acoustic foam to absorb sound reflections. But when it comes to headphones, the best quality is not essential. Some voice actors don’t even like wearing them during voice acting.

Quality Studio Headphones for Voice Recording

What Audio Narration sounds Like
The reason why some book narrators don’t wear headphones during recording is because the sound of their own puts them off. The result could be a self-conscious reading that sounds stiff and expressionless through a fear of making a mistake. One voice over artist, Bill DeWees said, ‘stop trying to sound professional’. One way out of this tendency is to try reading without headphones. The audio book reader can then concentrate upon compelling the listener rather than trying to sound perfectly polished.

Best Headphones for Precise Listening in Audio Books

Other voice over artists have expressed the same issue when listening to their own voices through headphones whilst narrating an audiobook. Forgetting the ‘self’ can result in a more natural and expressive quality to the book reading. Remember that the intention of the audio book is to tell a story, not necessarily to speak every word perfectly.

Exercise in Voiceover Recording

Try recording the sound of your own voice whilst wearing headphones and then repeat without wearing them. The tone and expression of the reading are likely to be different in both recordings. Imagine telling a story to a friend whilst reading the book. With the headphones removed, a barrier will also be removed.

Professional Studio Headphones for Mastering and Mixing

Headphones will of course be needed when it comes to editing the recording afterwards, but pricy studio headphones are not as necessary as the mic. Prefer the headphones that rest over the ears rather than those that are inserted in the ears, as the former are more comfortable during long periods.

A lot of money need not be shelled out for studio headphones, but a safe bet is those made by Phillips Behringer, Audio-Technica, Roland or AKG. Some home recording studio recording packages come with headphones anyway.

Which Headphones to Buy for Talking Book Recording

The best quality headphones are not so vital as the microphone or other recording equipment. Some voiceover artists don’t like wearing them during the narration. Mixing and editing the recording will require careful listening, but good quality headphones can be found at reasonable prices.

More Articles on Audio Book Creation

The audio interface and why the audio book creator needs one
Essential recording equipment for narrating books
The best condenser microphone for voice acting
A cheap home studio for audio book recording
Tips for voice narrating

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this great post. It’s very enlightening. I absolutely love to read informative stuff. Looking forward to find out more and acquire further knowledge from here! Cheers!
    professional voice overs