Radio Days and Audiobook Progress

Samson C01U Pro
Three Audiobook Chapters Finished

Three chapters are under my belt for a proposed audiobook, read by the author. (You can hear Chapter 1: Last Things HERE.) Let me know what you think.

The next chapter is going to be the biggest test so far because of the large cast of characters, including the debut of a major one who poses... unique challenges. I am learning the trick is not to go all out trying to impersonate the different characters, but give each just enough of his or her own voice  to clearly distinguish them.

An excited six-year-old girl still tries my dignity, though.

Tech Stuff and Radio Memories

I am using Audacity as my recording program, which has a lot of nice features, running on a Surface Pro 4 with Windows 10.

The main tool of the trade is a Samson C01U condenser USB mic with headphone jack for zero latency when recording narration. This is a very nice mic for close in work, and I mean close. When I get into a character's mind, I drop my voice and move in nearly close enough to kiss the mic.

I do not use a spit screen, needless to say, and pros don't pop. I worked at three different radio stations: an AM farm day-timer, an AOR FM station (Adult Oriented Rock, or "All Over the Road") and an NPR affiliate. I put in my share of time as "a personality" in every slot there is, but mainly did news and NPR essays. Each station was very different and provided valuable experience.

The management of the first one was a real old-school character but he taught me all the vintage tricks. Why we see Gary Owens putting his hand next to his ear in Laugh-In and the mysteries of "making love to the mic," which are secrets of the fraternity that I must not reveal.

I will say that audio is the most intimate medium. Sometimes in a creepy "Play Misty for Me Way." It is the only medium where it is just you an a single person who may be devoting her whole attention to you.

I got a lot of "you don't look anything like I imagined," and "you have a perfect face for radio." I'm sure both are true.

I also use a portable sound-deadening semi-circular background that I call the Cone of Silence. It gives a nice acoustically dead recording environment without building a studio. More time is spent on retakes and post-production than recording. The dogs go nuts from time to time, although the family does a good job of respecting the virtual "RECORDING" sign.

I am very pleased with the results, and "read by author" means read by an author who was a Radio-TV major with significant broadcasting experience. In other words, I think people will find it is a professional recording. I encourage people to check out Chapter 1: Last Things. The above (and below) link goes to the recording on SoundCloud.

"Free" is a bargain for a 43 minute-long chapter! Judge for yourself. (Yeah, second link.)

Next In Rubricatae Chronicles Series: (Yet-to-be-Titled)

Meanwhile, the sequel to Judging Angels is moving along. It is divided into two main settings, with the action in one having a decidedly noir atmosphere. I had to stop writing to work out the backstory of a complex plot but think I've got it all figured out now.

So now it's time for re-writing a couple of chapters and forging ahead to the imminent collision between the two stories - the one Judging Angels readers will know about and another, unrelated mission during the same 28 days that introduces new and colorful characters: Joey Catania, Admiral Demarest, the Big Woman and the rest of the Rat Pack.

And Pecksley is back, having earned a more prominent role because he's just so darned adorable.

And then there's Mia.

Has Red finally met her match?

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