In a recent interview with Elaine Aldred of Strange Alliances, the question of audiobook narrators and home studios came up. Here's what audio producer Ali Muirden replied when asked if the quality was the same as using a professional studio:
No it isn’t. There’s no way the stuff at home can have the same quality of sound as using a high-tech studio, which has soundproofing and all the editing equipment. I can see why people do it, because it’s a cost-effective way of recording. I know I would say that because I am a producer and I use a professional studio. But I do think it is difficult for the actor, as much for the sound issue, to have no one to help them while they’re recording. It puts a big strain on them when they haven’t got anybody helping them.
If you record on your own, it’s difficult to pick up small mistakes or problems with the way you’re working. If you’re an actor who’s completely engaged in the piece that you’re reading, then it’s very difficult to hear the small things that your producer might pick up. There are many times when I’ve pointed something out to an actor and they say, ‘Did I do that?’
Also I find that a lot of actors I work with are really appreciative of the help you give them, because they want to do a great job and they don’t want to listen to it later and think, ‘Oh no, why did I put the intonation there?’ It’s nice to have a couple of pairs of extra ears during the recording, to pick up all the little things that might get missed. So having a recording professionally produced does take a lot of pressure off the reader.
Do you agree? Do you think a producer is important when recording an audio book?
Photo by puuikibeach