Should you choose to record your own audiobooks, you’ll first need to invest in a small amount of money in some audio recording hardware and software.
In this post, I summarize that audiobook recording hardware and software.
The most important component you’ll need to invest in to record audio is, of course, your microphone.
There is a great debate in the microphone world between dynamic and condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones are more expensive, require extra cabling and provide a crisper sound with less external noise. Condenser microphones often come with USB connectors, produce a mellower sound and pick up a lot of external noise.
I use a Blue Yeti compressor USB microphone. Yes, it picks up a lot of noise from my computer and outside the window beside my desk. However, software noise reduction eliminates this noise and produces acceptable sound. I’ve also bought 3 Blue Snowball microphones for friends — they look like a winner.
Note that now there’s also the newer Blue Yeti Nano to consider.
Most microphones come with a stand, but you can invest in a fancy arm stand and shock mount to reduce desk vibration being picked up by your microphone. The arm bolts onto your desk and swings out in front of your monitor to position your microphone perfectly in front of your mouth.
The shock mount prevents desk vibrations (e.g. typing) from being transmitted to your microphone. It attaches to your microphone arm and then cradles your microphone within a spring mount assembly.
I recommend you begin with a simple desk stand (perhaps the stand that comes with your microphone) and graduate to a swing arm and shock mount only after you’ve gained experience with your equipment.
A pop filter is a stretched piece of cloth that you position between your mouth and the microphone to prevent mouth sounds such as smacking lips and breath from being recorded.
The last piece of hardware you’ll need is a pair of headphones so that you can hear your audio recording clearly, especially during audio cleanup in post production.
I purchased a microphone bundle that included the microphone, stand, pop filter and headphones. I purchased the Blue Yeti bundle for $129 on Amazon but I also recommend the Blue Snowball bundle for just $59 on Amazon.
Audacity Audio Recording Software
I use free Audacity audio recording software on Windows 10 to record my audiobooks. I recommend you do the same. The software includes noise reduction, compression, normalization, equalization and a raft of other features you can use to make your voice sound great.
Note that your total hardware and software investment is as little as $59. Your more significant investment will be the time to record your audiobook.
Again, I warn new self-publishers against spending time or money producing audiobooks when you should write and self-publishing Amazon Kindle e-books as fast as possible.
I’ll see you in the classroom,