I recently upgraded my studio – good, and not so good – I have a warning you need to hear about this.
There were some unintended consequences of my studio maintenance…
So, I just did some much needed maintenance on my studio – some of the components have served their useful life, and needed to be replaced.
That was good, and not so good – good for my studio, but not good for the current projects I was producing.
The upgrades, replacement, cleaning, re-calibrating and so on left me with a cleaner, more potent sound. Not night and day, just…better.
But the work I’d been doing on 3 audiobooks and an IVR prompt set wasn’t finished when this all happened.
And a better sound meant a different sound.
Now, the IVR stuff was for a client that was using legacy big-iron servers, and when I converted a prompt recorded in the new environment to a very low quality (but good for IVR work) CCITT mu-law 8-8 wav file, it sounded indistinguishable from the older prompts I’d recorded and converted.
But the audiobooks? A very different story.
All three needed to be started from the beginning. No way around it.
One is requiring that I re-narrate 27 relatively short chapters.
Another, I needed to only take care of the first four chapters I’d already voiced.
And the third, well…that’s going to take a bit more work, as I’d already produced half the book.
Look, there’s no good time to do studio maintenance (unless you have nothing in the pipeline), but it’s necessary. And often, with overlapping projects, you have no real down time that’s best for maintenance.
Just remember to also make sure that, with audiobooks in particular, you don’t give the listener a different experience from chapter to chapter, and certainly not within chapters. Make sure the sound is consistent.
And as all of these books are ACX projects, it is easy to replace the audio as I produce the new version of each chapter. Upload that new version by using the Replace link for the chapter you’re uploading, in the PRODUCE AUDIOBOOK tab, on the project page on ACX for your book. It looks like this (click on it to enlarge it to full size if you need to):
Clicking on that link brings up a browse button to choose the new file from your hard drive.
Thank you, ACX!
Take the time to do this, as well the time to keep your studio in the best shape it can be.
So…how do you handle studio maintenance, replacement of equipment, upgrading of gear and changes in processes? Anything make you happy? Anything drive you crazy? Let us all know in the comments below.
Hope this helps!
I had the same issue occur when WindowsXP started crashing on my computer and I needed to upgrade to Windows8. Little did I know that switching to Windows8 would be an exercise in frustration.
Windows8 shut down all but one or two of my apps and programs. It was necessary for me to actually call the help desks for the programs and app service providers to get back on line. Seems Windows8 was a real lemon that was causing almost world wide problems! It was almost funny. I would call or e-mail a provider and be greeted with something like “Windows8? Okay can we take over your computer remotely and fix this for you? You probably won’t be able to do it yourself.”
Fortunately for me, the ACX RHs and the other people that I was working with were empathetic regarding the problem. Some of whom contacted me and said they were having similar problems and warned me NOT to update to Windows8.1 because it would only make things worse.
It was a frustrating situation, but a lesson learned.
That’s great advice, David!
I feel your pain David. This has happened to me before. Best advise? When in the middle of an audio book, DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING. Wait until you are finished with the book you are working on.
Can’t wait to start class tonite!
If only I’d had any moment in the last year or two when I wasn’t working on a book…
Timely post :) just helped a friend upgrade her hardware from an older Mac Mini 4g ram 2011 to iMac 27 5k monitor. Upgraded from 2010 Mac book pro to 2017 Mac book pro, interface is 2i2 currently upgrade will either be Apollo twin duo or something in that range.
She is finishing up an Audi book but decided to leave everything in boxes till she has completed the book along with any revisions that may need to be completed.
Yes I agree upgrades do make things better if done carefully and thoughtful ly . Just have to be implemented at the right time. .
I assume that all your recording met ACX standards. Did they demand you rerecord or did you decide that on your own? Was the different sound all that noticeably different?
I chose to re-record – I’m sure that both sets of audio would pass ACX’s tech check, but they would sound different to the listener. That’s not acceptable to me.