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Old 10-29-2021, 02:39 AM   #1
E.M.DuBois
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Does my idea count as an "audiobook"?

Because I honestly don't know what to call it.

Okay, so here it is: I want to write short stories, then use a voice modulator software to change my voice to read it out (my natural voice is NOT what you'd want to listen to for twenty minutes of reading.) Still trying to decide if I'll just do one voice per vid, like a single reader, or do multiples (one for the narrator, protag, etc.) for a kind of "cast" thing.

I'll then just edit these together with a simple background (title, social media, etc.) and splice in some royalty-free background music for mood (already have a source,) and upload to Youtube. Does it count as an audiobook if there was no book to begin with?
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:12 AM   #2
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I'm not much of a fan of audio books, but background music in one would be a total "nope".

There are several competition tv shows I can't watch because of the background music and sounds. Huge pet peeve.
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Old 10-29-2021, 10:14 AM   #3
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You can have an audiobook and no published text. But you need a text to read, but publishing and listings of book title is free.

There still needs to be almost no background sound during dialogue even if it's audio drama.

YouTube is totally the wrong place for audio only content.

Unless electronically changed voice is natural and easy to listen to it will exhaust the listener. People experimented with this over 60 years ago. It doesn't really work well even with modern processing.

Look at Audacity as tool if you want to try your voice changed. We need a female narrator for "Starship Chief" and have concluded that a woman that speaks English perfectly as a second language would be idea. An electronically processed male or female voice doesn't work, and I've 40 years experience, of and on, at audio production. I still have a cassette I did in 1994 with really good music, sounds of woodland and passing a bubbling stream all low in the background of the narration and dialogue. It's terrible.
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Old 10-29-2021, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.M.DuBois View Post
Because I honestly don't know what to call it.

Okay, so here it is
It's audio drama and you can't do it without writing either a story or a play script.

A well done audio drama (A radio play is an example) is good. But it only has effects between spoken bits or connecting music in place of * * * or chapter breaks. It's unintelligible if the effects or music continue behind the dialogue or narration. You'd need a few voice actors, but not as many as the character list. All the very main ones and "Other characters were played by members of the cast".

Listen and compare:
1) Free samples of real audio books (see my sig for one). Some on Google Playstore Books.
2) BBC R4 "The Archers"
3) Any BBC R4 Radio drama/Play
4) BBC Book at Bedtime.

Some of R4 may be online or on BBC World Radio (Satellite, SW and Online). I get BBC R4 via Satellite and also 198 kHz Long Wave. Some of it works on the BBC Player on Internet.
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Old 11-14-2021, 10:27 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for your contibutions! I'm sorry I'm so late to reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deskisamess View Post
I'm not much of a fan of audio books, but background music in one would be a total "nope".

There are several competition tv shows I can't watch because of the background music and sounds. Huge pet peeve.
I'm sorry, I don't know how to take this. It seems a personal preference, and might just be limited to you, or there could be a lot of people feel that way. I hope that doesn't come off as rude or dismissive.

It makes me think I should try both: one with music softly in the background, trying to set the mood, and try one without, and see which is more popular. Thank you for letting me know your opinion, as it gives me a lot to think about in my presentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
There still needs to be almost no background sound during dialogue even if it's audio drama.

YouTube is totally the wrong place for audio only content.

Unless electronically changed voice is natural and easy to listen to it will exhaust the listener.

Look at Audacity as tool if you want to try your voice changed.
Yeah, I live in a VERY quiet neighborhood (at night at least, when the school and daycares around the place have let out for the day.) And my gf is very respectful of my recording needs. This should make up for my lack of a professional soundbooth or soundproofing.

You really think so? The reason I wanted to experiment with YouTube is because of successful streams like EFAP, a media/response critiquing podcast, where there are visuals, sure, but even the hosts acknowledge that their audience most likely just listens to them while doing things like working or chores. I thought maybe my audio dramas could do the same. I also thought of iTunes.

There was a stream Mister Metokur did that showed a video done by a dude trying to convince people he was actually his (made up) gf, using a relatively cheap voice changer. Except for his speech pattern and mannerisms giving him away, he actually did sound like a young woman. I was looking to invest in something a bit pricier (around $100) after looking into all the reviews, so I think it has potential.

But I will also look into Audacity. Had never heard of it before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
It's audio drama and you can't do it without writing either a story or a play script.

A well done audio drama (A radio play is an example) is good. But it only has effects between spoken bits or connecting music in place of * * * or chapter breaks. It's unintelligible if the effects or music continue behind the dialogue or narration. You'd need a few voice actors, but not as many as the character list. All the very main ones and "Other characters were played by members of the cast".

1) Free samples of real audio books (see my sig for one). Some on Google Playstore Books.
I don't mean to sound rude... but yeah, I know I need a script. I already have stories written to be read. That's what inspired all this.

Now, what I didn't think of was using music for scene separation. I was struggling while thinking of ways to portray that, so that's very useful! What do you think about also playing the music behind the reading of the title? And I'll gladly listen to your samples sometime.

Last edited by E.M.DuBois; 11-15-2021 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 11-15-2021, 08:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.M.DuBois View Post
I don't mean to sound rude... but yeah, I know I need a script. I already have stories written to be read. That's what inspired all this.

Now, what I didn't think of was using music for scene separation. I was struggling while thinking of ways to portray that, so that's very useful! What do you think about also playing the music behind the reading of the title? And I'll gladly listen to your samples sometime.
You don't need a script, only the story text, for narration. A script is needed for audio drama.

I've worked in BBC, AV facilities and had my own multmedia company in 1990s. All you suggest has been tried by others and me.
No music or effects on titles or body text narration or else it's tiring to make it out. It's not for you as you are reading.

You'll see the same effect with cinema DVD/BD. Almost incomprehensible English dialogue due to music/effects is easy to follow with the subtitles on. Very much modern TV & Cinema has rubbish production values, such as poor dialogue mix and even too close "close ups" as if we are all watching 1936 9" screens instead of 36" to 55"

Also I don't turn down foreign language films just because the subtitles are on. It's sort of like magic.
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Old 11-15-2021, 11:10 AM   #7
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I have bought multiple audiobooks at graphicaudiointernational.net, where they mix sounds and music over the books. It makes for a really good experience, if you ask me or my wife! Maybe you can try one of those, to get some ideas on how to approach things, because some audio cues in the background has to be done with a subtle approach.

And while I agree that YouTube per se shouldn't be the media to get it out, I know that *many* people use YouTube for audiobooks, so I think you could definitely use it as a platform. But why limit yourself to one?
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Old Yesterday, 12:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.M.DuBois View Post
Thank you guys for your contibutions! I'm sorry I'm so late to reply.

I'm sorry, I don't know how to take this. It seems a personal preference, and might just be limited to you, or there could be a lot of people feel that way. I hope that doesn't come off as rude or dismissive.

It makes me think I should try both: one with music softly in the background, trying to set the mood, and try one without, and see which is more popular. Thank you for letting me know your opinion, as it gives me a lot to think about in my presentation.
I think you will find dislike of background sound in spoken audio content to be fairly common (I hate it) but certainly not universal, and you can't please everyone.

My advice to you is stop talking about it and actually MAKE one of these things you're describing. Put it on Youtube. See how it does. THEN you can get some some meaningful feedback and critique.

ApK
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*for about 5 seconds, according to one Amazon KDP statistic, in a very specific and obscure category...but I'll take it.

Last edited by ApK; Yesterday at 12:48 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 PM   #9
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I think you will find dislike of background sound in spoken audio content to be fairly common (I hate it) but certainly not universal, and you can't please everyone.
You can't please everyone, but also be aware that for many people it's not a "preference" or a matter of pleasing, but a matter of accessibility.
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