6 Essential Pieces of Audiobook Recording Equipment

Whether you have a non-fiction book, short story or popular novel, audiobook recording equipment will help you transform it into a new income stream.

If you are an author, one way to make more money and get more reach with your book is to record it in audiobook format. You may think that audiobook production is difficult, but with the right audiobook recording equipment, you can turn your living room or spare bedroom into a home studio to let you record your book.

There is a large market for quality audiobooks, and this adds an income stream to any book or short story you write. While you can hire a voice actor to record the book, many authors find that they prefer to record their own.

Before you get started, here is the audiobook recording equipment you will want to have on hand to make the process easier.

Audiobook Recording Equipment For A First-Time Audiobook Recorder

Audiobook recording equipment you need

Before you set out to record your own audiobook for the first time, you are going to want to make sure you have some gear on hand. Between background noise in your home and the poor quality of many microphones, there is much that can go wrong with recording your audiobook.

Here is the must-have equipment, recording software and editing software you need to set up a mini recording studio at home.

1. Computer or iPad

apple, computer, hands
Make sure you have a computer or iPad to capture your recorded work

Before you start worrying about your studio, make sure you have a computer or iPad to capture your recorded work. Choose one with a fast processing speed and plenty of memory. Your mp3 files will take up a lot of space as you build your audiobook. 

2. Recording Software

Next, invest in some recording software. If you have a Mac, it will already have Garageband installed on it. You may want to upgrade to give yourself more ability for complex projects. 

One option that many voice artists find to be good that is also free is Audacity. Audacity also gives you the freedom to record on a PC without having to resort to a paid option.

3. Microphone

Microphone
Consider a cardioid condenser microphone when recording audiobook narration

A microphone is a must for recording an audiobook. Most computers and tablets have built-in mics, but these are going to have problems with background or ambient noise.

Consider a cardioid condenser microphone when recording audiobook narration, as these microphones have background-noise-blocking technology to pick up your voice and not other sounds.

The AKG C300 is a good choice for an all-around microphone. If you need a USB mic option, consider adding the DUET2 USB adapter.

If that is out of your price range, some more affordable options include the Apogee MiC Plus and the Blue Microphones Snowball, while the SUDOTACK Cardioid Condenser MiC Kit is available for less than $50 if you need something budget-friendly. 

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USB Streaming Podcast PC Microphone, SUDOTACK professional 192KHZ/24Bit Studio Cardioid Condenser Mic Kit with sound card Boom Arm Shock Mount Pop Filter, for Skype YouTuber Karaoke Gaming Recording
  • EXCELLENT SOUND QUALITY: The microphone gives you up to 24bit/192khz bit sample rate, so your recordings will be crystal clear. And it has a wide frequency response (30 hz to 16khz) and provides superb sound reproduction quality for high-resolution audio
  • CARDIOD PICKUP PATTERN: The cardioid pickup pattern offers pristine and accurate capture. It records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone, reducing unwanted background noise
  • USB PLUG & PLAY: High quality desktop recording is made simple! just plug the usb microphone into you computer’s port, it even works automatically with your mac or pc. No drivers required
  • NOISE ELIMINATION ACCESSORIES: The microphone comes with a microphone stand, shock mount, table clamp, anti-wind foam cap, usb a to b cable, and a pop filter. These accessories can effectively minimize the noise from unwanted vibrations or plosives
  • HIGH COMPATIBILITY: It can fully compatible with most mainstream operating system such as windows and mac os. The microphone can also use for mobile phone, but you need an adapter(not included)

4. Headphones

Headphones allow you to monitor your recording. You don't need to spend a lot of money on these, but as a voice actor, you will want to be able to get feedback on how you sound soon after you record. Headphones let you do the playback as you record.

For this need, a basic set of noise-canceling headphones will do the job. Consider this Cowin E7 option. Keep comfort and affordability in mind when purchasing headphones, because you will want to save your money for high-end purchases in other areas of your studio.

5. Quiet Recording Space

A recording studio in use by voice actors
If you do not have a quiet room, pick up some soundproofing equipment

Ambient noise can destroy your recording, so make sure you have some way to block it. You don't have to invest in an expensive studio setup, though. A quiet room in your home and some foam baffling around the mic can help.

If you do not have a quiet room, pick up some soundproofing equipment.

Acoustic foam panels can be an affordable way to set up your studio and begin narrating your audiobook, without problems with noise.

Acoustic Panels, 2" X 12" X 12" Acoustic Foam Panels, Studio Wedge Tiles, Sound Panels wedges Soundproof Sound Insulation Absorbing Home and Office(12 Pack, Black)
  • 3D ACOUSTIC DESIGN: Our 2 inches foam provides moderate sound control on walls or ceilings. Perfect for individuals to reduce and absorb unwanted echoes, waves, reverb, and flutter echoes.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Made up of environmentally friendly polyurethane foam at 50/lbs per cubic yard, the acoustic panels not only have effective sound absorption characteristics but also will not cause any harm to our body.
  • QUICKLY RECOVER TO NORMAL SIZE: Open the Vacuum package, put the foam panels in a ventilated place about 24-48 hours. Another method is soaking the foam in water for one minute then wringing the foam out of the water, then dry air it or use a hairdryer. You can also let them simmer under the sun as well!
  • WIDE USE: Great for spot treating sound on walls in your studio or office - For use in recording studios, control rooms, Offices home studios, home entertainment theaters, Home Offices. Easy to shape and cut to size, altering won’t affect performance.
  • AFTER SERVICE WARRANTY: Our US-based customer service means that you can trust that if you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a hassle-free refund or replacement.

6. Audio Editing Software

Post-production is just as important as recording when making an audiobook. Before releasing it on Audible or iTunes, make sure it sounds polished and professional. DAW software or Audio editing software will help. 

If you are looking for a comprehensive option for editing your audio files, consider iZotope RX. This software lets you do all of the editings you need from one program. If that price is too high for your budget, consider Studio One, which is less comprehensive but also more affordable. 

RX Post Production Suite 2: Audio Repair Plug-in, iZotope, Inc. [Online Code]
  • COMPREHENSIVE TOOLKIT: Intelligent and powerful post production software solutions for everything from noise reduction to mixing and delivery.
  • RESTORE AUDIO: Post production toolkit is anchored by RX 6 Advanced software, the industry standard for audio repair and enhancement.
  • COMPLETE SUITE: Also includes Neutron 2 Advanced studio mixing toolkit, RX Loudness Control for automatic loudness standard compliance and the Insight metering suite.
  • FREE ACCESS: Get a 1 year, all access pass to Groove3’s online RX audio repair video tutorials, and 50 download credits to the Pro Sound Effects Library.
  • IZOTOPE SOFTWARE: Driven by a passion for audio, iZotope develops innovative products that inspire and enable people to be creative.

Next Steps After Recording and Editing Your Audiobook

After you have recorded and edited your audiobook, you are ready to load it to the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). ACX will package your file and send them to Apple iTunes, Audible and Amazon for interested listeners. You will earn a percentage of the profits for every book you narrate and upload. 

A Final Word On Audiobook Recording Equipment

When it comes to audiobook recording equipment, you can spend as much or as little as you want. High-quality equipment will help you get high-quality audio, but you can build a home studio on a limited budget as well.

Take some time to do your research and pick up the equipment, then try your hand at recording an audiobook from your own book.

Once you have a home recording studio, explore more options. You can use the same equipment to record a podcast, work as a voiceover artist and record music. All it takes is a little bit of planning at the start to be prepared for all of these potential roles.

Resources

How to Make an Audiobook

How to Become an Audiobook Narrator

The Best Audiobook Services

FAQs on Audiobook Recording Equipment

What Equipment Do I Need To Record Audiobooks?

To record audiobooks, you will need editing software, headphones, a quality microphone and a computer or iPad.

Can I record audiobooks from home?

Yes, audiobook recording requires very little equipment, and many people can set up a recording studio in their own homes.

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