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    Should I Produce Audio Books?

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    Paeter
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    Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 4th 2011, 6:16 pm

    In the last year or so (and again in the last couple of days) the idea of audio book production has been swimming around in my head, partly because of some opportunities that have come my way to produce audio books.

    It's something I'm still just toying with, and may be taking on one or more short audio book projects in the coming months to "test the waters" and carefully log my hours so I can better estimate the work involved in doing more audio books in the future.

    I don't want to become distracted from projects I already have cooking. But I also want to always be thinking about the company's future, and doing the right audio book projects creates potential income in a much shorter time than producing an audio drama, and it's another way to get the company name out there.

    Do you guys have any thoughts about me giving some of my time to audio books? Should I stick to audio drama 100%? Should I ditch audio drama and go with audio books?

    I'd be very interested to get some opinions on this. Thanks!


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Rickster on October 4th 2011, 9:02 pm

    Don't ditch making audio dramas but if you think but i could see how making audio books could give you an extra source of income for your little company.

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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 5th 2011, 9:15 am

    Stay on radio dramas... audio books... I could care less honestly... but don't give up audio drama!


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  mindspike on October 5th 2011, 1:57 pm

    I'm in favor of anything that will grow your business without detracting from your signature products. I'm particularly fond of the Graphic Audio brand of audio book, something between a full cast drama and a straight reading. Your "enhanced audio book" is a step in that direction, but GA uses separate actors for the narrator and the cast.


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 5th 2011, 2:01 pm

    The only reason I didn't mention Graphic Audio was because that would just be as time consuming as an actual radio drama...

    Infact I just consider graphic Audio as audio drama in my mind at this point... it's just heavily narrated Very Happy


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 5th 2011, 5:10 pm

    Well, I'm definitely not giving up or even cutting back on audio drama plans. So no worries there! Thanks for the other thoughts, guys!


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  WhiteBoy on October 6th 2011, 2:28 pm

    Nothing new from me. I'm interested. Just, as you said, don't forsake audio drama.

    I'm not familiar with "graphic audio." Is it an audiobook with various actors for the voices instead of all voices performed by the narrator? And audio drama then adds music and sound affects? Hmm... I remember audio books having sound effects, so that's probably not accurate.

    Can someone clearly compare/contrast audiobook, graphic audio, and audio drama for me?


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 6th 2011, 2:31 pm

    audio book = narrator (sometimes more than one) reading a book
    audio drama = script specifically created to create a "movie in your mind" with multiple actors and sfx and music to back up the "performance"
    graphic audio = Essentially an audio drama except they took a real book and left the narrator in there.

    Check out graphic audio.net and listen to some samples... I'd say graphic audio is a hybrid between audio book and audio drama...


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Rickster on October 6th 2011, 10:11 pm

    audio book = narrator (sometimes more than one) reading a book
    audio drama = script specifically created to create a "movie in your mind" with multiple actors and sfx and music to back up the "performance"
    graphic audio = Essentially an audio drama except they took a real book and left the narrator in there.

    The Focus on the Family Narnia Series would be considered Graphic Audio?

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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 6th 2011, 10:56 pm

    That's a reall good point. Those are just like graphic audio style. Except they go the extra mile and have John Campbell compose the music instead of using royalty free stuff...

    So yeah Id say that's a fair assessment...


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 7th 2011, 5:12 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:That's a reall good point. Those are just like graphic audio style. Except they go the extra mile and have John Campbell compose the music instead of using royalty free stuff...

    So yeah Id say that's a fair assessment...

    Really? I've been listening to the Narnia dramas lately and the narrator only seems to pop in now and then, going away for long stretches as the actors take over. My impression of Graphic Audio (based only on previews) is that they are much more narration heavy and use the narrator for everything but the dialogue and accompanying "he saids" and "she saids". The result being an experience that is textually almost identical to reading the books. The Narnia audio dramas, by contrast, leave significant amounts of material from the books out.

    Is that not the case?


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  mindspike on October 8th 2011, 3:40 pm

    It's true that the Graphic Audio stuff is considered "unabridged", but they do leave out significant chunks of exposition for which they substitute audio FX. On the other hand, the call as to what is narrated and what is FX only appears to be the decision of the director and adapter rather than a blanket policy. They often add sound effects that are not specifically part of the narration, like background conversations and the murmur of crowds or the sounds of the jungle. I don't think the samples do it justice. I would say the Focus on the Family Narnia productions are a good representation of Graphic Audio.

    Speaking of GA using "royalty free" music, I was listening to JLA: Exterminators, and the theme they use for the JLA combat sequences uses some of the same scoring Paeter uses in "Necromancy".


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 10th 2011, 6:44 pm

    mindspike wrote:

    Speaking of GA using "royalty free" music, I was listening to JLA: Exterminators, and the theme they use for the JLA combat sequences uses some of the same scoring Paeter uses in "Necromancy".

    When you say "theme", do you mean a beat? Everything in that song was an original creation except for some of the beats. Or maybe you meant "Dark Ritual" rather than "Necromancy". In that case I wouldn't be surprised that some of the scoring overlaps.


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 11th 2011, 10:50 am

    Music does definitely overlap with your productions Paeter...

    I still stand with the Narnia being like GA conclusion...

    Also I hope this means that you will check out a green lantern story from them?



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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  mindspike on October 11th 2011, 4:04 pm

    Paeter wrote:When you say "theme", do you mean a beat? Everything in that song was an original creation except for some of the beats. Or maybe you meant "Dark Ritual" rather than "Necromancy". In that case I wouldn't be surprised that some of the scoring overlaps.

    I mean sections of music discreet enough that my tin ear can positively identify them. (Note to self, study music notation and definitions some more....) I could have just as easily meant to refer to "Dark Ritual" in general, but I'm almost positive I heard some of the same music used in "Necromancy" used as background in "JLA: Exterminators". I shall have to listen to them both again! Oh, the suffering I endure for my friends!


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 11th 2011, 4:10 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:

    Also I hope this means that you will check out a green lantern story from them?

    Sorry. Even a full blown audio drama of Green Lantern doesn't really interest me. It's such a visual concept by nature and I didn't really enjoy the GL books they've adapted, which I've already read.


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 11th 2011, 4:11 pm

    But the visuals of audio drama are WAY better than all the CGI crap because it's happening on the biggest screen EVER!
    YOUR IMAGINATION

    Very Happy


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 11th 2011, 4:29 pm

    [quote="mindspike"]
    Paeter wrote:I'm almost positive I heard some of the same music used in "Necromancy" used as background in "JLA: Exterminators".

    Hmm. I'm guessing its an unrelated similarity by chance. Outside of that one beat track I used I can't see how anything else would literally be the same material.

    Maybe we both just write music in the same narrow genre. That genre of course being "neato". ;-)


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  WhiteBoy on October 11th 2011, 7:55 pm

    Hrmm... can't find "neato" in my Rhapsody search. Sad


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 12th 2011, 9:04 am

    Rhapsody!?


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  CreatorsPixels on October 12th 2011, 2:15 pm

    Personally I think audio books would be a good 'filler'. I see them more as a 'near' reading of the text than your current audio dramas. I would assume that they would require far less work. Thus you could pump out longer content faster. While things like Spiritblade dramas are far better, they are also shorter than a full audio book. The delay between new content is just too long. A few audio books here and there would fill it in. Just speaking from my personal situation, I am constantly looking for audio 'content' to download. I drive about 115 miles round trip each day. I've found that listening to an audio book makes the drive much nicer! I recently just finished the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy which lasted me a bit over a month. Now I'm on to catching up on the podcasts. Give me more more more!!

    Just my 2 cents!

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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Paeter on October 12th 2011, 4:41 pm

    CreatorsPixels wrote:Personally I think audio books would be a good 'filler'. Now I'm on to catching up on the podcasts. Give me more more more!!
    Just my 2 cents!

    Yeah, I see the same benefits that you do. Thanks for the feedback!


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  WhiteBoy on October 13th 2011, 12:37 pm

    Rhapsody (http://www.rhapsody.com/) is a music service I subscribe to. One of its strengths is its selection of music. It's got a pretty big catalog of music.

    I know there's other things out there like Pandora and Spotify which are free. Honestly I haven't tried Spotify yet, but Rhapsody fits how I listen to music better than Pandora.


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  mindspike on October 17th 2011, 10:15 am

    As I think about it, I've decided I need to make my reply more *useful* than "Go for it!"

    I like audio books.
    I like the pure audio drama.

    But the GraphicAudio format, which I will now refer to as "dramatized audio books" is my favorite for the following reasons:

    1. Inclusion of a narrator.
    ...I don't always interpret clearly what a producer is intending to convey through pure sound FX. The narrator's commentary makes clear the sounds of battle, and gives meaning to "hah!", "ugh!", and "oof!" Without having the participants narrate for me. (ie, "Oof! You hit me in the gut!", or "Hah! I absorb your attack and blast it back at you!") This is a convention that removes me from the story because meaningful dialog *never* follows this pattern, whereas the convention of a narrator is a familiar part of oral and written storytelling.

    2. Separation of cast and narrator.
    ...Not everybody does "voices" well. And of those who do, only Frank Welker and Mel Blanc have ever managed to cross the gender line for me. I greatly appreciate have a different voice for each member of the cast. Even if some of those actors do multiple roles, the context separation is important, and makes a difference for me. I find it disconcerting to have the narrator poorly and inconsistently voicing characters. Even when the narrator is doing a good job, gender, age, and ethnicity differences among characters never seem to translate well.

    3. Music and sound FX.
    ...While I prefer not to rely wholly on these vehicles to convey mood, action, or emotion, I do appreciate the value they add to a production. A driving score behind an action narrative, the rumbling bass of a .50 machine gun, or the unique sound of magic all contribute to the ambiance of the story and increase my involvement - by giving me something to which I can relate the narrative.

    4. Continuity of story and involvement.
    ...Pure audio drama is fantastic! If I can listen to it all in one sitting. If not, well, I lose a lot of the story details and momentum between sessions. By having the narrator explain what is going on, it provides an immediate context in which to place the ongoing story, action, and dialog. Without this context, I struggle to get back into the story and reconnect plot points, character identities, and emotional involvement.

    And that's my opinion.

    By the way, long before GraphicAudio was around, some of you may remember Peter Pan and Power records were doing some pretty awesome stuff with dramatized audio books. I know we tend to think of that as "for kids", but a lot of their stuff still holds up and is entertaining for adults. Conan the Barbarian, G.I.Joe, Batman, and Superman all come to mind.


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    Re: Should I Produce Audio Books?

    Post  Hackmodford on October 17th 2011, 10:21 am

    Are you referring to Dirk Maggs work?

    He did BBC Audio dramas of

    Superman (I think he did 3 stories)
    Batman (2 stories)
    Spider-Man
    Peter Pan

    If you haven't heard his work yet you really need to check it out. He's the best radio drama guy ever! And kinda invented the concept of using movie quality music/foley in audio drama that Graphic Audio and Paeter use in their productions.

    He's definitely my inspiration.


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