This group is BUSINESS...where are the jobs today that pay narrators? Who has these jobs? What are the sources we might contact with a demo to get narration jobs? Sure, we can talk about narration techniques too...
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A thought from Bettye.... You are entering the PUBLISHING INDUSTRY. Learn about it!

You must have a killer audio book demo to get paying work in this field especially from PUBLISHERS. You also must separate jobs you do on your own in your home studio from voicing for publishers, often in their studios. When you read for publishers, the pay is better and you often don't do the audio engineering. Mostly, they prefer readers in their own studios. The audio book jobs advertised on the online pay to play sites are usually from vanity publishers or the authors themselves or for other reasons...not publishing house jobs. Know the difference. And get used to the fact that audio books usually pay for THE FINISHED AUDIO HOUR. How long will it take you to get one finished audio hour that is perfect? That depends....could be two studio hours could be twenty studio hours with you engineering and voicing it too! Be very cautious on your price bidding.
Bettye Zoller

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  • P.S. I love this discussion -- I am learning a lot from everyone else's responses -- keep 'em coming!
  • Let's see -- lots to answer! To minimize mouth noise, I use lip balm and sip on unsweetened black tea. The spray bottle helps, too. I'll try green apples, Xe! I also use a windscreen on my mic and a pop filter. My mic is above me and tilted slightly toward me (a tip from Cory Verner at Christian Audio). It also helps to be familiar with the size of the polar pattern of your mic. If I am close enough to it that my whole head is within the cardiod range, then all my little lateral tongue-clicks will be captured, too. If I back up just a bit, mostly the front of my mouth will get picked up. Finally, I tweak EQ on the front end via my Eureka Pre-Sonus channel strip (a sort of pre-amp, compressor, and EQ in one). Mouth noises and sibilance (more common in female voices) are higher-frequency, so I turn down the freq. in that range. These are my tricks, but it's not perfect; my A/B clients are SO particular about every little mouth noise! Much different from commercial V/Os. Btw, has anyone tried that trick of taping a pencil vertically across the front of your pop filter to help more with plosives? I haven't, but a friend swears by it!
  • What a timely discussion...going in to record another demo piece next weekend and would love to not torture myself or my coach with the mouth noise! I have found that green apples help...sucking/nibbling on a slice every so often. But Heath - I, too, am intrigued by the "EQ on the high end." For the software you are using, what does that mean - what settings do you tweak that have been effective for you? Do you do it with software, or on a piece of equipment in your signal chain?
  • You might experiment with working with the mic off past the mic rather into it. Try placing the mic to the right, left, below or above your mouth. Run a test in every position to see if the mouth noise is not, at least, reduced. For example: If the noise originates from the right side of your mouth, you would want to place the mic to your left, etc. This will also help with pops.
  • Mouth noises, plenty of hydration, also I use an water atomizer to spray the front of my teeth before each page and of course begin each narration with mouth slightly open instead of closed. A really great mic is going to pick up just about everything I'm not sure that a pop or plosive filter is going to mask or hide mouth noises.
  • Ms. Henderson, how much EQ do you use to filter out mouth noises?

  • I looked up some reviews and it does look good. I'll put it on my wish-list. I'm okay, actually, with pops -- it's the other mouth noises I'd like to prevent on the front end -- the little smacks and things. These show up so much, as you know, in audiobooks, and it would be nice not to have to spend so much time editing them out. Right now a handkerchief draped over my pop filter (I kid you now), plus some extra EQ in the high range, helps. But I'd love a magic wand.
  • Heather, it's a pop filter. The absolute best!
  • Okay, I'm intrigued, Joe. Hadn't heard of this Stedman ProScreen filter. Is it helpful for mouth noises (tongue clicks, etc.) or just plosive-type pops?
  • Thanks everyone
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