Audiobook Editing & Production for ACX & Audible

Editing and producing a voice over recording is part art and part science. Some voice overs edit and produce their own recordings,
whereas others may prefer to hire an audio editor and mastering engineer. This is where we can help.

Who Do We Help?

Our audiobook editing service is ideal for voice overs that: 

  • Don't like editing and production
  • Find it too time-consuming and would rather just narrate
  • Don't understand the process of editing and mastering
  • Don't know how to achieve the technical specs laid out by ACX
  • Prefer to outsource audio editing and production

If you are not a voice-over, but you are looking for a narrator, please see our Audiobook Narration Service

Audiobook Mastering Options

To help you work out your costs for your project, we have created the price guides below. This way you can include the cost of outsourcing to us when quoting your client.

Standard Audiobook Mastering

Have your edited files affordably mastered to commercial standards.

Includes:

  • Noise Reduction
  • Audio Enhancement
  • Volume Levelling
  • Audible Specification
  • Manual debreath
  • Gap reduction
  • Mistake Removal

Cost

  • £12 per 15 minutes of audio
  • OR £20 per 1 hour of audio

Learn More

Premium Audiobook Mastering

In addition to the Standard Mastering, have breaths, gaps and errors removed.

Includes:

  • Noise Reduction
  • Audio Enhancement
  • Volume Levelling
  • Audible Specification
  • Manual debreath
  • Gap reduction
  • Mistake Removal

Cost

  • £30 per 15 minutes of audio
  • OR £120 per 1 hour of audio

Learn More

Music Intro / Outro Mixed

Have music added to the start and end of your chapters.

Includes:

  • Chapters, introductions, credits etc.
  • Music at the beginning and end
  • Pre-licensed music option
  • Use your own licensed music if preferred
  • Audible Specification
  • Volume ducked under voice
  • Fade in / out

Cost

  • £10.50 per file mixed

Learn More

Please note: There is a minimum job fee of £40.

Audiobook Mastering Options Explained

The tables above cover the aspects included, however, these are explained in more detail below. With our editing and mastering service, you send your final RAW audio to us in wave format (minimum 16bit 44.1kHz mono or stereo).

We then carry out a number of processes on the audio to get the best sound from it. Here are the processes explained.

Standard Audiobook Mastering

Noise Reduction

We sample a short piece of the noise in your audio. This will be a section where you are not talking, we encourage you to leave a couple of seconds of dead air so that we can get a good noise analysis. We then use this to de-noise your entire recording.


Audio Enhancement

Making your audio sound polished depends on a number of factors. These include EQ and compression, which is commonly discussed in audio forums. However, the precise combination and settings used will vary greatly depending on the experience and techniques of the producer. Our audio producer is Lee Pritchard who has over 20 years experience and his process for audiobooks contains multi-band equalisation, compression, tube and console emulation for the character of the sound, limiting and de-essing.


Volume Levelling

This is the process of getting the audio consistently level throughout so that the listener can comfortably hear the audio. It is the process of bringing the peaks and troughs closer together (or the quiet and loud bits) to reduce the dynamic range. Once the volume is levelled using various processes, such as compression, EQ and limiting, the final audio can be output and normalized to the correct level. The maximum level we produce to is -0.5dB, however, most outputs for audiobooks are usually lower at -3bB. This is often a misunderstood aspect of production as levelling is not just a case of normalising audio; normalisation is only part of the chain required to get a properly levelled sound.


Audible Specification

We are able to provide the specific audio requirements that Audible ask for. We can also provide any other format you require.

Premium Audiobook Mastering

Everything detailed in the Standard Audiobook Mastering (above) is included in the Premium Audiobook Mastering service, but with the additions detailed below.


Manual Debreath

De-breathing voice over audio is not an essential requirement if you are intending to get your audiobook onto Audible/Amazon. However, it is arguably the difference between audio that sounds really professional and audio that just sounds good. It depends on your point of view. Most 'professional' audio is de-breathed, for example, corporate videos and TV adverts are pretty much always de-breathed. With audiobooks, they are a lot longer and given that de-breathing manually takes our audio producer approximately 3 times the audio length (1-hour narration takes 3-hours work) it is a big task. Understandably, many audiobooks keep their breaths for this reason.

De-breathing audio does cost more due to the additional time it takes and is only included in our Premium Audiobook Mastering option.

There are some automated processes that can be used to debreath audio, but in our experience we do not rate them. Generally speaking, they are okay for short audio files that you can easily check, but not for long narrations as they are renowned for leaving in some breaths and being too aggressive on others, to the point where they can actually cut parts of words off. Until the technology improves our debreath process is manual.


Gap Reduction

This comes hand-in-hand with de-breathing. As you are listening for breaths and removing them, the flow can be altered by snipping out little bits of silence. This technique is great to increase or decrease the pace of the narration, but again, this is a manual process and gap reduction is only available in our Premium Audiobook Mastering service.


Mistake Removal

If you opt for the Premium Audiobook Mastering service, we will remove a reasonable number of mistakes where it is obvious to us that it is a mistake. This is not proof checking and we will not be following the manuscript, but we will remove or question anything that does not sound right in the context of what we are listening to. You can also highlight mistakes / re-reads by putting a sharp transient in the audio (by clapping or using a dog clicker).

We will do this as part of the process of listening through for breaths and unnecessary gaps.

Music Intro / Outro Mixed

Having appropriate music added to your audio gives it a professional edge. This will be at the beginning and end of the chapters and will be faded in/out where needed. It will also be ducked under the voice to avoid clashes with dialogue.

Additionally, we can mix in music and/or sound effects throughout the audio, but this is not inlcuded in the music intro/outro service. It would be quoted for based on your requirements.

We can use our own selection of pre-licensed music or you can license one of our tracks for an additional fee.

You can also provide your own music but it must be appropriately licensed by you.

Any music you license from us will come with a license document.

  • We can use any of these tracks at no extra cost to you - BeanstalkAudio.com
  • You can license any of these tracks from our music library - Royalty-Free Music
  • Or you can supply your own music but the license is your responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which service should I choose?

If you or your client are happy to keep breaths in the audio and budget is a factor for you, you may prefer go with our Standard Audiobook Mastering option. This gives you the same production values, but without the time-intensive expense of manual breath and gap removal. However, if perfection is your preference and there is a healthy budget, the Premium Audiobook Mastering is the one to go for.

In both cases, adding Music Intro / Outro Mixed is a good idea to give the chapters a professional start and finish.


Can I have a sample?

If you are interested in using our service, we would be happy to give you a quote (based on the rates above), and we would be happy to provide you with a short sample as part of the quote. Just get in touch with details about your project - [email protected]


What is the process?

Once we have had a chat via email and we know the extent of your project, we will give you a formal quote. If you wish to proceed, we then work with you to create a payment/production schedule, based on deliverables.


How do I pay?

We have a variety of payment methods via our online commerce system. We will send you a link to pay once we create a quote for you.


How long does it take?

It will depend on our availability and the production schedule that we work out with you. We can typically deliver audio in 5 working days.


My budget is low, is there any wiggle room? 

We are always happy to discuss budgets and see if we can accommodate. Our ability to do this depends on your requirements and our current workload.


Do you proof listen to the audio against the manuscript?

Sorry, this is not a service we offer. 

We would suggest that you ask your client to do this. Typically, this will be the author or publisher. They will be best placed to proof listen and critique the audio book. You can then make any amendments as required before sending the audio to us for mastering.


I am new to recording my voice, have you got any advice?

Yes, we have a few articles that may be helpful.


Still have questions or want to get a quote?

Email us directly [email protected]

 

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