Audiobook production is our specialty; with 30+ years of experience in recording, editing, mastering and QC, we know how to achieve a crystal-clear sound that will grab listeners' attention from the very first minute. Whether your audiobook project is already recorded and just needs editing and proofing, or if you need assistance through the entire process, Common Mode has you covered. We are also available to assist professional narrators seeking engineering or post-production for independent projects, and we are always looking to work with new publishers!
NARRATORS: Finding the Right Voice
The first, and perhaps most crucial stage of producing an audiobook is selecting a narrator. This person will become the voice of your story, and is responsible for conveying the nuance and emotion of your text with maximum clarity. Common Mode has relationships with dozens of the best SAG-AFTRA union narrators in the NYC metropolitan area, LA, as well as some overseas, many of whom have been heard on bestselling productions around the world. No matter the writing style, we can assist you in finding the perfect voice for your book.
RECORDING: Capturing the Story
Common Mode is equipped with a professional recording studio and vocal booth, utilizing a Neumann TLM 103 and Focusrite ISA One to capture the clearest possible sound in Pro Tools. Our studio is equipped for remote connections via Skype and phone patch for out-of-town directing and monitoring. If you are an author and choose to narrate your book yourself, you will find our studio to be welcoming and comfortable, and our engineers will assist you every step of the way to capture a clean and natural recording. Many independent authors have chosen to narrate their own books at Common Mode with great results.
EDITING: Shaping the Sound
Once recording is completed, the audiobook gets transferred to our post-production managers for processing in Reaper and editing in Pro Tools. This entails meticulously going through the audio, removing bad takes, mouth and clothing noises, pops and clicks, and ensuring a consistent pacing level throughout the book. Every book has its own rhythm, and our editors are experts at finding it, honing the pace set by the narrator, and thereby shaping a raw recording into a polished final product.
MASTERING: Finishing Touches
Perhaps the most subtle stage of the production process, Mastering is nevertheless an essential finishing step, as it ensures your audiobook will have clear, punchy, and stable sound all the way through, and be able to compete with other professionally produced recordings. Our process involves a custom chain of high-end plugins which (depending on the project's needs), balance sibilance, dynamic range, EQ, and other aspects of sound to create a clear, pleasing end product that maintains compliance with Audible's loudness / peak / RMS requirements. We also provide mastering services for DDP duplication.
QUALITY CONTROL: Ensuring Perfection
Quality Control or “QC” is a large part of our process at Common Mode, and one of the most important jobs we perform. Our QC staff is college-educated, well-read, and very precise. The QC staff listens to the finished recording while reading along with the text to make sure that there are no noises, misreads, missing lines, or pronunciation inconsistencies. If mistakes are found, "pickups" are sent to narrators for further recording, which get edited into the final mastered session and then QCed again.
Once the Audiobook clears final QC approval, it is 'customer ready,' and can be prepared for distribution as a CD or direct-download product. Common Mode can accomodate any metadata format and bitrate for MP3's or lossless audio, and we can assist with uploads to Audible for online sales.