Hello to the world from me, Ben Gale and my current audiobook project partner, Rich Hemming.
This is our first blog post, which is long overdue. For a while now we have been slowly moving along on this project. As we reach near-completion of our first story together, I will be writing retrospectively about the process. That way its out there for anyone who is interested in the work, whether it be out of curiosity, or perhaps you are doing something similar with the technology? In which case drop us a line!
Our aim is to produce some children’s audiobooks with high quality, immersive sound design that accompanies the story narrative to sonically bring the world of the story to life.
What do we mean by immersive? Well we use a recording technique called binaural which means that when wearing headphones or earphones, the listener perceives a sense of direction and distance in the sound effects. Start adding these sounds together and you are able to create a kind of audio sphere that could be described as 3D sound.
With virtual reality just starting to take off, this is project is as much about research as it is about the finished product. Whilst it looks like the VR industry is heading in a different direction (ambisonics) we believe there could still be scope for products such as this.
Perhaps they could be a stimulus, able to aid in early years education, perhaps this could be an new immerging media for the visually impaired, or perhaps it would be simply an engaging addition to compliment already brilliant audiobooks. (One day I look forward to experimenting with adults’ horror stories!)
For now we are focused on 3 traditional stories: The boy who cried wolf, how the tortoise got his scars and The thieves and the cockerel. First the stories are narrated and the characters voice-acted. Next we record and design the sound effects to accompany the dialog. Finally we get the stories illustrated and will upload them for the world to see.
The following blog posts will describe the process we have undertaken as well as challenged faced, how we have overcome them, and any thoughts on the project. Thanks for reading and please get in touch if you have something to say!
Rich and Ben