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Art and Science of Audio Book Production

Issued September 1995

Science in Audio Book Production

Many technologies are needed for audio book production, among which are the technologies of acoustics, mastering, duplicating lighting, and ventilation. The technical quality of the final product is affected by how well these technologies are understood and applied.

Narration Environments

A narration environment is the environment in which a narrator is located during recording sessions. It is a room or free-standing enclosure that meets physical, acoustical electrical, lighting, and ventilation requirements considered important for the task of narration. A manufactured prefabricated product used as a narration environment is called a sound-isolating enclosure. This term is used in lieu of booth or studio, but all three terms refer to the same generic product.

Enclosures used as narration environments must be protected from outside noise because all enclosures, manufactured or constructed, have finite sound isolation. Sound isolation is the degree of acoustical separation between two locations; the degree of isolation for a sound-isolating enclosure is the difference between sound levels outside and sound levels inside.

A typical enclosure used as a narration environment is a single-wall enclosure, and the sound isolation it provides is modest at best. The only difference between a single-wall and double-wall enclosure of the same manufacture, other than cost is the degree of sound isolation. "Soundproof" is a misnomer for such enclosures, because they cannot provide infinite sound isolation.

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Posted on 2014-12-02