Category Archives: audiobook adventure

Sounds of the Season 7: Play On!

Because Sometimes Only Hearing is Believing

I’m featuring sounds from my recent audiobook projects, just for fun, and I hope that this feature of my narration work will resonate with authors and listeners. Here are some of the others. This will be the final entry for now, as I think I’ve accomplished my goal.

Many times my FX are drawn from a marvelous website called Freesound.org.  I cut, slice and alter them using effects found in the Audacity tool (also free to download and use). Sometimes I create the sound myself, using my voice or things to hand.

Featured Sound: “Gente Theme Music”

Audible/ACX actively discourages you from putting music into the audiobook. I get it– the copyright issues are a potential nightmare. Fortunately I’ve spent time around music all my life, and even more fortunately, my miracle daughter is quite simply one of the most talented musicians (along with my lovely wife) I’ve ever known.

As Gilbert Stack’s Legionnaire series brought him into the Jeweled Hills I could see a need to distinguish between the three, count ’em, three feuding cultures he was plunged among. The Gente were clearly reminiscent of aspects of Hispanic culture: passionate, cultured, short-tempered in matters of honor. I checked with Gil of course and he enthusiastically supported my efforts. So I searched for some kind of “theme music” that fit the criteria I had:

  1. Conjured an image of the Hispanic culture
  2. Was legal for me to use

I did not have to search far. Genna was just preparing a piece for her recital, where she played the flute along with David Bozenhard who played Spanish guitar!

Here’s the sound, “Theme of the Gente” (actually Entre Act by Jacques Ibert). It’s worth hearing the whole thing (less than three and a half minutes):

How It Sounded

There are several passages here that I’ve excerpted to introduce a setting such as the house of a Don or a conversation between Gente officers. The key with music is the rights, as I said. Since this piece was composed more than a century ago, the rights to any digital performance (this recording was made for my daughter’s recital) lies with the musicians. I obtained their kind permission and off we go.

How It Looks

The Gente people live in a hilly, cut-up region of the world which creates a series of smaller city-states somewhat like the squabbling neighbors of ancient Greece. I picture the hills of California in the days of Zorro. The Mask of Zorro is one of the most entertaining of all the versions in my opinion.

You can hear this music starting with Book 3 of the Legionnaire series available on Audible. If you read the books on Amazon, you’ll just have to imagine the music.

Remember, with audiobooks only hearing is believing!

Sounds of the Season 4: Guarded Portal

Because Sometimes Only Hearing is Believing

I’m featuring sounds from my recent audiobook projects, just for fun, and I hope that this feature of my narration work will resonate with authors and listeners. Here are some of the others.

Many times my FX are drawn from a marvelous website called Freesound.org.  I cut, slice and alter them using effects found in the Audacity tool (also free to download and use). Sometimes I create the sound myself, using my voice or things to hand.

Featured Sound: Guarded Portal

Seems like so long ago now, but my first real-for-true outside author who hired me for narration work– Gilbert Stack had me for the Legionnaire series but he’s a cherished friend and colleague– was M. R. Matthias for his series Fantastica. He liked some of the sounds I installed (and asked me to drop others); I’m sure I learned a lot from helping to tell this epic tale over the course of four books (now available as a bundle).

Briefly– there’s a chamber filled with tomes of lore, the entrance guarded against entry by evildoers (the innocent can pass through freely). When the bad guys try to enter, the magical ward goes off, with fatal results.

Here’s the sound, Guarded Portal:

How It Sounded

With regret, I threw together FX in the early days without careful notes on which contributor to Freesound were the authors. But I’m fairly sure there were two sounds here, one of several Lightning sounds and another having to do with Electric/Zap. The challenge with these short FX is to insert something that’s evocative without interrupting the flow of the tale. The story is always, always first and foremost about the words the author wrote. I tried to put this in so that the listener might jump a second, and thus become more fully immersed in that tale.

How It Looks

Yeah, no. Google doesn’t have much in the way of a lightning-like flash that goes off when someone tries to cross a portal. But there is a company called Zap that makes garage door openers! Fantasy with its magic and monsters exceeds our experience– that’s really the point, isn’t it?. So the listener must just imagine that moment when the evil sorcerer gets an also-evil but unsuspecting thug to try and cross the portal.

The Fantastica series is available in all formats on Amazon and Audible. It remains one of the best selling volumes of my narration collection.