Category Archives: audiobook adventure

Sounds of the Season 3: Valenthur’s Tea

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.

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: Valenthur’s Tea

This is quite simply that part of the story where one guy is trying to have a civilized afternoon tea. But this is not England in the Alleged Real World, see, it’s an epic fantasy tale, so the adventurers crash the room with urgent requests to look at this book. This huge, old book that they open up on the nice table with all the tea things set in their perfect place. But now it all gets bumped out of the way, because book and clues and adventure. Right?

Here’s the sound, a bunch of tea things getting bumped out of the way to make room for a huge book:

How It Sounded

This is why my audiobook projects take so long sometimes. I mean, I already got swords being drawn, I got dragon roars and the sound of money changing hands. I’m ready to perform guys shouting in pain, saluting, stuff like that, no problem. But tea things? And it’s less than three seconds!

I searched up the following sounds:

  • “Calopa310” recorded ceramic-dishes (#186419)
  • “Soundmary” had clinking cups (#196679)
  • Finally, “Darkiron 98_01” named his effect platoschocando (#446326)

I took clips from each, altered the dead space between them in some cases, and laid the tracks in parallel.

Labor of love, in the dictionary- picture of me doing this.

How It Looks

Hah! I almost spent another hour trying to find the picture. But if I’ve been successful you can see it already, yes? Something like this from https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-erxvz:

Of course, it was a tome, not a magazine. So sue me.

I believe that the key to good FX is not just bombast or distraction, but also by that just-right sound, the one that goes almost unnoticed behind the narration of the host shouting “see here!” and all the rest. I’m hoping that if I do it right you’ll be immersed and find yourself enjoying the story even more.

Harbingers of Hope is out now in paper and e-book, and will be issued as an audiobook later this fall.

Sounds of the Season 2: War Eagles!

Because Sometimes Only Hearing is Believing

I believe good sound FX are always in season and for those interested I’ll be sharing some on my site, while I work through projects as an audiobook narrator.

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: Giant Eagle

I don’t know if I ever had more fun than when narrating the ripping adventure yarn by Debbie Bishop known as War Eagles. This Indiana Jones-level barnstormer was intended by Merian C. Cooper as a follow-up to his work on King Kong back in the 1930s. I mean, lost tribe of Vikings rides giant eagles to fight the Nazis, what else could you want from a story! But the heart of it, of course, was being able to replicate the sound of the eagles themselves.

Here’s the sound:

How It Sounded

I built this sound on one of many terrific entries by user “CraigSmith”, called eagle-cries (#437968). The background noise needed reduction, and I lowered the pitch slightly (I always seem to want to pull the sound lower!) as well as adding some echo.

How It Looks

Many fantasy fans will be familiar with the Giant Eagles of Tolkien and this certainly hearkens to those. I also think of the epic hawk, eagle and condor cries from that fabulous cartoon series Johnny Quest.

Here are giant eagles doing their thing, with Orcs standing in for the Nazis, from The One Wiki to Rule Them All:

Hope you’re enjoying the ride with these fun FX. War Eagles the audiobook is available on Audible and I can highly recommend it if you’d like a rollicking adventure tale that quite literally “flies by”.