Tag Archives: audiobooks

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 6: Bringing it Together (Men’s Room!)

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: Men’s Room

I’ve been doing really short sounds recently, and wanted to go to the other side of the spectrum, something longer and showing how the sounds ideally can fit into the background and enhance the listening experience. Enter DL Ashmore, one of my most faithful and enthusiastic author clients, who is continually crafting new ads for his “Business” series available both on Amazon and Audible.

When he sent me his first in the series, Unfinished Business,  I thought “ah, police procedurals”. I’m starting to record his fourth book today, and my sense of the genre has sharpened a bit. I now call it “ex-military pseudo-vigilante porn”. There are good cops, who’ve been raised right and know how to enforce the law, including creatively at times. Bad guys abound, but they generally get theirs, as in the clip below about an arrogant young gun who has vulture-capitalized a children’s hospital and plans to fire all the staff to finance his dissolute lifestyle. Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

Here’s the sound, “Men’s Room” from Taking Care of Business (linked to his Facebook post, might have to scroll down a bit to see it):

Excerpt from “Taking Care of Business” (DL Ashmore)

How It Sounded

The sounds here are all pretty mundane; opening and closing the heavy bathroom door, unzipping pants, and then the semi-limp body of a vulture capitalist hitting the tile floor. The trick was to keep them slotted tightly into the narration (without long beats between the words, and so forth) so that the listener might feel really there. At the end of the clip, the venue actually shifts in and out of the men’s room, from the ladies’ conversation to the dope’s last thoughts.

How It Looks

Women may wish to avert their eyes. It’s the row of urinals that makes a men’s room unique. I only found about a thousand and six pictures that would do the trick. Here’s one from iStock:

Bathroom for men, especially clean, spacious

The Business series by DL Ashmore is available at both Amazon for e-book and paperback, as well as on Audible for the a-books. The fourth audiobook in the series, Ugly Business, is at Amazon now and will be out on audio later this fall.