This is NOT the kind of LAME we're talking about, but I thought you might chuckle at the thought. I know I did when I first heard I was going to have to using something called LAME to make Audacity work the way I wanted it to.
LAME is the MP3 converter tool you are going to need to make Audacity do what Audible wants it to do. Remember, when you upload files for review by an author, they must be in the MP3 format. For various reasons too painful to go into in this blog, you will need a tool to make Audacity recordings into MP3 recordings.
So, what is LAME? It's a tool that's been around since 1998 created by a member of the audio production community. Think of it like a little app that does what you need done.
Can you trust it? YES. I've been using LAME for several years with Audacity. It's not going to give your computer a virus. It's actually a quite small little add-on that you can download here: http://lame.buanzo.org/. If that site looks scary, then go back to Audacity's site and let them redirect you to the converter from their own pages (it's going to be the same place).
Still worried about downloading it?
You can go through Audacity to get the link at http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html. Don't worry, it won't hurt my feelings if you don't trust my links. Do it the safe way.
Once you get it, you can convert your recordings into the most holy, revered MP3 format. How? It's easy.
1. Record your audio file.
2. Under File>Export Audio.
3. Select MP3 as the format.
4. Congratulations-- you are now an MP3-enabled Audacity user!
Bummer, man. You just recorded your first words in Audacity and it sounds like the picture at left. What now?
Don't panic. You can fix Mr. Poop with the right equipment. If your recording sounds like Mr. Poop, it's probably one of two problems.
Problem 1: Your headphones suck, dude.
Solution: Get a good pair of headphones, you are going to need them.
By the way, they are not going to be the trendy, low-profile "ear-bud" style of headphones. They are going to be the nerdy, remedial reading center kind that go over the ears. May I recommend my favorite: Audio-Technica ATH-M30 (or better quality, if you can afford it). Check them out here.
Problem 2: Your microphone sucks, dude.
Solution: Get a good microphone. You are going to need this more than any other piece of equipment, if you plan to do any audiobook production that won't be sh*t.
Note: It's not going to be the crappy little stork-neck looking mic that costs $5 at the dollar store. It's going to be the phallic, beefy-looking kind that sits on your desk in an intimidating way. My favorite is the Blue Yeti mic. Check it out here.
In the next post, we'll examine some common reasons ACX will bounce your production. Don't worry, you can fix it.
Welcome to the Seahorse Audio Blog. In this blog, I plan to share with you everything that I have learned about using Audacity to produce high-quality audiobooks for Amazon/AUDIBLE/ACX.
If you are new to audio production, don't worry. I learned how to use Audacity for this exact purpose and you can, too.
First of all, you should know that ACX recommends Pro Tools for audio production. There is only one small problem for those of us living in the real world of finances. I will let you decide what that problem might be when you examine the image below:
I have no problem with Avid's Pro Tools. I'm sure it's a wonderful suite of options for the financially-enabled consumer. But, maybe you are like me and have a family to support. Or maybe you are just getting started and want to jump in without spending all of your cash right away. If you don't have $600 laying around, may I recommend the FREE option: Audacity.
Yes, Audacity can look a little fishy to someone who is trying to find a way to download it for the first time, but I can assure you-- as an Audacity user for the past four years-- this is a great piece of software and you will not get a computer virus from it. It's safe and it's everything you need to live the dream. I recommend you download it here from the official site at www.audacityteam.org.
Open it up and start recording something by hitting the red record button. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare. Maybe it's just you saying random things like: "chicken sandwich," "clowns are reaaallly scary," and "I'm gonna be rich."
Now, put on your best headphones and check out what you recorded with the green play button.
What did your recording sound like? Did it sound like sh*t? It could be one of two things. Check out the next blog post to find out what they might be.