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Audio book narration

July 24th, 2017 by jomo

I listen to a lot of audio books. They let me do things with my hands while listening to something besides music or news.

In a website review for an audio title which I had thoroughly enjoyed, the reviewer complained mightily about mispronounced words. I agree that mispronunciations are jarring, but they are not finally the fault of the narrator. Narrators shouldn’t be reading the text cold, and they have a producer reading along silently with them, controlling the recording machinery. At any mistake or unwanted sound the producer can stop the whole process, rewind the recording, and cue the narrator to record over the error. The next step in the process requires an editor to listen to the recording while following the text. Any errors are then corrected by insert editing, which can sometimes be heard in a published title because of a momentary shift in ambient, or background, sound and vocal quality/intonation.

So a narrator can mispronounce a word, but they are not alone in the fault: there are others also to blame.

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