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Back in the Studio

Phase two of my audiobook narration and production journey is well underway. I had a long pause as we moved from Virginia Beach, VA back to Las Vegas, NV. Now that I feel settled in, I’m ready to roll with audiobooks again. Of course, I’ve continued learning the skillset and learning about the industry as I was on hiatus. I set up my studio in my new home. I’ve re-designed my website. I’ve completed an official audiobook production and narration training course or two and I’ve continued to keep up with ACX University all while listening to several excellent audiobooks such as this one. All good and fine but nothing compares with getting back in the studio!

Yesterday, I connected a couple of my newest additions: a Shure high pass filter and a new-to-me but used microphone. The high pass filter is an idea I picked up from George the Tech. He strongly recommends this for all Neuman microphones. That caught my eye because I picked up a Neumann TLM 102 in 2018. It’s a sweet little mic but for my voice, it isn’t the best for audiobook narration. It’s too bright on me. The high pass filter does improve my ability to work with it in my home studio but doesn’t fix the brightness issue. I plan to keep the mic anyway and use it as a backup mic and maybe for commercial spots that could come up or maybe even for visitors to my studio.

The used microphone I purchased is an MXL 89. I did a short comparison test yesterday and the difference was subtle to those I asked for their opinion so far. It is subtle to me too but it makes a big difference for listening to audiobook narration for hours on end. Here is the little side-by-side test where I read a line or two from Steven Forrest’s book The Inner Sky (my favorite book of all time at the moment). It is unedited and unprocessed so that you can just hear the two mics plain. The only thing in play is the high pass filter.

What do you think? Do you appreciate any difference or like one better than the other?