Thursday, June 1, 2017

Audiobook Lovin 2017 Presents: Piper Goodeve Guest Post


Hi Everyone! I'm so excited to have Narrator Piper Goodeve with us today!



When Gabe and I first started dating, I had been doing audiobooks for about six months.  He said he was really interested in getting into narration, being a professional actor himself.  As luck would have it, in 2012 one of the authors I narrated for regularly, the amazing Jasinda Wilder, had a book for me to do that also had chapters in first person male.  She asked if I knew anyone to recommend, and I sent her three names, one of which was Gabe.  She loved his audition and we started doing dual narration books for Jasinda right then.  The dual narration craze took off around that same time, and now we’ve done dozens of dual narration titles for various authors and publishers.  And we are now also married. ☺ 


People always ask if it is fun to work together, but the truth is, we don’t really work together! Narrating is very solitary, and when we’re doing a book “together,” he might record his chapters one day, and I would do mine the next.  Most of the time we wouldn’t even see each other if we were going to a publisher to record. We do collaborate on voices and tone and make sure we’re on the same page (audiobook humor!) about the characters and their journey.  We’ve only been physically in the booth together once for a book that had a few chapters where the main characters were texting back and forth, and the author thought it would be great if we did them in real time together. It sounded great and was really fun! 

With both of us narrating full time, both dual projects and our own solo titles, we decided it was time to build our own booth and start our own company.  Just about a year ago we started Little Town Studios at our house in Vermont. It was my late-grandparents’ home that they built as a ski house in the 1960’s.  My grandfather worked from home as a CPA and our studio is in his old office.  It feels really special that it is a family house and has so much history in it. Gabe used my grandfather’s tools to build the booth, and I can feel my grandparents’ support and blessings all around.  They loved “books on tape” so I like to think they are proud. 

Since finishing the studio in late spring 2016, we’ve done over twenty-five titles here and have nine more coming up.  We’ve recorded for Audible Studios, Tantor Media, and directly with authors through ACX. We are looking forward to building more relationships with both authors and publishers.  

Here are some photos of how we turned my late-grandfather’s office closet into a professional audiobook booth: 



The first step was cleaning out the large, old closet. Then we installed new flooring, sprayed foam in all the seams, and added extra wood wall paneling and some floor cushioning. As luck would have it, the door already had a glass window in it (apparently it used to be the door to outside but my grandfather boxed it in to make a closet!) It was a happy accident, as it is nice to have a window on a booth so you don’t feel like you’re in a dark, claustrophobic box.  Too much. ☺ 





The next steps were installing periscope ventilation in the closet walls so we can breathe (dryer ducts work great!) and drilling separate holes for audio and power (don't cross the streams!)





Let the soundproofing begin! We added extra wood wall covering, more foam and carpet on the floor, and sound attenuation all over the place.  Then we built a drop ceiling with just enough headroom (oh engineer humor!). We added lots of big floor pillows as well, to dampen the sound. 





You don’t realize just how loud the middle of nowhere actually is until you try and record an audiobook.  We had many failed attempts at getting a low noise floor of -60dB.  Reasons included: weed-wacking, lawn mowing, airplanes, tree clearing, thunderstorms, really strong winds, and even a groundhog that decided to dig right under our booth. We added some finishing touches outside to battle the elements: extra silver board and siding helped dampen the sound, along with a rain fly for stormy weather recording. (Note: we have a metal roof… this is ideal for recording when it rains…) Back inside, we use an AKG C414. We love this mic.  It’s important to try a few to make sure your particular voice works well with it, and that’s even more important if more than one person is using the mic.  Both Gabe and I regularly record at a Rohan Audio in Queens, NY, and they use this same mic so we knew we both sounded great on it.  For prep and recording, we use an awesome app called iAnnotate on our iPads, and we both like classic Sony headphones for comfort while recording. Gabe uses a dual-monitor connection when he self-records (I don’t know how to do that… yet!) and we always use Reaper DAW and an Apogee Duet interface.  Oh and our cat Caroline is our Assistant Manager. She gets paid in treats. You can check out some of our samples and what we are up to by following us on Instagram and Twitter, as well as our Facebook page and our website www.littletownstudios.com 

Thanks so much Audiobook Lovin’ for spreading the audiobook love! 



About Piper Goodeve



Piper Goodeve is an award-winning narrator, who has given voice to over a hundred titles.  As a stage actress, she has appeared in leading roles Off-Broadway (earning a Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance) as well as in theaters in Canada, London, and across the U.S. Happily splitting her time between Brooklyn and Vermont, where she and her husband own and operate Little Town Studios, Piper studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and received her MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep.  Please visit www.pipergoodeve.com or www.littletownstudios.com for more information.  Piper is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

You can find Piper at
Website
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Now, go visit Kelly!!!


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