Balticon 47 Wrap up – Part 9, Narrating Podcast Fiction

by Doc Coleman on July 29, 2013 · 0 comments

in Balticon

Swimming Cat Studios is proud to welcome you back for episode 9 of the Balticon 47 Wrap up. This week’s offering is a presentation by Renée Chambliss on Narrating Podcast Fiction. Renée started as a novelist who podcast her novel on This led to an unexpected career as a narrator when listeners began contacting her to read their fiction. In this panel, Renée attempts to share what she’s learned about narration.

There were a few problems at the beginning of the presentation as the set up in the room wasn’t able to pick up the audio from Renee’s laptop. We were able to help out a few minutes in by providing a cable to connect the laptop to the sound system in the room, and the latter half of the panel is free from technical interruptions.

Some key points from the talk, without all the distraction of tech difficulties, include:

  • Reading the story before recording.
  • Setting the right tone for the reading.
    • Be willing to ask what kind of tone should be used in the story.
  • Know the characters.
  • Learn how to pronounce the words.
  • Realize that the narrator is a character in the story even in a third-person narration.
  • Understand what you’re saying.
  • Combine emotion and tone for your reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of doing re-takes.
  • Use a consistent recording environment for an entire project.
  • Be able to recapture a character’s voice.
  • Record multiple versions when recording.
    • It is easier to edit pieces of a single session together than to try to piece together multiple sessions.
  • Get a running start when fixing mistakes.

Following the conclusion of Renee’s prepared presentation we had some discussion of hardware and software setups. Microphones mentioned included the Blue Snowball and the Zoom Handy recorder line: the Zoom H1, H2, and H4n. Software tools mentioned were Garage Band, and Audacity.

There was also a short discussion of some different philosophies for setting up your recording environment, i.e. the recording closet, vs. the big open room.

Those interested in pursuing narration are advised to start simply, as the more technology you include, the more things you have to trouble-shoot to deal with problems.

We also discussed some techniques on dealing with varying volume levels without clipping or dropping out, both technological solutions, and  practical techniques like rolling your head away as your lines get louder.Despite the technical hiccups, the panel was an excellent discussion and we hope you enjoy the recording as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.


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