So now it’s over. For the time being, that is. We finished recording the final chapter Saturday morning and dropped in the edits later that afternoon. The mastered version is to be submitted to Harper-Collins today. It will, most likely, get another chapter-by-chapter review, and any additional changes will get dropped in.
I’m hoping there won’t be any. This has been an exhausting experience that I’m not sure I’d care to repeat. To be sure, it’s the first time I’ve ever narrated a long piece of non-fiction, and it’s the first time around for my director/engineer Joel Timothy. He’s used to recording and editing :30 radio and TV spots, and he probably spent more time than necessary editing out all my flubs. If I choose to accept another one, it might go a little faster since we now have one in the can (or burned on the disc, or ready for the download queue – whichever metaphor works). And I’ll admit that the author had a few idiomatic phrases that nearly made my tongue stumble, even though I read each chapter aloud before heading to the studio.
It was time-consuming, too, for everyone involved. For myself, I had to take time away from my family and one of my freelance gigs to do this, and I think I might have stretched the patience of both. Joel worked into the wee hours to edit, the proofer put in some intense overtime as did the mastering engineer. I kept hearing that the mastered versions of each chapter sounded awesome. Guess I’ll eventually find out.
I’ll have to think long and hard about doing another. Again, now that we know what to expect, Joel and I can adjust the process we had. Instead of reading on after a line was flubbed (which meant that Joel had to track the whole session front-to-back and make those edits – a time-draining task), we can discard that part of the take (called “busting”) each time it is flubbed, or when I need to re-read something. The recording sessions will go longer, but that will save time on edits. And after considering all of that, I might change my mind.
For now, though, it’s over. And I’m glad.