DIY Audiobook Recording Studio in 5 Minutes

In this video I'm going to show you how to set up a very simple DIY audiobook recording booth in under 5 minutes using a small closet and items that I already have lying around my house.  

Video Transcript:

Here's the closet that I'm starting with. 

Its very basic and the dimensions are about 2 feet by 4 feet so this is a very small space.

My closet is already carpeted. If your closet has a hard floor, you're going to want to put down a rug or carpet remanent to help absorb sound. 

One of the biggest challenges that I'm going to have is that my closet has a very high ceiling so I'm going to have to find a way to fill in some of the space between the shelf and the ceiling. 

For this project I'm going to be using a few old blankets and rugs that I found laying around my apartment. 

You could also use acoustic foam panels, towels, moving blankets, or other cloth materials that you have access to. I wanted to keep this tutorial super simple so I didn't go out and purchase any of the materials that I'll be using here. 

Even though I'll be using my laptop in closet, it's still pretty dark in there. I like to have a little extra light so I'm going to start by hanging a battery powered tap light using a thumbtack. 

You can get a 2-pack of these lights on Amazon for about $3. 

I light using a battery powered light because a lamp won't fit in here and because electric powered lamps can give off a slight buss or hiss that can interfere with your recordings. 

Next I'm going to line the closet with a thin comforter. I got this one at IKEA for under $15. 

I'm just starting at one end of the closet and securing the blanket with thumb tacks as I go around.  

If I really wanted to do a thorough job here, I might hang towels behind the angled arms that support the wire shelf, but covering the majority of the wall will give us pretty good acoustic results. 

Here I'm just tucking the ends of blanket against the bottom of the wall so that I don't step on them later. 

The next thing that I'm going to do is create a false ceiling using a couple of old bathroom rugs. 

I'm just going to cover the wire shelf with the rugs with the fluffy side facing down toward me. 

Uneven soft surfaces like what you see here on my rugs, do a great job of absorbing sound waves and canceling out echo and reverb. 

My closets have pretty high ceilings and I don't want to leave an open space up at the top. I'm using soft garment storage boxes filled with clothes to help fill in this gap. I get these cloth boxes at IKEA for around $7 a piece. 

If you have a space like this at the top of your closet, you could also use pillows, blankets, towels, clothes, or any other soft material to fill in the space. 

Next, we need to cover the door with soft material. 

I found an old blanket and folded it in half so that it would be about the same width and length as my door. 

I didn't want to use thumbtacks or nails to secure the blanket because I don't want to damage the door. Instead, I'm going to use safety pins and packing tape to secure the blanket to the inside of my closet door. 

I'm just using three safety pins - one at either end of the blanket and one in the middle. 

If your blanket is heavy, you may want to use 5 or six. 

I'm just inserting the pins at the top edge of the blanket. 

Next, I'm going to use about a six to seven inch piece of packing tape over the top of the door. 

You want to leave about three to four inches of tape on the side of the door that you're hanging the blanket on. 

Next, I'm going to fold the loose end of tape into itself about two to three times to create a tab for my safety pin to attach to. 

The more times you roll the tape up, the more layers you'll create and the stronger your tab will be. 

Then I'm just going to pin the end of the blanket to the tab and repeat this process two more timesin the middle and at the opposite end of the door. 

To finish off my recording booth, I'm adding a small adjustable drummers stool and a computer stand that will hold my laptop, microphone, and my audio interface. 

You could also use a floor mic stand with this setup and swap out the computer stand for a small table. 

If you're using a desktop computer, you could place it outside of the closet and use an ipad, tablet, or kindle to read from. 

And there you have it. Thats how you can set up a simple audiobook recording booth in your home for free in under 5 minutes. 

Want step-by-step instructions for producing audiobooks?

Audiobooks with Audacity is a self-paced online course that shows you each step that you need to take to find paid audiobook jobs and create high quality audiobooks using the the free software program Audacity.

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The ACX requirements are a list of technical rules or specifications that your audio files must meet if you want to sell audiobooks, or create audiobooks for authors that they can sell, on sites like Audible, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audiobooks.com, etc. then your audio MUST meet the ACX Submission Requirements. 

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If you've done any research into the most popular ways for stay-at-home moms to earn extra income without having to go out and get a traditional job, you've probably seen some generic options like: 

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  • Create an online course
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All of these options are legitimate ways to earn extra income from home, but most of these suggestions are very general and the path to getting started and earning a sustainable income isn't always clear. 

But there is another option for making extra income from home that no one ever talks about...

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This is how I get the majority of my jobs as a narrator. It’s how I make my living. One of the things that I love so much about this business is that you don’t need to pay for advertising or have a large audience to make a good living as a narrator.

The one thing that you do need if you want to be successful, is the confidence to reach out to prospective authors and publishers and offer your services.

How much money can you make recording audiobooks from home?

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The question that usually follows is, “How much can you make doing THAT?”

Most people are shocked when I tell them how much I usually make per book. But before start showing you blunt numbers, let me tell you a little more about how audiobook narrators get paid.