...nice folks on the ACX sites seem to insist that I use the condenser mike and interface.
They also want you to build a sound proof booth in your apartment and use an all-but silent MacBook Pro to do the recording.http://www.acx.com/help/setup/202008260
I bet this setup is straight out of reach of most people reading for audiobooks.
A "studio" is certainly desirable. Most people arriving on the forum want us to "clean up" their sound because of reading-at-home problems. I'm going to go back and find it again...one poster is trying to read using a communications microphone (airplane pilot, control tower) to avoid picking up the kids running around the house while he reads.
I am forever grateful to Patrick the kid who lived in the house before me and played drums. They soundproofed the third bedroom for him and so I got a "studio" before I even realized what I had. Now, I know. I, like you, can produce an ACX quality reading just by plunking a microphone on a towel on the desk, put the noisy clock out in the hallway, avoid the MetroBus driving by, and read.
No echoes, no noise.
We are finding condenser microphones have their own problems. Yes, they're "crisp" and "alive," but the crisp turns into scratchy, abrasive harshness the first time you have to apply effects or filters. That leads to even more filters such as the "De-Esser" and equalizer.
I'm finding I can get much of the same eventual sound and good quality with older microphones that don't try to "help me."
It is to ACX's benefit to give you as much of a head-start and off-line training as they possibly can. Past the obvious need to produce a quality product, they also have to mess with you
if you fail Quality Control. Mess With You
costs them money.
A production note. ACX wants your production in MP3 because they have to pay for storage. MP3 files even though lesser quality are smaller than WAV. You, however, should archive all your works as perfect quality WAV. I save all my original readings, too."Say Koz. Remember that promotion performance you recorded in the Main Conference Room? Do you still have that sound file around?"