Recording Audiobook - should I use audacity? also Soundcard

I’m starting a project with my wife, recording an audiobook.
I love Audacity, but have never worked with it as much as we will be doing for this project.
Hope you could help answer some questions to get me on the right track.

We will be recording our speech, plus add some sounds and music between chapters.
Would Audacity be a good choice to record, edit and output this type of project?
Or should we instead consider a different package, such as Adobe Audition?
We have an old copy of Audition but it is an educational version…
Do you think Audition is overkill or should we stick with Audacity?

We will use the USB Blue Mic Snowball, but our Soundcard is nothing special.
Should I also get a better sound card for our PC or will it make little difference for speech / this microphone?

I read a post by another about writing to CD-R’s,
(Label at each track break, outputting to Wav, Export set at 44.1kHz, 16-bit PCM, Stereo etc. )
then throwing into Roxio or another package.
Is this how you would self publish or outputting from Audacity to a service is the way to go?
Would a service just take Wav files to write the CD’s for us?

Sorry I have a lot of questions, but would it be best to have one project for each CD
and break each track… or set up a different project for each chapter?
So I don’t make editing mistakes affecting an entire CD?


Thank you for your help!

Audacity should be quite capable of doing what you want. You can record, edit and export as wav ready for burning on CD.

Audition is also an excellent program, although considerably more expensive than Audacity. Personally I prefer the old version of Audition (when it was like Cool Edit Pro) than the new version. The new version has VST support, but you probably wouldn’t use that, and other than that I don’t like what Adobe have done with it at all. Using an Educational version for your project may not strictly be legal if you are doing a commercial project, but I’ll leave it to you to check the license conditions. You can use Audacity for anything you like :slight_smile:

If you were thinking of buying a new version of Audition, you may be better using Audacity and spending your money on other equipment such as microphone, speakers, headphones, pop shield…

Microphones - I’ve read some good reviews of the Blue Snowball Mic, but I’ve also heard of a lot of problems with USB audio devices. If you’ve already got the mic, then hopefully it will work well for you, but if you’ve not got it yet, then it may be worth considering the “analogue” options (using a conventional microphone with a little mixing desk and soundcard).

If you are using a USB microphone, your soundcard will make no difference to the recording quality from your microphone as USB microphones completely bypass the sound card. However, a decent sound card will allow you to hear more accurately what you have recorded (providing you are using good speakers or headphones).

I don’t know about publishing audio books, but you will certainly want to keep a copy of your work, and burning to an audio CD is a good way to do that (also it means that you can play your book on your CD player or hi-fi).