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SoundFridge announces deal to produce audio-book of “Hacking” by Abraham J. White

SoundFridge announces deal to produce audio-book of “Hacking” by Abraham J. White

The Amazon #1 Bestseller is coming to Audible . . . These days, it seems that news about hacking is in every headline.  Whether we’re talking about e-mail server hacks upending presidential elections or photo leaks targeting celebrities, life savings being stolen in phishing scams […]

Why it’s hard to find a voice-over actor to do revenue share

Why it’s hard to find a voice-over actor to do revenue share

  Independent authors and revenue share Today I got a pitch from an independent author about producing his book for Audible.  He offered a 50/50 revenue share deal.  At first glance, it was a reasonable idea, especially from his point of view.  The book has […]

SoundFridge announces upcoming “Veterinarian’s Field Guide to Rabid Unicorns” for Audible

SoundFridge announces upcoming “Veterinarian’s Field Guide to Rabid Unicorns” for Audible

I am pleased to announce that I will be producing the novel The Veterinarian’s Field Guide to Rabid Unicorns, by Elise Loyacano Perl, for Audible.com.  My 16th project for Audible, this humorous novel is a wacky adventure where Jurassic Park meets Artemis Fowl.  It is the first book in the St. Quiche Island Archives, a series of youth-novels-for-adults set in the fictional Caribbean country of St. Quiche.  This is SoundFridge’s second novel project, after The Ghost Factory by Jordan Vezina.

FROM THE BOOK COPY:

“One clueless vet. One mad scientist. Lots of crazy unicorns. This can’t end well, can it?

Bertie’s just a regular veterinarian whose career is the pits. He is up to his eyeballs in debt, and his boss drives him bonkers. So when a scientist offers him a job at a Caribbean park, he takes the leap.

But no textbook can prepare him for what awaits: genetically engineered unicorns. They aren’t your cuddly picture book variety either. These mythical creatures could very well turn a tropical paradise into an island deathtrap.

Now Bertie must find a way to keep these beasts from spiraling into madness. But will he rise to the challenge? Or will it be lights out for Bertie before he can come up with a cure?

The Veterinarian’s Field Guide to Rabid Unicorns is the first book in the St. Quiche Island Archives. If you like funny fantasy, underdog heroes, and madcap villains, you’ll love this quirky novel.

Buy the book and discover how hilarious man versus the lab-created nature can be.”

SoundFridge produces first video-game VO

SoundFridge produces first video-game VO

  I’ve been murdered!  Well, my character Rolland has been.  And now my angry little brother is out to avenge me. This week I had the chance to voice a part for the cutscenes of “A Story of Distress,” a virtual reality video game from […]

SoundFridge announces deal to produce “Exceptional Wealth” by CNBC contributor Mark Tepper

SoundFridge announces deal to produce “Exceptional Wealth” by CNBC contributor Mark Tepper

I’m excited and honored to announce that I’ve been selected to produce the audio version of the new book Exceptional Wealth, by Mark Tepper, CFP®.  Mr. Tepper is a well known media personality and investment guru, with regular contributions to CNBC’s Power Lunch, the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, […]

Recording in stormy times: Musing on resilience

Recording in stormy times: Musing on resilience

By the time Hurricane María smashed into Puerto Rico on September 20th, we had learned a lesson from Hurricane Irma: Downtime is costly.  Lack of choice is sometimes important.

First came Hurricane Irma.  Though Irma devastated other islands in the Caribbean, she only gave us a glancing blow.  Still, the storm knocked out power for a week.  A week may not sound like much.  But in this business, a week means, “I’m sorry, I can’t take your project now because I don’t know when I’m getting power back.”  Which means a hole in our production schedule much longer than the down time.  It means clients are disappointed.  This business is all about trust and relationships.  You don’t usually get to see the clients.  They put their dreams in your hands and trust you to make them happen.  You have to make it happen.

It wasn’t the first time we had a power failure.  The power company in Puerto Rico, like the rest of the government, is in bankruptcy.  AEE has trouble keeping the lights on.   We were used to losing power.  But usually only for 10 to 12 hours, maybe a day.  Last year we had a 4-day power failure across the entire Island.  It was clear we’d need a solution, especially as SoundFridge was growing.  “I’m sorry, the power is out again,” just wasn’t cutting it.  I was looking at generators.  At the radio station where I also work, we have generators.  Commercial diesel units that are meant to power enormous transmitters for days at a time.  I couldn’t afford that, and my condo board wouldn’t allow one anyway.  But there were too many options getting in the way of a decision.  How could I choose a model?  What was I willing to pay?  Should I get a bigger one that could also run my fridge and some lights?  Should I get a more expensive inverter one that makes clean electricity for studio use?

Then came Irma.  All the stores from Home Depot to Tru Valu to the little corner ferreterías sold out of generators in a flash.  The storm was a wake-up call.  I had to decide what I needed, and fast.  What if the next storm hit us full on?

The one we got. Like what they use for food trucks.

Three days post Irma, the lights were still out and my wife and I were sitting in a steamy coffee shop catching up on some e-mails.  I was looking at options.  Well, one option really.  Because shipping.  Shipping generators to the Caribbean is prohibitively expensive.  The only one we could afford to ship was a little blue 2000 watt inverter generator.  It would be good to start, I thought.  I could use it to run my studio.  Everything else could wait till the stores restocked.  I clicked the “Order” button and paid for 15-day shipping.  The kind folks there at Electric Generator Depot bumped up the shipping to overnight at no extra charge because, they said, “We figure you may need it.”  Thank God they did.  I only had time to unpack it, add oil, fill it with gas, give it a break-in run, and then María hit.

If you’ve seen the news over the past 37 days, you know what happened.  Thankfully, my wife and I were not as nearly affected as many.  Our apartment did not flood.  The windows did not break.  The first 11 days after María, we were isolated from everything but our immediate neighbors.  “Are you okay?” “Yes, we’re fine.”  “Here, help me chop this big tree up and we’ll put it in that truck.”  “Okay.”  “Do you need bottled water?  Here, take some of mine.”  Those 11 days I would sometimes sit in my steaming bedroom, holding my phone and opening the Facebook app to review the last items that had come in before the storm.  There were one or two radio stations on the air, but they had no Internet or any way of taking calls, so they were as blind as the rest of us and limited to repeating rumors and trying to record the Governor’s press conferences.  There was no cell signal.  No Internet, obviously.  No way to call our families and let them know we were okay.

Outside, as far as we could walk, a nuclear bomb had gone off.  Trudging through a landscape that had gone from tropical verdant to late-November drab grays and browns.  As if fall had hit the Caribbean.  And everywhere silence.  The sound of wind pushing through ruined trees and downed power lines.  They need to invent a new word for surreal.

Nothing was open.  Nowhere to go to.  We dare not drive anywhere, because gas lines were 10 hours long.  Literally.  We had 3 gallons of gasoline for the generator in reserve.  How pitiful that seemed.  Certainly we could not run it to keep the refrigerator cold.  That was for SoundFridge, for when we had a chance to reopen.  We would need that income.

Impressions.  One comes to mind.  The two packs of D-cell batteries for the fan did not last long.  One night waking up around midnight, unable to breathe in the heat.  Stifling, pressing heat and humidity, like when I was a kid how I’d sometimes get stuck in a sleeping bag and couldn’t find my way out.  We decided to go to the car and run the air conditioner.  Saving gas?  This was an emergency.  Turning on the radio, and scanning the dial.  And not a radio station on the air, not in AM or FM.  All gone silent.  Some to conserve diesel, some because they have not yet returned to air.  I thought of Will Smith in “I Am Legend.”

The mind does funny things when the future is so uncertain.  The people on the radio mentioned that many nations were sending aid.  We saw huge airplanes, much larger than the normal ones, lining up for descent to the airport (we live in the approach path).  We heard that the President of the USA was going to be at a church we attend sometimes. We were a block away at the moment.  All we felt was annoyance at the traffic jam.  Our neighborhood, largely spared the worst of the storm, never saw anyone from FEMA or the National Guard.  We were grateful and knew why, but felt cut off all the same.

Then late one night, we walked outside into the dark to the front of our condo.  People were standing there, holding their phones in the air.  Apparently some signal was getting through.  My phone started buzzing.  As I sat on the curb to read the messages, tears came.  Past clients from all over the world were writing.  A note from China: “We’re praying for you.”  A note from the USA: “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.”  A note from Sri Lanka: “Dear sir: We know what it is to experience cyclones.  Here is $30 to help.”  And so on.  Life outside Puerto Rico was continuing, but here dozens of people I had never met were thinking about my wife and I, asking how things were going.  From a client in New Zealand: “No worries, mate.  We will wait till you get back on your feet.”

I reopened SoundFridge.  Reopened the account on Fiverr, reopened the website.  Now 37 days later, the lights are still out.  Most of Puerto Rico is still in the dark, although bright shoots of hope show everywhere.  The malls are reopening, stores are restocking, gas lines are down everywhere.  The little blue generator keeps running.  We’ve been able to deliver some 16 projects post-Maria.  I record them, transfer them to my phone, and then we drive around looking for enough signal to send them.

I’ve always known the truism that necessity is the mother of invention.  I’d add to that, in some cases lack of choices is important.  Going back to the gas issue, we could not use the generator for our personal comfort because we needed that gas for SoundFridge.  And who knew when gas would be available?  Would it be a week, three weeks, a month? It turns out the model we chose is an amazing gas sipper.  It can run at half load for about 15 hours on half a gallon of gas.  Happily, half load is exactly what I need to run the studio.  Had I chosen a bigger one to run the fridge and other things, our 3 gallons of gas would have been gone in about the same number of hours.

In the end, we got 57 hours of SoundFridge recording from our first 3 gallons of gas.    The first time we ran out, we had to walk about 5 miles round trip to the one gas station that was open.  And now gas is available again. I am grateful for the lack of choice.  While neighbors have had to stand in line daily to refill their 5-gallon candungos with gas, I have been quietly working away in my studio.  Without SoundFridge, this month would have been much bleaker, especially financially.

I want to end this with a note of thanks.  I am grateful to God for His hand of protection and provision for me, for my wife, for SoundFridge.  I thank all my clients, past and present, who contacted us to ask after our welfare and even to send help.  Thank you to everyone who has been sending aid and coming to help the people of Puerto Rico.  There is still much left to do, but you are making a difference.  Thank you.

 

– Dalan Decker

SoundFridge

I will do your professional medical voice-over as a BSN nurse

I will do your professional medical voice-over as a BSN nurse

Starting at $150 I’m the best of both worlds – a registered nurse (BSN-RN) with a radio and voice-over background. With 12+ years real-life experience in radio and voice tracking, I use a professional Whisper Room® recording booth and audio equipment. As a registered nurse […]

I will make your professional video voiceover

I will make your professional video voiceover

Starting at $10 Know how you make your video look professional? By making it SOUND professional! I specialize in making awesome video voice-overs quickly, affordably and professionally. My voice appears in videos big and small, such as • Corporate videos • Video game character/cutscene voices […]

I will make your book into a professional audiobook for Audible, iTunes, etc.

– Starting at $10 –

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I help YOU sound amazing! With a friendly, confident American voice-over polish and 12+ years of experience as a professional broadcaster and voice actor. I use top-quality equipment to make your audio book narration into something you will feel proud to sell and share. Amazon ACX/Author’s Republic pass guaranteed. I record in a genuine WhisperRoom® isolation booth, the ones used in recording studios from Warner Brothers to MTV, from Google to Pixar.

Projects I’ve been honored to do recently:

• Dozens of projects for Summaries.com
• Nonfiction books
• Short stories
• Novels
• Children’s picture books
• Training guides
• ESL curricula
• Spoken word poetry
• More!

If your project needs a confident, neutral American voice with years of experience a professional studio, give my samples a listen.  Ask for a FREE custom voice-over sample (see FAQ’s).

– FAQ’s –

Can I ask for an audition clip?

Absolutely! I think canned voice samples are pretty useless, to be honest. Send me a short selection of your project (one paragraph or less) and I will record it for your review, no cost or obligation. You can also visit my YouTube channel here: https://tinyurl.com/yb5ljluc.

What format do you use to record?

The industry standard for audiobooks is mono MP3 at 196Mbps.  So unless otherwise specified, I will deliver in this format.  However, my studio session masters are recorded  at 44100/16-bit .wav.  This means if you want to do something to the audio, like add effects or music, you can ask for the studio master .wav file. Let me know if you want it in MP3 or original, lossless .wav format.

What will you NOT record?

I will not record the following books: 1. Pornography. This includes super steamers like "50 Shades of Grey" or its equivalent "mommy porn." Romance with some love is fine. 2. Anything hateful, mean, or too far past PG rating.  Nothing homophobic or hate-speechy.

How long does it take?

Each hour of finished audio is about 9500 words.  Assume about 6 hours of work for each hour of finished audio (PFH). I am a very busy guy in high demand, so please contact me FIRST to confirm availability and to agree on an estimated delivery date. I generally deliver sooner than promised.

What equipment do you use in your studio?

I only accept top-of-the-line professional equipment, including a Soundcraft® mixer and the legendary Sennheiser® MD-421 II microphone. You find this handmade German mic in every truly great pro studio. It offers a great "proximity effect" and almost endless range for expression.  (In other words, you can whisper or shout at the top of your lungs and it won't be fazed a bit.)  I record in a WhisperRoom® iso booth with a dbx® all-analog audio processor.  All analog processing means a warm, natural, smooth sound.

Do you make for Amazon ACX/Audible?

Yes. I understand all that stuff about RMS and so forth. Don't worry, your project will slip right through the ACX approvals process. In fact, just search "Dalan Decker" on Audible to see all the books I've voiced there!  Also, feel free to check out my free e-book where I explain what all that means in easy to understand English!  (The link is below and in the menu under "Portfolio.")

Can you upload to ACX/other stores for me?

Quick answer: Yes! Choose it as a Bonus Extra for the job. However, let me be very honest with you: If you can put pictures of your cat on Facebook or Instagram, you can easily upload your own book to ACX! If you choose this extra, you will need to set up your ACX/Author's Republic account first and send me the login.

Can you do different voices or accents?

If your project calls for voices or accents, please send me a sample script and I can play with it. Please note that if you accept my audition and proceed to order, I'll expect you to accept the finished product! I will NOT do a stereotypical "Hispanic" or "African American" accent as I feel it is disrespectful. Don't even ask.

What about Author's Republic?

Yes!  They use the same audio standards as Audible and iTunes.