How to Create an Amazing Sounding Booktrack
Published: 28 April 2014
I am often asked by authors for tips on how they can create an amazing reading experience for their audience using Booktrack Studio. While creating a Booktrack is super easy, here are some tips that will help you take those skills to the next level and really make sure that your story is set to fantastic audio.
- Music instantly adds emotion and mood to your text, so be sure to select a music piece that works well with your story. The easiest way to find a music piece would be to use the "categories" drop-down menu from the "track selection" screen and selecting some tags to help refine your search. As an example, to find the right soundtrack to a horror story, you could search for the Emotion as "Sad-Lonely", Genre as "Horror" and Style as "Orchestral –Classical".
- Use ambience to set the scene. The right ambience can instantly show the reader where the story is set. Once you have chosen the ambience, balance the volume level of this with the volume of the music so one doesn't overtake the other.
- Find a good length for your music piece. Generally I like to change the music when the mood or scene of the story changes.
- Overlap fade in / fade out times for your ambience and music. This helps keep the Booktrack immersive without stopping the sound completely. Here is a tutorial video for this.
- Add sound effects to important actions within the text. If you can't find the exact sound that you want - be creative. A door knock can also be used to represent knocking on a table, etc. If it still doesn't sound right, it may be better to leave out the sound. Again, be cautious with volume as if a sound effect is too loud it can be distracting.
- For short content (such as poems), I would suggest turning the fade out time to 0 seconds and extending the music to the very last word in the text. This would mean the music will continue to loop at the end of the piece.
- Try to vary your Booktrack by adding both ambience and sound effects. This keeps it interesting to listen to. Music sets the mood and vibe of the story, ambience instantly puts the reader in a scene, and sound effects enhances the actions happening.
- Try to keep the volume of the Booktrack consistent as different volume levels can be distracting.
- Avoid using sounds that are not instantly recognizable or that doesn't directly relate to the story, as this can be confusing for the reader.
- Increase the region lengths of the sounds, so sounds do not get cut off abruptly for faster readers.
Chazz Hill-Hayr is a Booktrack Guru and award winning song writer. In his spare time, Chazz enjoys writing and producing music with his band, Flirting with Disaster. He was formerly frontman for international touring band The Rabble.
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