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The Ultimate Recording Computer?

Many people in the voice over industry complain about the loudness of computers and hard drive fans.  You're trying to create the quietest environment possible, and here your computer's fan sounds like a leaf blower on steroids.  Most people, such as myself, keep their computer outside the booth, so the fan sound isn't really an issue.  Nevertheless, on my last setup I still installed a custom low-noise fan just to help keep the db down.  Some people record with their computer or hard drive in the booth with them, but then they need to make sure they're using a fanless computer and/or a SSD.

I've heard of "extreme PC cooling" before - submerging computers in oil (yes, I'm serious), running ice cold water tubes all over them, etc...but this one made my jaw drop, the creator claims it's "0 db," it uses water cooled tubes, and it's built with copper!  Perhaps a little overkill for my needs, but I like the steampunk!

Found via: PC World, a Great 10 Picture Slideshow


New Audio Book Website!

I just launched my new audio book focused website:  www.adamvernernarrator.com, with a new logo and great content!  This will be a place where I can interact with listeners and fans more easily.  There's a newsletter signup and blog there, as well, check it out!



Newtown Review

Recently I was priveldged to narrate Newtown for Tantor Audio, a powerful look into the shootings in Conneticut last December.  Publisher's Weekly recently reviewed the audio book and shares some nice comments:

Newtown: An American Tragedy

Matthew Lysiak, read by Adam Verner. Tantor Media, unabridged, six CDs, 7 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-1821-0

Lysiak goes into the heart of the Newtown massacre to try to recreate what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School and why. He explores the lives of the victims, the survivors, and the killer. His balanced approach avoids blaming in lieu of identifying the various dynamics at work and the issues that allowed for the event to occur. Narrator Verner turns in a winning performance, his voice conveying appropriate emotion while still presenting the material in clear manner. Verner provides subtle voices for dialogue but infuses them with accurate feeling. Additionally, he wisely avoids melodrama when describing the massacre. The audiobook also includes an insightful interview with Lysiak. A Gallery hardcover. (Dec.)


The Four Hour Chef - Free Download!

Recently I was priveldged to be hand-picked by Tim Ferriss himself to narrate his most recent NY Times best-selling book: The Four Hour Chef.  Tim narrates some introductory material, and Neil Gaiman also lends his voice!  It was an interesting process since usually most cook books are not turned into audio books :)  As Tim notes in the book however, this is far from "just" a cook book.  Included amongst recipes for things like "Sexy Time Steak" are lessons on building an emergency debris shelter and how to play Bear Ninja Cowboy.

This book was a fantastic honor to narrate, as well as being eye opening.  Like Tim, I've always feared the kitchen and it's arcane ways.  Tim breaks down the process of cooking in a very articulate way - making connections far outside the kitchen, to life, learning styles, and even dating.

In an incredibly generous gesture, Tim is offerring the book for download for FREE!  Snag yourself a copy here, and enjoy!

FREE Four Hour Chef audio book


Research Spreadsheet for Audio Books

As narrators, often we are tasked with researching the books we narrate.  Usually this isn't too onerous, involving looking up a few arcane technical terms or historical figures last names.  If we're unlucky it involves ancient Sanskrit and proto-indo-European gods, along with a smattering of Tibetan Buddhist meditation terms.  Or my favorite pet-peeve - when you finally find that YouTube interview featuring the scientist with the weird last name, only to realize they've cut off the introduction.  They have his name on the bottom of the screen, refer to him by his first name, but never pronounce Dr. Tsiobhannuchiam.  Maybe they're as stumped as I am!

Anywho, a recent book I narrated had quite a bit of challenging research involved, and I quickly tired of cutting and pasting 600 terms into various online resources: Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster.com, YouTube, etc...so I whipped up this little spreadsheet that will auto-create some links for you.

As you'll see, there are hidden columns between A and G that contain the first portion of the link, which is then concatenated with the term or word in column G.  More hidden columns turn that into a hyperlink and assign friendly linktext as it's easier on the eyes.  The result is an easily clickable link that will take you directly to the appropriate webpage.  The formulas are pre-filled for the first 1000 lines, so just writing your term in, or cutting and pasting a list should give you your links.

Once there, you can write your phonetic pronunciation, or cut and paste if you so desire.  I started with the 5 options I use most:

  • Merriam Webster
  • Dictionary.com
  • ForVO
  • Google Pronounce (googling the phrase "pronounce + your word)
  • YouTube

You can add your own favorite website search or service - just add appropriate columns and the search string (do a search at that site and copy the URL into notepad or your spreadsheet, then just remove your sample search term.  Experiment!).

Some other search strings I find useful but didn't include are:



...amongst many, many others.

You can download the template below, let me know if it's useful for you!

Research Template with Links