Exploration With Synced Audio

by Chris Turner

In 2014, I started sequencing original SFF to audio using the Booktrack free studio tool, and it offered up a unique, creative experience. I was amazed at how the placement of some well-crafted audio, synced by word, sentence or paragraph could make a story come alive—in the same way a soundtrack makes a movie come alive.

Adding sound effects to a story builds up the suspense, the mystery, just as adding theme tracks underlines moods of humour, tragedy, horror, romance.

These enhancements add a whole new dimension to a reader’s experience. Readers can adjust the playback speed to taste and have a running cursor word by word. Pausing the booktrack and pulling down the gear box settings allows several options. The booktrack audio library includes thousands of clips, allowing designers to create richly layered soundtracks to their stories, as one would expect in professionally-mastered movies.

Some authors have sequenced whole books to audio, others have sequenced selected chapters, serving as teasers to their ebooks. Some well known authors such as Hugh Howey and JF Penn have worked with booktrack to put their novels to audio. Give them a read.

The Timelost, my most recent production, is a gritty, dystopian foray into the macabre, featuring visceral alien battles and edge-of-the-seat SF audio in a Star Wars meets Alien thriller. The Timelost marks my 25th text-and-audio creation, drawing on the wide variety of sound clips from the Booktrack audio library.

At an early age Chris’s parents encouraged him to play several musical instruments, mainly to keep him out of trouble. He began composing his own music, writing short stories, painting, thus developing a deep appreciation for the masters of music, literature and art. An avid traveller, he backpacked and mountain-biked through exotic countries in Asia and Europe, often undertaking some risky journeys solo, many of which fuelled his imagination and became a source for his adventure stories.

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