Are you a master storyteller with a compelling or unique voice? Love to read out loud to friends and family?Join out roster of talented voice actors! We’re always looking for a few new voices to breathe life into our dark tales.
What you’ll need
1. A good quality microphone
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should provide clear audio. Older or damaged microphones can introduce unwanted noise and distortion into your recordings which can ruin an otherwise stellar reading. Most narrators use a USB microphone.
If you’re just dipping your toe into narration and don’t want to break the bank, we recommend the Blue Yeti or Blue Snowball as a great place to start.
2. A computer
This requirement probably goes without saying. Could be a Mac or PC, but should be either a desktop or a laptop computer (not a smartphone or tablet).
3. Editing software
There are some impressive (and expensive) options for audio editing software out there. But the majority of our narrators rely on the open-source, free software Audacity. It works on both Mac and PC, and is a very capable and well-supported application with a ton of resources and a very helpful community.
Other common software includes: Adobe Audition, Logic Pro X, Hindenburg and Reaper (among others).
4. A quiet, echo-free place to record
No matter how good your equipment or software is, there’s no substitute for a quiet recording space, free from echoes.
One of the most popular (and perhaps surprisingly effective) places to record is a closet, particularly one full of clothes. The fabric helps to dampen echoes and the interior space works well to isolate you from external noise. One of the worst choices, on the other hand, is the bathroom. While quiet, the abundance of hard surfaces create strong echoes that make your recording sound hollow and distant.
Our narration process
JOINING OUR ROSTER OF NARRATORS
After submitting your audition file (see the bottom of this page for how to do that), you’ll receive either confirmation of your addition to our roster, or feedback if there’s anything that needs to be improved. Once approved, you’ll be asked for a short bio and be added to our system for consideration when shopping stories.
The process of pairing narrators with stories is known as “shopping.” We make an effort to select the right narrator for each tale, which may include criteria such as reading style, accent, or gender. We aim to be as inclusive and diverse in our selection as possible, while remaining true to the source material.
The shopping process for flash fiction (less than 2,000 words) is ongoing throughout the year. For longer fiction, it tends to coincide with our two submissions periods (winter and summer).
When we find a suitable story for you, we’ll send an email with the story file. Please have a thorough read through before deciding if it’s something you’d like to narrate. If it’s not to your taste for any reason, please don’t feel compelled to take it on.
Accepting a story
If you choose to accept the story, please respond with an approximate timeline for completion. Generally, we prefer an average turnaround of one month, however we’re flexible, especially on longer stories. Just let us know.
Submitting a finished narration
Once your recording of the story is complete, please save as a mono MP3 and send to use via our Google Form for narration submissions, here. Other than editing for errors, please DO NOT do any post-processing/noise reduction on your audio.
Depending on our currently backlog of stories, it may be several months before your narration airs. There are many factors that can affect air date, but if you haven’t heard from us (or heard your story on the podcast) after a couple of months, please feel free to reach out.
Some tips to get you started
If you’re unsure of the pronunciation of a word or name, let us know and we’re happy to confirm with the author.
Avoid speaking too directly into or sitting too close to your microphone. This can cause Ps to “pop” and other distracting noises.
Have a glass of water handy. A dry mouth can result in some strange, otherwordly noises as you read.
Don’t drink coffee or sugary drinks. They’re also a common cause mouth excessive mouth noises.
Take a thorough proof listen to your audio after editing and before submitting. This will ensure your recording is exactly as you intend it.
Have fun with it! Relax, loosen up, shake it out. The more comfortable you are, the more immersive and powerful your read will be.
Please clean up mistakes, repeated lines and odd noises, but leave the overall noice reduction to us. We have our own process using more advanced software that can often achieve cleaner results.
What we don’t accept
Recordings done on a smartphone or tablet
Unfortunately, the audio quality from these smaller devices isn’t quite high enough to provide our listeners with the immersive listening experience they’ve come to expect from Tales to Terrify.
Recordings with excessive or distracting background noise
Some degree of background noise is normal and unavoidable. Usually, as long as it’s fairly consistent, we can clean this up. But irregular noises (bumps and bangs, barking dogs, etc) are tougher to remove and can have a detrimental effect on listener enjoyment.
Submitted recordings should require only minor clean-up. They should be free from errors, repeated lines and unneeded silences. We proof listen to every recording, but as a volunteer-run podcast, we don’t currently have the capacity for major editing on a story.
While we do require any mistakes or errors to be edited out, we prefer the audio to be otherwise unaltered. We’ve developed our own techniques and processes for cleaning up minor background noise, optimizing EQ and adding compression.
Sound effects or music
While the occasional, selective use of vocal effects can help to add personality to a character or situation, Tales to Terrify’s audio style relies on simple, audiobook style narrations. Please avoid the use of effects or music unless it adds significantly to the story you’re telling (and keep in mind you may be asked to remove them).
Our current rate for narrations is $25 for each story over 2,000 words (unfortunately we don’t pay for flash narrations: under 2,000 words). Narrating for Tales to Terrify also offers great experience and can help build your portfolio should you want to pursue other voicing gigs. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun!
Submit an audition
Please record a short clip (1-3 minutes) of yourself reading a short horror story of your choosing. Then, upload it (along with the details of your recording setup, which allows to better help troubleshoot any issues) using the form below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we’re able. Depending on our current workload, this may take up to a week, but we do our best to respond within a couple of days.