Here it is, a video book version of I.33! A lot of time and effort went into this project, and it’s been a labor of love on so many levels. I’d like to tell you why I did it and also how I did it. But mostly, I hope people enjoy this production and that my work may be able to help other people get something more out of I.33 than just reading a translation can provide.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of how I made this video book, I’d like to explain why. At the risk of over-sharing, I’d like to tell you a bit about me. I’m in my mid 30s, I’m a professional marketing writer working in the music recording technology retail industry, and I have severe ADHD and dyslexia. Irony, thou art my middle name.
Though I seem to do a lot of reading and writing for fun, I read and write for a living, and at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is read anymore. I consume virtually all of my pleasure reading via audiobooks (HUGE Audible junkie here), and about the second or third time reading I.33, I thought, “Man, I wish someone would just make an audiobook of this.” After all, thanks to Dieter Bachmann and The Board of Trustees of the Armouries, all of this was publicly available. How hard could it be? Then I thought, “Wait a minuet—I could do it,” and I’ve been plotting to do something like this ever since.
You see, I’m the sort of guy who learns best by doing, and I can retain things I hear better than things I read, for the simple fact that I don’t struggle as much listening as I do reading. I’ve somehow managed to become good at it, but between the ADHD and dyslexia, it’s still a real struggle. So, here’s my chance to give back. If you’re like me, chances are, you’re not going to bother reading this anyway, but if you did, then my hat’s off to you.
I used to own a small recording studio, but I didn’t use it much, and when a key piece broke, I decided to sell off the rest of my gear to buy new swords. Of course, this reminded me that I was going to produce an I.33 audiobook, so I started looking into a new, inexpensive setup to get the job done. I also realized two additional things: 1) my 2007 Mac Pro is a silly bit of tech to build a new setup around (not that I have the cash for anything better), and 2) I don’t have time to spend holed up in my studio. I also decided I needed to add a video slideshow component to this for it to be of any real value, and so the audiobook became a video book.
The solution came as a brainwave fueled by a series of articles I needed to write about iOS gadgetry for my day job. I started thinking that maybe I could do this all on my iPhone 6+. Then it became a challenge, and I had to do it. So, I looked into some video apps and ultimately settled on Corel’s Pinnacle Studio Pro. It cost $13 when I bought it, and though I balked at the price, I realized that a desktop video program half as good would cost me easily four times as much. It ended up being an easy choice.
I looked into audio recording apps, and though I picked up a copy of TwistedWave, which is extremely cool, I didn’t end up needing to use it, because the app that comes with the Shure MVi MOTIV audio interface I got was so handy. This badass little 1-channel iOS audio interface lets you plug in any microphone you have and record complete with DSP EQ and compression to get extremely decent results. I’m a recording engineer, and I was impressed. The MOTIV app (which you don’t actually need for recording) includes Dropbox integration, which I used to manage files and not go crazy.
The only other gear I used was a Rode Procaster I had lying around, which is a killer broadcast mic and ideal for voiceover work. I also read the text from my ancient first-generation iPad. I use IK Multimedia iOS device stands like this one and an old desktop mic stand, plus a platform I’d made for guitar gear sometime back. I monitored via a pair of AKG K240 studio headphones, which I adore.
My only cheat was that I used Photoshop on my desktop computer for graphics. It’s possible I could have done a decent job on my iPhone, but I just didn’t have the time for that. Overall though, I stuck to my guns and I’m pretty happy with the results. I hope you are too.