DSB Audio is an Ireland-based audiobook narration and production company, founded in 2018 by David Sweeney-Bear, serving worldwide clients from self-published indie authors to major publishers alike.
With a growing portfolio of audiobooks, from short stories to plays to full novels, all produced to the very highest industry standards in a purpose-built fully equipped digital recording studio, DSB Audio can undertake the full production from manuscript to finished product.
David Sweeney-Bear’s life-long love of literature began at an early age, having grown up in an environment drenched in the works of some of the world’s greatest writers and poets. Shakespeare, Tennyson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge as well as Orwell, Dickens and Oscar Wilde were familiar names to him even at tender age of 7.
In his teens, David attended stage school and discovered a love of acting and drama, before settling into his long-term passion – music.
There followed some 25 years of songwriting, singing and live performance of his own original music as well as tenures in various bands. From day one, a large part of this musical journey involved audio production, from the very early days of home demo’s with two tape recorders, through studying audio recording at college to finally producing his own albums with a mix of digital and analogue technology.
From 2018 onwards, David has been concentrating on audiobook production, fine-tuning his narration and production skills, recording free audiobooks of some of his favourite classic books and poetry as well as a diverse range of commercial audiobooks.
Finished narration and production generally ranges from $300 – $450 Per Finished Hour of audio. The rate charged depends on the nature and complexity of the work. For example, a non-fiction title with no character voices or research required might cost as little as $300 PFH whereas a novel with multiple characters and accents might cost between $300 – $375. A very complex production with added sound effects, music or multiple narrators could be $400 PFH or more. I can give an accurate costing once the project has been outlined to me.
I am happy to read an audition for any serious project. Please use the contact form initially outlining what you have in mind for your title and we can then arrange a short (5 minutes or less) sample of my reading of your manuscript.
My natural accent is well-spoken British, a little more colloquial than “Queen’s English” although I can also read in that style too. I can do most British regional variations such as Scottish, Northern and Southern Irish, Welsh, Northern British, Cockney, Estuary, etc. I can also do other world accents such as French, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Eastern European, Russian, Spanish, Indian, Australian, etc. My general American accent is good – tending toward a “Trans-Atlantic” accent (think David Hyde-Pierce in the series Frasier!).
I can add any number of special effects and/or sound effects to a production if it is appropriate to the telling of the story. What i find in general is that most audiobooks do not require any effects whatsoever and in fact these can often be off-putting for the listener. The art of audiobook narration is to tell the story in a way that brings the text to life in the mind of the reader. If it is necessary to rely on extra sounds or effects apart from my own voice, then i’m not doing my job properly! Bear in mind that a dramatized production of a story with full cast (such as a radio production) is an entirely different thing to a narrated audiobook. That said, I have used effects such as light reverb/echo to create atmosphere or ambience in certain passages as well as “telephone” or TV sounds on some character speech. For some projects I do add music and background sounds in certain key scenes where it is appropriate to the story, and in general whenever feasible or appropriate I like to source a little “theme music” for the opening and closing credits.
Music is my other great passion in life, so yes! I can add music of your choice to the finished production, or select royalty-free music. I can also offer original music for your project, although this would be additional to the narration and would have to be discussed on separate terms. As with effects, it is important to be judicial with the use of music so that it does not distract the listener from the telling of the story or narrative.
As a rule-of-thumb each finished hour of audio takes 9+ hours to produce, depending on the nature of the project. It is unlikely that your project will be the only one I’m working on at any given time, so it’s very hard to give a generalized answer to this question. As a general example, a 90k word book (10 hours of audio) would usually take me 8 – 10 weeks to produce. When you contact me for a quote i will be able to give a realistic time-frame based on the length of the project and my current work-load. If you have a specific deadline in mind, i can work to that, but will not make unrealistic assurances i can’t deliver on.
As a rule, no. In general I prefer to specialize in audiobook narration. That said, it is quite possible that my style of voice and narration may be suitable for an advert or voice-over, so please listen to my samples and get in touch if you have a project in mind. I might have just the thing you need!
I can provide narration or voice-over for video. However, I do not offer video-sync or lip-syncing to video.
No. I’m happy to read anything from a short poem to a 3 volume epic.