The Action Behind Audiobook Narration: Karl Jenkinson Podcast Season 2 karl jenkinson Music Radio Creative

Karl Jenkinson is an actor, voice artist & audiobook narrator. He’s appeared in popular British TV shows such as EastEnders and Inspector Morse, and has done voice-overs for several documentary and reality TV series. Plus, he even created a character for a Sony Playstation game!

Karl regularly produces audio for clients in his own studio, including radio imaging, e-Learning, promos and audiobooks. He’s also done work for Fujitsu, Cisco, Cadbury, the British Army, Ford and BMW… outside of work, he has a Black Belt in Kamon Wing Chun Kung Fu and has a 9-foot-long custom-built Chopper!

Top Quotes from Karl Jenkinson:

  • “I had literally no idea about what I was supposed to do.” [on his first job]
  • “I sat down and started to narrate this script… it was pretty awful.”
  • “It’s an interesting story; it’s funny it’s witty, it’s powerful, it’s sad. There were several occasions when I narrated it and I had to stop – I was so choked up with the emotion of the narrative.”
  • “Some people use their iPads and obviously read them off their iPads, but I actually like the physicality of the paper script.”
  • “When you’re narrating a book, it’s a really personal relationship with the reader; it is one on one.”
  • “If you’ve got your earplugs in… in-ear listening – it can be a very, very intimate experience.”
  • “It is hard, hard work. If anyone wants to do an audiobook, I would recommend it but be under no illusions: it will probably be the most difficult thing you do.”
  • “The way I approach audiobook narration is the same way I would approach an acting role.”
  • “The key is consistency.” [With audiobooks]
  • “If you can give someone clean audio, that’s great. But if you put stuff into it, it’s like trying to remove eggs out of the cake after it’s cooked.”
  • “I’ve done auditions on smartphones… bizarrely.”

Tools & Resources:

  • Sontronics Aria (Valve Mic)
  • RME Fireface (Sound card)
  • Neumann TLM 67
  • Adobe Audition
  • A smartphone (everyone needs one, right?)

Key Timestamps:

  • 1:20 – Karl makes a great entrance to the show!
  • 1:38 – Talking about Kung Fu
  • 2:50 – Long Chopper or Motorcycle talk
  • 4:30 – Where it all started for Karl
  • 4:50 – Talking about the game Black Monday, and motion capture in video games
  • 6:50 – How Karl got started in voice work
  • 7:30 – Karl’s first voice work in reality TV
  • 9:30 – Talking about standing vs. sitting for voice-overs
  • 10:40 – We switch the conversation to narrating audiobooks
  • 12:05 – Getting choked up about narrating Abide with Me
  • 19:20 – Recording from home and editing the audiobook editing himself
  • 20:32 – How long it takes to record an audiobook
  • 22:45 – Karl’s gear
  • 27: 24 – The best tool is Karl’s smartphone
  • 28:50 – People won’t book you off a demo

Want to Hear More From Karl?

Head over to his site, Tweet him at @kjvoxcom, and check out his YouTube page!

Bonus After-Interview with Karl Jenkinson

Stay Tuned…

For next week’s episode, Mike Russell will be our host! He’ll interview the Product Manager of Adobe Audition, Durin Gleaves. It’s a must-listen for all audio enthusiasts & professionals!


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