This episode again brought to the fore the problem with sound effects. The opening scene takes places over a few seconds. In text this can all be compressed in the reader’s imagination, with the rocket roar throughout. In audio format it takes several minutes to read through it all, and having the rocket roar from the previous episode underneath that narration for the entire period would simply be tiring. And having it fade in and out at key points would probably be too distracting. I decided to just drop it altogether and let the listener’s mind fill in the blanks.
I feel there was a missed opportunity during Albus & Amelia’s broomstick flight. It would have been nice to have the sound of wind whipping past them as they flew. Which, I realize, contradicts my position on the rocket roar. However wind is a much gentler sound, much easier to speak over and simply have in the background, like in Frontal Override. Also, the broomstick riding sections are fairly short. Unfortunately I hadn’t asked the actors for Albus and Amelia to stage-shout their lines, and it would’ve been weird to have people conversing normally with the wind howling around them.
I really liked the disassociation Harry feels in the final scene of this chapter, I’m sure everyone’s felt that kind of thing before, and I wasn’t sure how to capture it. I played with having the standard high-pitched tinnitus & murky sound that is commonly used for post-explosion concussions in movies and video games. However those don’t ever stretch for multiple minutes, and it would have made the audio harder to understand, which is a pretty big concern in an audio book. Having only Harry’s words muddled (with a combination of Audacity’s Low-End Rolloff effect + bass boost) struck me as the best compromise, especially with how the text describes his words as seeming to come from someone else.
Originally I had only asked my friend Autumn to do Ms Camblebunker, a quick one-shot role. I loved her voice so much, and she enjoyed it enough, that she’s coming back to permanently voice Minerva. :)
(I agree with all your thoughts. :) )