Meet Marcel Oats, Audio Magazine Producer from Auckland.

Marcel works in our Auckland studio to record and do post-production work on audio magazines and books.

He works with our narrators to record about 25 magazines each week. Some titles include the National Business Review, Time Magazine, Woman’s Weekly and the Listener.

Two narrators come in each day to record the material, which can take up to three hours. During the recording he makes sure it is read correctly to ensure the narration is flawless. He will point out things such as mispronunciations and coughs and have the narrator correct it.

Once a recording is complete, he will carry out the post-production process. This involves editing the sound and converting the files to MP3 so they can be burnt onto CDs and sent to our clients.

Currently, Marcel is working on a project to transfer audio books from tape to the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information SYstem) format.

“Essentially this is transferring these audio books from analogue to a digital format, so that we can continue to distribute these books without having to re-record them” he says.

Being born blind, he is glad to be part of the process in making material accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.

“Having a person narrate makes such a difference compared to a synthetic voice. The flow is more natural and makes the content that much more interesting for the listener.

“I enjoy working here, I’ve been here for 27 years and there is always something different going on. A few years ago, I got to record the Blind Foundation Board candidates. It was exciting to be involved in this and I got to use other skills I don’t usually use, such as audio mixing and assembling a full presentation.”

Marcel has always been interested in audio and often spends his spare time collecting interesting sounds.

“I like to record unusual things, for example industrial machinery and things people might take for granted, such as the new inverter-driven refrigeration compressors.”

He is also into his technology and enjoys experimenting with different software and music. He keeps himself up to date by reading information on all the latest gadgets.