Wunderkind | Bringing Audiobooks to Life with Amphion
Audiobook producer/engineer Cihat “Jally” Celik translates page-to-passion with Amphion Two18 monitors and FlexBase25
Vietsbronn, Germany – The global audiobook industry has undergone a dramatic rebirth in the last decade as the demands for fresh audio content have grown alongside the boom of streaming media and podcasting. German company Wunderkind Audiobooks has distinguished itself in this crowded marketplace with a dedication to passionate and dramatic readings that feature memorable original music — an approach that has seen productions of theirs such as Jennifer L. Armentrout’s “The Possibility of Tomorrow” and Jennifer Benkau’s “One True Queen” Top Ten hits in the German audiobook charts. Key to the process of creating these “worlds of the voice”, as producer/engineer Cihat “Jally” Celik calls them, is the studio’s use of Amphion Two18 monitors and Flexbase25 bass extension system, giving Celik full control of his productions and helping him to accurately capture the energy and realism that brings these stories to life for listeners around the world.
Celik’s singular approach to audiobook production was borne out of his experiences as a rapper. Moved by the energy of the hip-hop performance style, Celik sought to bring the same traits to audiobooks, imbuing them with a lived-in realism to bring out the emotional qualities of the stories. “When I started working in audio books I wanted to leave in the breaths and pauses that most other productions would cut out,” he explained. “To me, that made the reading more real, made it easier to feel the passion of the reader and become invested in the story.”
In order to capture that passion effectively, Celik records his readers in long sessions – typically 8 hours a day in 1-2 hour sessions over a week for a typical audiobook. Doing uninterrupted takes allows the readers to develop a flow that Celik carefully monitors from the control room, only stopping for breaks when needed. “It’s so important to listen with your full attention when doing these takes and concentrate on the voice, because ultimately that’s what is drawing you into the narrative,” Celik said. “And if you are able to hear and capture those special unique qualities you know that it will translate for the listener.”
Celik adopted his current Amphion setup in order to ensure that he was hearing the complete sonic detail. This allowed him to not only capture and bring out the unique qualities of his readers’ voices, but also to ensure that his own experience of doing so had the same emotional impact that it would have for listeners. “You need to feel it as much as hear it, and with the Amphion speakers and FlexBase I not only get that clarity – especially in low end – but I can feel it when they get passionate during a read and that makes it so much more exciting to work on,” he said. “They truly are a mirror of my work and its very inspiring to use them”.
This experience also extends to mix translation, ensuring that Wunderkind’s productions will sound and feel the same when heard across the multitude of listening devices used by his customers. “I’m more intuitive than technical when it comes to mixing, and I’ve never enjoyed the process of switching speakers while doing that,” Celik explained. “The Amphions gave me that consistency where I could hear everything I needed to hear while also being sure it would work anywhere.”
‘Anywhere’ also includes Celik’s home audio system which is anchored by a pair of Amphion Helium520 speakers, a decision that he drew directly from his studio setup. “I enjoyed listening to them so much in my work, that it made sense to bring them home too,” he said. “Not only that, but there really is a classic look to them that fits so well anywhere, it makes me feel confident in my space.”
Confidence is something that Celik feels is part of what has made Wunderkind’s productions so special. By curating a space that has a look, sound, and feel that inspires his audiobook readers, he believes that he can truly bring out their best performances. “You really have to work with a passion in whatever you do, and in all of our productions we want our listeners to feel that,” he said. “Working with Amphion speakers gives me that special feeling, and I can feel that happiness in whatever we create.”
For more information about Wunderkind Audiobooks please visit: www.wunderkind-audiobooks.de
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