Random House Audio’s EARTHLIGHT Will Transport You, Hear from the Producers Behind the Audiobook


We are excited to introduce EARTHLIGHT, a thrilling new audiobook from Random House Audio. Created by J. Michael Straczynski, the mastermind behind Babylon 5 and Sense 8, this full-cast action/adventure military audio drama is set in the near future and promises to captivate fans of Tom Clancy and Timothy Zahn. EARTHLIGHT transports listeners to the ultimate military high ground: space, where a group of elite fighter pilots must navigate experimental planes and high-stakes missions to prevent global conflict. In this special feature, we sit down with the audiobook’s producers, Brady Emerson and Juan Garcia Ticoulat, to delve into the making of this edge-of-your-seat audio experience and explore the creative process behind its cutting-edge soundscapes and gripping narrative.


What are the first steps in producing an audiobook original?

Our first step is always to do a close reading of the material, make detailed notes about sound design and casting, and then connect with the author to discuss the approach. We will also research and listen to comp titles to give us a sense of what other successful productions have sounded like. 

Why did you decide that this story would best be told in this original format? 

EARTHLIGHT presents an incredibly rich and immersive sonic world, by a legendary sci-fi film, tv, and comic book writer – J. Michael Straczynski. Everything combined to demand the equivalent of an audio summer blockbuster. 

What makes EARTHLIGHT a good fit for incorporating the special elements that were added to this audio original?

It’s a bold, action-packed story written specifically with cutting-edge audio elements in mind. The amazing set-pieces, space battles, and tense drama allowed for an audio-first approach that incorporates bespoke sound effects, propulsive original music, and cinematic soundscapes.   

How do you go about casting a project like this?

After reading the script, which includes so many vivid and memorable characters, we connected with our casting department to put together an exhaustive list of actors and narrators we thought might work. Many agents submitted talent, and eventually, we whittled the options down to a few choices for each of the main roles. We then got auditions from each, before making the final call. 

Once you have the cast, how is such a large-scale production recorded?

With such a complex and demanding recording, scheduling becomes challenging. For EARTHLIGHT, we recorded 24 actors reading over 70 speaking parts in 5 different time zones! Some of the performances were recorded simultaneously, with multiple actors either in the room together or connect through Zoom. Other recordings happened independently. Then, everything was pieced together during the editing process, ensuring seamless integration of all the elements. 

What about working on this project makes you excited for future productions?

With the broad adoption of binaural and 3-D audio technology, the opportunity to create never-before-heard audio stories is incredibly promising. These technologies allow creators to place audio objects within a virtual 3D landscape, providing a profound level of spatial realism. This opens up exciting possibilities to explore new creative avenues and enhance storytelling techniques in future productions like EARTHLIGHT, where sound design plays a crucial role. 

Posted: July 9, 2024