Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Recording Booth on the Cheap!

So my friend Erik was having some problems recording auditions from home.

He lived in a very modern apartment with nice hardwood floors, off a fairly busy street, and the only space he could dedicate to a microphone was a tiny little closet.

The quality of his auditions was ... lacking ...

Off the advice from a friend, he started trying to put up foam (as you can see in this picture), but actual acoustic foam can be kind of expensive, and that really wasn't his problem. His auditions suffered from a boomy echo, and foam wouldn't help that very much.

Here's an example:

The problem with closets is they become low frequency echo chambers. Low frequency sound loves to bounce around, and hard flat surfaces set at 90 degrees just help that sound bounce around. The ridges in most foam treatments aren't really big or deep enough to properly diffuse, and the foam itself is rarely thick enough to properly absorb that kind of bass energy.

What Erik needed was to subtly change the shape of his room, and try to reduce the hard reflections he was getting. I told him to try hanging two packing blankets in half circles behind him and his mic, and made him throw down an old carpet scrap on the floor. I then also had him pass his audio through a low-cut filter.

It's ugly, but the setup cost less than $30 (also less than what he spent on foam).

Here's what his audio sounds like now:

Not a bad jump if I say so myself (which I do).

And if you want to hear Erik in action, here's a link to a Funny or Die vid he did during the writers strike. Very funny!

someaudioguy some audio guy help how to recording home recording voice over voice acting recording booth sound proof auditioning actors


  1. You're a freakin' genius. That's such a huge difference. Sweet.

  2. Hey thanks Marcus.
    It was pretty good work.
    [proud of me]