I have moved a lot...I mean A LOT! 14 times in the past 12 years I have uprooted my life and planted somewhere else. I've covered 8 different states, multiple cities, and each time my audio studio environment changes. Over the years I have invested in quite a bit of acoustic treatment and whatnot (whatnot is a highly technical audio term learned from an engineer buddy). I have gutted closets, taken over whole rooms, and even built a room-inside-a-room-inside-a-room (it was like the Inception of studios).
All that moving and setting up each time has taught me a few things. Each room is different and every external environment is different. When I did a new build, I found new external factors to fight against. It might be as small as a sump pump, or as large as that new condo development going in across the park, but each time it was something.
Now as a stare down yet another move, this time closer to New York City, I am faced with the same question I have asked myself for years...Should I just break down and get a booth? Big question with lots of different answers. Let's look at a few options for setting up an isolated voice over recording "booth":
BOTTOM LINE: While there are a few good options for setting up your own vocal booth isolation recording, ultimately the decision is yours...and more importantly your budgets. Set a price ceiling and stick to it. From there decide what is best for you. Timing, ease, and your application is also important. After moving all these years, I can tell you I'll be buying a vocal booth in the next few months. That will be a LOT easier when I move again...sigh...
There are a mess of digital audio recording softwares out there. While I'm not going to get into the debate of the "best digital audio software" or whatever, I will say that I am a Pro Tools guy and have been for a long time. It just works for me. Having the argument about what audio software is the best is like the Mac vs. PC debate. But the end is always the same; I honestly don't care which one you like more. I know what works for me, and can confidently say it is part of the reason for my success. And I hope you say the same for yourself. If it works for you, then do it! Don't give in to the static!
Alright to the list at hand, with Pro Tools in mind, here a few things that I do to make my life easier when recording voice over projects:
Little things on staying organized and shaving time can give you an advantage with your clients. I know mine like it! Now get out there and say something into a mic!
Pop filters are a fun thing. Functional and necessary, but some are not as effective as they should be. I've gone through my share of filters; from metal to mesh, from nylon to just a sock (that one was while traveling). In the studio I love my Popless Voice Screen 3.5". It's small enough for a shotgun, but just enough for a large dynamic condenser. Word to the wise...if you use it on a LDC, make sure you still are practicing good mic technique; 6" away and at an angle is preferred (the mic not you).
There are times when an intimate read needs a bit more protection than just 1 pop filter. Adding a quality windsock can be just the trick when you need some extra padding. Now you can argue that good mic technique is all you need, and yes that is true. But sometimes you want to play with proximity effect to give you certain color to your read. I've been in studios where they have a windsock and a pop filter on every session just as standard practice. If you need it, add it!
A Voice Over blog
Tips, Tricks and Insights for casting, producers, agents, managers, creatives, and talent in the voice over industry.
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