Building a Simple and Inexpensive Voice-Recording Area

To create your voiceover narration you'll need a quiet, sound-absorbing location. I touched base with the industry leader in sound absorption material, Auralex Acoustics.

They suggest the easiest solution is to build a temporary recording area simply by hanging some thick blankets or fiberglass insulation on two joining corner walls. Egg cartons, carpeting, and foam rubber do not work well. That is an old "audio myth." If you can create something like a four-sided cubicle, so much the better.

If you drape the blankets only in one corner, point the mic toward that corner, place yourself between the mic and the corner, and speak away from the blankets. It seems counterintuitive but the mic is sort of like a camera. It "sees" what's in front of it (even if it is omnidirectional). In this case it "sees" your face and the hanging, sound-absorbing blankets.

If you want to take your voice-recording area quality up several notches, consider purchasing Auralex's studio foam sheets or a portable recording area kit. These kits range in price from $159 to $999. Figure 7.5 illustrates two of these "acoustic environments," as Auralex calls them. The company emphasizes that these kits are not true "isolation" booths. Those are intended to keep sound out and require some "serious construction." Visit http://www.auralex.com/ for product and dealer info, plus a contact phone number. They are very customer-service oriented and will help you find a solution.

Figure 7.5. "Acoustic environments" from Auralex. Left: MAX-Wall 420. Right: MAX-Wall 1141VB. (Photos courtesy Auralex Acoustics.)

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