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Old February 13th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Computer "hush boxes" for VO in edit suite

Frequently we see folks needing to do VO in their edit suite. Besides getting an expensive VO booth, can anyone offer any less expensive solutions to quiet down a computer and external drives?

Here is one box I saw at NAB http://www.norenproducts.com/Acoustilock/gCAB.html

Looks awesome, but I'd like to find something less expensive to recommend.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #2
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I bought this for a room that has the computer in the same room. Seems to work good. Complaint from users is that it blocks talents view of a video monitor and you can't see around it.

http://www.seelectronics.com/rf.html

$300
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Old February 13th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #3
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USB and DVI extension cables to move the computer into another room is the best long term investment you'll make. I've banned anything with a fan from the edit room. its a big difference and totally worth the effort. hearing all that white noise I've noticed can also cause ringing in the ears, at least for me when exposed for long periods of time.

that said, you can _try_ hanging a sound blanket or two up on C stands to make a mini booth if you have them around... and throw a sound blanket over the computer.

another thing that helps is if the computer is close to a wall, some 4" Sonex foam. it will absorb about 50% of the noise which hits the wall and bounces into the rest of the room. if you are running a PC, you can also try adding some fan controls to lower their RPM, and therefore noise. be sure the BIOS fan controls are enabled so that in theory, the PC should run the fans at a slower speed when its running full tilt on a render.

for a grand or so, you can try one of those "silenced" rack boxes.... them extension cables are sounding a lot more reasonable now.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #4
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I'd just caution everyone to be extra careful about this.

While most upper and mid frequencies are semi-directional and can be surpressed at least a little by surrounding your mic with baffles - most low frequency information's long wavelengths aren't directional at all.

So if your room has rumble - from operating AC rattling duct work, outside traffic, or whatever - it's REALLY easy to miss it.

Particularly if you're monitoring via less than good speakers.

Think about it - how can you even HEAR a but of rumble, if you're listening for it in a room where you've become accustomed to that VERY SAME RUMBLE?!

Sometimes a little infected low end isn't a problem - like when you're ONLY listening back off a cheap 3" TV speaker or off a laptop with horrible audio reproduction.

But take that same project to the annual corporate meeting where the AV company has set up a decent sound system with low end, and suddenly you're asking yourself who let the grand prix guys hold their convention in the next room.

So be VERY careful if you're going the "quick and easy" route for VO recording.

In fact do yourself a favor and any audio content you record that way put though some reasonable compression and normalizing and give a good listen to what REALLY ends up on the track. I bet you discover that computer's "quiet" fan isn't really all that quiet at all.

BTW,

Markertek sells a similar "mic mounted portable vocal booth baffle" which might be worth checking out if that's the route you MUST go. Search REFLEXION

FWIW

Last edited by Bill Davis; February 13th, 2008 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Added content
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Old February 13th, 2008, 10:30 PM   #5
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The good news is that you can filter really low frequencies out of dialog without much harm.

And, as a post-guy and composer, I like wall to wall music. It hides lots of sins. ;)
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Old February 16th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #6
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You might try one of these:

http://www.coleselectroacoustics.com...entators.shtml

It's a ribbon microphone designed to record clean voice-over at loud venues (developed for BBC covering boxing).

They're about $800, and you'll need a really good, high-gain-low-noise preamp for best results.

We use these for recording reporter tracks in satellite trucks, etc. They sound very good and drop background noise by at least 30 db.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #7
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Here is the ultimate solution:
http://harlanhogan.com/portaboothArticle.shtml

I use a laptop and an E-mu 1616m cardbus sound interface:
http://www.emu.com/products/welcome.asp?category=505&

E-mu also makes some very nice USB interraces:
http://www.emu.com/products/welcome.asp?category=610&
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Old February 16th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Cochran View Post
Frequently we see folks needing to do VO in their edit suite. Besides getting an expensive VO booth, can anyone offer any less expensive solutions to quiet down a computer and external drives?

Here is one box I saw at NAB http://www.norenproducts.com/Acoustilock/gCAB.html

Looks awesome, but I'd like to find something less expensive to recommend.
I'm not sure how much that setup will restrict air-flow. I love the fact that it filters the intake air. My system gets real hot because of the eventual build up of dust. I occasionaly have to take the tower outside and gently blow it out with a compressor.

If it works, great! But, my first concern is does it cause the processor to heat up excessively.

Ideally, it would be great to have a machine room connected to one wall of the edit suite for a temperature/humidity controled clean room for the noisey equipment.

Custom building a less expensive VO booth would also be an option.
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