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Old October 1st, 2003, 11:20 PM   #1
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Need a homemade recording studio for voice overs

I'm a hobbyist and making a movie. My last project was great but my sound sucked. So I got a new mic (SGM2X) and boom pole for this project. I'm expecting some significant improvement, but also not delusional and realize it won't sound "professional". However, of course I want it to be as good as possible.

I want to record some voice overs and sound effects. Apart from having the actors mouth very near the mic is there any other reasonable room modification that is not too outlandish or involved that you can do to avoid the hollow sound of recording indoors? Like recording in a smaller room vs bigger room or recording in the corner of a room lined with pilows or egg crates or something. I'm cluless. Any suggestions?
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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I'm sure you'll get some good tips, Dan.

The best tip I can pass along is to get a copy of Jay Rose's "Producing Great Sound for Digital Video". It covers this, and many other topics in a very informative manner.
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 08:43 AM   #3
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Dan,

In a jam, the nearest walk in closet filled with clothes is a pretty aucoustically dead room. Usually not a lot of room to work in but it's the best you'll get for free!
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 09:10 AM   #4
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That's a great book, but I think Jay Rose's "Audio Postproduction for Digital Video" would have more detailed information on setting up a recording studio. I haven't read it, but in "Producing Great Sound..." he's always saying if you want detailed information on studios "you gotta buy my other book."
I'm in a similar situation, and our strategy is to have as little echo as possible, and then try and make it sound like the right environment later. One tip I got from Robert Rodriguez's book is that you can save yourself a lot of headache syncing up the sound by cutting away when people speak. That's why practically all you ever see are reaction shots whenever anybody talks in El Mariachi. Clever guy.
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 10:55 AM   #5
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You're right, Marco. I should have cited that book, too. It's on my shelf and it its Chapter 8 would be right on the money.

Thank you for the correction.
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 12:07 PM   #6
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I would also add, since you apparently have XLR inputs to your camera, you may wish to use a better suited voice mic (in stand) over the Azden Shotgun.

MS
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 01:07 PM   #7
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One problem many people overlook when building low budget home sound booths, is the surface they set the mike on. Does no good to baffle the sound on the walls, if the mike is on a reflective, (Formica) desktop.

Blankest hung an inch AWAY from the wall is better than hanging them ON the wall.

You can buy egg-crate foam pads for mattresses for about nine dollars, that cover a lot of wall, ceiling.

If possible, non-parrallel surfaces are good. For instance, I used to have a "Flat" made of two four by four sheets of plywood, hinged together. They were lined with egg-crate foam. I set them on the desk, with my head aimed at the "seam". Placed the mike stand on a towel to deaden the reflection from the desk... voila, a portable sound room.

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Old October 2nd, 2003, 06:11 PM   #8
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Here is an echo-stopper I made that works fairly well.

I use it for voice-overs and recently had to shoot a commercial in a theatrical company's practice hall. A large space with drywalls and a concrete floor. It couldn't kill all the echos like a set of PZM microphones but I needed the sensitivity of the Shure studio microphone.

Not too expensive to build. You can make one with a cardboard box and foam.

http://www.byvideo.com/new_page_2.htm
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 06:54 PM   #9
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If you live in a quiet place and have a portable deck, you might try using the inside of your car, esp. if its got fabric seats. I' used the inside of my Subaru Outback for voice-overs and it works remarkably well -- as long as there is not a lot of noise outside the car. It has a very nice recording booth sort of sound.

If you have a garage handy that's not full of stuff, you could put the talent in the car and record from outside . . .
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