VO-BB - A VO Family Forum Index VO-BB - A VO Family
15 Years and Counting!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

My new booth sounds dead - what can I do?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    VO-BB - A VO Family Forum Index -> Gear !
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Tom Test
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject: My new booth sounds dead - what can I do? Reply with quote

Hello all,

This is my first post here. I've been in the VO biz since 1989, and have had a simple home studio setup for 3 years - it's been a great investment.

I'm in the middle of upgrading my studio with new mics, a new PC, eventually AudioTX - but it's my sound booth that is giving me headaches.

My booth was custom built by a few ex-musicians who gave up the biz. It's 4 feet by 4 feet, has a few small windows on one side, and is otherwise covered entirely with Auralex foam on the inside.

My first auditions recorded inside my booth have sounded really dead to my ears, though. I used to record with an RE-20 situated behind a few tall bookshelves, and the sound was pretty good. But now, recording with my new Behringer B-1 (I do have better mics on the way - a Rode NTK and a Kel Audio mic), the sound is awfully muffled.

I've tried different positions for my mic to no avail. I just bought a cheap bookshelf at Staples today, and plan to put in in my booth and fill it with books and such - I figure the diffussion from the books might liven things up (if I sound like I know what I'm talking about in that last sentence, don't be fooled! Wink

Does anybody have any other suggestions? I live in Chicago, and I'd be willing to hire someone to come in and help me out, if anyone can provide a referal.

Thanks a million!

Tom Test
www.tomtest.com
"Hire a Talent With a Clue"
Back to top
Tom Test
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:49 pm    Post subject: forgot to mention Reply with quote

I forgot to say that, yes, my mic IS plugged into a Mackie 1202 mixer with the phantom power on! So that's not my problem.

TT
Back to top
Charlie Channel
Club 300


Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Posts: 356
Location: East Palo Alto, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

You've got an interesting problem. Can you post an sample so we can hear what it sounds like?

Normally, I'd say the deader the booth the better for VO. In fact, my booth was too "live" and I didn't like the resonance. So, I put a rattan what-cha-ma-call-it (sort of looks like a book shelf but it ain't), stacked books and binders in it to deaden the reverb and change the resonance point.

I've heard that books in a room help to deaden the sound, so you might reconsider that. Perhaps you could hang a piece of plastic behind the mic or on the side or something to give the sound waves a little bounce.

When you hear the "muffled" take, are you listening through headphones or speakers outide the booth?

C
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
billelder
The Contribu-tor


Joined: 12 Nov 2004
Posts: 859
Location: K-Mart, Georgia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about record with the door open and see what it does?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bailey
4 Large


Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 4336
Location: Lake San Marcos... north of Connie, northwest of the Best.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try this temporary fix... If your booth is 4' x 4', cut a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of the "ceiling" of the booth. Temporarily attach it (tape) to the ceiling. Record another vocal... see if that brings things back to life. If it doesn't work, it only cost you a piece of cardboard.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 6848
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:15 am    Post subject: A dead room can be a good room Reply with quote

Actually a "dead" sound to your booth can be very good. Some folks spend tens of thousands of dollars to make their recording space totally quiet, or dead. What may be missing is the right voice processing. Are you using compression and eq to "brighten" your voice, to make it sound richer and fuller?

Have you ever watched a movie where the voice of an actor has been clearly overdubbed, and one of the ways you can tell is that the scene is outdoors, yet you can hear their voice bouncing off the walls of a room or the music stand their copy sits on? That bounce is something many in the biz try to avoid.

I did some scratch track voice work for Fox Animation when they had their studios here, and their voice studio was loaded with foam and sound baffles and you could almost feel the sound being sucked out of you when you talked, but when you read into the mic, it was pure "you" with absolutely no artificial noises.

My studio is a 10 x 12 bedroom I've converted with lots of, but not total, sound dampening. If I pull back from the mic and read with strength you can hear some room bounce, but if I get in on the mic, and use the "gate" on my compressor, the room noise is virtually eliminated. I think we're all used to some room noise in the VO we hear, but there's nothing wrong in eliminating it for most projects.

Bruce
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
kgenus
Seriously Devoted


Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 889
Location: Greater NYC Area

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:33 am    Post subject: Long Reply with quote

The good news is that all parts are working as designed. The sound you are use to hearing is a result of first/second order reflection buildup. Your mic normally records this, since the energy is being absorbed and deflected, you are attempting to re-introduce them by placing flat surfaces in your booth. You're not the first one to go through this, nor will you be the last. In a traditional recording studio, the booths are 8x10 to take advantage of these reflections, in vo work it is all about reduction so your voice doesn't inhibit program content by becoming the focal point.

To bring life and energy back to the recording, take an existing wav you've recorded in the booth, save it as a new file you can be destructive with and try this: Set a high pass filter at 80hz-90hz (or set the low cut filter on the mic if it has one) to reduce any sub-harmonic content, boost the EQ around/between 4000hz-5000hz with a broad Q (2.0 - 3.0) setting to bring out the presence in your voice. If it's boomy, you may need to reduce at 200hz-300hz. Normalize to -3db then compress 3:1 with a threshold that reduces the peaks (on compression - if you feel you need more compression, it's always better to compress multiple times at a lower setting than one time at high setting).

Finally, if you're preamp has EQ and compression, try changing the settings on your preamp to the successful EQ you've created in the box and record a new file. It should sound much closer to what you're use to.

Remember, dead is good when recording in a booth, you never know what you're client is going to do with it.
_________________
Genus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4134
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dead is good...

In the old days (many, many moons ago) working in a dead room was considered the best thing possible. Today things have changed, even in the music industry. Now we search for a more "live" room with the simple characteristic of being "quiet".

If it's too "dead" however, the "cardboard trick" above is not a bad idea... or add a couple peices of glass - add a window. Put some reflective surfaces such as a music/copy stand in the room, add a flat surface such as a small desk... Add a picture with a glass front... just make it comfortable.

Remember, the first rule of thumb is to add a little bit of reflective surface at a time... a little bit goes a long way.

Frank F
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Mike
Nasty Brit


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 470
Location: Tomorrowland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: My new booth sounds dead - what can I do? Reply with quote

Hi Tom.

I think your problem is that the Auralex is dampening the mid and high frequencies, but doing next to nothing to the lower frequencies which are building up as "Modes" in your room. If you get an extra boomyness in the corners, then this is your problem. Using corner bass traps would help a lot.

I think adding the books would also be the way to go. Personally I prefer diffusion to absorbtion (Except for low frequencies which cannot be diffused) as it creates a more pleasant space to work in. In very dead spaces I feel as if my brain is being sucked out of my ears! Well diffused spaces are comfortable to be in and sound good on mic.

M.
_________________
www.michaelrhys.com

"If grass could run, cows would look like tigers."
Murray Wiggle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
billelder
The Contribu-tor


Joined: 12 Nov 2004
Posts: 859
Location: K-Mart, Georgia

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike!
Great to see you here! Hope all is well your way.
Bill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
GaryJoy
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: dead booth Reply with quote

Tom,

I think the idea of placing something reflective should help, and don't be afraid to tweak it with your board, although I prefer to run things flat. I think also, the suggestion of sending along an MP3 sample is a good one, let some folks take a quick listen and see what it sounds like on other systems. Sinice we're practically neighbors, I'd be happy to stop by, maybe with my Neumann tlm 103 and see how it sounds in that booth. It sure does sound like the foam is absorbing your highs and mids. Might be an interesting test to try the Neumann, see how a different mic reacts. Let me know. Gary.
Back to top
Tom Test
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:06 pm    Post subject: Holy Cow! What great suggestions Reply with quote

Thank you to everyone who replied. You know, the lot of the freelance voice talent can be a lonely one. I appreciate the sense of community a forum such as this can create.

I'll try all of the suggestions mentioned and report back next week on how various strategies worked. I've done a few things that have slightly improved the sound, but I'm not there yet.

One question - exactly how do I post audio here? I couldn't find anything in the FAQs...

Again, thanks!

Tom Test
Back to top
Deirdre
Czarina Emeritus


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12858
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom--You can send me the audio to host here or you can host it yourself and post a link.
_________________
DBCooperVO.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    VO-BB - A VO Family Forum Index -> Gear ! All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group