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My Studio Sounds Hollow... Please Advise

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joseph wilkins
My Studio Sounds Hollow... Please Advise
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:54:46 pm

So I have a video production studio, but am not an audio expert.

Could you please offer some advice...

My studio is quite large... about 700 sq feet - its a rectangle (20' x 35') and 12' high

I have a seamless 20'x15'x12' drywall cove at one end of the studio and have hung thick velvet curtains around the other end of the studio and also coated the ceiling in fibreglass insulation.

There is carpet on the floor - except where the cove is.

I typically shoot a lot of "talking heads" in front of the white seamless. I position them in the middle of the studio.

I use a sennheiser shotgun mic positioned about 5 feet away from the client, pointing at their head.

I've been told by many clients that the sound is "hollow" and a little echoey.

Can anyone please give me some advice?

I have posted some pictures of my studio here:

Thanks in advance!

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Eric Toline
Re: My Studio Sounds Hollow... Please Advise
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:20:07 pm

Unless the shot requires that distance move the mic closer. It should be just above the frame line. If you need the headroom for the shot that forces you to go 5' from the talent then use a wireless system. If you get closer with the boom mic then you should consider a cardioid or hyper cardioid mic instead of a shotgun.


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Craig Alan
Re: My Studio Sounds Hollow... Please Advise
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:33:43 pm

The echo may be from the pick up pattern of the shotgun.

If you are five feet above your talking heads, the mic is most likely picking up sound off the ceiling.

I have also read discussions that carpeting is not always preferred in that it can isolate the talent too much creating a dead sound environment with no natural sounding reflections.

Certainly get closer (within 3 feet is a very general rule for maximum distance from talent’s mouth) and consider asking Ty for advice on the best mic for your application. He has links to files of tests he has run and is very generous with this type of info.

If you have a decent budget, consider hiring a pro to help balance your studio for sound acquisition.

Also consider uploading some sound samples for the pros to hear what you are talking about.

Can't tell from pics. Do you have space behind talent? Lots of reasons not to place them against the backdrop.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz
; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.

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