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"Hollow sound' room fix.

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Michael Layne
"Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:50:40 am

Was reading a thread here about correcting the 'hollow sound' from vocal recording, but the posts were all from 2010 and didn't discuss this approach. I'm a newbie at this and doing some voice over dubbing for station ID's on my internet radio station. I have the opportunity to do some acoustic damping in the room I'm using for our 'studio'. Will utilizing acoustic tiles on the walls, or fabric wall covering, or egg crate material, help to damping that hollow sound? Suggestions? Thank you to all for any ideas. Michael


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Mark Suszko
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 1:59:23 pm

Mic placement is also important. Wrong placement, too distant, or next to a reverberant flat plane, certainly makes things worse.

A lot of inexperienced people throw sonex or sonex look-alike panels up on a wall, and think they've solved the whole room, often, this is not so.

Heavy blankets or carpeting are popular methods to treat a small temporary recording space; their mass and semi-permiable surface help deaden the space. They don't absorb all frequencies equally, though.


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Michael Layne
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:42:36 pm

Hi, Mark. I'm entry level on all of this, so ideas and approaches from experienced users is greatly appreciated! Your first sentence regarding mic placement hit home. My condenser mic on a Rode arm is attached to an old desk in our spare room and the desk sits smack up against... well, the wall. All of the walls are bare at this point (last chick has left the nest so it has become the 'studio'). Getting the walls covered this weekend is the next project. I'm also discovering that distance from the mic head to the mouth is an important factor as well. Many thanks for your comments! Michael


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Scott Sheriff
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 4:21:54 pm

I built a small VO booth in my studio, about the size of one of those photo booths. Much easier to control the acoustics of the smaller room, and I built it to be freestanding, so it is only touching the floor on thick felt pads. So I have a room, in a room that is isolated from the rest of the building. I built it with dimensional lumber and insulated the walls, ceiling. I used a thick fuzzy nap carpet on the floor which was left open since the booth is on a concrete floor, and that works pretty good. The outside is covered in tongue and groove pine, and it looks like a little sauna.
If you do this, you will have to use Sonex, egg crates, etc, on the interior. You can buy new, clean commercial egg flats that are 12" square. They work pretty well in the small room. However, if you spray them with fire retardant, it makes them hard, and reduces the effect somewhat. Even so I would not use them untreated since they are pressed paper pulp and burn quite easily. To get back some of the dampening effect I covered the egg crates with a layer of upholstery felt, which not only hide the egg flats, but also reduces contact damage as they are somewhat fragile. If possible, make the walls non-parallel. Doesn't have to be a lot, and you can do it by shimming the interior wall panels to produce a bit of a slope. For a small project like this, Sonex wouldn't have cost much more than the egg flats and might have been easier to install, but it is quite a bit thicker and I didn't want to lose that much interior dimension. I use a mixer to feed my edit computer and monitors so I have a way to send the mic audio to headphones in the booth, as well as an aux send that I use as a talk-back.
Total cost for materials, decent condenser mic and suspension mount, cables, probably around a grand. Is it perfect? No, but it works and is quite serviceable. I've been in plenty of TV and radio announce booths and have seen (actually heard) plenty that were not as good, or not much better.
I know people that use their walk-in closet as an impromptu audio booth, so there is that too.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

http://http://www.affordabledolly.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Michael Layne
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:54:05 pm

Hi, Scott. I like your idea about creating a self contained recording area. It makes sense that a smaller area would be easier to control. I'll probably have to wait for awhile before tackling something of that magnitude. But I'm wondering about the egg crate material... what's your read on using the foam type instead of the pressed paper? The foam type is fairly inexpensive and is usually used as a mattress pad for folks who are bed bound. Thank you for taking the time to respond... also like that Red Adair quote! :>)


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Scott Sheriff
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:07:13 pm

[Michael Layne] "But I'm wondering about the egg crate material... what's your read on using the foam type instead of the pressed paper? The foam type is fairly inexpensive and is usually used as a mattress pad for folks who are bed bound."

The foam that they use in mattresses, or actually the stuff used for Pelican/Anvil cases would probably work fine. The slightly stiffer scalloped road case foam would be a little nicer looking and hold up to wear and tear better than the softer mattress foam. Even hanging wool blankets, moving/elevator pads will do a lot. If you need something you can put up/take down fit some clean fresh moving blankets (harbor freight) with grommets so you can hang them like they do in commercial elevators.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

http://www.affordabledolly.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Michael Layne
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:12:44 pm

10-4, good idea. It's now on the list. You've been a great help and resource. Many thanks, Scott.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:54:45 pm

And then there is this:
http://www.markertek.com/Acoustic-Materials/Portable-Sound-Booths-Acc/CAD-A...

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

http://www.affordabledolly.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Michael Layne
Re: "Hollow sound' room fix.
on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:09:48 pm

Thanks, Scott. Checked it out. Might very well be part of an affordable solution. I would otherwise never have thought about something like it. Much appreciated!


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