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Re: Sound proofing a room

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Bruce Watson
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 16, 2018 at 4:20:12 pm

[Alan Balch] "I think that LENRD bass traps along with studio foam wedge might work in at least dampening the echos in the room. My reason for this line of thought is my studio will be used only for recording interviews on camera, so there won't be any music mixing or live performances. From what I read about bass traps they are the first step in addressing resonant frequencies. Furthermore, because the room has no parculier angels to it such as vaulted ceilings or odd shaped walls I think these bass traps will help."

If you're only recording spoken voice in sit-down interviews, you probably don't need bass traps. If your speaker isn't exciting any peaks or nulls in the room there's nothing for the bass trap to, well, trap.

Since the room isn't yours, but the room treatments will be yours, I'd lean toward absorption panels and diffusers that you can either hang on the walls or use wheeled stands that let you push them into position when you need them and store them somewhere when you don't.

Since it's a fairly small room, I'd probably start out with more absorption panels. Why? If you take out too much of the sound of the room (make the room too dead) you can recover by adding some reverb in post. If you have too much room sound it's much more of a problem in post. Better to err in the direction of too dead than too live IMHO.

Then I'd probably arrange interviews out toward the center of the room (that is, off the walls -- so that your lights don't leave visible shadows in the frame, and so that you lengthen the time before those audio first reflections hit the mics). Then, at least for the first interview, I'd use dual mics -- a lavalier (omni, not directional) placed as close to the middle of the sternum as I could get (don't go too high or you'll get in the chin shadow area), and a hypercardioid boomed (static on a boom pole and c-stand usually works just fine for static sit-down interviews) above and in front, just out of the frame and looking down at the mouth at about a 45 degree angle, about 45-60cm away from the mouth in total. Listen to them both, decide which one works better for your needs, and use that method for the rest of your interviews.

Finally, monitor your audio on headphones the entire time. Every second. I'm not kidding. Hear the problems in real time, fix them right there and then, minimize any post work you can. You'll get better sound, for less work, with fewer surprises. Everyone will be happy.

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