Trish Basanyi was kind enough to provide us a video on how she put together her home studio on a budget.
Soundproofing A Voice Over Home Studio On A Budget
Comments are closed.
Trish Basanyi was kind enough to provide us a video on how she put together her home studio on a budget.
Comments are closed.
Great vid! However, don’t waste your money with Auralex – go to any retail store and buy a queen or king-size mattress pad for $9.99. Six times the square footage for 1/2 the price and they work just as well. I covered my entire 12×14 studio for less than $80 – and it looks great!
Auralex is a little thicker and does work a little better. That said, a mattress pad or even egg-crate mattress foam works too. Good comment, Dan! Thanks for sharing that.
I dont want to be the one to start a tiff but, unfortunately this is not “soundproofing”. This is what would be refferred to as “isolation.”
Soundproofing is the prevention of sound from one space to another. Clearly the sound can travel up and over the baffling. Blankets, Auralex, foam, etc these only treat the acoustics of the space, deadening the sound by preventing the reflection of sound off surfaces.
I am a relatively new student in the VO arena and am wondering if what Trish has done would meet the requirements of SAVOA as summarized below:
• Noise level (absence of ambient noise. During recorded “silence,” a cumulative noise floor of -40 dBFS or less is deemed sufficient for broadcast standards. See T2)
• Room decay (reverberation, echo or ring should be below .07 sec with a decay of 85% from first test impact to a sound level at .07 sec. seeT3)
T2 Ambient noise and noise floor: This cumulative sound, ideally at or under -40dBFS, will be measured against ITU-R 468-weighting noise curve. SaVoa is using this international curve as opposed to “A” weighted for two reasons: (1) We are an organization that serves voice over artists delivering to the international market; (2) the 468 curve is widely considered to be more accurate when measuring noise that it perceivable by humans.
T3 Reverberation, ring or echo are the secondary sound waves that are recorded because of insufficient absorption or diffusion in a recording environment. The lingering presence of these decaying sounds can cause problems in post production. One problem is when two sources, for example, two voice actors in different locations, are edited into one commercial. The difference in reverberation can cause stark contrast in the spacial quality of the two voices. This may hurt the perception of reality when the two voices are supposedly in the same place.
Thank you very much for this great information.
It is very useful and I think you are very generous for sharing your secrets.
I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I’m a Spanish native speaker and I’m a professional voice over since 1990.
As I recorded mostly in my own country for different Production Companies or Radio & TV during the mayor part of my career, I never needed to create a home studio.
Four years ago I moved from my country – Uruguay – to live in Buenos Aires and tryin to re-build my way in a new place being independent, I discovered how things are working nowadays on the universal voice over market.
Now I have my home studio and I’m enjoying the benefits of working at home with my voice which multiplies the job opportunities around the world.
It took me some time to learn how to manage in this new mood in which we need not also our voice but some important technical knowledge.
I was able to do it with the help of people like you, who so kindly share valuable experiences on the web and who show us that things may be easier than we think.
Thank you very much, kind regards,
Trish, Thanks for sharing with us. I’m curious as to what the size of the room is and what else, if anything, is in the room?
Thanks for the feedback guys!
Dan- Like Terry said, the mattress foam does work but there’s a reason Auralex is expensive, it does work the best. Plus you get the bonus of fashion color choices! ; )
Johnny- You are correct, sir. My bad for using the wrong terminology.
Greg- too many numbers in your post for me to keep up with. lol All I know is that I’ve been doing this longer than SAVOA has been in existence. I do mostly commercials (broadcast level stuff) both here in the US and I do a good amount of overseas projects too, and have not had any complaints. That said, I do remove the computer hum after I record using the noise removal option in Cool Edit Pro (now known as Adobe Audition).
Silvana- You’re welcome! Maybe you can join us in LA for VOICE 2010 along with many other voice talent from around the world!
Christina- The studio is also my guest room, it’s about 10 x 13. It has a bed and the usual furniture a bedroom has, in addition to my studio setup. The great thing about this method is that it will work in any size room, you’re just making the space around the mic smaller.
Hope this helps! –Trish
What if your room has a glass window to the back of you -how do you sound proof the room esp. with noisy kids in the next room or the lawnmower or neighbour’s dog. I use the wor’lds quietest Condenser mic and it picks up everything.
I have a small window in my basement studio and have the same problem but I have Auralex over it. I still pick up the neighbor’s lawn more just a bit. Sometimes there isn’t anything we can do about certain noises other than wait. :)
Trish what great insight! I was planning on building a cheap recording area but now I have seen how I can save TIME and MONEY!! You are awesome!
I’m off to good will and salvation army for a room divider! :-)
Thanks so much for sharing this. It was very helpful as I’m setting up something very similar and was wondering what to use to wrap around in back of myself whilst recording.
All the best..!
This has got to be a joke right??
Listen to all the ambient room noise in the audio of this video. On top of the echo and ringing. Yeesh.
@Jonny Beatz Isolation and sound proofing are the same, the removing of echo, ringing, comb filter echo, reflection and a host of other problems that come with home recording is called “treatment.” Preferably through absorption the OC 703 fiberglass panels or a heck of a lot more Auralex foam than what’s being used here.
If you rally want to know what your recording space sounds like clap your hands sharply. This will expose all the echos. (Hand claps do not contain low frequencies)
Every room needs broadband absorption and bass trapping, especially in smaller rooms.
The only reason Trish, is getting away with this is because she is using a RE20 mic, a dynamic mic with a rather narrow off axis pickup. I bet she has to get right on top of it to sound good.
We appreciate your comments and your expertise in the area of audio.
Trish was recording this video from the flip cam mic, not her studio mic. I’ve used her for many projects and the audio she sends me is very good. With many software’s, you can actually eliminate any extra room noise. Before I built my studio, I always used the “adapted noise reduction” plug-in in Adobe Audition 3.0 and it worked like a charm.
We can all improve our sound. It’s always a work in progress and although Trish may not have the perfect sound, the point of the video was to show how you can create a good recording space at a low budget and I believe she succeeded.
Have a good weekend!
Of COURSE there’s ambient noise, that’s the whole point of setting up the “booth”. The video camera was out in the open. If I had recorded the video from INSIDE the booth the sound would have been MUCH quieter, as is the audio for the 3-6 projects (mostly broadcast) I record there per day.
I imagine my RE-20 DOES help, I travel quite a bit and record in hotel rooms with it, and my regular clients have not even noticed a difference between that and my home setup.
Terry’s right, it’s not the BEST setup ever, but it works for me.
I found help with my home recording studio at http://audimutesoundproofing.com it was really simple and affordable! I would suggest them to anyone!
One might think someone working 3-6 jobs per day would grow weary of being in such an ugly and unprofessional environment. And – um – Smack -um – um – smack where did you train? Pray that potential clients do not judge the quality of your work based upon how you relate in this video or based on your lack of professional environment.
Thank you for your comments but I highly doubt that any of Trish’s regular clients care about what her studio looks like. She does pretty well for herself. It’s all about the quality of the recording and how you read the script. Clients don’t hire voice talents based on whether or not they have blankets draped over a room divider or not. Two years ago, I did a ton of voice over work in hotel rooms when I was on the road. :)
I’m NOT in the VO business yet; have been following both Trish and Terry for quite some time as they have been a great inspiration to me while I’m learning this business on my own. I’m fascinated by the number of negative comments about Trish’s studio. The fact is both she and Terry probably have more clients than anyone working from ‘home.’
I have listened to their work and I assure you these two are PROS! (No, this is NOT a solicitation!) I guess if their ideas work for them, who’s to question it? Obviously their clients are happy
Thanks for the positivity Karl! Truly appreciate your kind remarks.
Again, the purpose of this video is to show people that they don’t need 15K to build a studio. There are creative ways to create an applicable space to record in. :)
I like your idea of the room divider covered with blankets. I spend some time on the road and often set up a three-sided pillow tent (4-sided when I lay a pillow across the top of the three sides). Your idea of the room divider is great for folks on a budget (and who isn’t these days?).
Thank you, Trish, for inviting us into your home and sharing with us some very clever, money saving techniques.
Here is a source for Auralex or Sonex type accustical foam, at about 1/4 the price.
Whoa folks! Before you plunk down your hard earned $$’s for foam from those well known foam companies, or scoot out to Walmart to grab a couple of foam mattress pads check-out http://www.foambymail.com.
Great prices on large sheets of foam as well as smaller foam squares shipped direct to your humble abode’s studio. Oh, and don’t forget that you’re only conditioning your room not sound proofing it. And Trish, you go girl!
Thanks for sharing! I was also thinking of doing something similar as I am on a small budget.
Oh, and I second what Karl said.
Thanks for the cool video Terry&Trish. I’m going to share it on Twitter and Facebook!
Despite some harsh criticism from the faceless masses, Trish does give some sound advice. Yes, soundproofing is an oft misplaced term, acoustic treatment would be more accurate. Perhaps an accompanying recording of Trish actually working her mic will give viewers a better impression of what her setup is actually capable of. The sound of the end product is all that matters, period.
First off, Trish – very creative and I have heard much of your work – Very professional, Second – Terry- I agree 100% on your comment to Frank –
It was not so long ago my recording environment look very very much the same, It has taken me years to take it where it is today in isolation, sound proofing, equipment, so on. It’s audio quality and talent that books your jobs and what builds a clientele ..
Trish, again – Loved the VID, Part of being in this business is helping and sharing with others in this business – Voice over is one of the few where so many are willing to share advice and information – I don’t ever want to see that go away.
Quilts, bookcases filled with books, heavy drapes – whatever works. I think it’s fun to see how people adapt their space to fit their work. I’m not a VO guy – just a podcaster, but I’ve seen VO guys who built tent-like structures using quilts over their mic, guys who put acoustical foam in a closet where they set up their gear and all sorts of neat ideas.
Thanks for sharing, Trish. Here’s my recent home project for a portable sound booth for my USB mic – http://flic.kr/p/8K3wuF – (I use it on a very limited basis). Total cost was about $20 but it’s functional and works well. Got the collapsible bin from The Container store for about $9. Got the foam on eBay. Like I said, whatever works!
I’m loving this conversation!
Years ago I built a studio in my corner basement using Sonex (4 inch thick) at about $85.00 a panel. It wasn’t cheap but professional engineers who received my auditions complimented me on my “sound.”
Then we moved to a new house and I tore the Sonex off the wall to put in storage during the transition. I found that not only do engineers love Sonex…so do mice! They had a chew and pee fest with it.
I couldn’t put that mess on my wall, and didn’t have the finances to re-soundproof my new room, which was considerably larger. A quick fix of using a $20.00 mobile clothes rack and a couple of flannel shirts seemed to do the trick! I tossed a terry cloth towel over the front of my desk to deaden the reflection and situated the shirts behind me. It looks like Hell, but no one has seemed to notice the difference!
Hey, maybe Sonex should go into business making shirts!
Trish…. and everybody…
I just gotta say… and feel free to slander me as well =)
At the end of the day… what matters is the final product. It doesn’t matter much about the space, what it looks like, or how its put together. If it sounds good. It DOES. Period. If the client is happy. SUCCESS!!!! on to the next project!
For example… you out there, who feel that Trish’s setup is… sub-par… go ahead and spend 15k. And your still not going to be working as much or as hard as her. (I hope I can say this Trish)
Just don’t call it a “studio”. How about “recording space” or “recording booth”.
Also, one need not spend thousands of dollars on sound-blocking. You can buy a couple rolls of sound-blocking mass-loaded-vinyl (MLV) for two hundred dollars from accoustic supply websites. MLV comes in various thicknessess, as a roll,or pre-cut squares. Fasten the MLV onto the surfaces, stick some thin Sonex, or even carpet squares or cork squares all over it.
thanx for that where can i get a microphone and recording equiptment? and what are good brands and cheep as well (if there are any)
Try http://www.sweetwater.com. They have a lot of great stuff. The AT2020 is a great starter mic.
Question. I see a lot of emphasis on sound deadening in the space behind the microphone. Assuming that the mic is directional, i.e. cardioid, shouldn’t the padding emphasis be on the space in front of the mic and behind the person speaking because the mic by design is already least sensitive to sounds coming from the rear?
my name is Lee, and I have a couple of excellent Mics for sale. I have a Audio Technica 4033 for $250 neg. In excellent condition. Also, I have a Neumann TLM 102 $530 also neg. If you have any students or if you yourself are interested please let me know… Or contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Trish, I thought your advice was great. I am new to VO and not ready to spend a lot, but do want to sound professional. I plan to take some of your advice.
Thanks for sharing, Trish. Very creative and resourceful. I’m planning to build a “booth” using 1.25″ thick pvc pipe and acoustical blankets. The hard part is finding “S” shape hooks big enough to hang the blankets like a shower curtain (I need this to be easy to assemble and disassemble as I would be using the guest room). Do I need to “cover” the booth with another blanket (sort of like a tent)?. I have a few 2″ Auralex (pyramid) squares. What’s the best way to join together so I can cover a window? Any info greatly appreciated.
I did similar but a bit neater – and perhaps slightly more expensive. I purchased two folding room dividers on eBay made of heavy cardboard – about $10 ea. Then I found a buy 1 get 1 sale on acoustic audio foam panels (18″x 24″) and attached them with double sided tape. Looks far more professional than what’s shown here which is important for me as sometimes clients visit my home/office/studio – same principle, just slightly better in my opinion. They still fold away to some extent but not flat. I just move them to a corner of the room when not in use.
Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and trying to help other VO actors. Any one who thinks the client cares about how your studio looks, obviously is new to voice over. The client only cares about the actor’s performance of his copy the way he/she envisioned it, and in a timely manner.
Keep on keeping on.