Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mike Fugal's Portable Sound Booth

Hey Scott,

I've attached some pics of my portable voice booth. I've successfully used it to do auditions on the road instead of building hotel pillow forts like I used to. I've also made some finished recordings with it, though I use my home booth when I'm not on the road. I must always stipulate that the portable booth is not a solution for cheap "soundproofing" but is good to deaden the room noise caused by your own voice and provide some acoustic treatment. Now, if someone is using it to record an instrument, it might not work as well. But I found it great for VO since I can just put my script on my iPhone, set it in the booth and stick my head in there. Some people have scoffed at this since it doesn't look like a "real" VO booth but the way I see it, does my whole body need to be included if all I'm recording is my voice?

Here is the link for the acoustic foam I use. I found this to be the least expensive that was actually meant to be used as acoustic treatment. After some research, it seems that 2" pyramid foam is a good middle ground for many voices. It ends up being about $1.50 per square foot.

I got the 14” cube from Target.com. It’s called a whitmor cube and they were only carrying it in the online store when I bought mine. Mine were two cubes for $20 or so. I made one for myself and one for one of my VO teachers. When it comes to acoustics, I would be careful when trying other types of cubes depending on what they are made of but who knows? Maybe you’ll find something even better.

I wouldn’t mind you sharing this on your blog, just so it’s clear that It’s not my invention and any credit should really go to Harlan Hogan, a voice over artist on whose site I originally saw the idea. He makes a pro version but freely gave the instructions for the type that I use on his site as well. Last time I looked, he was only selling the pro version which is a bit different than this. But the whitmor cube style isn’t all that difficult or expensive to construct yourself. Cube, Velcro, Foam, add your recording hardware and you’re done!

Scott says: this is a great idea and even if it isn't original, it's a good one to revisit. Notice that the Target link reveals a single cube that sells for a mere $8, so you don't need to buy two. You can also save some money on the foam by trying the 1" squares (12 for $11) instead of the 2" version (12 for $18). To find about more about Mike and his work check out Fugal Productions, as well as the Shadowfoils website, a product I will be reviewing in the near future.

1 comment:

J Heath said...

I have been doing something similar to this for a while now and it does work. One day while trying to record audio with a portable digital recorder in a large room with no carpet I found that the room sounded awful no matter where the Mic was placed. I also play drums, so I placed the Mic inside a padded road case that holds one of my toms when I travel. I left the lid off the case and aimed the opening toward the talent. It sounded great.

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