My hero, Dan Lenard, has made me a believer. He has long advocated that the private home studio of a VO freelancer can’t and shouldn’t be AT ALL designed like the exorbitantly-equipped professional studios manned by audio engineers.
Like many of you…I’ve yearned for the VO recording booth of my dreams…custom built, purchased used, or constructed brick-by-brick.
I would’ve sunk thousands into it if need be. Instead I’ve finally perfected the clothes closet VO recording booth.
That’s it in the picture above.
This is certainly not my first closet studio. When I began doing VO seriously in 2007, I confiscated a 5’x5′ second-floor closet, lined it with Aurelex, and recorded many a fine mp3 in there.
Then, when I moved to Missouri in 2019, I grabbed all the Uhaul moving blankets I could find…fashioned them into an enclosure with a staple gun INSIDE a closet, and went to work again.
Now that I’m living the condo life, and anchoring TV news again, I’ve basically absconded with a corner of my walk-in closet, set up a table, unfolded my VocalBooth ToGo, and I’m off and running.
Look…as an anchor with a clothing allowance for decades, I’ve acquired over 50 suits and 10-or-more blazers. So, please look past all the sleeves and shirts and ties you see on either side…but don’t look TOO far past them, because that’s one of the contributing factors to this being one of the quietest studios I’ve ever voiced in.
All that fabric is an excellent dampening factor for my recording environment.
I’m on a second floor with no neighbors across the wall. I’m situated next to a greenway (walking park), and my unit is tucked away back in the condo complex far away from the street.
The VocalBooth ToGO has an add-on attachment that folds down over my head with flaps on either side and in the back – made of the same quilted material – which further adds to the sound isolation.
There’s no computer fan noise, because I record everything cleanly onto a mini-SD card in my Centrance R4 Mixerface portable pre-amp recorder.
I turn off the overhead fluorescent lights.
I close the door to the closet, climb into my VocalBooth ToGo.
I read off of a Samsung tablet.
I speak into my Neumann TLM103.
Clients have commented how clean my sound is. I’ve been missing my Apollo Twin Duo USB digital pre-amp, but honestly…with the response I’m getting on the quality of my recordings…I may not worry about that for a while.
When I’m done, I pull out the SD card, plug it into my trusty HP laptop and go to work editing on Adobe Audition CS 2020.
Some of you may point out that I’m sitting to do my work, and that cramps my diaphragm, hence my breathing, and prevents the full sonorous tone to come forth. Personally, I’ve found that to be inconsequential.
If it works for you….great. I’ve done it both ways, and can’t tell the difference. My feet are happy.
If you are proud of your professional Whisper Room, or carefully-crafted custom studio, BRAVO!
Like Dan, I’m just saying that it can be done quite productively with the means at hand, and without a mean price tag.