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-   -   Vocal recording acoustics (https://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-audio-acoustics/2944-vocal-recording-acoustics.html)

Ben 01-09-07 12:14 AM

Vocal recording acoustics
 

Hello All;
I don't have a limited budget, but rather a crippled budget for now. For recording vocals for my music project, I have to try to make due with what I already have on hand. I have about a 15' X15' room that has my computer and audio equipment. It is also open to an 'S' shaped hall leading to the front door and two other rooms. It is also open at the opposite corner to a 10' X 10' room that in turn is open to the kitchen. I could do my vocals in the 15 X 15 room. Or I could run my mic to my 15' X 23' bedroom and close the door. Or I could run my mic to a 4' X 6' walk-in closet at the far end of the bedroom and close the door.
I was planning on using a make shift booth that I set up in the 15 X 15 room using 3 tall book cases one short book case and one large cabinet. These items of furniture would be pretty well filled up with books. I have a lot of bubble wrap that I could use to stuff wherever it is needed. This furniture is arranged somewhat non - parrallel to eachother and to the surrounding walls. They are also each angled a little differently vertically. This booth will cut down on the computer noise somewhat. The booth is open to the room at two corners and around the ceiling. The floor space varies from about 2 3/4 ft to 3 ft width and 7ft to 8 1/4 ft length.
I have a comforter and some heavy blankets, throws, and other fabrics that I can mount on the walls or the furniture or the ceiling, inside and/or outside of the booth. The mic (a dynamic cartoid Shure SM58) would face away from the largest booth opening to cut down on early reflections of computer noise even more. Whatever noise remains can be EQ'ed down or out if it is not low enough to be masked by the music that is recorded. I was hoping to use REQ to test the booth to determined where to best place the mic stand at and what horizontal and vertical angles to set the mic on the stand.

What would probably be best to do to record vocals?
1. Finish the proposed booth.
2. Restore the 15 X 15 room and use the furniture as non- parallel deflectors/ absorbers (placing them at key places in the room).
3. Use the large room with the doors closed.
4. Use the walkin closet.

Ben

Ethan Winer 01-09-07 09:50 AM

Re: Vocal recording acoustics
 

Ben,

> Use the walkin closet. <

That's what I'd do. Vocals are usually best recorded totally dry, so leave those winter coats in there! :T

--Ethan

Ben 01-09-07 12:21 PM

Re: Vocal recording acoustics
 

Ethan;
Thanks for your answer. Its funny because that closet was my initial first choice. I can go to town supplementing the acoustics in it with what I have. The reason that I went to the booth idea was because the closet is so small and I was afraid of proximity effect and the parallel walls. I'll try using the closet. It is definitely the quietest room I have.
Would it be worth the while to test the room and apply parametric EQ adjustments to remaining frequency and mode problems to the tracks I record? Or just listen to the takes and apply any EQ as seems best? For instance, I could just use low shelf, low notch, or high pass filters to deal one or more low frequency problems. Like wise using filters at the other end of the spectrum to deal with high frequency issues. If I use REQ, some of the frequency cuts recommended would happen to fall at the same places where significant program material is present. I would have to choose between acceptable program material lose and allowing some frequency problems to remain. At least the REQ can identify those areas where narrow band notch filters can be used to cut problems where the program material is not significant. Any edge would help, but would it help enough. When does the law of diminishing returns hit? When would it be best to let go of trying to make improvements and just move on, so that I can progress to the next project stage? I sooner (hopefully) or later need to finish the project and try to start to make some money from it.

Ethan Winer 01-10-07 12:51 PM

Re: Vocal recording acoustics
 

Ben,

> I was afraid of proximity effect and the parallel walls. I'll try using the closet. It is definitely the quietest room I have. <

Again, it should be filled with absorbing "stuff." That avoids the proximity (reflections) problem.

> Would it be worth the while to test the room and apply parametric EQ adjustments to remaining frequency and mode problems to the tracks I record? Or just listen to the takes and apply any EQ as seems best? <

If you use a decent microphone you shouldn't have to EQ anything except maybe for effect. Note that I said decent, not expensive. :holycow:

> At least the REQ can identify those areas where narrow band notch filters can be used to cut problems where the program material is not significant. <

I think you're barking up the wrong tree there. If you capture a clean recording, you'll need little processing - again, except for special effect. EQ tweaking is always best done by ear. There's no program I know of that can replace an engineer's skill and experience.

--Ethan

Ben 01-10-07 07:44 PM

Re: Vocal recording acoustics
 

Ethan;
Ok! Thanks!
Ben


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