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Garnish Music Production School in London

Recording vocals: DIY vocal booth and pop shield or filter

Recording vocals: DIY vocal booth and pop shield or pop filter:

This is about how I record vocals at home with a DIY vocal booth. We cover more on this on the Sound Engineering course.

I have a macbook pro plugged up to an apogee duet, pop shield or pop filter, some cables running from my dining room to my bedroom where I have made a DIY vocal booth out of my wardrobe and some dressing gowns.

Recording vocals at homeYou can see that  I have the mic pretty close to the clothes in the wardrobe to ensure as many as the sound waves from the voice are captured and absorbed before they get a chance to bounce back/reflect and end up back down the capsule of the mic again. The microphone’s polar pattern is set to cardioid so if anything did get a first reflection back out, the mic is optimised for one side. oooo, I love talking about microphones – I’ll try and do a whole post about them soon. I have two towel dressing gowns hanging up on each of the inside of the wardrobes. The idea is to create as much of a dead controllable environment as possible which then can be treated with exactly the amount and type of reverb you wish. There’s NOTHING worse than the sound of a vocal where someone’s just chucked a mic up in the middle of a room with stone walls – you get reflections bouncing all over the place. It’s a very thin horrible echoey sound which you can’t do anything about.

Pop shields are important and pretty cheap too – they capture the compressed air you give out when you make a ‘p’ or ‘b’ sound which ends up as really low frequency on your recording and can even cause digital glitching if it’s fierce enough. Once a hypnotist friend of mine popped over to record some vocals for an online hypnotising project she was involved with, I set the mic up as it but couldn’t find my pop shield, so I broke down a metal coat hanger, made it the shape of a pop shield (or pop filter) frame. The next thing was to find some tights to wrap around it, but I couldn’t find any of my girlfriend’s  so I dug a pair of her nickers out of the laundry basket! It did the trick with some gaffer tape and headphone wire.

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