After you’ve done some practice runs and have recorded your voice or an interview or two, you’re going to want to listen to your recordings and hear how many reflections and slap backs you have in your track. Remember, we prevented these as much as possible just by using dynamic microphones BUT, depending on how “dead” your room sounds there are still going to be some reflections affecting the sound of your recording. Does your voice sound echoey? If so, you’re going to want to “treat” your room to reduce these unwanted reverberations by hanging acoustic panel or foam panels. These will help to absorb the sound waves bouncing off the walls. You don’t have to go out and spend a couple thousand dollars and get your room professionally treated, but I do recommend you spend a little money on acoustic treatment to deaden the room you record in.
The most important areas of the room where you want to add some acoustic treatment are the walls directly to the right and left from where you are facing. These are your “first reflection points” and if you’re able to throw up some panels or foam in these areas, you’re going to reduce a lot of slap back in your room. The second area you should focus on is directly behind you, and if you want to be bold, on the ceiling directly above you. Acoustic panels come in many sizes, but I recommend buying ones that are at least 2ft wide by 4ft tall, or 1ft wide by 3ft tall. I also recommend buying panels that are at least 2 inches thick. If you buy between 4-6 panels you’re covering some good square footage in your recording space.
If you’re buying foam packs they’re usually 1ft x1ft and either 1inch or 2inches thick. I recommend buying the 2inch thick pieces of foam. These packs typically contain 12, 1ft x 1ft pieces. With foam, the best thing to do is to buy some 1/2 inch thick poster board from your local craft shop and some spray glue. Cut the poster board into 2ft x 3ft or 2ft x 2ft sections and glue the foam onto the poster board. In the past I’ve made the mistake of gluing the foam directly to my wall. When you move houses or apartments and need to remove the foam, it’s extremely hard to pull off the wall. Most of the time the foam rips and leaves a weird residue on the wall that’s difficult to get off. If you have them glued to the poster board and pin the poster board to the wall, you can remove or rearrange the panels at any time, with ease.
I highly recommend acoustic panels from GIK. They’re based in Atlanta Georgia.
GIK Acoustics: https://www.gikacoustics.com
For foam, I recommend Auralex.
If you’re unable to by acoustic treatment at this time, I recommend recording in a carpeted room, with some furniture in it to help absorb the sound. Rugs are also very helpful in sound dampening, as well as beds. Bed’s can suck in a lot of reverb. Try to avoid recording in big rooms, rooms with hardwood floors or empty rooms. In a pinch you can also record in your car or closet. Both actually sound pretty good! Cars and closets are both small, but for solocasts or recording short form audio they’ll do the trick. If you have a walk in closet, throw a chair and mic stand that baby and BOOM!, you’re golden.
If you have any acoustic treatment questions, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, don’t forget to follow us on instagram @thepodasthaven