10th February 2010 - Building a den in my house
The scariest thing so far in this whole studio set-up process has been recording the vocals. I have no idea what I am doing! I’ve always just gone to a studio, stood in front of a mic and done my thing, while someone else has done all the technical work to make it sound all shiny. The internet has been my best friend cos if you look long enough someone somewhere has posted some advice about whatever it is you’re looking for. So, I was able to sort out the right kind of microphone to use quite easily but apparently that is only the beginning…
I knew I needed to construct some kind of soundproofing because when I tried recording the vocals without any it sounded like I was singing in a box - which in effect I am as it’s just a small domestic room with laminate flooring (put down after someone watched too much ‘Changing Rooms’ in the 1990’s) so the sound just gets reflected. More scouring the internet came up with the scary notion of constructing a ‘vocal booth’ but a sound-engineer friend suggested that I could create the same effect using sheets and a duvet. Genius!
My mum kindly gave me an old duvet and some sheets and I expertly set about pinning them to the walls and ceiling with drawing pins (this is in no way a shoddy or makeshift construction). An old rug on the floor and voila - I have a tent made out of soft bedding in the corner of the room! I have to say I feel vaguely ridiculous standing in said tent and singing. Also, the drawing pins ping out at unexpected moments and parts of it collapse and I often get tangled up dashing in and out to press record on the Mac. The other major flaw is that the only free corner of the room is where the door is so once the tent is up I can’t get out. If there’s ever a fire I’ll go up a treat trapped in a small upstairs room, nicely cushioned by flammable bedding and unable to open the door.
Still, the main thing is that it works and I have a nice vocal sound to work with.
I’ve posted a couple of pics of my handiwork.
Outside the 'vocal booth' Inside the booth - or a picture of a sheet