My Holiday Set Up!
We all need a holiday don't we? Of course I hear you say and some say that it's not good to work when on holiday as you don't get enough down time to actually benefit from the holiday. That is true to some extent but as a dedicated voice over artist I think it is always a good idea to take along a few bits of equipment to record with just in case. In case of what I hear you say? Well, there might be an audition that is just right to submit for or a job might come your way that you could not afford to refuse. So I think it makes sense in my opinion to always be ready for being able to record a high quality audio file. Maybe in a few years time I might think differently but please read on to learn about my holiday set up and what I do to deliver great audio and have a happy holiday recording time.
The most important thing to consider when recording away from your studio is to find a quiet place to record in. I suppose that sounds obvious but it can be hard to find somewhere. No good if there is traffic noise outside or children playing (not that I don't dislike children playing it's just that their screams of delight can be picked up by the microphone and another take has to be made.) Also, you might find yourself working next to a refrigerator. Turn it off. It won't hurt for a few hours. Air conditioning? Switch it all off when you are ready to record.
Next, build a booth. A sound treated booth. Although it doesn't look great, it works brilliantly at soaking up sound reflections which you don't want going down the microphone.
Here's what I do:-
I place two chairs on their side and position in a V-shape on a table, then I find cushions ( a sun lounger cushion works great) and I place inside the chairs. I find a broom handle or something long and sturdy and place that over the v-shaped cushions and drape a duvet over the top. Inside the new V-shaped den I place my microphone inside my IsoCube Microphone Isolator, pop it on a table mic stand, plug into my Scarlet 2i2 audio interface and plug into my laptop. If it is very hot, I place the laptop on two chopping boards with an ice pack in the middle to cool the fan's so that they do not come on during the recording. This has worked brilliantly. Then, when I am ready to hit the record button I cocoon myself under another duvet behind and over me which is supported by the broom handle. Although it doesn't look great, ( this depends on how pretty your duvets are or course) it works brilliantly at soaking up sound reflections which you don't want going down the microphone.
Lastly, you need internet access which can be purchased online before you go away.
Bobs your Uncle and you're good to go. Just be careful not to move too much under the duvet and in between takes you can take the duvet down allowing for some fresh air! It's a little cosy under there but it works and your sound is amazing. No one will ever know!
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Sarah Jackson is a trained professional voice artist living in the UK. She loves playing the violin as well and walking her "Long Haired Lurcher from Liverpool" dog who doubles up as her booth buddy!