To make a living, voice over talents used to have to physically go to gigs recorded in commercial production facilities. Now, gigs can come to them-in home studios and through the Internet. But for many Portuguese voiceover over talents, newbie and old pro alike, outfitting a home studio is technically baffling. So, how do you make that spare bedroom or corner of your studio apartment (no pun intended) into a functional voice-over facility, with decent acoustics and the appropriate equipment? Let’s take a look at the basics involved in setting up a home voiceover studio.
Selecting your studio space
A studio of any size or recording purpose starts with the space in which it will be located. Isolation from outside sounds is important. If you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, then try to locate your “studio” in a corner as far from the door to the hallway and away from windows. Also, a closet can work well as a recording booth. Set up your recording equipment just outside the closet and your microphone inside the closet.
If you live in a two-plus bedroom unit or a single-family home and can dedicate an entire room to your studio, then you’ll have more options available for controlling the acoustics of the space. You’ll want to make sure the room doesn’t sound too “echoey” or “hollow.” Treating these problems can be as simple as putting some overstuffed furniture in the room, along with a rug and some drapes over the windows. Have a lot of old clothes sitting in an attic or basement? You can use them to create a recording “booth” around your mic. Fill three or four rolling clothes racks with clothes and then position them on the sides and back of your mic position.
Of course, you can use professional acoustic materials to control sound reflections. You’ll find an excellent primer on acoustical treatment-in plain English-at Auralex. Check out these acoustical treatment production companies, too: HSF Acoustics; Silent Source; Vocalbooth; Whisper Room.