Thursday, January 18, 2018

Recording Sound For Video: Keeping It Clean

When you’re recording sound or narration for your video, it’s crucial to reduce ambient and acoustic noise and to capture as clean and “dead” a sound as possible. No, I don’t mean scary Day Of The Dead cries and moans. Dead sound refers to minimal reflections, i.e., noise bouncing off surfaces and minimal spillage of one sound into another. When your sound is reflective, you get more tinny, echoey audio which is very hard to fix later.

Sound isolation is similar to, but distinct from, sound-proofing. The former deals with protecting sound from outside interference while the latter deals with preventing sound from escaping. Professional studios spend a lot of money on acoustic treatment for their spaces but you don’t have to do that to get cleaner sound.

We came across one option at the NAB Show 2011 that you could set up in a corner of your studio. The WhisperRoom can be used as a vocal booth for recording music, voice over or translations, as a broadcast booth, or a musical instrument practice booth among other uses.. I took a step inside to show you what it looks and sounds like. You can watch that below.

But you don’t have to spend money or invest in that type of set up unless you’re going to be either narrating full-time or hiring on-site narrators regularly. Many narrators you hire will have their own sound isolation set ups or studios they use. Here is what we do when we’re doing the narrating…go back in the closet.

Make an Improvised Booth In Your Closet
That’s right… get back in the closet. When you are in a small space with soft walls, in this case your clothes, sound-reflections are minimized. Sound reflects more against flat, parallel surfaces, especially if those surfaces are already reflective, like tiles, glass or even bare wallboard.

If your closet has hardwood floors, add rugs to cut down the reflections from the surface. It will also dampen any foot movement you make.

We have a few more tricks to making your sound recordings cleaner that we share in our SIV Academy courses which we’ll be opening soon. Get on the wait list for some special deals when it does open.


3 Responses to “Recording Sound For Video: Keeping It Clean”
  1. A clothes closet is a great idea. How about doing voiceover inside a car that’s parked inside a garage? This works for me because I figure a car interior is really soundproof.

    • Rick Smith says:

      Absolutely right, Jaime. That’s especially handy when you’re on location and have to record a voice over. I’ve done it in the middle of Yosemite National Park when I only had access to the narrator for a short time.

  2. Dave Wilson says:

    I often have to do short voice overs or narrations for clients and I have never thought about using one of our closets for this. I usually just pulled a heavy comforter over my head, but that gets a little hot. LOL. Great idea. Thanks.


What do you think of this post? We'd love your comment! Let's get a discussion going.
Oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!


Get Adobe Flash player