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Voice Coaches Radio #461 – Welcome to My Recording Nook

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller. Delighted to have you joining me as we are each and every week right here commenting live from the mothership here in Colony, New York. Uh, I wanted to talk about something the questions that we get quite a bit and the questions deal with, uh, Home Studios.

Great questions. Home studios. Talking about the interest in them, talking about how do we set them up, how do I get it started. So what I wanted to do is, I actually had the opportunity fairly recently to kind of refurbish my own home studio. Studio is a strong word. It's not really a studio, it's a closet.

It's a home closet that now is a closet with some, uh... With some sound equipment in there and a microphone, but it does the trick. It does the trick. So, uh, again, we have a ton of information on this at the website at voicecoaches. com about, um, you know, this, this idea of the home studio again, we do want to want to put out there and, and certainly I've said this before, but having a home studio is not.

By any stretch of the imagination, it is not a necessity. Uh, some people will tell you that you have to have a home studio in order to, uh, to make it in voiceover. That's not true. That is definitely not true. That being said, it certainly has some advantages. Uh, it certainly has some... Conveniences, that's, uh, that's for sure.

So there are definitely perks to having it. And so, you know, the question is, how do I do that? How do I set one up? How much is it going to cost? That's obviously a huge question. How much is it going to cost, right? And so that's, that's important. So what I thought I would do it, there are so many different ways that you can do this, that you can create a space that you can record in from home.

Um, and so, you know, one way is not necessarily better than the other. Uh, certain ways you can do it are extraordinarily expensive. Certain aren't. Right? Certain aren't. It does not have to be cost prohibitive. It can be. It can be. But, uh, but don't, don't get scared away, uh, because of the price. Because it does not have to be that way to still get you what you need to get from it.

So again, what I thought I would do today is just kind of go over, you know, what I have. Kind of my, my Personal setup that I have at home, uh, that I use, um, and, and actually, you know, I, I, I did some recording from home, though, not a ton, uh, prior to, to this, you know, pandemic happening. And obviously with this was spending a lot more time at home.

I think we, I think we all were. And, uh, decided, you know what, it'd probably be a good idea, it'd probably behoove me to, to get a, uh, a home studio setup, or at least to, to refurbish my home studio setup a little bit, to have those, those kind of capabilities, and that's, that's what I did. I did it by the end of July, um, end of July was my birthday, Thanks for asking.

Uh, no, it was my birthday and, uh, decided to take some, uh, you know, some of the money from that and invest it into, into some recording stuff. So, uh, again, I decided to, uh, I, I thought maybe it'd be a good idea for, for you guys to hear what, what I have. How I kind of set mine up, the prices that, uh, that I paid, give or take, so you can get an idea of, of how to do this.

So, uh, in my house, we have, uh, an extra bedroom that is, uh, it's kind of a multi purpose room of sorts. Uh, a couple chairs in there, there's a... I don't even know what you'd describe it. I guess like another family room or something. It's my wife works out in there But used to have a desk in there When I teach from home, that's that's usually where I'm doing it from So it's just an extra bedroom next to next to the main bedroom and in the bedroom.

There is a small very small closet And the closet used to have coats and towels. And then at the bottom of the closet, there was litter boxes for our cats. We have two cats. They are extremely overweight. And that's where their litter boxes were. So that'll give you kind of an idea of what the setup looked like.

Um, and so what I did was I took everything out, including the litter boxes, because gross. Um, and uh, and started to uh, To try to figure out the best ways to get quality sound in there. So the first thing I ended up getting was, uh, is some sound absor Boom, try that again. Sound absorption sheets. Try saying that five times fast.

Sound absorption sheets, otherwise known as, uh, as, uh, you know, uh, Sound editing blankets is essentially what they are. They're essentially, they're kind of like weighted blankets almost. Uh, I know people who have used, uh, moving blankets, and that, that works just as well. All right, so, uh, but I ended up getting these, these sound absorption sheets, because there's not a ton of wall space in there, because it is pretty small.

Uh, and the total, that's why I got two of them, so they could kind of overlap. The total for that was about 160 bucks, give or take. It was 164. Uh, so that was, and I got that from a company called Automute. And so, uh, so that's kind of what I wrapped the inside of it with. Now, the other issue that I had with this room is that it had a very tall ceiling.

A really tall ceiling that went all the way to a crawl space in the attic and the problems with that were you could you could hear when it was raining. It would be very obvious. There was also a lot of echo up there, so I wanted to drop the ceiling down a little bit. So from that same company, I ended up getting an acoustic panel.

I had to get it sized so it so it matched. You know, the space that I had that ended up being just about 50 bucks to get kind of a, an acoustic panel for that and, uh, and use that as kind of a drop ceiling essentially as a, uh, as a drop ceiling. Um, so, uh, so yeah, so that was those two things. So we're at about what a little over 200 bucks.

No, I already had a bike stand and had a pop filter, so I didn't have to worry about that, um, to get some tension rods. So there was a, there was a. Kind of a shelf in there, and I took the shelf, I sanded it down, and used it as kind of a, a desk, I kind of lowered it a little bit, used it as a, a desk of sorts to, you know, keep my materials on, and um, you know, put my computer on there when I'm recording, and uh, so that was, that was already there.

And, um, Essentially bought some tension rods to keep that up. Those are about a buck each, give or take. Got a couple of those. And what else did I really need? Oh, I got a little carpet. So we have hardwood floor, so the hardwood floor wasn't the greatest, um, uh, wasn't the greatest for the sound, so I got a little carpet.

It was pre cut carpet from, I don't know, either Lowe's or Home Depot. I think the total was like seven bucks, something like that. Um, so, and that's, that was it. That's really all I did. Um, and the entire thing comes to what? A little over a couple hundred bucks. Most of that on the sound equipment. Um, and, and that's, that's it.

That's the whole space. Now I also did, uh, invest in a microphone, in a new microphone, and uh, and that's obviously where a big, you know, chunk of money can go. Um, you know, microphones can be, oh, expensive. They can be expensive. Uh, I'll tell you the one that I really really wanted, um, was a Neumann TLM 103.

That was about 1, 100, so I did not, uh, did not end up getting that, perhaps in the future. Um, so the one I ended up getting was a company called CAD. It's the E 100S. Uh, the CAD E 100S is about 500, give or take. Which is a little bit more than I actually intended on spending, to be totally honest with you.

But, what I will say is, if you are going to spend a little bit more money anywhere, that's probably where to do it. That's, that's probably where to, to invest that money. And I saw I took some money that I got from, you know, for my birthday. But I also invested some money that I had made from previous projects that I had done.

And that's a great way to do it. Take money that you get from jobs that you have and reinvest it. that into equipment for yourself. Uh, and so that's, uh, so that's what I'm ending up using. But again, that, that microphone, there are plenty of other options that are not that expensive. There are plenty of options that are much more expensive.

So really it's whatever you're comfortable with. Um, but that's what I personally did. That's the one that I personally got. Um, I had the cords, uh, and the only thing I really needed was a, uh, was a, um, um, forgetting the word now. Hey, um. A way to get the sound from the microphone into the computer.

Interface is the word I'm looking for. Interface is the word I'm looking for and not finding at all. So, you need an interface to take the microphone and get it into your computer unless you have a microphone that has a USB outlet. Um, and usually most of your higher end microphones don't have that. So you just have your regular XLR cord.

So you take your XLR cord, you plug it into the interface. Then you plug it from the interface into your computer, and that's how you're able to get your sound. It can also, uh, provide phantom power if you, you know, need that for your, uh, for your condenser microphone, which condenser mics will need. Uh, it also does a nice job as a preamp to kind of boost things up a little bit, uh, as it gets into your computer for recording.

So the, uh, so the one I'm using is called the Scarlett Solo, and, uh, a... About a little less than a hundred bucks, a little less than a hundred bucks for that. Uh, so, and that's pretty much it. That's pretty much it. Uh, again, the, the main expenditure was certainly the microphone. It, you don't have to spend that much on a microphone.

You can certainly spend much more. But the microphone aside, everything else, not really all that much. to it, right? Again, it was just the acoustic, um, the acoustic absorption sheets, the acoustic panel, and, uh, and then really just kind of a little carpet. I also bought a chair. I bought a, you know, like a tall bar chair almost to, uh, to be able to sit in to record when I'm doing audiobooks and things like that.

And I bought that off Facebook Marketplace for 20 bucks. That's really it. That's my whole setup. And if you're interested in seeing a picture of it, reach out to me, let me know. I'd be happy to show you a picture of a before and after picture of it, uh, so you can get an idea of, of what it looks like now.

Um, But I'm really happy with it. I really am. It's a, it's a nice little space. I have some lighting, uh, just some kind of like tube lighting that we had. So it's like a strip that goes around it to, uh, to light it up and it can come in different colors. So I get some ambience in there, which is nice, but, uh, but it's, it's been great.

It's been great. So if that is something that you're thinking of, doing. Again, you can find out more information, voicecoaches. com as well does have information on things like that, but don't be afraid that it's going to be so, so cost prohibitive. It does not have to be. That's the important part. It does not have to be.

So that's what I personally did. Certainly you can do any number of different things to kind of convert a small space for you into a recording. area, uh, depending on your budget, depending on your space and depending on what the projects you want to do is. But um, you know, that's just kind of mine to give you an idea of, of at least what I'm doing, um, currently and, uh, and, and have been doing that was kind of my, my project over the summer to, uh, to be able to do some more home recording.

All right. So, uh, if, if anyone has any questions or, or looking for some advice on that as well, please let me know. Podcast at voice coaches. com is the best way to get in touch with me again, that's podcast at voice coaches. com. Of course you can also, uh, You can also reach out any way you like with other ideas of things that you want to, uh, you want me to discuss here on the program.

And uh, certainly happy to do that because remember, it's not just my program, it's your show as well. All right, so thanks so much for tuning in this week and, uh, again, it was great to hear from you all. Hope everyone is doing well, staying warm, staying healthy. Until next time, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches.

com for more voiceover news and information.

Josh gives you a behind the scenes tour of his personal home studio, including the equipment and sound treatment used to convert a small closet into a serviceable voice over recording nook.