I thought it would be fun to do a little behind-the-scenes post today. A while back, I said I probably wouldn’t ever post a picture of my sound booth, mostly because it’s not the prettiest thing in the world.
There also isn’t enough light in there to get a decent picture. I would have to disassemble half the thing, and then you wouldn’t get the full effect, anyway. And then I’d have to spend 20 minutes putting it back together. That’s a lot of effort!
So I figured I would do the next best thing and draw up a diagram. Before we get to that, I would like to say that I am much less insecure about my sound booth now. Other narrators post pictures of their setups, and very few of them look like what I would consider fancy or “professional.”
Exhibit A. This was Eugene Mirman’s setup while he was recording for Bob’s Burgers. I stole this photo from Reddit.
This photo and others like it made me feel 1000x better about my little booth. So here’s a quick tour.
The main structure is a shower that we never use in the basement because it is like WAY too cold to shower down there. When I designed the first iteration of the booth, I decided to make it as non-destructive as possible. We’re probably going to sell the house at some point, and it will probably be easier to sell if the shower is intact. So no holes drilled, no damage. I can tear the whole thing down in about 20 minutes.
All the walls in the booth are insulated with navy blue moving blankets held up by dowel rods that go across the top of the shower and some towels. This did require that I make some holes in the moving blankets. I also used a few c-clamps to hold one blanket against the shower door. I couldn’t do a rod for that one.
This is the primary working space in the booth. That whole back wall is basically a curtain that was heading for the garbage. It was a fancy curtain at one time but has since faded, so I repurposed it.
Section 1 is a tablet holder. The tablet sits in a little pocket with a strap that goes across the top to hold it up.
Section 2 is a hanging microphone/insulation shield that I made out of a cardboard box, noise reducing foam, and some towels. I did look at some online, but I couldn’t find one that worked the way I wanted it to for the space. My mic is a Yeti Blue Snowball, which I might eventually switch out, but it’s fine for now.
Section 3 is a spot for my laptop 2-in-1. This was the most difficult part to figure out. I tried recording on a tablet, but that didn’t work out for me. The files were too large and difficult to transfer from the tablet to a computer. This was better.
The 2-in-1 flips around into “tablet mode” and hangs on the wall. It does make a tiny bit of fan noise once in a while but nothing that really comes through on the mic.
Number 4 on the diagram is a foam gym floor square thingy. I sit on a stool, and that square protects the floor from the legs.
Not pictured: I did finally get some lighting in there. I don’t run it all the time because I worry about it messing with the sound, but if I drop something, I need to see. I got a string of fairy lights with clips that hang on the moving blankets.
So that is the current setup. It will likely evolve more over time. I hope you enjoyed my tour. I should probably go record something now.