VoiceOver Home/Portable Studio

I’ve been making a modest living in voiceovers for the past two years. And recently I have been getting more and more requests to get my home studio together. As someone who travels frequently and who has nearly lost a couple of bookings by being out of town, I thought it would be wise to make sure I could take my home booth on the road, too. But, considering I’m not exactly making house-buying money yet, I can’t quite afford the industry standard equipment. So, with the aid of a fantastic book “Voice for Hire” by Randy Thomas and Peter Rofé and some solid, online research I have come up with a low-budget option that is so far proving to be quite effective.


A voiceover artist by the name of Steve Stone designed a portable booth that is a GREAT prototype. But at a hefty $1200 for the booth alone, not to mention the $1200 mic and other very expensive equipment, I knew I’d have to improvise another option. Here is my attempt:


Blue Snowball USB mic

On Stage desktop stand (you can use the one that came with the mic, but I prefer the height options of this one.)

Shure Pop filter

Sony Headphones (with soft cushioning ear pads for comfort and extra sound leakage protection)

Junque Trunk collapsible storage box (24″x15″x15″)

Acoustic foam

Duvatene (or some such similar heavyweight fabric)

Industrial, wide Velcro tape (to adhere fabric and acoustic foam.

Audacity Amadeus Pro audio recording/editing program

Fetch FTP provider


The whole thing cost me about $400.


You can save a little cash by using a free audio editing program, ditching the pop-filter and abandoning the headphones, but I don’t recommend it.


The Booth in action:



The Booth broken down and ready to be packed up (you can use space saver bags to shrink wrap the foam to make more room – but you’ll need a vacuum cleaner on your travels which may be tricky..)



I’m still searching for the perfect bag to carry it in. The whole lot weighs about 17lbs before being bagged up, so I’m looking for something lightweight. I currently carry it around in a great, wheelie, High Sierra suitcase, but sheesh! that bag weighs a tonne without anything in it let alone a voiceover booth!


The most expensive item on this list (besides the computer) is the mic. Which costs about $100 depending on where you get it. Everything else is under $40 a piece.


I’m still working out some of the kinks with the actual recordings and how each employer requires different vocal quality mixing (ie, some people like it when there’s more bass to my voice, other’s like it slightly modulated, almost robotic, etc, etc) but I’ve had great success with the mixer built into the Amadeus program. Although, I will say I have experienced latency (realtime delay in the headphones) which I hope to conquer soon!


I’ll keep you posted on any updates here. Especially when it comes to the tech side of things.



Links:

Voice for Hire By Randy Thomas and Peter Rofé


The Porta Booth


Steve Stone’s Booth in a Bag

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About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York. www.angeladee.com

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