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Vocals in Untreated Room Signal Splitters (HW)
Old 3rd December 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Vocals in Untreated Room

I don't know much about room treatment. Actually, believe it or not I record with a usb condenser mic in a room that isn't treated at all, and with mixing (not mine of course) I get studio quality results. I'm only 17 by the way, so I'm a bit limited as far as what I can do.

I'm moving and the room I'll be in isn't good for recording. You know when you clap you get some type of a feedback, like a metallic reflection.. that's what I get in this room. So I'm guessing it's not gonna be good for recording.

I only record vocals so I'm thinking about getting a reflection shield and that should be good enough... or will I need other treatment?

Also, I read that a room with no carpet is best to record in. I have always heard the opposite, so I'm not sure. In that case, I have a finished basement available, but I didn't choose that room because I was thinking it would be bad to record in because it's, well, an untreated basement.

So would a reflection shield be all I need? And is recording in a basement better or worse? I would think worse, but I obviously don't know much.

One more thing, I know there is a lot of advanced people here, so if this question is basic and something that is asked a lot, I don't mean to bother anybody. Help is really appreciated though.

I would probably be able to get some pictures up if needed.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
I only record vocals so I'm thinking about getting a reflection shield and that should be good enough... or will I need other treatment?
That would help but it really is a band aid. May be think about building something like our screen panel as it can function as other things like bass traps and so on when you mix.
GIK Acoustics: GIK Screen Panel
Basically 6 foot panels 3" thick hinged together.

Quote:
Also, I read that a room with no carpet is best to record in. I have always heard the opposite, so I'm not sure. In that case, I have a finished basement available, but I didn't choose that room because I was thinking it would be bad to record in because it's, well, an untreated basement.
Carpet is fine if that is what you have. The problem is it only absorbs high end so it can throw the room off balance. The goal is to treat the room so it is balanced.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for your help, I'll check that out. I haven't had a chance to record in the room yet, I may be worrying over nothing. I was surprised I got the high quality I did in my current untreated room, so maybe it'll work out.
Old 4th December 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
baslotto's Avatar
If you are only recording vocals believe it or not a closet full of clothes will be your best recording spot in the house.
Either that or buy some Auralex or whatever you find around to avoid any metallic reflection. For vocals the smallest place is enough so you don't need to treat a whole room but only a little corner and a filter like an SE will do the rest.
You don't sound like you want to open a recording studio any time soon so this will be enough for a while.

Bas.
Old 6th December 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
MrCrowbar's Avatar
 

1 large panel (1 square meter) of cheap acoustic foam (the one with the bumps), thumbtacked to a wall works great. put the mic in front of that and sing into the middle of the foam panel. Works very well in small furnished rooms. Punch the thumbtacks through the valley of the material. You can also use thin nails with large heads to fix it to the wall, that's what I did for the ceiling here, can't glue it up in a rented apartment.

A large bed in a corner of the room is a good bass trap by the way.
Old 11th December 2009
  #6
Gear Nut
 

carpets are good for deadening

If you're hearing the ambiance of the room in your recordings (the reflections from the corners,) then some treatment is in order.

Even just a room with carpet, padded couches and other furniture goes a long way compared to an empty room with hard wood floors. You could even put a mattress up the wall and sing toward it and you'll hear that it helps.

In an extreme case, a friend of mine recorded vocals by putting a sleeping bag over his head with the mic inside the sleeping bag. It actually helped a lot because he was in a highly reflective basement.
Old 11th December 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
datune's Avatar
Hey Caine419!

Welcome to gearslutz ;-)

If you invest just a tiny little bit of effort and time, you will be rewarded tenfold.

I am assuming that most of the time you will want to have your vocal recorded as dry as possible, which makes it easier to get it sitting right in the mix later on.

Just to give you an idea what kind of difference a little treatment can achieve, I suggest you view the following video from another fellow gearslut:

Pretension // News & Production Blog: DIY Acoustic Treatment - Before and After Comparison

Put on some headphones!

After you have seen that, you may want to go to RealTraps - Home or GIK Acoustics. Acoustic Panels and Bass Traps., both sites have a plethora of information available, and well worth spending some time reading.

You do NOT have to spend thousands to get a decent room, this you can also learn in this forum.

The gearslutz board is full of unbelievably usefull information and everybody is really helpful.

So this is my advice to you, study just a little bit, and you will be on your way to get great results, and later on, when you have income, you will be well informed and knowledgable enough to either create or purchase the correct treatment, hopefully well before you spend thousands on gear ;-)
Old 1st February 2011
  #8
Thumbs up Carpet the Walls!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kato View Post
If you're hearing the ambiance of the room in your recordings (the reflections from the corners,) then some treatment is in order.

Even just a room with carpet, padded couches and other furniture goes a long way compared to an empty room with hard wood floors. You could even put a mattress up the wall and sing toward it and you'll hear that it helps.

In an extreme case, a friend of mine recorded vocals by putting a sleeping bag over his head with the mic inside the sleeping bag. It actually helped a lot because he was in a highly reflective basement.
Indeed, the carpet on your floor could be the least expensive and magical solution. Having just built my first pro studio during my Hard Road album, I sang into a Gefell UM900 and was alarmed at the room reflections. I had exhausted my studio budget focusing on boutique outboard gear, with scant consideration of my room acoustics.

A light bulb went off over my head; the new Ikea rug I purchased for my dining room floor, was rolled up, taken into my studio, and nailed across the wall (six penny nails), obscuring a dual-pane window in the process. I felt like I just stepped into Studio X in Seattle. My guitars opened up, my voice discovered new cracks and crevices, and for what cost me around $100US, I now had a pro room as well. (Note: the carpet in question was 6 x 8 feet, and was 3/4 inch thick, and weighed maybe 50 lbs (Hence the six penny nails). Density and girth are key):

If you can, I added those baffles for the corners, and a few panels on the walls. That added about $100. So I modded a 10 x 14 foot room for $200 bucks. So, long response longer, you could potentially modify most any room, making them "acoustically neutral," simply by nailing all of the old "oriental" type rugs throughout the house to the walls ... problem solved. Or spend $200. Good luck!
Old 1st February 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyFolk View Post
you could potentially modify most any room, making them "acoustically neutral," simply by nailing all of the old "oriental" type rugs throughout the house to the walls ...
Just in case someone actually believes that this is the case:

Carpets absorb a very limited range: the highest frequencies. If used excessively, all you’ll end up with is a room with a very uneven decay time in the frequency range and still “boomy” and untreated in the lower range, which is not a good thing. You normally need lots of absorption in the lower range and often little or no absorption in the higher range (if recording room with enough volume). Even if too small for a “live room”, carpets are still usually not beneficial due to the restricted absorption range.
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