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Which one first -Iso Booth or High Quality Pre? Condenser Microphones
Old 26th December 2010
Here for the gear

Which one first -Iso Booth or High Quality Pre?

My chain now consists of of a modded Rode NT1A done by Michael Joly at Oktavamod. I have it set up in a collapsible cube portabooth. The rest of my chain consists of a Symetrix 528e going into an M-Audio, into my DAW. I do radio commercials with my gear. I want to take my sound to the next level. What should I do first? Build an iso-booth or buy a top end pre? I am looking at the Gordon Model 4, The John Hardy M1, the UA Twin Finity 710, and the Langevin DVC for preamps. I am looking at building an iso-booth out of a Rubbermaid Roughneck Large Storage Shed. I will add accoustic foam and a bass trap. The collapsible cube porta booth helps, but there is still quite a bit of room noise that you can really hear on the head phones. Any recommendations as to what I should do first?
Old 26th December 2010
Gear Maniac

Without getting into the forever ongoing microphone debates,

The most important part of recording with microphones has been to put the best possible sound into them. Mic pres have subtle differences, room changes make big differences! I'd spend money to get the room as good as possible.

A square or cubic room is not at all ideal no matter how quiet. Even in close-mic'd radio circumstances, a room that gives you serious bass node resonances is not moeny well spent. That storage shed seems to come with inside dimensions of 52"w x 72"d x 72"h, or as a 7x7x7 cube. Squares and cubes are acoustically bad news. The shed itself will do nothing to keep out exterior noises.

Is this new booth indoors or out? Why choose a storage shed? It would be much better accoustically to build from scratch, with THICK walls to keep out exterior noises, with ventillation pre-thought (and quiet ducting), as large as you can practically do, and with dimensions that are non-square and mathematically not related. There is plenty of information on the web on the subject.

My 2 shakes.
Old 26th December 2010
Lives for gear
where are you recording right now?

Why not just basstrap a corner of the room your currently using and then record into your collapsable cube booth with your back to the bass trap try getting closer and further from the corner to alter your sounds. That would deal with your room issues and cost a lot less and make everything a lot easier.
Old 26th December 2010
For any recording effort if you can't have the "best" then balance is critical. IE: Talent, Engineer, Room, Mic, Pre, IO, Recording system, moitoring system all impact the final product. So purchasing a world class pre and using a crappy mic, or having a great mic, in a bad room, etc just won't fly. Spend your cash on balance... Good room, good mic, good pre, good system. Your "Chain" will only be as good as the weakest link.

For ADR ( and for Foley)... I believe that the "room" is very critical. When I build ADR booths/rooms I want a room that is neutral. That is to say, doesn't have an impact either way in the recording. Not dead, not live, not bassy or whatever... A room that does not affect the recording is the best room I can build. Neutral is what I call it. You can't "hear' the room in the recording.

And guess what.. it doesn't take a lot of money to do so. Just planning and work.
1. Location ( outside noise is always an issue)
2. Room size and materials selection...
3. lack ventilation noise and good ventilation is critical


Old 29th December 2010
Gear Head
TLR's Avatar

I agree with the posts listed above in that upgrading your room will have a greater effect on your sound than almost any piece of gear you can purchase. You can try a DIY approach to room acoustics (a ton of stuff online about it), but then make sure to use your ears more than your eyes to judge when your room is "right" and to keep lower frequencies in mind.
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