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Relfection filter for recording vocals
Old 6th May 2019
  #31
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A cheaper and more effective option (than the reflection filter) is hanging 2 duvets (not in the covers) from portable coat hanger racks - one in front and the other behind. Achieved amazing results on vocals in a hallway with a very high ceiling with carpet on the floor. The set up looks ridiculous but it is ideal in a home recording situation.

Last edited by waldie wave; 6th May 2019 at 01:20 PM..
Old 6th May 2019
  #32
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kennybro's Avatar
IMHO, these reflection filters are one of the more interesting hoaxes ever leveled at the audio recording community (i.e. "market")
Old 6th May 2019
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Where did I say any of that???
You said you get comparable results to a ring of large tube traps...

A ring of large tube traps completely surrounding the performer (20" diameter by 72" high stacked columns, for example) is the equivalent of a *very* well acoustically treated room down to about 30Hz inside that space. This is serious broadband absorption, a far cry from a narrow-band filter on a stand. Really?? Again, there is absolutely no comparison. It takes a serious amount of mass and volume to do what that setup does. Again, comparing it what might be comparatively described as a glorified "wind screen" is hilarious.

If you are truly getting the world class results you are implying, then your room
was already quite good below 500Hz because these filters are doing nothing below and around that frequency.

Again, they can help to a point in some situations but they can only do so much, and in some cases make things worse. For example, a small space where the low end is out of control; you apply one of these filters and the higher frequency flutter echoes and slap back are now fairly under control, but now it's sounding muddier because nothing was done to the low end. I continually receive vocal tracks like this from people using these filters. Some are decent, others not so decent, but all could be better, IME. I'm always wishing I could get them in my studio to be re-tracked. At first listen, the vocals generally sound cleaner and relatively free of gross amounts of room sound, but some form of low end boxiness is usually still there to the trained ear, and the mix will generally suffer because of it when all is said and done. Yes, it's usually workable, but almost always can be better.
Old 6th May 2019
  #34
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'm skeptical of anything that's not behind the mic and performer
+1

There may be other reasons to buy these 'designer mic-stand accessories', but for actually deadening the sound and reducing room reflections - such as you might want to do for voice-over into a standard condensor/dynamic mic - you are much better off first investing in or constructing a couple of floor-standing traps to situate behind your head.
Old 6th May 2019
  #35
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I'm willing not to dismiss that Realtraps thing that Al recommended, though, without having actually tried it. Mainly because it's so big and deep. On the other hand, there's no place to put a music stand if you need one. And facing into a big corner like that might make the performer feel like they've been put in a time out.
Old 6th May 2019
  #36
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They all seem to mess with the off axis performance of the mic and this makes them sound a bit odd tonally to my ear.

I had an SE reflection filter and sold it.

I finally treated my entire room with GIK traps and now the room is suitable for tracking, mixing and mastering.

I can simply put a mic anywhere in the room and it sounds superb with no unwanted coloration.

To my mind, I'd be putting the money towards doing the job once and doing it right and treating your entire room,
that way not only will tracking sound great but your mixing and mastering translate perfectly too.
Old 6th May 2019
  #37
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'm willing not to dismiss that Realtraps [Portable Vocal Booth] thing...
I'm not willing to dismiss it either... I own a PVB and use it all the time!

My point - which is the same one you originally made - is that the 2-3 panels of standing MicroTraps I have behind my head are orders of magnitude more effective in diminishing unwanted reflections than the PVB on its own.

I'm sure I did some tests on this and posted the results in the ***** Shoot-outs' section of this Forum - it would have been at least ten years ago. (Maybe the files are still there but my website has moved since then.)

Another salient point worth making with these things - a lot depends on what mic you plan to use with them. I've tested my PVB extensively with hyper-directional mics like the Beyer M160, Sennheiser MD441 and Shure SM7B and I would go as far as to say that the benefits of sticking a stand-mounted gizmo behind these guys are almost negligible. (Again - I work mainly in the voice-over field, so my analysis is confined to this, but it's a fairly 'mission-critical' application that 'reflection filters' are often directly marketed at.) There are some marginal benefits with a much larger, super-sensitive cardioid mic like the Brauner Phantom or Neumann U87ai, albeit again hugely out-weighed by traps to the rear.

I'm not saying don't get one - I'm simply saying there is probably a much larger elephant in the room that needs addressing first, and it's not one the manufacturers of these expensive-looking widgets are necessarily telling you about.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 7th May 2019 at 07:45 AM..
Old 6th May 2019
  #38
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I'm not willing to dismiss it either... I own a PVB and use it all the time!

My point - which is the same one you originally made - is that the 2-3 panels of standing MicroTraps I have behind my head are orders of magnitude more effective in diminishing unwanted reflections than the PVB on its own.
Well alrighty then. :-)

It's top of mind, actually, because I'm wrapping up mixing of a record in a client's acoustically-challenged home studio, and I'd love for his next one to be easier to mix.
Old 6th May 2019
  #39
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Al Rogers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I'm not willing to dismiss it either... I own a PVB and use it all the time!

My point - which is the same one you originally made - is that the 2-3 panels of standing MicroTraps I have behind my head are orders of magnitude more effective in diminishing unwanted reflections than the PVB on its own.
Agreed. Panels behind the mic and behind the performer are best. While following this thread I decided to try this set up pictured and it's working OK. I can sit 3 feet back from the mic (AEA N8 ribbon) singing and playing and get a decent sound.

As already noted, the N8 mic is a figure 8 ribbon mic designed for far field use. The figure 8 nulls conveniently cancel out the floor and ceiling reflections as well as the side walls.

By the way the N8 is a lovely mic and it's my favorite microphone for single mic recording of voice and acoustic guitar. The sound reminds me of old folk and blues recordings on Smithsonian Folkways. A bit more modern though.
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Old 6th May 2019
  #40
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Rogers View Post
Agreed. Panels behind the mic and behind the performer are best. While following this thread I decided to try this set up pictured and it's working OK.
That's was almost exactly my voice-over set-up right there when I lived in a rented space with parquet floors and couldn't properly treat the room. Only difference is I was using the lighter MicroTraps - sometimes I balanced a 4th one on top of the other three as a kind of 'roof'!

Now I own my own treated studio space, my control room is dead enough and quiet enough to record most things in, so most of my traps are on the walls including the PVB!

All these are effective kludges for recording in a less-than-ideal vocal space - it goes without saying none of it is a match for a proper vocal-booth.
Old 6th May 2019
  #41
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aural Endeavors View Post
Again, comparing it what might be comparatively described as a glorified "wind screen" is hilarious
You’re putting too many words in my mouth for me to tackle. At no point have I claimed that reflection filters can produce the same measurable acoustic performance as high end absorbers — instead, I have now repeatedly made the case that MY recordings done with a particular filter are sonically (not measurably) comparable to MY recordings done in a room filled with ASC tube traps.

I’m really struggling to see the issue here.

Last edited by tkaitkai; 8th May 2019 at 10:14 PM..
Old 6th May 2019
  #42
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An article comparing various models:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...e-vocal-booths
Old 6th May 2019
  #43
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I had some downtime in a studio and did a test with both of these a couple of years ago and it became evident very quickly that they were big enough to do something, but too small to consistently kill reflections and sound good in every situation, so room acoustics determined how they performed. We consistently got better results with a bunch of packing blankets hung behind and in front of the singer or acoustic instrument in the test, while these things were hit or miss, and they actually made the problem worse in some cases...they did not work well with a low reflective ceiling or with the singers back to a reflective wall.

This is exactly what is happening here...they work for some people and not for others because not all reflective rooms are equal, we spent an entire afternoon moving them around in three different rooms and changing the pickup patterns on the microphones etc. At no time did we achieve better result with either of these than with some mic stands and a bunch of packing blankets that formed a four-sided booth around the mic. We made it so that the blankets were both higher and lower than the factory made vocal booths.
Old 7th May 2019
  #44
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Blankets and duvets work better than these reflexion filter gimmicks. I recorded a highly experienced guitarist/vocalist (world famous for his genre) who had recorded over the years in many top notch studios. This time he wanted to record a record in his own home. He was totally fine with the duvets hanging in front and behind him. His focus was entirely on the sound and results achieved. The mastering engineer who mastered the 14 tracks on his album applauded the very high quality of the tracks.
Old 7th May 2019
  #45
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My name is Chris and I'm a Reflexion-aholic!

I did buy the SE entry level filter, the RF-X.
It does help a bit, but for anything really important... Off to my Buddy's project studio, or a Commercial Studio.
Like my duet singing project with Adele, pretty soon! (yeah right)
Chris
Old 7th May 2019
  #46
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Piedpiper's Avatar
For $70 you can buy a 6 pack of 2' x 4' x 2" panels of Owens Corning 703 fiberglass insulation and create your own quasi vocal booth by hanging them on mic stands behind the singer/speaker that would outperform all the above suggestions including duvets. Or you could buy two packs and deploy them in the corners and be done with it. Double or triple the thickness and effect a lower frequency range. Still quite inexpensive. Do the same thing with fiberglass insulation rolls for even cheaper.
Old 7th May 2019
  #47
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
IMHO, these reflection filters are one of the more interesting hoaxes ever leveled at the audio recording community (i.e. "market")
Yup! It’s refreshing to see it called what it actually is. If you think these filters actually help your sound, you might as well just glue some foam to your wall and get your mic right up against it for that sweet, sweet muffled early reflection comb-filter sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
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This video is very interesting and worth viewing if you are considering purchasing a reflection filter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFRhQG-I5L0
Old 4 weeks ago
  #49
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toledo3's Avatar
 

I have a location recording rig, and part of it is a few portable clothes hanger racks constructed of PVC, and then a pile of packing blankets - the type that are blue on one side, black on the other. Extremely effective at creating a makeshift gobo type scenario and handling the frequencies that seem to matter most. And you can always add multiple blankets on one.

Instead of the racks, a heavy duty boom will work as well.

Not quite as good as real solid gobos, but can all be broken down to one or two large duffle bags. But not much worse than real gobos actually.

Not a horrible quick wall treatment either. Works well. The podcasting studio Earwolf uses them that way.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #50
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IMHO the basic SE Reflexion filter, helps me with either softly sung vocals, or VO.
Way insufficient (alone) for loud vocals-And I'm naturally a VERY loud vocalist.

After a certain point, I'd just sooner be recorded by a "real studio" and a real AE!
Chris
Old 4 weeks ago
  #51
din
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din's Avatar
 

Are these things only necessary if you're in a bad sounding room? I typically record vocals in my control room and never really noticed any odd about them. It's a LEDE room so maybe there's not enough reflection for it to really matter? Do people find benefit to these filters even in good sounding rooms?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #52
Maybe its just me but, wouldnt it just be easier and less hassle to use a quality dynamic mic for broadcast (SM7B, RE20 etc) that ignores the room and not even have to deal with reflection filters? Condensers are great for controlled environments but are a pain to tame in an apartment... My .002
Old 4 weeks ago
  #53
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True, but now that I've tested/sung through a ton of vocal microphones...

Knowing I sound "best" on a quality ribbon ala 44, or something along the lines of a U47 (tube or FET), lingers in the back of my mind.

Maybe if I had the recording skill set of someone like Brent (who's terrific at vocal capture and modest about it too!), I could make that 441 or M88 sound comparable-but I don't! That recording, for example, where a 58 was used on the "Opera Girl" a while back, was very impressive BTW

Chris
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