Many people when starting off in voice over assume that all they need to do a buy a half decent microphone, plug it in and find auditions is all that is needed. However, this is far from what is required to start voice acting.
One of the most important steps that is often overlooked or forgotten entirely is a treated space.
What is a treated space?
Sound is like a wave, it crashes and bounces all over the place. When you talk into a microphone, especially a condenser mic, it picks up the echoes or reflections in the room. The smaller the room the more boxier it might sound or if the room is full of hard surfaces you can hear an echo. This is most noticeable when you are looking at a new place or moving and there is no furniture to absorb the sound from bouncing around.
Treating your recording space is similar to furnishing a room. The goal is to create an environment that absorbs the sound and prevents it from bouncing around.
How do you treat a space?
There are many different ways to treat your environment.
One of the most popular and common materials used is sound panels or sound foam. However, this can become costly depending on the size of room you are treating. The larger the space the more it will take to treat.
The most budget friendly way is to get a really thick comforter and drape it over your head and the microphone. Though this can have it's own difficulties, such as the audio sounding muffled or the voice actor overheating.
You can also create a mattress fort. Get two or more large mattresses and
My most favorite way is to build a PVC frame and drape moving blankets over it — the PVC booth or blanket booth. This is very cost effective and takes up just a little bit of space in a room.
What if I don't have a room or a bit of space in a room to sacrifice?
No worries! Many voice actors, even some professionals, do their recording in a closet. If you have a walk in closet you might be in luck. Many closets, especially the one you use, are full of hanging clothes. What this means to you, my fellow future voice actor, is sound treatment. Clothes absorb and reflect sound and will reduce or even remove any reflections from your audio. The only thing is sacrificing some space in the closet or setting up and tearing down every time you record; so it would be ideal to have a dedicated space, but this is a perfect place to start.
Once you are setup in your new voice over studio start recording and review your audio to make sure there are no issues with reflections. If you are not entirely sure what you are looking for there are many talented people who would be happy to give you some feedback. You could even hire for a booth consultation from a professional who will be able to listen to your audio and give you feedback and suggestions to improve your space.
My company, Immersed Productions, provides a Booth Consultation service. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you would like us to review your space!