Question regarding an audio recording setup i have in mind

Nan Yi

New member
May 23, 2019
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Hello Soundforums,

I'm new to audio recording, need to do it for a project coming in 5 months and going to need to set up something that could capture sounds with as little noise as possible. My home is a pretty noisy place although it dies down at night and i could record if i can somehow keep the noise level low enough to not wake my neighbors up.

I'm thinking of building a small box of foam wall padding and have a yeti mic (not sure if its good enough i was told i need one from shure) and record inside this box of foam padding with audio output going to my laptop which will be inside there as well. Wanted to ask if its feasible? Would it be cheaper if i were to just use a Shure mic without padding during a quiet time of day. Although it would be late at night and i fear the neighbors would be woken up.
 

Ben Lawrence

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Mar 2, 2011
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vtaudiovisual.com
What are you recording? Voice, guitar? If a guitar or other instrument I would record directly into your computer and use whatever plug ins it has for effects. Most software has amplifier simulation, delay etc. A box and foam is probably not going to cut it for the noise reduction you are looking for without some serious weight involved.
 

Nan Yi

New member
May 23, 2019
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Singapore
Hello Ben, just voice.
So i don't need an audio mixer or cloudlifter? Just a software on the computer to up the gain of the mic if needed?
 

Ben Lawrence

Senior
Mar 2, 2011
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Yeah you would need some serious mass to reduce sound from leaking. A box and foam is likely not going to cut it. I have seen some pretty impressive isolation with double thick sheetrock and blown in insulation. Its no small project thought to do it effectively.
 
Oct 25, 2018
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Bideford, Devon. UK
Yeah you would need some serious mass to reduce sound from leaking. A box and foam is likely not going to cut it. I have seen some pretty impressive isolation with double thick sheetrock and blown in insulation. Its no small project thought to do it effectively.
Exactly this. It is impractical to 'absorb' yourself quiet! Mass is needed to isolate noise effectively, with a roughly linear relationship between mass and isolation at lower frequencies. Googling wall construction will show you alternative constructions with the expected noise reduction; absorptive materials inside the booth will largely alter the reverberation time and little else - whilst it might 'sound' quiet, the isolation effect is minimal.
 
Exactly this. It is impractical to 'absorb' yourself quiet! Mass is needed to isolate noise effectively, with a roughly linear relationship between mass and isolation at lower frequencies. Googling wall construction will show you alternative constructions with the expected noise reduction; absorptive materials inside the booth will largely alter the reverberation time and little else - whilst it might 'sound' quiet, the isolation effect is minimal.
Not quite. While it is true that you do need a barrier (and a lack of air paths) to provide acoustical isolation, adding absorption to the "noisy" side of the barrier does provide additional improvement (above and beyond the simple sum of the isolation provided by each of the barrier and absorption layer). This is because the absorption layer helps with the reflections you get from typical barriers (and in some cases, also helps provide damping to the barrier). This is exactly the role that fiberglass or blown-in insulation serves in a typical commercial construction barrier wall.

To the OP, if you're just recording voice, you shouldn't need a significant amount of isolation to avoid disturbing your neighbors unless you're shouting. A 3/4" plywood or MDF box caulked and lined with foam should give you about 10dB of isolation (perhaps a bit more at speech frequencies), cutting the sound level (subjectively) in half, while remaining portable. Basically, you're building gobos