Of wardrobes and plastic boxes

I had an interesting hour Monday morning which culminated in me sitting in the wife’s wardrobe chatting to myself.

Pause for dramatic effect …

No, I’ve not lost the plot, well no more than usual anyway. I had been recording the voice over for my second video blog (yes a second) and whilst I was able to use the spare bedroom on Sunday, the main road outside on that side of the house is a lot busier in the week and waiting for lulls in the traffic is not an option.

I watched a ton of videos before heading towards the wardrobe mind. And there was method in my madness.  I will try to explain. Many of the videos I watched talked about putting acoustic tiles on the walls, eliminating extraneous sounds etcetera. All well and good for a professional or serious enthusiast but the casual blogger? Nah! Which explained why one vlogger I watched recorded her commentary sat in a cupboard and another under the stairs surrounded by coats and other outdoor items.  Not much good for voice to camera or talking heads style recordings I guess but for voice only it seemed workable.

© Dave WhenhamSo I looked about this house -no cupboard under our stairs, just the steps to the cellar and nor are there any handy cupboards with sufficient floor space for a six-footer like me to squeeze into. I settled on my wife’s walk-in wardrobe (except you can’t walk-in because of all her shoes).

By opening the double doors and draping these with dressing gowns I had a type of acoustic-cubicle when taken with all the clothes behind (sorry, should explain, clothes absorb stray sounds). I placed my microphone in an acoustic foam-lined plastic storage box on a chair, attached the recorder and then knelt as in prayer in front of the microphone.

With the bedroom door closed and draped in even more dressing gowns (how many can one woman wear!) and the floor length curtains pulled at the window I was as acoustically set up as I was going to be I figured.

Having used this makeshift sound booth for a few days now I can confirm that it does what it is intended to and I’ve recorded two complete narratives using this makeshift set up. It is also very quick and easy to set up, especially as I keep deciding to record just one bit more shortly after putting it all back to normal.  It wasn’t that comfortable if I’m honest, kneeling is no fun at my age I can tell you! The other problem was the floorboards, every time I shifted even slightly the microphone picked up the squeak of our ancient woodwork.

For now it works, if I end up using it on a regular basis I may have to think of a slightly more permanent arrangement – I can’t spend my life in my wife closet after all!



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