Recording near a train line or busy road?

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Libra
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Post by Libra » March 16th, 2020, 11:46 pm

How does one go about the setup arrangements for recording voice if you live next to a passenger train line or busy road?
Train pass every 15 min on average, occasional freight train (4 times a day roughly) and the road is not a main line but busy
except for very late at night, but then I need to be in bed. Do I sound proof (if I am renting)? Has anyone circumnavigated a similar situation?

Thanks in Advance

Libra

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » March 17th, 2020, 3:14 am

You need to stop and let the noise go away and/or edit it out if its on the recording.

Close mic* and keep the gain low but enough to get a healthy recorded signal. Also use a dynamic mic as these generally pick up less room sound especially if they are hyper - cardioid mics. (Or can be set to that polar pattern).

* About 3 inches (6 centimetres) from the mic but angle the mic to avoid plosives and use a pop filter 2 inches from mic if possible as well. You need to make your voice very strong on the recording and the noise at a minimum. You can also use noise cleaning by getting a recording of the train and using noise cleaning in Audacity with that as a sample.

annise
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Post by annise » March 17th, 2020, 3:28 am

First step is to turn on the microphone and see how much external noise is recorded, then fiddle with the positioning of the microphone to see if you can get less and still be comfortable, it can make a big difference.

Anne

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » March 17th, 2020, 6:13 am

I live next to a train, and on a fairly busy road as well. When I'm recording and I hear a loud truck pass by, or a train begin to approach, I stop talking and wait for it to pass by and the noise to fade. For a train, you can either let the recording continue to run until the train is gone and clip it out later, or you can pause it. Whichever is easier for you.

Eventually you'll begin to get a feel for how loud is too loud. Sometimes I'll hear a passing car or motorcycle and I think it'll be picked up by the mic, but then it's not audible on the recording.

Sound proofing is never a bad idea, if you can do it conveniently. Since you rent, you won't be building out a new custom sound booth, but you may be able to hang some curtains or blankets around your space. Still, you may end up disappointed at how much noise still gets through. So I'd say don't spend a ton of time or money doing it unless you know what kind of results you will get.

loon
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Post by loon » March 17th, 2020, 7:42 pm

National Public Radio posted a clip suggesting a big pile of pillows behind and to the sides of your microphone.

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/10/794201416/how-a-pillow-fort-can-make-your-podcast-sound-better

Of course, when NPR reporters are away from the studio they are probably working out of some hotel room, and the hotel may have stocked the bed with 17 pillows - you may not own that many.
Rich Brown
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schrm
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Post by schrm » March 18th, 2020, 2:44 am

im living behind the train station, near an airport, busy roads on two sides in short distance.
i built a cabin for recording with two shelves and blankets.
but i rarely close all the blankets and just use it as a noise-reducing canopy over my desk.
when an airplane lands or starts, i just stop speaking and wait - i edit these pauses and cut them.
the train is rarely loud in my recordings, also are cars or motorbikes. a beep, motor noise or brakes screeching gets cut also, i repeat these passages without knowing if they are in the recording or not.

you don't have to be that drastically: one user i recommended to rcord in a room with carpets and a blanket over the desk to reduce hall and echoes.
her recordings are lovely :-)

i recommend to look out and watch some youtube videos. there you can go idea-hunting and try some stuff you deem practicable.
there are other users who tried to record speaking into the mic in the wardrobe, one (professional musician when i remember right) build a recording area with curtains out of felt, the blankets and cushion castles method can be found there, and so on :-)

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thx!


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anneflebari
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Post by anneflebari » March 19th, 2020, 4:41 pm

My "sound booth" is a large cardboard box (microwave size in this case) lined with eggshell foam attached with double sided sticky tape and covered with a couple of small blankets. On the bottom I used thick felt because the mic wouldn't stand up on the foam😁 I stand this on my desk and can raise iteasily if I record standing up. I also turn off wifi on my computer and tablet(which I read text from) and unplug chargers, headphones etc to minimise interference. Sometimes I find weather conditions affect recording but sometimes it's just gremlins! Cheers Anne F

loon
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Post by loon » March 19th, 2020, 5:02 pm

I forgot to mention I put my mic stand on a folded-up (thick) hand towel — not to squash any echos from the desk but so I can touch the desktop without mechanical noises transmitted up the stand to the mic. If I had a decent shock mount for the mic I would be able to skip the towel.
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lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » March 20th, 2020, 3:40 am

loon wrote:
March 19th, 2020, 5:02 pm
I forgot to mention I put my mic stand on a folded-up (thick) hand towel — not to squash any echos from the desk but so I can touch the desktop without mechanical noises transmitted up the stand to the mic. If I had a decent shock mount for the mic I would be able to skip the towel.
I have a nice British mic (active ribbon) but the supplied shock-mount is pretty useless and if I bump the stand or nearby floor (even though it's on a carpet) - it records a loud boom. Other passive ribbon mics I have came with good shock mounts, so I sometimes use these, and these are a well known US make, beginning with "R."

Libra
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Post by Libra » October 8th, 2020, 12:17 am

mightyfelix wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 6:13 am
I live next to a train, and on a fairly busy road as well. When I'm recording and I hear a loud truck pass by, or a train begin to approach, I stop talking and wait for it to pass by and the noise to fade.
Are you using a dynamic mic or condenser mic?

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » October 8th, 2020, 7:16 am

I don't know that much about microphones. It is a Samson Meteor mic. So whatever that is.

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » October 8th, 2020, 12:13 pm

mightyfelix wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 7:16 am
I don't know that much about microphones. It is a Samson Meteor mic. So whatever that is.
That's a very handsome, retro-look condenser mic.

It is also a cardioid microphone, if I understand things correctly. (I just looked it up.) That's the ticket for capturing sounds right in front of the mic, though it obviously picks up loud sounds that 'creep' in from the sides.
What? What's that? Why are you shouting?

ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » October 8th, 2020, 5:51 pm

I live about 5 minutes from Atlanta airport, 2 blocks from railroad tracks, and on the corner of a street that isn't too busy but we have several neighbors with noisy cars, motorcycles and the occasional truck that ignores the "no trucks we really mean it" sign at the top of the street and has to back and fill about 18 times to get around the corner or reverse (beeping all the way) back up the street.

The trains and cars, I stop recording and let pass. The train itself isn't the noise, it's the horns, and I've gotten good at timing when it will blast microphone-audible horn noises (3-4 times per train passing) and I can even let the recording run and fit in little bursts of speaking between crossings/horn honks. The plane are tricky, it depends on what direction they are taking off/landing and how cloudy it is--when it's cloudy there's a near constant rumble. If you have a fairly steady noise like that, or like a nearby freeway, you can let the microphone record for 5-10 seconds without making any noises of your own, and then use that "blank" stretch as the baseline noise for noise cleaning. I find that running it twice clears out all the plane rumbling except the very noisiest ones, and on those I pause recording or re-record a sentence when I realize they "bled through".

Lawn mowers, barking dogs, and leaf blowers too nearby? Fuhgeddabout it, try again later.

I record in a craft room/home office with hardwood floors and a lot of hard surfaces but for recording purposes I use some big books to pin a blanket over the big bookcase directly behind my desk, and hang an old quilt over the back of the office door before closing it, and it seems to absorb enough noise to get rid of the echoes. I do keep meaning to build one of those egg-crate lined boxes for my mike setup one of these days tho....

Colleen

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » October 9th, 2020, 3:24 pm

ColleenMc wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 5:51 pm
I live about 5 minutes from Atlanta airport...
Is the Atlanta airport still the busiest in America? We flew in there once long ago and they pointed to a tram-like vehicle and I suggested I would walk. They told me, "Mister, get on the tram; you won't be sorry."
What? What's that? Why are you shouting?

ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » October 9th, 2020, 8:58 pm

I don’t know since the pandemic, but it’s always been number one or number two in the US, back and forth with Ohare I think.

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