Closet Readers (aka finding quiet)

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Kristen
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Post by Kristen » January 11th, 2006, 5:00 pm

I live near a busy Tokyo train line, as anyone who has listened to my chapters has probably noticed.

I know that a number of readers use a spare closet as a recording studio. I do have a pantry I could squeeze into and though I haven't tried it yet, the whooshing of the rolling stock in my recordings is getting annoying.

I think I must go into the closet.

Any advice on how to keep the recording from sounding like you're in a tiny room? Or on your set-up to keep things comfy while you read?
Kristen
http://www.mediatinker.com
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/KristenMcQuillin/]My recordings & claimed chapters[/url]

vee
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Post by vee » January 11th, 2006, 5:47 pm

After you do your recording you can try applying a judicious amount of reverb. Audacity has Gverb built in, but honestly I've never used it. I work with Adobe Audition and Digital Performer.

When you add the reverb try to put in just enough that the recording sounds good, but not all echoy. Usually I make a few versions and play it for someone and generally the fresh ear can pick out the one with just enough reverb. The best way I can put it is that they'll listen to it and say that it's better, but they can't tell you why. When there's too much reverb you'll know :)

I can try and play with Audacity a bit and see if I can get some settings for you. If you have a sample feel free to send it. I'll try to grab a mic and find a small closet to record in as well. I'm assuming your closets in Tokyo are probably smaller than even my smallest crawl space so your effect may be different.
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

kayray
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Post by kayray » January 11th, 2006, 5:49 pm

My closet is full of clothes, which absorb any tiny-room echo. I'm not particulary comfortable in there - I sit on the floor and balance my laptop and mic on handy boxes of junk. It's a last resort for when I'm itching to record and the house has been too noisy for hours.

If your pantry is too echo-y, I wonder if you could use those big sheets of 1.5 inch thick styrofoam from builders' supply places to build a little three-walled booth for yourself? You could hinge the sides (glued-on fabric hinges?) so you could fold it away under the furniture when not in use. You could even hang a curtain of some heavy cloth from the top down your back to insulate yourself further...
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Stephan
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Joined: December 18th, 2005, 9:38 am
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

Post by Stephan » January 11th, 2006, 6:28 pm

Hahaha. You mean...serious?
"Hello? Is there anyone in ther....what the.....darling, what are you doing in this....thing?"
"This is my RECORDING STUDIO."

Kara, you?re great.

I?ve heard of people padding their rooms with egg-cartons. Don?t know if its a myth. I guess chipdoc would know.
Last edited by Stephan on January 11th, 2006, 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LibraryLady
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Joined: November 29th, 2005, 5:10 pm
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Post by LibraryLady » January 11th, 2006, 6:42 pm

Wow. That's dedication! I'm extra grateful now for my nice, roomy, quiet, insulated basement apartment.
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
http://www.anniecoleman.com/

"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

ChipDoc
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Post by ChipDoc » January 11th, 2006, 7:13 pm

Oh the egg carton thing is no myth at all. I've worked in professional studios where they lined the walls with them. Unfortunately almost all egg cartons are now made of thin styrofoam which just doesn't have the same acoustic properties as the old pressboard ones.

Cloth really works the best, particularly thick fuzzy cloth, which is why a closet full of clothes is such a good place to record. But you can also take those velour blankets and hang them on the walls. That'll deaden noise REALLY well.

Incidentally, if you decide to hang blankets, make sure that they're not flat against the wall, but have some irregular texture to them. Put something behind the blankets so that they ripple a little out from the wall.

Most rooms are made of 90-degree angles. Opposite walls like that will create standing waves which can be pretty noticeable in a recording. So if you're hanging blankets, hang them around each of the corners. It's really weird how much difference it'll make.
-Chip
[url]http://ChipDoc.com/LibriVox/[/url]
[i]The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.[/i]
~Mark Twain

Rev. Steve
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Post by Rev. Steve » January 11th, 2006, 11:16 pm

And I am afraid that people will hear the sound of my steam radiators.

Clothes ? blankets ? open-cell foam ? more or less anything soft will help to absorb sound.

vee
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Post by vee » January 12th, 2006, 6:18 am

Silly me. Here I am telling you to add reverb to an overly dead room. I've always associated my closet as dead, but given all the stuff in there I shouldn't be surprised. :mrgreen:
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

ChipDoc
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Post by ChipDoc » January 12th, 2006, 6:31 am

You keep dead stuff in your closet, vee? THAT sure explains a lot! ;)
-Chip
[url]http://ChipDoc.com/LibriVox/[/url]
[i]The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.[/i]
~Mark Twain

vee
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Post by vee » January 12th, 2006, 10:23 am

With all the old wool and leather clothes I'm sure there are a lot of dead moths in there. I should probably clean it out one of these days, but hey I've got better things to do, like finish recording my chapters :)
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

Izze
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Joined: December 12th, 2005, 11:39 pm

Post by Izze » January 12th, 2006, 3:23 pm

ChipDoc wrote:Oh the egg carton thing is no myth at all. I've worked in professional studios where they lined the walls with them. Unfortunately almost all egg cartons are now made of thin styrofoam which just doesn't have the same acoustic properties as the old pressboard ones.
Organic eggs are cartoned in pressboard cartons because pressboard is recyclable (not to mention burnable! :twisted: ). I remember my mother using them to insulate our apartment from the next door neighbors (they liked their music a little too loud), and it worked sort of well. The fact that no one ever ended up eating enough eggs to actually insulate an entire kitchen wall probably didn't help either, but what little went up did work. 8)

But yeah, you'd be surprised what just closing a window and lowering shades/curtains can do for insulating a room. I can't even hear the road traffic from the busy main road (small town main road, nowhere near like Seattle's roads, thankfully) in my recordings, thankfully.

Stephan
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Joined: December 18th, 2005, 9:38 am
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

Post by Stephan » January 12th, 2006, 3:47 pm

while everybody is eating eggs like crazy...stephan, on his quest for the perfect recording and to outgo Karas portable zero-noise-device, is busy building his sensory deprivation tank, ...he will float and become one with the book.
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kayray
LibriVox Admin Team
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Post by kayray » January 12th, 2006, 3:53 pm

LOL!

Stephan, I like your new signature :)
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Izze
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Joined: December 12th, 2005, 11:39 pm

Post by Izze » January 12th, 2006, 3:56 pm

Stephan wrote: ...he will float and become one with the book.
Try to avoid Silence of the Lambs, please. Fava beans are murder to season properly. :wink:

Stephan
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Post by Stephan » January 12th, 2006, 4:34 pm

Lol Izze, lets record on a quiet earth.
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