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DIY portable sound booth

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I needed an external microphone to use when recording on my iPod. I used a (cheap) lapel mic to build a portable recording booth out of a milk crate, some foam, and a new pair of chopsticks.

What next? A YouTube video of course!
 
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Step 1:

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I taped the label mic to a pair of new chopsticks. I clipped the mic to the chopsticks and then used tape to attach the cord to the back of them.

Step 2:

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I recycled a milk crate, lining it with foam to dampen sound.

I cut a slit in the foam at the top and inserted the chopsticks and microphone.

Voila! A portable homebrew sound booth.
hellequin5 years ago
A commendable solution. However my own experience in this area would suggest the following... (1) Use a somewhat larger volume – the foam is cutting off far too much of the base frequencies and the over all result sounds very top-endy (as per YouTube though, granted, thsi isn't necessarily any criteria from which to judge!!). (2) Make some sort of anti-Popping filter to place in front of the mic at about 3 > 4". Again, the YouTube recording witnesses a few pops. All-in-all a very commendable, low-cost solution. Congratulations..!
if there is a lack of low-end with this setup, it's likely due to a deficiency in the microphone, phase cancellation, or comb filtering.  foam of this density has very little effect on anything below 500Hz or so. if you're interested, absorbtion coefficients of different materials can be found online.

overall, the instructable is a pretty decent version of se electronics reflexion filter (http://www.seelectronics.com/rf.html).

great work.
unjust6 years ago
not to be picky... but what rate does an ipod record stereo at? and why do you need sound dampening for a small directional mic? this seems like a lot of effort for not a lot of sound quality. does the foam start behind the pickup pattern or are you shaping it with the foam?
JetCityOrange (author)  unjust5 years ago
The Belkin TuneTalk has two settings: 22.05kHz and 44kHz. My goal was to minimize background noise by muffling the refrigerator, mummerings from the kids' rooms behind closed doors, the outside noises from my residential neighborhood four floors below, etc. The real hack was to get as good a recording as a $3 microphone from Amazon would allow. I wanted this setup to have a voice. For "real" recordings I use an Olympus ME-51S stereo mic.
Foam helps any audio recording situation.
no it doesn't. it can kill reflections that you may want, and deaden certain instrument sounds that are critical. it can muffle, and muddy a sound. it's also important to be aware of what frequencies the particular foam you're using will absorb, and what it won't, so you will have a balanced background. it is a tool in recording, just like a myriad of others, the most important of which are probably mic choice and placement.
tjk94 unjust4 years ago
It's not exactly big enough to use for recording instruments. Unless you know a few very, very small people :)
Your right, what I meant was referring to recording certain directional sounds, such as voice used in voice overs, or mainly when you need isolated sounds, which I figured that was what he was doing in the instructable. As far as types of foam quite true, however for someone a shoestring budget, egg crate foam does wonders for isolating sounds, of course it is not the best, and I wouldn´t stick it in a small area....more like a small room really. Like you said it´s a tool.
DIY Dave6 years ago
Cool. I think I'll make one of these.
Bubbler6 years ago
You could use two of those microphones, by adding in a T stereo joiner and thereby get a stereo sound. You'd need to make up two boxes though. I too wonder about the quality of that sound. However, the sound box is a great idea. I want to record Air Force sounds from a nearby base, and this looks like a good start to recording outdoors near a highway. Provided their police don't think I'm a terrorist..
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