During a recent online meeting (we use GoToMeeting), I decided to use my fancy Blue Yeti microphone. It's probably my favorite microphone ever. However, during the meeting, I was told that my audio had a bit of an echo.
My home-office won't ever be confused with a sound studio. When I record my voiceover audio, I make everything as quiet as possible. Nevertheless, the room itself doesn't have the kind of sound-absorbing cushions you'd find in traditional studios. Sure the room has paintings on the wall, furniture, and the typical things you'd find in any office, but the sound waves in my voice still bounce around the room and cause the echo.
Because adding sound-absorbing panels to my office isn't an option (they'd stop the sound from bouncing around the room... but they're, how do I say it delicately... ugly), I went in search of a portable solution.
I wanted a truly portable sound-absorbing option that would sit on my desk (or travel well should the need arise). The range of options for portable sound booths included a cubicle-type booth (portable perhaps but I just couldn't see it sitting on my desk).
There are also boxes that can accommodate your microphone and your head.
I'm not claustrophobic so I might be able to use a coffin-like booth as shown in the image above, but I'm betting several of you are freaking out just thinking about it.
So let's move on...
In the end, I went with the ARF-05 Portable Vocal Booth. First of all, it looks cool. My 12-year-old even said so the second she saw it (and she thinks everything is lame).
It's inexpensive, very portable (collapses pretty small in seconds), and can hold the microphone on a bracket so it's always in the same position (I don't currently use the bracket because I'm too lazy to put it on, but I plan to install it soon).
I know you're dying to see how the ARF-05 looks on my desk, so here you go:
I've recorded several audio clips using my new setup. I'm happy to report that my audio quality when hosting training classes using GoToTraining or meetings via GoToMeeting, and the quality of my voiceover audio in my eLearning lessons, have all improved dramatically.
What are you using to absorb unwanted sounds in your home/office recording "studio?" Feel free to share your setup as comments below.