As a home studio owner/musician one of the biggest challenges we face is capturing clean, clear audio in an acoustic environment not intended for recording. We deal with thin walls, box shaped rooms, and of course outside noise (those darn lawn mowers!). But that shouldn’t stop you from getting fantastic takes even with a minimal $500 setup (or it’s $300 cousin).
As I wrote about before, you can deal with a bad acoustic environment simply by avoiding reflective surfaces and using a close mic technique. But taking a step further, you can always take advantage of today’s affordable (and portable) vocal booths. One such product comes to us from Editors Keys, sepcifically their Portable Vocal Booth Pro Edition.
If you saw last week’s video review of the Editors Keys USB microphone you may have noticed me singing into the vocal booth. I wanted to address it in a separate review so I could point out the key benefits to this awesome piece of gear. Real quickly, here are 3 things I love about this product:
It’s Really Two Products In One
When you get your hands on the Portable Vocal Booth Pro, you realize that it’s actually two things in one: acoustic treatment around your mic AND a microphone stand. This is fantastic for obvious reasons as it means one less thing I have to carry around with me if I’m recording outside of my studio (and one less thing to setup IN my studio), plus it’s basically a custom heavy duty stand that will hold up under pressure.
It’s Easy To Use
They guys at Editors Keys have really made a simple, useable product. The clam shell design allows flexibility in acoustic treatment while the metal bar protruding out of the center will hold either one or two mics securely and perfectly placed. This takes all of the guess work out of the equation. Simply screw in your shockmount and mic of choice and you’ve got perfect acoustics where you need it most: at the source.
It’s Accessible To Real Home Studio Users
When it comes to all the gear being sold to you every day in magazines and on the internet, most if it really isn’t priced right for real home studio owners. That’s why you don’t see me pushing too many products out there other than your basic studio needs because I think a lot of it is over priced (and usually unnecessary). That’s not the case for the Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth. This thing comes in two flavors: the Home Edition ($150) and the Pro Edition ($233). A definite investment, but compared to the competition a more economical choice.
Do I Need One?
Given most of us record one track at a time in a second bedroom or office, an investment in excellent isolation and sound absorption at and around your mic (like that offered by the Portable Vocal Booth) seems to be a wise move. As in my experience with it, you get excellent recordings quickly and easily, no matter what room you’re in, which microphone you’re using, or which DAW you’re recording into.
To me, after your main studio setup (software, interface, mic, accessories)is in place, acoustic treatment would be the first thing I would really spring for if the money is there. And both of the Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booths are a fantastic option for that.