Problem: Your recording room is too large or not properly treated for vocals, you need some way of reducing the room sound before it hits the mic.
Solution: A device that helps to isolate the room from the mic, that’s much more sophisticated than making a fort out of blankets to record in.
There are several companies making room reflection reducing solutions, each with their own take on it.
1 -SE Electronics – Reflexion Filter. (List $399) The most well known out of the bunch. Expensive and heavy, but seems to work surprisingly well.
The Reflexion Filter is basically a portable device for recording live sound sources with reduced room ambience. It is an advanced composite wall which is positioned behind any microphone by means of a variable position stand clamp assembly which ships with the product. The main function is to help obtain a ‘dry’ vocal or instrument recording. This is especially useful in studios without proper acoustic treatment, but can also be used to help record takes in control rooms, where the performer also has to operate the recording device, or in rehearsal studios to reduce ambient noise.
2 – SM Pro Audio – The Mic Thing. ($319) Not quite as professional looking, but lighter and is adjustable. Available in Black or White.
The Mic Thing is a portable multi-purpose acoustic treatment panel suitable for minimizing room artifacts and improving separation during microphone recording sessions. Great for a range of applications including helping to control room ambience, minimizing spill from instrument amplifiers, or even creating temporary control rooms the Mic Thing is certainly one handy thing!
3 – RealTraps – Portable Vocal Booth. ($299) Lightweight and XL size sets this one apart from the rest. See site for a comparison with the Reflexion Filter.
Since the RealTraps Portable Vocal Booth is larger than competing products, it blocks unwanted sound and reduces room ambience much more effectively. As you sing or speak into the booth, it prevents your voice from getting out into the room in the first place. This is far more effective than trying to block room ambience and reflections after the fact.
4 – ModTrap. ($99 small $149 large) A newcomer to the market, they come in 2 sizes, and are the most affordable.
The most versatile acoustic panel in the world. ModTrap acts as an absorber to tame unwanted room reflections, and as a tool to shape your sound. What makes ModTrap so special, is that it fits directly on to your microphone stand, enabling you to place it where you need it most.
5 – DIY Vocal booth ($235) An example of what not to do, not only is it huge and bulky, it will likely increase reflections to the mic.
4 x 100 cm x 100 cm cheapest acustic foam = 10X4 + 10 (from germany) euros = 72 USD
8 x 200 cm x 50 cm wood panels = 8 x 8 euros = 93 USD
furnitures +/- = 16 + 2 + 30 (scratch) euros = 70 USD
so it’s 235 USD and 2/3 hours of “work” taking your time.
I think the both the RealTraps and ModTraps are an excellent value. They are large enough to work well for vocals or to improve isolation between instruments, they are lightweight and portable, and they are both USA made products.