Technique of the Week: The Duvet Trick
Too many reflections in your room while you’re recording? Well there are plenty of solutions front of mic, but Dave Gale claims ‘it’s behind you!’ that counts and reaches for a duvet… The Duvet Trick: How to do it The trouble with recording at home is that many of us are battling against a number […]
Too many reflections in your room while you’re recording? Well there are plenty of solutions front of mic, but Dave Gale claims ‘it’s behind you!’ that counts and reaches for a duvet…
The Duvet Trick: How to do it
The trouble with recording at home is that many of us are battling against a number of homely factors: blank walls adorned with glass framed pictures, soft furnishings and cupboards.
While soft furnishings can be great at soaking up pesky reflections, your walls, wardrobes and pictures are absolutely perfect for pinging your source audio in numerous directions. In the case of the flat surface that might be behind you, many of those reflections could be heading straight for your microphone.
While products that fit around a mic do a great job at limiting reflections from behind the mic, there are simple ways of limiting the reflections from behind the performer.
If you are lucky enough to have a bespoke live room, you may want to investigate acoustic treatment, which is likely to be at the more expensive end of business, and should include having your room acoustically measured and treated. However, the great news for the rest of us is that you can do some pretty effective treatment of your own, and it might not cost you anything at all.
If the room you regularly record in has a pair of curtains, preferably of the heavy and thick variety, make sure they are pulled closed while recording and ensure that you are standing with your back to them. The other preference is to use a duvet, sleeping bag or thick blanket, although duvet’s can be surprisingly good for this purpose, due to their size and normal thickness.
We’ll not get bogged down in which Tog gives the best acoustic results, but suffice it to say, the thicker, the better! Draping your duvet over a curtain pole, if you have one, is an excellent method, although I like to use a couple of microphone boom stands, to create a horizontal bar to place the duvet over.
The main point to consider when constructing, is that you want the duvet to be at an optimal height to the microphone, vaguely at the centre of the duvet.
Of course, there is no reason why you cannot adopt a very similar approach behind the mic as well, if you want to limit reflections even further. It all depends on your room and how dry you wish to go, but for that perfectly dry vocal sound, you’ll be surprised how effective this very basic addition can be. Go dry, go DIY!