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What Not To Wear in the Recording Studio

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

December 7, 2009

Comments (26)

Fashionable female voice artistCarrying on from yesterday's post about just how sensitive microphones are in a recording studio, we're going to talk fashion for a moment and share some do's and don'ts from professional voice talent and recording engineers with regard to what you should and shouldn't wear in the booth.

There are a variety of things you should not wear when in an audio recording session, some of which we detailed yesterday... in today's article, we'll take a closer look at the kind of clothing real working talent wear when doing voice overs.

Are voice over talent fashion plates in the booth? Could they ever be?

Find out at VOX Daily!

VOs Dish on Fashion

What do professional voice actors wear when they record?

George Washington III shares, "I have made the mistake of going from an on camera appearance, complete with starched shirt, to a recording session... with same said shirt. Never again. Always soft cottons and blends, no starch for the booth!"

Liz de Nesnera advises that you should avoid polyester and opt for cotton or knitwear for best results.

Ellen Dubin says, "Nothing with buttons that clank. Zippers. Polyester has a rustling quality to it. Don't wear jewels. For shoes, I like runners or soft soles. Don't wear clicking heels! Wear soft fabrics. Don't wear long sleeves, take your coat off, wristwatch off and leave your cell phone in the car or out of the booth."

Nik Fox, a recording engineer and voice from Northern Ireland, relates, "Polyester and nylon are big no-nos! Especially the noise and static caused by nylon!! I find a nice comfy cotton rugby shirt and a nice pair of soft jeans work well :)"

Dawn Harvey's recommendation is perhaps the most attractive. She cites, "Loose cotton night shirt and fuzzy slippers!" as being her preferred getup in the booth.

So, What Are The Winning Combos in the Booth?

๏ Cottons and blends
๏ Knits
๏ Well-worn denim
๏ Soft sole shoes / sneakers / slippers

A Fashion Line For Voice Over Talent?

Now that we have a good idea of what kind of clothing is acceptable, perhaps it is time for some enterprising fashion designer to start their own line of fashionably quiet outfits and accessories for voice over and on-camera talent!

This may not be catwalk material, or clothing that Stacy London and Clinton Kelly would deck someone out in, but it could be a very practical solution that would serve an entire industry well when they are doing their best to make others sound THEIR best!

What Do You Wear When Recording?

Add your voice to the conversation by leaving a comment or replying to the VOX Daily email in your inbox.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Philip Beasley

Related Topics: audio recording, booth, clothing, fashion, industry, Microphones, voice acting, voice talent, voiceovers


Comments


    I always wear a T-shirt with a long sleeve cotton shirt over it. You never know if it's going to be hot or cold. And park your cell phone, watch and pocket change outside the booth!

    Posted by:

      My parachute pants never seem to work well.

      Posted by:
      • Mike Elmore
      • December 7, 2009 10:33 PM

        Mike made me LAFF!

        Posted by:
        • Liz de Nesnera
        • December 7, 2009 10:34 PM

          Does anyone wear scarves in the booth? If so, why? Keep the pipes warm?

          Posted by:

            I don't wear scarves indoors, but in the winter, if I'm going out I almost always wear turtlenecks, yes, to keep my neck warm.

            Posted by:
            • Liz de Nesnera
            • December 7, 2009 10:38 PM

              (Don't wear) Burlap. It gets itchy.

              Posted by:
              • Kevin Darbro
              • December 7, 2009 10:39 PM

                I think one should avoid taffeta and patent leather shoes.

                Posted by:
                • Adriana Sananes
                • December 7, 2009 10:40 PM

                  Leather and chains - always a bad choice!

                  Posted by:
                  • Dawn Harvey
                  • December 7, 2009 10:40 PM

                    I hate inviting talent to my studio that wear lots of jewelry. "Oh I need to take off my dangly earrings in order to wear the headphones?" "Uh, yeah". I know newbies don't know any better but, to me this is just common sense.

                    Posted by:
                    • Deby Cedars
                    • December 7, 2009 10:41 PM

                      I swear by cotton only shirts with short sleeves!!!

                      Anne
                      @aganguzza

                      Posted by:

                        If it's cold outside, layer clothing and don't wear outside clothes into the studio. If the producer or engineer or client keep you before the mic a long time and you're in the tiny enclosed space recording, you'll get very warm. Dress so you can take off layers. And wear comfortable shoes too. Sure, you can remove them, but some wood or marble floors are very cold on bare feet! At home in your studio, you can wear pajamas and bathrobe. Just be sure you dress now and then!

                        Posted by:

                          Quiet, comfortable, cotton. Sound trumps fashion.

                          Posted by:

                            For recording in my home studio, I must say, I've often chosen similar to Dawn's wardrobe - or other knits or cottons. When I go out to other studios, it's been my habit for years, to actually take my shoes off while standing in the booth......not sure if it's really what you'd call a habit or a good luck charm - I don't like to wear real shoes much anyway ....At any rate, clean feet, an up to date pedicure, and socks without holes are on the agenda!

                            Posted by:

                              At home in 'The Hole' the standard business attire is jeans, T-shirt, backwards St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap (for inspiration!).
                              In public, of course, Miss Cora (my wife) insists on my wearing "presentable" clothing: khakis, softsoled shoes, cotton shirt--you know, quiet stuff. And like Elie said, no noisy stuff--not even in the home studio.

                              Posted by:

                                Hi Stephanie!

                                I had Gene Lupo over for an audition the other day. He is good at using body language, but I had to ask him if his dress shirt was starched. He said "I always wear a starched shirt to meet clients, but I can take it off for the recording if you like." For Gene's other line of work which involves meeting clients, he prides himself on looking extra crisp. Had he not just come from one of those meetings, I'm sure he would have been as dressed down as I was - comfort and VO make for a nice combination.

                                The Always Casually Dressed "Uncle Roy"

                                Posted by:
                                • Roy Yokelson
                                • December 8, 2009 10:59 AM

                                  After I choose what I am going to wear, I put it on and do a test-- I walk, swing my arms, sway my hips and if no noise conflicts with what comes out of my lips, it's a go!

                                  Debbie Irwin
                                  Their message...My voice

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Debbie Irwin
                                  • December 8, 2009 11:00 AM

                                    Chanel No.5! (a la Marilyn Monroe!)

                                    Best wishes,

                                    Fran Churchill ( Smooth, calm re-assuring solution... UK VO)

                                    Posted by:
                                    • Fran Churchill
                                    • December 8, 2009 11:01 AM

                                      Corduroy, leather, necklaces with pendants that can move on a chain, bracelets, open zippers (the pulls jangle) and POST EARRINGS (headphones and post earrings are a pain - literally). Also watch change in pockets and squeaky shoes. And no tongue jewelry (I really had to tell an actress about this - taking it out was worse - the hole made noise).

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Deborah Sale-Butler
                                      • December 8, 2009 11:49 AM

                                        Funny enough this thread reminded me of what one of m favorite groups does for one song on each album... Bare Naked Ladies sings naked, on one song... not to worry about noise coming from your clothing for sure (maybe just extra snickering)

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Chris Wagner
                                        • December 8, 2009 11:49 AM

                                          So important to be wearing quiet clothes putting in long hours in the booth on an audiobook. And since my maiden name ends in a vowel, I love to move my hands -- rustly clothes spell trouble. Tees, well-worn jeans and sneakers work best.

                                          Posted by:
                                          • Diane Havens
                                          • December 8, 2009 11:50 AM

                                            (Don't wear) WIND BREAKERS!!!

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Bob Marini
                                            • December 8, 2009 11:51 AM

                                              If you're standing up, as I like to do, and you put your hands in your pockets while voicing a character that does the same thing, see to it those pockets are empty. I ruined a take last week because I had some change in my left pocket and hankies in a noisy plastic in my right pocket.

                                              Needless to say I stopped the session, left the booth, emptied my pockets and went back into the booth to continue the session.

                                              Posted by:

                                                In summer, I love to wear my bathing suit... of course, I'm talking about alone in my home studio... but I can record for a couple of hours, go out inthe pool and take a dip, then come in and sit on a towel...with wet hair... and stay cool--even though the air conditioning is off (noise)

                                                Worst thing I ever wore... bell earrings at Christmas time. Got so used to hearing them...that I forgot I had them on! Great for "seasonal" spots... but not for narration! Fortunately, I was at a studio for whom I'd worked for ten years...and we all laughed about it.

                                                Posted by:

                                                  Dress code(s) IMHO...

                                                  At home: It's all about the cozy. Sweat pants and thermal underwear top, or maybe pajamas, and in any case shoes off to avoid noise as well as keep the carpet clean. If it's a vigorous and lengthy project though, then still workout wear, just lighter a-la T-shirt and gym pants. Zippers if any can't be noisy and yeah, no swishy-swish breakdancing material.

                                                  In other people's studios: Jeans and a dark / neutral t-shirt.

                                                  Posted by:
                                                  • Scott Reyns
                                                  • December 8, 2009 11:03 PM

                                                    Soft cotton t-shirt, light woolen vest in case it's cold, comfy yoga pants and well broken in Birkenstocks!

                                                    Posted by:
                                                    • Musician
                                                    • February 12, 2011 4:50 PM

                                                      In my home studio, I wear a t-shirt that's above the knee. Short sleeve. If I am in another studio, comfortable, SOFT shirt and either well broken in jeans or leggings and my comfy tennis shoes.

                                                      Posted by:

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