By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 16, 2010
Has a lawnmower suddenly started up next door while you were recording a voice over?
Do you ever need to quarantine family or friends in opposite ends of the house or shoo people out because of a session?
Read about what can happen when noise pollution strikes your studio and how you can creatively combat it in today's VOX Daily.
How many neighbors have you wanted to tell to stop hammering away or to take their barking dog for a walk so that you could get some peace and quiet?
What about the sound of city buses stopping or going by, subway rumblings or the unpredictable scream of sirens?
Many people in our industry encounter noises that are not of their making or even of their house, causing difficulty and interruption. This is particularly true during the summer months for those of us who enjoy seasonal weather (snow in winter, heat in summer, etc.)
With summer being the prime time for construction and landscaping, swimming in backyard pools and so forth, there are many obstacles voice talent might face when trying to record.
One voice over professional, Amy Taylor, actually paid someone to NOT mow her lawn. To complicate things, the man had arrived earlier than usual to mow the lawn and instead of risking her session, Amy thanked him, paid him and asked him to come back later. She connected to her session with just a minute to spare.
I'm sure some of you have made similar choices!
The potential lost revenue from the client would have far outweighed the money Amy had paid him to skip a week and he was happy to have a few free hours with pay. It was a win-win for everyone.
Amy shared with me later, "It is difficult to explain to people what it is we do and why it has to be quiet for us. Last week when he arrived I told him, 'I have a recording session in a few minutes.' He nodded and kept weed-whacking and probably wondered why I told him that."
There are no shortage of options, but here are a few that you can consider:
1) Record during periods when you know it will be quiet. This might mean keeping a log that details the intervals and times that buses go by or when the neighbor has their lawn mowed.
2) Choose a different part of your home to record in. Maybe there is a better place soundproofing wise that you can record in. The environment might not be as inviting or bright, but if it improves the ambiance for recording, give it a shot to see if you can make a new arrangement work.
3) Build an isolation booth. There are ways that you can soundproof your recording space. A number of videos and articles are online about how you can do this. The solutions range from expensive whisper rooms to cheap do-it-yourself projects.
What have you run into? Is this kind of thing a constant battle for you or have you found a way to overcome noise issues?
Share your stories as comments and join the conversation!
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