How to avoid background noise in our podcasts by Conn Quinn

We’re trying to create podcasts in our class, but we’re having a really hard time recording without getting a lot of background noise. (A classroom is not a particularly quiet place!) What can we do to minimize this problem?

In the professional world, recording usually takes place in a special studio to close out background noise, and uses special foam on the walls to further reduce unwanted noise or echo. Needless to say, this is a pretty expensive and complicated setup!

However, a professional voice artist named Harlan Hogan has put together instructions on how to build a tiny little sound booth – just big enough for the microphone! As it turns out, if you put the microphone in its own little booth with one side open for the speaker, it will screen out the vast majority of the unwanted sound. His instructions show how to make a collapsible booth with sound-deadening foam, just perfect for use in a classroom. The only challenge is that the foam can be hard to find in small quantities, so you may need to partner up with someone and make several at once. As the cost of materials (not including a microphone) ends up only being about $30 per booth, that shouldn’t be too hard!

The website with instructions and materials information is at http://www.harlanhogan.com/portaboothArticle.shtml. (He also sells completed versions of the project, but you’ll pay a fair amount more for that.) I’m going to be putting one together for myself in the next few weeks!

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