This is a non-medical post, so if you do not have interest in audio / video recording, you can save some time and stop here.
Once I tell people that I invested in some sound dampening, the first question I've been getting is about the cost and setup. So why stop with the sound dampening? I'm going to show you guys what products I use and what results I got with them. I will update this post from time to time when I try something new that seems to be working better.
Sound Dampening Foam
I purchased two of these packages, which for me covered one wall behind me and enabled me to make some foam boards for the windows and walls. The wall boards are obviously permanent, the window boards I can take in and out. I feel as though there were a great investment. While they are not as good as some thicker foam, the amount that they reduced noise and reverberation in the room was really noticeable.
Sound Dampening Curtains
These are still on order, so I will update this post once they're installed and I find out if they made a big difference.
To get all the foam to stick to the wall, I would spray the wall with this stuff and then place the foam. This process goes super fast. I did a whole wall in about an hour, even with having to cut some of the pieces to fit.
This is the sound shield I was using when I was using the condenser microphone. If I had a quieter place to record, I feel like this thing would have been awesome at isolating the microphone. However, since I had to switch to a dynamic mic, I no longer use it.
Previous mic setup (condenser)
This is basically the setup I was using prior to buying my new mic. I like the desk mount stand, and when you're using a condenser microphone you NEED a pop filter. I did end up going with a windscreen / foam style pop filter eventually. You also need a shock mount, which some setups will include. If you have a very quiet place to record, I would still recommend this mic. It gives a great bright sound and high range. It really is a great entry level mic. I'm going to keep mine for future use because I still like it, even though it doesn't work for my current setup.
This was a tough decision. I was looking at a lot of different microphones, I knew I needed a dynamic mic, and there were a lot to choose from. I went to a local store and tested some out, and I ended up liking this one the best. A lot of people know this mic as the "thriller" mic, because Michael Jackson recorded his Thriller album vocals with it. I knew of it as the Joe Rogan mic. You'll see it advertised at a $400 price point, but I purchased it locally and ended up spending ~$500 because I got an extended warranty with it. Was it worth it? For my setup, yes. Since it is dynamic, it greatly reduced the background noise and gives a better audio quality than my AT2020. I looked at a lot of cheaper mics, then realized that I should just spend a little extra, since this may be the last mic I ever buy for this purpose.
USB Interface and Headphones
My USB interface is a Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD. I really like this thing. It gives me very clean gain and comes with a decent preamp built in. I am still considering buying a CloudLifter preamp for for my SM7B, but I belive it may be unnecessary with this interface (the CloudLifter is supposed to give the SM7B more clean gain). I power this interface with just the USB cable that plugs into my Mac. I also had to buy a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter so that I could plug my headphones in for live monitoring. I currently use the wired version of the Beats Studio headphones (over ear), which still sound great after a few years. They do however have some creaking from the plastic they're built out of, which I have had show up on some recordings if I adjust them or move around too much. For this reason, I would not buy them again for the purpose of audio recording monitoring. When I'm ready to buy studio monitoring headphones again, I will likely go with a Shure or Sennheiser brand studio headphone.
That's it for now! I will update this post when I modify anything with my studio!
Original author: Sam Ireland