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Minimizing room noise: Play/sing with less volume?

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Minimizing room noise: Play/sing with less volume?

Postby alexis » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Hi - For those of us that don't have great rooms and are recording audio ... would singing/playing with less volume be the best way to go? I was thinking that might be the case since the sound waves wouldn't have enough energy to bounce around the room as much. But I wouldn't bet a whole lot that isn't backwards!

Thanks!
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Re: Minimizing room noise: Play/sing with less volume?

Postby The Korff » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:41 pm

'Fraid not dude. Natural reverb is a linear thing, so while you're right in thinking that playing quietly will excite the room less than playing loud, by the time you've turned, say, a mic preamp up to make up for the difference in level between a quiet and a loud take, you'd end up with the same ratio of direct sound and reverb as before.

Cheers!

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Re: Minimizing room noise: Play/sing with less volume?

Postby BonnieMac » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:59 pm

Lower volume does help. Along with as much separation as you can get.
We use a very old converted single car attached garage. Diffusing parallel surfaces best we can with home made baffles and partitions around room and the drum kit. We're a 4 piece, (guitar, bass, keys, drums, and everybody sings) With the use of headphones or not we manage to get decent tracks, although we are always trying to improve/experiment with mic placement, live recording has the most potential for capturing magic.

Good Luck!
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Re: Minimizing room noise: Play/sing with less volume?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:13 pm

alexis wrote:would singing/playing with less volume be the best way to go?

No. It changes the style of the performance for a start, and as the Korff says, it doesn't really help with the direct/room sound ratio.

In a big space then reducing the source energy might reduce the strength of sounds reaching and being reflected from distant objects because of air absorption, but in a small room it really won't make a lot of difference.

The best thing is the SOS classic 'duvet hung up behind the performer' trick to soak up any sounds that might otherwise bounce into the front of the mic from the walls behind the performer. And you can then gain further improvement by rigging duvets around the sides sice the sides of a cardioid mic are only a few dB less sensitive than the front. This is where things like the Reflexion Filter can help, and they are a little less oppressive than some big duvets!

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Re: Minimizing room noise: Play/sing with less volume?

Postby alexis » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:26 pm

OK, thanks for that.

I do have the Reflexion Filter, and duvet (or whatever it is called here in the States)rigged up. I'll just say that's the best we're going to get for now, and carry on.

Thanks -

(P.S. - "The" Korff? )
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