podcast Episode
Show Me Your Setup

How to Make a Record-In' Box for Professional Voice Recordin's

How to Make a Record-In' Box for Professional Voice Recordin's
Mar 28, 2023
Show Me Your Setup

Recording your voice at home? You could go all out & acoustically treat the room like you’d treat a recording studio, or use this hack called a Record-in' Box.

No items found.

Recording your voice at home? Want it to sound professional? You can go all out, go to great expense, and treat the room like you’d treat a recording studio, or use this great hack, we call a “Record-in' Box.”

Is the room exclusively for recording audio? If so, set up a recording studio.

Or do you want to use the room for other things? And might your recordings take place in other rooms, depending on who’s home and what’s going on?

If your room serves other purposes and is not just a recording space, or you want the flexibility of a small recording rig you can move to any room and still sound professional, you’ll want to see how easy it is to make a Record-in' Box.

1:00 Record-in' Box
2:36 Sample recording with Record-in' Box
3:44 Sample recording without Record-in' Box
4:22 Commenting on differences in the recordings
6:15 Record-in' Box teardown
8:14 Subscribe & contact
8:48 Feedback
10:38 Episode 4 preview

We’re Josh and Dan. We work at ModPod. We produce branded podcasts for businesses.

We enjoy working with audio and video. We love our recording setups. We love our computing workstations. Which is why we put together this podcast called Show Me Your Setup. In this episode, Dan has a very special setup to share. It's a low cost “Record-in' Box.”

The idea is, if you are in a big-ish room with lots of reflective surfaces and maybe some kind of noise-generating things like a computer fan or what not, and you're using a big, sensitive microphone, some of that noise might get picked up by the microphone when you're not talking, and even when you are talking. That's not optimal.  

So what we’ve done is made a special little booth for the microphone. Josh came up with a great name called Record-in' Box (Record-in-Box). We took a box from IKEA. We stuffed it with some acoustic foam from Auralex. In this case, Dan cut a hole through the side, dropped the XLR cable for the microphone through, hung the mic from it, and he has a portable little booth for his microphone.

Listen to the examples of Dan recording with the aid of the Record-in' Box.

To contrast this, we take the whole thing apart and record the same speech in the same space. Only this time, without the Record-in' Box. Same speech in the same room at the same desk. This allows us to A-B test the sound of a recording in this space both in the booth and in the room.

Josh asks Dan about the differences he noticed as he recorded with and without the Record-in' Box.

Dan: “To be candid, I tend to not necessarily trust my live hearing and the memory thereof as much as going back to the recording and playing it over and over and over again. That's kind of why I like recording audio, so that I can get in there and listen to it. You know, the nuances.

But from a very high level, what I would say is when the microphone was in the Record-in' Box, it was much more muted sounding. I was more muted sounding. But by muted, I mean there was no space around me. I don't know about the clarity of my voice relative to without the Record-in’ Box. I just know that the the room felt small, there in my head. Now I'm in a bigger room again.”

Josh reacted: “When you're outside the Record-in' Box, it's a more live sound. I hear more treble, which I like. But I definitely understand why you want to dampen all that and kind of deaden all that.”

Dan continues: “I like to think of it as the difference between being in a big room and being in a [professional] recording booth. Because when I go into my recording booth, it's a fairly large booth, but it doesn't sound like a big room. Enough of the surfaces are treated that my voice doesn't really go anywhere, so I can get away from the mic a little bit and I can project in the booth. As I get louder in the booth, it doesn't reflect off all the surfaces and compound the effect as it would in a space like this.

If I'm doing all my professional recordings in the booth and then I'm on the road and somebody needs a pick-up, and all of a sudden I sound like I'm in this big room instead of that nice, warm booth, they're not going to like it. So I need my Record-in' Box so I can record in the box.”

The whole thing is portable. Just remove the 5 Auralex panels and fold down the box.  

The bin is something you can get at Target. You can get it at IKEA. You can get it at the other big box store. It’s less expensive than you might think. At the time of this writing, Ikea’s Kosingen box can be had for under $5.

Auralex is a bit more expensive. However, interesting thing to note: Four panels fit very well inside the box without any alterations. Only one piece needs to be cut. So if a box of Auralex comes with 20 squares and you knew three other voice talents who wanted to make a Record-in' Box, or who might want to buy a Record-in' Box from you, you could go in with some friends, split a box of Auralex evenly, and each make your own.

If you want to build a Record-in' Box and show us your setup, send us your footage. Send us your audio. We want to see and hear your setup, too.




Ready to start working on your next big idea?

ModPod Gradient Background