As voiceover artists and actors, we obsess over our studios or recording spaces. I’m no different. Actually, I went to great lengths to not only put my professional VO studio together, but also to make it a place where I thrive and enjoy spending most of my day. Because of my background as a Corporate Executive and as an Entrepreneur who owns a few small businesses, professionalism, quality, and delighting clients is first and foremost in all that I do. I’m an “all or nothing” type of girl. I’ll forego submitting or participating in something if I can’t put my best work forward. I pride myself on having a great work ethic and being a woman of my word.
I took great care, in selecting where I would setup my #AWVO (April Watkins Voice Over) studio. In my household of four, there’s always noise, hard walking/running. and a gang of teenagers in and out. My home also has lots of windows, no carpet, and high ceilings. Not the best conditions when you’re trying to isolate sound and realize a great noise floor.
First, I thoroughly analyzed where the best place would be to set up my studio in my home. I have a home office and at first I wanted to convert that space into my studio, but it’s at the front of the house with windows and I felt even with an isolation booth it could be problematic at times. I then considered converting a walk in closet, but it was just too hot with equipment in there and has no ventilation. I considered converting the home theatre into dual purpose and thought about making it a live room setup. However, the costs to do so by adding all the proper acoustical treatments, etc., was more than I wanted to spend at the time and I don’t think my current home is my last as I plan to downsize significantly when my teenage boy, girl twins leave home. The room in the basement we use as a gym is the most central/interior room in the house, completely isolated and has no windows. It was most ideal and had a great sound floor without any booth or isolation treatments. However, my hubby, didn’t want me encroaching and detracting from that space. So, I chose the 2nd most central, interior spot in my basement (which is below grade) and not directly near any windows or doors. I have a nice little nook in the corner of my basement below the stairs that measures 45 X 65 inches with a 9 ft ceiling. I ordered the StudioBricks ONE VO Edition ISO booth and it fits so perfectly in the space.
My laptop sits outside the booth to cut down on fan and mechanical noise/interference inside the booth and I made use of a 13 inch VIZIO TV as my monitor, my IPAD mini to read and markup my scripts, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. The booth is considered a 1-2 person booth but it has a small yet effective desk (for editing, mixing, and holding my water), a boom for my microphone, an easel for scripts, lighting, and ventilation. I needed a small but comfortable chair to go inside the isolation booth. So I took a page out of the musicians playbook and purchased the Tama Ergo-Rider. It has great support, however after using it for a few weeks, I found it to be a little hard on my tush so I did purchase a gel seat cushion and it helped me keep the neat chair.
Outside of the booth I have all the studio lounge components such as great seating, TV and surround sound. I have a kitchen with access to beverages and snacks. There’s also a pool and ping pong table, a playstation, WII and a golf simulator. Lastly, I also have a reversible green/blue screen that I can use to shoot videos and add visual effects.
I’m really happy and comfortable with my space. I have a setup that lures me each day to be productive and perform at my best.
My equipment list
StudioBricks ONE VO Edition ISO isolation booth
Rode NT2-A microphone and pop filter
Apogee HypeMic (for when I travel)
Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface
Presonus Eris Studio Monitors
Adobe Audition Recording and Editing Software
Izotop audio mastering and pulg-ins software
Kaotica Eyeball (when traveling or I need extra isolation)
Tama 1st Chair Ergo-Rider Drum Throne with Backrest
ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion
Penta Angel Pet Training Clicker Button Clicker with Wrist Strap
Neewer Chromakey Collapsible Backdrop Collapsible Reversible Background Green/Blue
1080P Web Cam with Microphone Computer Web Camera HD USB Webcam for PC Desktop & Laptop Streaming Video Cam