Traveling Voice Recording System Tests

Recently spent some time trying to come up with a simple solution for a traveling voice recording system for a voice actor friend and came up with a rig that might work. The system consists of Mac laptop (because it’s what I use), Adobe Audition software (because that’s what he uses), headphones, and an Apogee MiC. The general system was pretty easy to put together because it was all at hand, but configuring the software to work with low latency monitoring and getting a recording with minimal room reflections and plosives were more complicated issues to solve.

Configuring Audition for low latency monitoring ended up being a simple buffer setting change. On my laptop the latency was best set at 16 samples for recording and 512 samples for processing files after the recording was complete.

Hearing through the software, because who doesn’t want to hear themselves while they record, was trickier and required making the recording as part of a multitrack session. I built a session template that had only one audio track and one master track (because a master track is apparently required for multitrack sessions). This allows input monitoring to be engaged once the track is record-enabled. Once that’s done it’s simply a matter of hitting record. If the recording is completed without stopping then a single file is created in the file list but if the recording is stopped and restarted then multiple files will obviously be created. These files can be opened and edited individually, then compiled, if necessary, and saved as finished files. It is not necessary to keep the multitrack session once the recording is complete.

Dealing with room reflections came down to placement of the microphone in the room and using a Kaotica Eyeball pop filter/acoustic filter. The Eyeball is essentially a ball of acoustic foam with openings for the microphone and it works very well, though does not stop all reflections in a really live room. When I first got the thing I was worried that it would be too dead but that turns out to not be true in the average nearly empty bedroom, and will likely not be the case in a typical hotel room.

The Apogee MiC itself just plugs into the USB port of the Mac but it does not like USB extension cables since it is powered off the port. The MiC appears in the Mac as an input device and is what gets chosen in the Audition audio hardware page.

All in all a fairly simple solution, though Audition becomes cumbersome as soon as you want to monitor the input audio while recording. It would be much better to have the input monitoring available when recording a stereo or mono file without having to create a multitrack session. If it wasn’t for the clunkiness of the software this solution would be simple and easy.

About Jay

Jay Yeary is an audio, media, and broadcast engineer. Click here to find out more.

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