At Australian Videocamera we are constantly reminding people never to underestimate the power and value of audio. New filmmakers especially, still seem to get caught up on the whizz and bang of special effects and graphics – there are 1000 times more requests on how to make such and such an effect as against “how can I make my audio better” for example.
But we admit, even with the best of microphones (and we use the best from Sennheiser), things can work against you.
For example, in the room I use as a studio, no matter what I do, when creating voice overs I get a slight echo and it takes time and energy (and not a small amount of skill) using various digital audio tools to “sweeten” it as much as possible. So I let someone else do it. My brother, usually who is an accomplished audio engineer (and successfully horror story author just quietly)
I did look ta buying a dedicated acoustic dampening “audio box” from Amazon, but at USD$199 plus the ridiculous freight charges from the US that was more than I wanted to spend.
So I looked at making one.
Now anyone who knows me knows this is not my forte. Not in a million years.
I got 98% at technical drawing at school but only scraped through woodwork and metalwork as I suspect the teacher took pity on me.
However, with teeth gritted, I looked at ways to give it a red hot go.
And bugger me, it worked and only cost a smidgeon over $25!
What you see in the photo is some dense polystyrene foam from Bunnings at $12.50 a sheet, a cardboard box courtesy of somewhere, a whole bunch of egg cartons and some black acrylic spray paint.
Now I didn’t take photos of the build, but I simply used PVA glue to glue the egg cartons inside the box – the bits that hold the eggs not the lids, and with the “pointy side” facing towards me – cut the foam to shape and then glued that in place also with PVA glue.
Finally I sprayed the outside with the black acrylic to make it look a little prettier.
The last thing was to cut a hole through the centre at the back to push the cable through and plug it into whatever mic I wanted to use.
If I had to change one thing, it is that I would have cut the hole in the box and the foam and passed the cable through before gluing as it would have made a neater hole and not been so fiddly using some wire to guide it through.
But it works!
(I did look at using Clark Rubber foam as used in cushions and things, but I kid you not, we should peg the value of the $ to that stuff. Even using remnants and offcuts, they wanted to charge me nearly $100 just for the foam!)
PS: I admit Jacqui actually cut the foam to size. I suddenly remembered my woodworking exam making a tray and how I managed to utterly screw the sizing up somehow so thought maybe, just mabe I shouldn’t chnace that bit.