New Toys

RealTraps Portable Vocal Booth

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RealTraps Portable Vocal Booth Portable vocal booth? I first thought this has to be a heavy, phone booth-size (remember those?) ugly contraption I would have to reassemble. None of the above is what RealTraps offers to capture dry, clear sounding vocals, even in locations that are less than ideal acoustically. Portable Vocal Booth is the closest thing to "The Cone Of Silence" you'll ever own.

This is a pair of two-foot square absorption panels that are hinged together to open like a book in an adjustable V-shape. The integrated base attaches easily and securely to any inexpensive microphone stand or directly on a table or other flat surface. Your recording microphone goes in the center or focal point of this right-angle corner of absorption. What you now have is a highly controlled environment for recording vocals or any instrument despite a less than acoustically enhancing surrounding.

I tried the PVB at Oliver Leiber's studio for recording backing vocals for Paula Abdul's upcoming VH1 show. Along with a Bock E251 condenser mic, it helped to produce a great vocal sound even though the recording room is very small and boxy-sounding.

At my own Tones 4 $ Studios, I set it up near a corner of my room. Having used those wrap around microphone screens that color the sound, the PVB takes the room acoustics out of the picture without overly deadening the sound. In addition and unlike those filters, it also isolates the microphone from the extraneous noises I suffer from loud cars, trucks and airplanes going by.

Besides killing those intrusions, PVB precluded me from also recording my computer and hard drive fan noises and my central A/C wind. I love it for that and also for reigning bad room tone when recording acoustic guitars--all the same issues as when recording vocals made worst because of the increased mic gain required.

The RealTraps Portable Vocal Booth costs $299.99 and are sold via phone order direct from the manufacturer. Check: www.realtraps.com



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