GEAR HAUL: Whisper Room .... Part 2!
PART 4: FEATHERING THE NEST
My goal was to have the computer as far away from the booth as possible, with a cloned or extended desktop on a monitor in the Whisper Room so you can monitor your recording and set levels with ease. The WR has these neat little plugs that let you pass through cables without letting in much sound, but you can't put many cords through there. It also comes with a ventilation fan system and a little remote, but it is so noisy, it is no good for use while you work. Use between takes.
The WR is small ... 3.5 feet by 3.5 feet. While you may find a 36" desk to fit inside there, it can't be a very deep desktop or you won't have room for a chair! I chose to modify an old IKEA Gorm shelf into a desk by cutting down its height. I bought some bass traps and acoustic foam tiles and mounted them to the Whisper Room with velcro tape hot glued to the back of the tiles. This is to augment the sheets of Auralex the Whisper Room came with. Good and dead in there.
The lights are these little under-cabinet puck lights that you can get at Ikea. The transformer that all the little lights plug into (up to 6, I only needed 2) is velcro'd onto the back of the Whisper Room and plugs in to the wall. The little pucks are also attached with velcro, augmented with hot glue. They still keep separating from their tape and falling down though. You can optionally (read: HECK YES) buy a little remote control for these lil LEDs, choosing between three light settings.
My microphone is mounted to this IKEA hack 'desk' with a boom arm that clamps on. I bought an 18.5" LCD monitor on Craigslist for $28, but soon decided it needed a clamp-on mounting arm as well, so that it would be high enough to see behind a pop filter. This is where it got annoying. I found the one I wanted on the company's site, but they would not ship to Canada. I found it on the same company's eBay store, and they WILL ship to Canada, but now it costs double. It didn't even dawn on me to sign up for one of those shipping/pickup services in Blaine to avoid this in the future, but I have learned, and will do so from now on.
The monitor mount arrived a couple weeks ago and is great, except that it's mounting bolt under the table is so huge, I had to lose the shelf on my 'desk' where I liked to keep my keyboard and mouse. This makes the little desk that much less stable and makes me think, in the future, when I upgrade to a big-ticket microphone, I will have to also upgrade the desk to something custom and a little more substantial, because I can't afford losing a mic to that thing falling over one day.
The thing I liked most about this monitor stand is that little mini-music stand thing to the left. They call it a 'laptop tray', but it's obviously for iPads and paper sides. I picked up some cheap rubber backed rug from IKEA and cut it down to line the desktop and the iPad's house.
While I was at IKEA, I also picked up a little shag rug for the floor, just for funsies, and for comfort. The dog likes it very much.
The chair also came from IKEA, an as-is find. Sadly, it is a little big for the booth and if you move your head at all, your hair on the headrest will make noise that the mic will pick up. I may have to get another chair.
Update! (Dec 2017) I've opened my home and my booth to a Neumann TLM 103, and said happy travels to my Rode mic, as it continues its journey with a local podcaster. The Neumann is a better fit for my voice, while still bright (but not as bright as an NT1A) it is a welcome addition!