You can use your laundry as a mic shield in your home recording for a surprising increase in audio quality.

One of the biggest challenges in home recording is cancelling room noise.  If you own your own home you could line your space with acoustic foam at $3 per square foot, but that represents a permanent and complicated commitment.  You could buy a vocal mic shield, but they can cost up to several hundred dollars and work best for voice-over recording.  Or you could use this simple hack to get a much better recording with things you probably already have.

I discovered this trick while recording an episode of the Core Concept Podcast.  My audio quality was unsatisfactory and I had very little time left to improve it.  Remembering some DIY mic shields I had researched earlier, I did the first thing that came to mind – and I was shocked at how much better it sounded.

Please don’t assume that a mic shield made of laundry is a final solution to your home recording needs – to some extent, you get out of home recording what you put into it.  But for those of us with no budget and a rented space, it could make the difference between embarrassing and satisfying.

How to Build Your Own Laundry Mic Shield

How to Make a Mic Shield with Your Laundry

How to Make a Mic Shield with Your Laundry

As you can imagine, it’s not that complicated to build your own mic shield out of laundry.  You’ll need just a few basic items:

  • A folding drying rack
  • Towels, blankets, or similar large, drape-able items
  • A microphone, obviously
  • A mic stand or some other way to insert the microphone into the mic shield
  • A pop filter (optional, but highly recommended) – these can be made at home as well, but we’ll have to get into that in another post
Step 1 of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 1 of Laundry Mic Shield

Once you have all of your items assembled, you’re ready to get started!

Step 2 of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 2 of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 2b of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 2b of Laundry Mic Shield

Unfold the drying rack and insert it over the mic and stand.You want to have the mic/stand positioned behind the first rods, and in front of the rest of the drying rack, as shown to the right.

 

Step 3 of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 3 of Laundry Mic Shield

Next, drape your laundry over the rack, as shown above, and snug it up against the mic stand.  This will dampen the room noise underneath the microphone.

Step 4 of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 4 of Laundry Mic Shield

After that, just pile some more laundry on the top and down the sides of the rack (we used three lightweight blankets for the top), to dampen the noise around the rest of the microphone.

Step 5 of Laundry Mic Shield

Step 5 of Laundry Mic Shield

Once you have all of your dampeners surrounding the microphone, you can add a pop filter, if you have one handy.  We used one that screws onto the mic stand, for extra stability, but you can get creative if you don’t have one quite like that.  After all, thinking outside the box is what we like to do at The Spare Room Project!

Lucas
Co-Founder and Marketing Director at The Spare Room Project

Lucas is a writer by training, and a musician by nature, always looking for new ways to use the opportunities around him to their fullest. The Spare Room Project grew out of his love of music and DIY spirit. Growing up in northern Illinois, Lucas learned to be resourceful. This skill has carried through to TSRP projects, where learning to do more with less is crucial. With a background in journalism and multimedia production, Lucas is excited to be the Marketing Director and creative guru for TSRP.


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