I wanted to hate it…
I know, I know - that probably sounds harsh - but let me explain. Most of you who follow the VO BOSS Podcast know that during the past few (crazy) months, I sold and packed my house, sold and broke down my existing VO booth, bought a new house (that is currently being built), moved into a rental unit, and am currently getting ready to move into my new house in a few short weeks. Whew! But I'm so excited! In the middle of all of this chaos, I needed to keep working! Most importantly, I needed to find a quality booth solution that was portable and easy to move around from place to place. And because I was in the process of a huge move that was monopolizing a large part of my finances :), I certainly was NOT in the market to buy anything new.
I Tried Other Alternatives…
I borrowed a desktop mobile recording alternative from a good friend after I broke down my old home studio. The sound that I was able to get from it was acceptable, but it was a bit unwieldy and uncomfortable to record anything lengthy. As with a lot of desktop models, you're required to awkwardly stick your head close to the sweet spot of the microphone in the recording area (like an oven) and vocalize. Not the best position to get optimal acting performance - no matter how hard I tried to adjust the height of the desktop or the distance I sat from it, I still felt like my vocal cords were stretched in an awkward way, and it got hot and stuffy quickly. The fact that I had to put an additional heavy sound blanket over my head did not help with the temperature! At one point, my glasses actually fogged up, rendering my reading capabilities useless. And every time I moved my head or body, the noise from the heavy blanket moving would be in my recording. UGH. This was not going to be the best solution for long-form narration, and it was a big issue for me that I did not have freedom of movement, especially since I prefer to stand for most of my work to allow for proper diaphragmatic breathing. But I was determined I would make it work. My plans were to use the desktop model until my new custom booth could be built in my new house. (more exciting news on that soon!)
As luck would have it, I was fortunate to book a few lengthy E-learning projects that needed to be completed over the holidays. Yay! But the more I worked with the desktop model on a day to day basis, the more I wished I had a more comfortable and consistent solution.
After seeing a few posts by George Whittam and Rick Wasserman on Facebook about a new mobile recording booth they were launching together called the Tri-Booth, I reached out to chat with them about the possibility of testing out one of their demo models… conveniently 2 days before Christmas. This way I could really test drive the booth with the eLearning projects that needed to be completed over the holidays and my neck and vocal chords could go back to a more normal position and catch a much needed break. As I mentioned previously, I really was not intending to buy a new booth, especially because I had already earmarked my dollars towards my new house and custom studio.
But then I tried it...
My Initial Thoughts on the Tri-Booth
George and Rick went out of their way to come out to my rental unit just 2 days before Christmas to install the Tri-Booth for me. BOTH of them. Wow! Talk about great customer service!
Once installed, I was able to “tri out” the Tri-Booth for the next 7 days, and immediately fell in love with it.
I loved it so much that I bought it.
Yup. I bought it. I couldn't help it! Not only does it have surprisingly great sound, but performance-wise, I can step in, stand, and actually move around freely, allowing body positioning for proper breath control and precision mic technique! It’s amazing and honestly, quite "freeing". I no longer have to stress about not being able to produce quality, consistent recordings for my clients.
Oh - and after I bought it - George Whittam personally came to my house on NEW YEARS DAY to pick up the demo unit and install a shiny new one in its place! Customer service just doesn't get any better than that.
Why I Love the Tri-Booth
George and Rick thought of EVERY detail when they created the Tri-Booth. Seriously, It has everything that a VO Boss needs for recording:
Beverage holder/shelf for your coffee/water :)
Boom arm for your microphone - no more mic falling down in a weird awkward mobile setup!
Magnetic copy holder - oh - and that iPad you're using isn't going ANYWHERE either!
Mini Hub to plug in your phone/iPad/laptop
Dimmable LED Lighting
Just set it and forget it.
Have you ever created the perfect pillow fort for your voice recording job during your travels, only to find that housekeeping removed all of your hard work during their cleaning rounds? Or you actually really NEEDED to use that ironing board or luggage valet? And then you had to recreate your fort again, fiddling around until you could get the right position and distance to get the same sound for pickups? With the Tri-Booth, you can easily set it up just once in a corner of the room in all of its Triangular Glory, and then forget it! You'll be good to go any time you need to use it for the duration of the trip. (Housekeeping will barely notice that it’s there!)
Feng shui design.
I love the feel of the booth. I can stand up and have the freedom to move around, which makes a huge difference in the quality of my breathing, as well as positively affecting the confidence and consistency of my performance. I have this vision of George and Rick standing at a whiteboard, calculating the physics of how the sound waves bounce off the surfaces of the triangular booth to somehow come up with the perfect formula for quality sound. I won't try to explain how - It just works!
The Tri-Booth was designed to weigh UNDER 50 pounds, and comes in it's own suitcase so that you can check it during your travels without having to pay extra. This is perfect for anyone who wants an easy-to-pack travel booth. It also stores easily so you can just grab it and go!
The Magic Filter.
Anyone who has ever worked with George Whittam knows he creates amazing stacks, racks, and chains for your audio processing. George’s "magic filter"- custom created specifically for you and your Tri-Booth - is the real deal. He created my filter for me within just hours of my request. No matter where you put the booth, George's custom design stack will get your sound as close to your home studio as possible - which is great for last minute pickups or continuing projects with clients while on the go, or working with recurring clients who require your home studio sound while you are away. Shhhhhh - you won't even have to tell them you're away - they'll never know!
Last but Certainly not Least: Great Sound.
As soon as I pressed "record" on my computer for the first time, my noise floor was an impressive -74 DB (I mean WHOA - that's quiet!). I was very impressed with that. I was worried that the moving blankets wouldn't be enough to get good sound. But the sound quality is just solid - I didn't even feel like I really even needed George's filter. Don't get me wrong - you still can't have your cats (or dogs or children for that matter) tearing up the place outside the booth OR the housekeeper vacuuming your room :) - but in a relatively quiet space you'll get great results. Here's a sample of an audio excerpt from my latest VO BOSS podcast - recorded entirely in the Tri-Booth :
The Tri-Booth is perfect for professionals like myself who need a mobile/portable booth with great sound that gives them freedom of movement for comfort and performance. I think it would also be a great solution for beginning VO's who want a starter booth without having to invest in a more expensive alternative, and it would also double as their mobile rig for the investment. Could I have built it myself? SURE. Do I want to? NO! Why? George and Rick have already done it all for me. And they also maintain that anyone can DIY one as well. I have been able to do daily work in this booth for the past two months, so for me, it has already paid for itself at least three times over. And that is one great BOSSolution for me!
Learn more about the Tri-Booth at http://tribooth.com/
Much love and Keep on rockin' your biz.
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.