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RØDE: Never Record Audio or Vocals In A Car

Manufacturer RØDE Microphones has started a series on Audio for Film. In the 4th episode they set out to demonstrate the best possible way to record a Voice Over in a car, which turns out to be never. Never record VO in a car. Even with a nice RØDE mic it still sounds like stuffed shit. Jump to 2:25 to hear the best that they could come up with. There are so many YouTubers that think car = sound booth, but that just isn't the case.

Video Description:

Welcome to Audio for Film 101! An all new series from RØDE Microphones, aimed at helping you get the best recording results for your next video or film.

This series will be helpful for any filmmaker that is looking to improve their audio or get the best out of their sound equipment, specifically microphones from the VideoMic range.

In this episode, Angus demonstrates how you could turn your car into a portable vocal studio, ready to capture great sounding voice overs!

For more in-depth info on this topic check out our full blog post here - http://www.rode.com/blog/all/How-To-R...

Reader Comments 11

Actually recording in a car is OK. What should be avoided are using “shotgun” mics in small spaces and crappy Rode microphones.
July 10, 2019  | person_outline El Jeffe
Yeah, this is a load of bullshit. You can get great vocals out of a car, and judging that based on one half-assed video by a deeply mediocre mic company that is dumb as hell.
July 10, 2019  | person_outline Dan L Warren
Wow I didn't expect the push back on this. Alright, RØDE is mediocre, that's fair. But they aren't the worst out there.

The premise remains the same, and I'm amazed by how many videos I see on YouTube that feature people doing exactly this. They all sound so stuffy, and this mic is a hell of a lot better than your iPhone mic or any of the other shit I hear people using in their cars. You're seriously better off recording just about anywhere else. My studio is completely untreated, but I manage to get great results with my dynamic Shure.
I did not mean ALL Rode mics are crap. I actually own 6 of them. Yes, their cheaper Videomic series are magnitudes better than the DSLR camera mic but that's not really saying much.
It is well known that shotgun mics exhibit phase issues in small spaces. A regular cardioid would be better. For a more natural sound a dynamic omni up close is very good too. As for the dead sound, it is easier and better to add ambience afterwards. You can't take it away. If you look at a VO booth it is basically a vertical coffin about the same cubic dimension as a standard sedan. A car has no parallel surfaces, diffusion from irregular surfaces, and very quiet inside. Perfect for recording VO, but probably not for singing or playing an instrument. I am going to suggest it to a friend who records books on tape. Just don't leave the engine running.....
July 10, 2019  | person_outline El Jeffe
I have never recorded in a car but if I did I'd have a load of thick bath towels handy to hang as baffles to dampen any hard surfaces like the windows or windscreen.

I guess the worst part is you can't stand up in a car and many singers would sound better when they stand and sing.
July 10, 2019  | person_outline Simon
The only time you should record in a car is if you are wanting it to sound like it is in a car.

Even though the surfaces aren't parallel, you still get a very short reflection which interferes with the direct signal causing destructive phase interference. If you don't hear that, and you don't care about that, then go ahead and make your shitty sounding tracks. That's fine.

Be in a bigger room, use a close mic, turn off the fridge for an hour or two.

If someone has recorded a vocal in their car and wants to post a link here, I'm willing to be proven wrong.
Depends on the car.
July 11, 2019  | person Pinealwave
Ok. If there is a 100 sq. foot car, with deep foam sound treatment all around, go ahead with that VO.
You would get a better result if your car was parked in Abbey Road...
July 11, 2019  | person_outline Simon
On July 11, 2019 - @Simon said:
You would get a better result if your car was parked in Abbey Road...
Jesus... That got a full-on LOL out of me, Simon.
As they say in the comics, "tee hee".
July 13, 2019  | person_outline Simon
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