The Porta Booth… VO Pros and Cons

The Harlan Hogan Porta Booth which currently retails on Amazon.com for $149 is basically 3 pieces of Auralex in a laundry cloth box.

Here’s Harlan promoting it:

And here is a Do It Yourself version inspired by the Porta Booth made by Jake Ludington. I think his cost around $50

here’s Jake explaining it

So what does that mean for you the Voice Over Talent / Artist / Noob / Veteran?

Simply it means that you can record Dry takes without having to dish out the moola at a studio. It means you can take this God Forsaken ugly thing on the road with you (and it is collapsible) and record decent quality recordings regardless of the acoustic conditions in your surroundings (read… hotels).

I’ve spent many hours planning and building elements to use during my recording sessions to give me that amazing DRY sound…. So far the best I could come up with is a PVC wireframe structure that is covered with a good sturdy duvet or blanket (or several). Honestly its clostrophobic but damn does it give you a straight forward dry sound.

here are plans for one kind of PVC voice booth by Tim O’Brian:

http://www.palmcitystudios.com/timobrien/music/soundbooth/simplesoundbooth.html

that there is pure ghetto genius (the kind that appeals to me)

Pros…. save alot of money… record on the go… put it away when you want  your space back.

Cons… (porta-booth) where do you put your script? Harlan mentions in his post :

http://digitalprosound.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=89503

that he uses his iphone to read script… honestly for a long script that is just not very practical ( I know I tried it already… several times)

Also you have to record sitting down… unless someone can come up with a way to hold up the porta booth in place on a mic stand.

That’s it for now… If this was at all helpful to you … please drop me a comment.


8 Comments


  1. $149 is insane! Spend an extra hundred and you can get the SE Reflexion. So this shouldn’t be more than $50.

    The improvised version — collapsible clothes hamper with 3 Auralex tiles — sounds like the way to go. A good idea for holidays. Light, compact, no extra baggage or excess luggage fees at the airport and you can actually do those big jobs you always miss out whenever you take a holiday… which is why you never do. :\

  2. I’m REALLY happy to find this page! I made a porta-booth for about $50 ($10 collapsible cube from Target, and around $40 for the auralex foam) but, I have the same problems of holding the copy, and wanting to stand. I really like the idea of a PVC frame – that is so simple. I am also trying to think of ways to use foam to make a small globe/cube that would surround the mic on a stand, and then maybe a sound wall behind me. As far as I know there are no limits on how small the mic surround needs to be, it simply needs to shield the mic from hard surface reflection. Right?
    Ideas appreciated

  3. Well a lot has changed since I cmae up with the little blue box. We now have 2 purpose-built Porta-Booths®. The Pro is more than twice the size of the original with LED Lighting, copy clip, audio fleece hood for noisy locations etc. The new plus is 15% larger than the original but still small enough to slip into carry on luggage. the foam is built in ans it assembles in less than a minute with one zipper.

    Harlan

  4. I bought a Porta Booth Pro about 18 months ago and couldn’t be happier with it. I’ve used it in Australia, Asia and America in various locations including hotel rooms and conference halls and it delivers every time. It is really easy to carry, very lightweight and goes into the checkin baggage section on planes without a second thought.
    The version I bought has a zip section in the back and in the bottom which allows it to be positioned on a mike stand or on a desk.
    Positioning side on to the monitor allows for easy script reading from the screen and for paper scripts, a simple document holder will suffice.

    • Hello Dan,

      I believe the Porta Booth you purchased was the updated Mark II version. The article was written regarding the first version that Mr. Hogan had made available.
      Mr. Hogan himself has commented on this article but when I asked if he would like me to review his product (as in send me the product for testing) I did not receive an answer.
      I am glad you found Mr. Hogan’s product helpful. The intent of the article was to identify if the porta booth was a good investment or not. I obviously still have issues with the script placement issue… I am guessing that some re-engineering will be required but then again I have only seen videos about the product.

      I will extend my offer again to Mr. Harlan Hogan. If you would like me to review the Porta Booth Mark I or II then please contact me directly and I will be more than happy to provide you with a shipping address and a fair article or two about the unboxing of the product as well as sample recordings with the product in different locations.

      Again thanks Dan for your review… Always nice to hear from my favorite kiwi 🙂
      Taji

  5. well i have googled and read several revies about the porta booth pro.bu am yet to use o0ne i have a first hand experience so then i know whatever observations i note will not be speculation.but am waiting