How I Recorded A Super Bowl Commercial in my Hotel Room!

by | Apr 6, 2022 | Tools | 0 comments

I recently went on a trip to Mexico in February 2022. I decided that I wanted to bring a travel rig along on my trip. I wasn’t sure if I would need it or not, but I wanted to make sure I had my bases covered. 

It’s hard enough finding great clients, and I want to make sure I can deliver what they need when they need it – yup, that means even on vacation.

The day before I left I had a live-directed session with my client for a state-wide Super Bowl commercial. Great right!? Well, the day I got to Mexico I received word that they missed a line and needed me to record it for them. Because I had a different microphone and my recording space would be different, I needed to record the entire thing.

Good thing I brought a travel rig!

So here is what I brought and how I successfully rocked this job!

What is in my travel rig:

I rented a few things because I wanted to leave my expensive Neumann TLM 103 at home. I brought along:  

  • A rented Audio Technica 4040 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, 
  • A rented Scarlet 2i2 Focusrite interface, 
  • A rented desktop mic stand – which I ended up purchasing because it is AWESOME.
  • My Studio headphones
  • My pop filter
  • Cables and my laptop with my DAW on it. 

I fit all these things into my carry-on luggage to make sure I handled it all with velvet gloves! And I purchased the extra rental insurance on the mic and interface.

Making a makeshift vocal booth: 

I wanted to find a shape in a nook or cranny that I could use to set up a makeshift vocal booth. Something small that I could drape blankets over. So I started checking out the room and seeing what kind of spaces I could make into a makeshift vocal booth. 

The shower did NOT work, and many things around the room were too echoey or didn’t allow me to drape blankets around it. The room was made of concrete and marble… good luck!

I found this luggage rack – it was like a small table, and it was the perfect shape to put blankets on top of. If I put the whole thing on the mattress I had a great absorbing layer underneath me.

I used books to elevate the table a little bit so both I and my microphone and mic stand could fit inside. Well, just my head fit inside. I was kneeling on the ground to fit in there!

I then put blankets and pillows all around me: on the top and on the sides. 

I ordered extra blankets and sheets to get as much sound-absorbing material as possible. You could also ask for extra pillows. 

So that is how I built the vocal booth!

Best Time To Record: 

I found the best time to record was in the evening. During the day I tried to record. JUST after I set up my recording space (which took me about an hour and a half) I was just about to record – and a maintenance guy started using a jackhammer in the stairwell right across the hall – I kid you NOT! 

So if I were you, I would record the audio in the evening if possible. 

In Conclusion

I hope this is helpful and you get some ideas on how to bring a travel rig along and set it up! I do plan on getting a professional setup from Vocal Booth To-Go eventually.

I have an idea that involves making this same shape out of PVC pipe and bringing that along with me so I can set up the same sort of makeshift booth every time.

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