Air Traffic Control – Guest post from Brent Halfyard

Air Traffic Control – Guest post from Brent Halfyard

Posted by John in Articles

As a professional voice talent with demanding clients who have a necessity for high quality broadcast audio, I’ve had more than my share of challenges over the years.

We recently purchased our new home, and I was faced with an immediate obstacle and stress inducer: Where do I record? And the BIG challenge… Airplanes! Yes we bought a home close to YVR. We have jets and planes landing to the North, and taking off from the South. I had clients waiting for voice work and I needed something fast.

Fortunately, I have the Harlan Hogan Porta-Booth Pro, which was more than adequate for a ‘dead’ sound. If you don’t have one – get one! But of course I had to voice in between planes and as you can imagine this became frustrating and very stressful.


I then chose the best room away from the street and small enough for easy ‘deadening’. I ordered a special 4 layer window (I know what your thinking…a window??!) My last studio had no windows and after 9 years I wanted to see the sky! The window was (and is still) excellent, but not enough to block the plane noise, as sound is a vibration, travelling along and through floor joists, walls and through the ceiling. I knew I needed a real solution, and redoing the room completely (room within a room, floating floors etc. would cost upwards of $10,000 to do it properly. As I was not sure this was my permanent studio location in my home, I researched and found plans for a freestanding vocal booth ( I purchased plans and acoustic foam online for about $250.00. It says ‘do-it-yourself’. But whom am I kidding; I’m a voice actor NOT a carpenter! I hired an excellent carpenter by the name of Ben Yardley, whom with an assistant, built my 4x4x6’ booth in about a week. (Labor and materials about $3100.00) It was much more complex than one can imagine.


When it was assembled in my studio I was awestruck and relieved. I ran cables from my IMac and Mbox through a small hole in the base, added a second screen so I can read scripts and run Protools inside and… WOW! No airplanes! OR almost no airplanes. Sometimes a very loud 737 -747 can rumble bottom end in the mic, and the culprit…THE FLOOR! As it’s a floating booth (not touching walls or ceiling) the only point of contact is the floor, which is where all vibration came through to the booth. I’ve since come up with another ‘cheap and classic Canadian’ solution…Hockey Pucks! Yep, 6 – 8 hockey pucks under my booth to act as a buffer between it and the floor. It reduced the odd rumble by about 50%.


So, yes I have a broadcast quality home studio environment FINALLY! Next up: Saving up to convert my attached garage to a 200 Sq. ft. custom studio of my dreams! Happy voicing everyone! :0



Brent Halfyard

19 Dec 2014 No Comments

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