External Noise Evaluation
I was aware of the possibility that I would occasionally have a problem with recording due to external noise that was beyond my control. It could be a lawnmower, chainsaw or any of a variety of outdoor tools and appliances, and it could happen at any time. I hadn’t had an opportunity to gauge the amount of threat that existed. Until last week.
There were several large maples and a pear tree that were shading my garden so much that I soon wouldn’t have enough sunlight to grow vegetables, so I contracted to have the trees removed. The crew worked quickly and efficiently and once enough of the trees were down, it was time to grind up the branches.
They parked the large chipper in my driveway, which put it 15-20 feet from my basement control room. If you have never been near an operating wood chipper, they are one of the loudest mechanical devices you will ever encounter. This machine would be the ultimate test of sound isolation for my new studio.
Once the engine was going and they were grinding branches and limbs on a continuous basis, I headed for the basement. I sat in the control room with the chipper less than 20 feet away, and although audible, it would not have been disruptive to a recording or mixing session.
I went out to the studio and listened. If I listened really hard, it was just barely audible. I can’t think of any close-miking situation where the sound would have gotten into the recording. That was excellent news! I was convinced that no matter what is going on outside, recording or mixing wouldn’t be disturbed. After this, if any outdoor sounds disrupt a recording session, I know that I probably have a lot bigger problems than an interrupted session.