Option-Click: The Closet Vocalist

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Harlan Hogan''s collapsible Porta-Booth provides tight vocals to go.

Whenever I get compliments on the sound of my Podcast (digitalmedia.oreilly.com/podcast-audio), I like to blow the listener's mind by revealing how I record the narration. No pricey studio, exotic soundproofing, or even pop filters — I simply hang a mic between the shirts in my closet, speak across the diaphragm instead of directly into it, and then compress and EQ the recording with iZotope Ozone. The shirts reduce slapback, the ugly fingerprint of home studios. Speaking at an angle minimizes p pops. And Ozone beefs up the level of the USB mics I typically use: a Røde Podcaster and an sE Electronics USB2200a.

I hit on the closet approach while trying to escape my computer's howling fans, but later learned that voice-over pro Harlan Hogan used to build forts out of hotel couch cushions to record his on-the-go vocals. See harlanhogan.com for his latest brainstorm, the ingenious Porta-Booth. (For more about David Battino's work, visit batmosphere.com.)