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Review

ISOVOX2 Vocal Booth

Issue #55

It took a couple of us, but we had the ISOVOX set up and ready to go in about 5 minutes. It mounts easily on a standard speaker pole, with space for mounting a microphone of your choice. The side and rear panels are removable to allow you to customise isolation and airflow, and there’s even an LED light strip included to make the experience in the booth a little more pleasant.
Nick Jennison

 PROS


Practical and affordable solution to vocal isolation

Great for practising vocals with-out disturbing the family/neighbours too!


Cons


Could be a little pricey for many potential buyers.


SPECS


Height: 470 mm (14.6")

Width: 490 mm (15.35")

Guitar Interactive star rating:  4.5 stars

ISOVOX2 Vocal Booth

MSRP £759 (UK)  $999 (US)


ISOVOX2 vocal booth

The ISOVOX2 vocal booth is designed to give the user pro-studio level dry, warm, crisp and punchy vocal sound without unwanted room reflections and colouration but how good is it? Nick Jennison steps inside the ISOVOX2.

For the last two decades, home and project studios have been marching ever closer towards the quality and capabilities of the big boys. Affordable converters and preamps are better than ever before. Digital emulations of super-desirable vintage gear are so close that many notable mixers are now working entirely “in the box”. Companies like Lewitt, Aston and Roswell are making microphones that rival (and even out-perform) the vintage classics that were once considered essential for any serious recording project.

Unfortunately, there’s one critical link in the chain that you just can’t fake: acoustic space. You can take the best, most perfectly tuned drum kit, played by a world-class drummer, mic’d by a world-class engineer, with world-class mics through a world class console, but if you do it inside a metal shed it’ll sound pretty rubbish. A good sounding space is a key element of a great sounding drum recording.

For vocals, 90% of the time the opposite is true. We want a space with as little reflection as possible, and we also want to keep the outside world out of that space. The answer is usually a purpose-built vocal booth. When I was a young music student, we’d often go and sleep off the weekend’s hangover in the booths at college, so peaceful was the sonic isolation!

All fair and well, but if you’re running a small studio, the expense of a booth is a tough pill to swallow, not to mention the space requirements. Enter the ISOVOX2. Priced at less than 1/5th of the cheapest booth I could find and collapsable for easy storage, the ISOVOX2 takes care of both of these concerns.

It took a couple of us, but we had the ISOVOX set up and ready to go in about 5 minutes. It mounts easily on a standard speaker pole, with space for mounting a microphone of your choice. The side and rear panels are removable to allow you to customise isolation and airflow, and there’s even an LED light strip included to make the experience in the booth a little more pleasant.

Sonically, the ISOVOX2 does what it sets out to do marvellously. Compared to our large, moderately reflective studio space, vocals recorded in the ISOVOX2 are cleaner and truer, making the mixing process a whole lot easier. We also tracked some acoustic guitar at the same time as the vocal to see how well the ISOVOX2 isolates the performer from external noise. The results were pretty outstanding! With this, you’ll never have to scrap a perfect take because a bus went past the studio, and for eliminating fan/transformer noise in a cramped home studio it’s perfect.

Of course, singing in the ISOVOX2 can be a little strange for the performer, and the lack of acoustic reflection had me instinctively straining to produce more volume with my voice. A splash of room reverb in my cue mix helped, but it’s something to be aware of.

Also, ISOVOX2 comes with a warning encouraging regular breaks outside of the booth every few minutes - understandable, but this might break the “flow” of a recording or practise session somewhat. Of course, if you keep the back panel off this is less of an issue, but it comes at the expense of isolation.

The ISOVOX2 is a unique and smart solution to one of the biggest problems facing singers and producers when it comes to tracking vocals. It’s not “cheap” but it costs pennies compared to a purpose-built booth, and the results speak for themselves.

For more information, please visit:

www.isovoxbooth.com

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Zakk Wylde

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