Imperative Audio has been asked on a number of occasions, "Why doesn't the Portable Vocal Booth have a door or a curtain?" "Does the booth being open negatively affect the acoustic integrity of the PVB?". In the video above, they conducted an experiment to help answer this question. Watch below and see the results for yourself!
What Are Reflections?
Simply put, a sound reflection is when a sound wave hits a hard surface (wall, floor, ceiling, table, door, etc.) and reflects back into the same area or room. The result sounds like an echo or reverb, which if intended, can be useful. But when using a space for vocals or more intimate and detailed signals, reflections will ruin your recording.
A Purpose-Built Design
The PVB creates a natural acoustic environment that not only absorbs those unwanted reflections but also, because of its cylindrical design, is free of standing waves. This stops that "boxy" sound associated with many booths and occurs due to low and mid frequencies getting caught in the corners of the booth and then moving to your microphone.
Does the PVB Need A Door?
So, the logical question that has come up on more than one occasion is, "Why does the Portable Vocal Booth not have a door or curtain?" The simple answer is that you (or the person standing in the booth) and your clothing act as the door or curtain. And we wanted to find a way to show how this principle works.
In the video above, West Herts College (Watford, UK) kindly allowed us to run our tests in their rather reflective dance studio, and we were able to demonstrate the results on a curtain, door, and a person across the PVB opening. The results will surprise you.