Are vocal isolation shields worth it?
Short Answer: If you are recording vocals at home, vocal isolation shields are a must.
About Vocal Shields
Vocal isolation shields or reflection filters have been extremely popular among home studio enthusiasts over the past few years. In short, creating a sound-proof vocal booth can be very expensive and these little beauties allow the at-home producer to get about 80% of the effect with about 20% of the cost.
5 Reasons to Get a Vocal Reflection Shield
1. Your At-Home Acoustics are Less Than Ideal
Unless you are working in a completely sound-proof vocal booth… scratch that.. even if you are working in a sound-proof environment, having a vocal shield handy probably wouldn’t be the worst thing. In our experience, vocals can truly make or break a track. Reducing reflections or harsh frequencies while recording can make the world of a difference when taking your production value to the next level.
2. Your Home Studio is on a Budget
While there are some premium options for vocal shields, like the Aston Microphones Halo or the Sterling Audio VMS, there are plenty of budget friendly isolation shield options that won’t break the bank. Check out the Neewer NW-6 for a solid mid-range vocal shield. You can also find the Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield on sale from time to time, which is a great option as well. Vocal isolation shields can help you get closer to that “professional” sound you’re looking for without having to actually record in a “professional” studio.
3. You’re Looking for a Little Extra Clarity
Vocal shields can certainly help with reducing room noise in general, though the primary function and benefit is by far to isolate the sound of the source. Vocal isolation shields (as their so cleverly named) are designed to “trap” the soundwaves of the source and reduce reflections overall.
4. Your Studio is On The Go
If you are ever in a position to record on the go or you are visiting another artist to lay down some vocal tracks, think of a vocal shield as acoustic insurance. It’s always a good idea to have a vocal shield in your recording tool belt to ensure that all of the vocals you capture (regardless of where you are) get tracked with a “usable” quality level.
5. Recording Small Instruments
Just because this thing is called a vocal shield doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop there. If you record any other small instruments (shakers, tambourines, ukuleles, etc.) the vocal isolation shield can also help with capturing cleaner recordings with reduced room reverb or reflections. The shield can work for other recording applications as well, though most effective for vocals and smaller instruments in our experience.
Vocal isolation shields can be an awesome recording tool for your home studio, especially if you are recording in a less than ideal acoustic setting. Need help finding a portable vocal booth solution? Check out a few of our favorite vocal shields here.