Voice actors typically record their audio projects in their own home studio – a space with quality equipment and dead quiet. New jobs arrive daily from clients via email or phone and require quick turnaround.But sometimes, a business trip or vacation beckons, creating a dilemma: How to provide quality voice-over recordings while on the road?

“When you’re on the road, you’ll often find yourself in less-than-perfect recording environments,” says veteran voice actor and author Harlan Hogan. “Even a very quiet hotel room can sound like a big, boomy box to your microphone.”

Hogan wants to keep busy on the road. “I love this work!” he says. And it shows. As one of America’s favorite voices, Hogan has pressed many commercial slogans into our memories, including “Kills bugs fast. Kills bugs dead,” “The cereal even Mikey likes,” and “Hey Culligan Man!” We also hear him today in countless promos, narrations and documentaries.

Hogan describes his solution for eliminating “road noise” from recordings in an article featured at VoiceOverXtra.com.

He devised the Porta-Booth, a collapsible box lined with 2’-inch thick insulating foam, into which the microphone happily sits in dead quiet.

“It’s a simple, practical and inexpensive way to sound good anywhere,” Hogan says, “at home or on the road.”

Source: OpenPR.com


  1. As someone just starting out in the voice-over business I find it quit difficult finding the right VO recording environment, mostly because professional studios aren’t always economically feasible. I have found Mr. Hogan’s port-a-booth to be a very practical solution and sounds great. Especially in the dead of night. I have made a few modifications on the idea. Is there anyway to post pictures and a parts list with building instructions to share with others?

    Harlan Hogan keeps giving his best to the VO community, including real-world working solutions. Hats off to you sir!

    Peter Clark

  2. how do you get this thing elevated? i just see it sitting on desktops, im 6″7! am i supposed to record sitting in indian style, let me know

  3. Elevation? Just about any office has reams of paper. I’ve found myself often using them to elevate a number of things, i.e. mic, display, monitors (speakers), etc..

  4. Clever idea! I find myself doing a lot of VOs from motel rooms (en route to family gatherings) and have tried a lot of tricks, like using the customary in-room ironing board to get some elevation on the mike. But getting it quiet enough has always been problem #1! I suspect you might have to add a very tiny bit of reverb (extremely short decay) to soften the probable total lack of apparent ambience in this setup. I’ve always used Neumanns (U-87s and TLM-103s) for VO work, but should probably add an Electrovoice RE-20, to my ditty bag. It wont pick up nearly as much background noise, yet still sounds decent… as any broadcast veteran can tell you. Considering the rattletrap room air conditioners found in so many motels/hotels, it’d make a good companion to Harlan’s inspired vox-box.

  5. A VO colleague told me about this box. I loked it up and laughed out loud when I saw it. It’s so simple it hard to believe that it works but on deeper thought, I can understand why it might. I travel a lot including to South America for extended periods. This looks it might just do the trick and take up very little room. I gotta try this!!

  6. I am about to make one of these “booths” I have the foam and I just have to order a cube. I have a question – where do you put your script? I would like to tape it to the foam on the other side of the mike.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here