Today, while in the shower, I was thinking about all the things I could record in my own home with my h4n (thanks largely to the inspiration from the Sounds of Star Wars book, which EVERYONE who's into sound needs to have), and, as always, I kind of fixated on the possibilities I have in a '66 Cadillac sitting in my garage. It's old, it smells amazing, and has all the sounds you'd associate with a car of that era (minus the engine sounds... it doesn't run, right now).

I would LOVE to record this car, but my garage is tiny, untreated, and would most likely reflect sounds like a mirror.

Would something like the sE Electronics Reflexion help this problem, at least enough to get decent quality recordings? For the price, am I better off picking up an NTG-2, or would that suffer the same reflection problems?

  • I know it may be more expensive, but I've heard over and over again from people that the NTG-3 is preferred over the NTG-2. For indoor sounds and other general effects recording, you may want to consider picking up a decent cardioid or hyper-cardiod condenser. There are some decent ones that fall between the prices of the NTG-2 and NTG-3. They'd have a more even off-axis rejection of sound across the frequency spectrum, and might be more versatile in the long run for you. Just some things to consider. Apr 9, 2011 at 1:22

3 Answers 3


Like others have said... in your specific situation... the best thing to do to isolate reflections would be sound blankets/moving blankets. LOTS of them. you can rent them or buy them.

Personally, after owning both the H4N and NTG-2, the NTG-2 mic blows the onboard mics away...no contest. However, you don't need a NTG-2 to take great foley takes. For stuff like this, which may have high impacts, you may want to use a dynamic mic (super / hyper cardiod preferred, but not required)

For very low frequency sounds, a large diaphragm dynamic or tube mic works great.

For quiet sounds, use your best condenser mic you have.

side note, I'd also recommend building a few absorption panels as those can be helpful in controlling lower frequency reflections.

  • The NGT-2 is probably the next thing I'll get. I don't have any decent condensers outside of the h4n, and the best dynamics I have are SM57s. Budget-recording is a bust. Apr 9, 2011 at 0:48

If you were recording a voiceover, then the SE Reflexion will definitely help you rid the reflections from the garage. But a car engine is way too big, too loud for the SE Reflexion to do anything but perhaps even add to the noise. With loud sounds like the car engine, you should be bringing it out to a relatively quiet street to record.

Remember that when recording sounds, the 'loudness' of the sound is relative to the space you are recording in. A small and soft sound like a bicycle bell would get lost in the ambience of the city, that's why you will have to bring it into a smaller space to record.

Between the H4n's in-built microphones compared to the NTG-2, the NTG-2 will yield better results for your recordings. If you're recording outdoors though, don't forget to get a windshield for your mic too!

  • But for "car foley," like hinges, doors, shocks, and squeaky seats, what do you think? Mar 21, 2011 at 3:55
  • I guess, but you're probably better off using a duvet or thick blanket and recording under it. The Reflexion filter was built quite specifically for recording voiceovers and vocals. You could improvise with it's use, but I don't know how effective it will be.
    – user6513
    Mar 21, 2011 at 17:06

A while ago I was doing some research into building a voiceover iso booth and I came across a design for a PVC Pipe/Blanket design that I think would work perfectly for you (Link: Guerilla VO Booth). For my purposes didn't provide enough isolation since I'm not trying to get rid of just the room, but everything else as well (neighbours, outside traffic, footsteps upstairs).

What I think will work would be to make only two sides of the full booth, maybe three depending on how you plan to do it. Then you can arrange them around whatever part of your car that you're working with. It won't get rid of everything, but if you get your mic placement down and put them in the way of your major reflections, you should be able to get things pretty tight.

Plus, if it doesn't work, you're only out about $50, and you'll have a bunch of sound blankets (which every recordist should have), and some extra PVC to make awesome pipe resonances with.

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