How can I make a voice sound like outdoors?

I record in a room where I get a bit of reverb from the walls. I know most of you will tell me to carpet the walls. But how can I make the voice recording I have made sound like it was done outside? I don’t think it is an echo effect I am looking for but more of an opened echo from buildings like a city street.

“Outside” sound tends to be weak on bass and completely free of echoes.

You can’t take echoes out of an existing recording. It’s still one of the reliable show killers.


Outdoor sounds can be quite surprising. I remember carrying my violin to the top of a mountain so that I could hear it in that location and was quite disappointed - a complete lack of echoes, reverberation or reflections and it sounded strangely “thin”.
Playing in a street is somewhat different though. There will still be echoes, but there will be a little delay before their onset due to the open space before any walls or other objects to reflect the sound back.

You need to start with a “dry” (as little reverb as possible) recording.
Make a duplicate track of your recording and applying reverb to it (GVerb or Freeverb)
If you use freeverb, I think there is a setting to make it “wide”. Make the effect about half wet, half dry so that you will get a strong primary reflection (as if bouncing off the facing wall).
Next, apply some Equalization to reduce the bass frequencies, and very high frequencies - you want it to sound “hard” (quite a lot of treble) but without too much “zing”.
Reduce the volume of the track very low with the track volume slider so that you can hardly (but just) hear it.
Then use the “time shift” tool to slide the reverb track about 40 to 50 milliseconds to the right.

Sometimes a completely “natural” sound is not what you really want - the desired effect is one that evokes the sense that you are trying to create (make it sound like what people expect it to sound like, not necessarily like what it really does sound like).

<<<You need to start with a “dry” (as little reverb as possible) recording.>>>

Which kills the original poster who was looking for a way not to put carpeting on his walls. The title of the post is misleading.

By the way, those of us who do this a lot use furniture moving pads. They’re clean, neat, relatively cheap, fold nicely, and stack out of the way. I occasionally lean on my movie background and use “C” stands to hold them up. These fold up, too.


Thanks for all the support guys, first I am going to try what stevethefiddle suggested. If that doesn’t work I will just record outside at night (less noise) and try that.

The title of the post is misleading.

Really? I could have just said, “HELP!” or gone with my first instinct “The purple cow is flying over my head what do I do?” :laughing:

Again Thanks!!

<<<“The purple cow is flying over my head what do I do?”>>>

Don’t look up. Are you wearing your purple shirt?


Many people do this. There was the poster who wanted instructions how to manipulate a voice track so as to change its timber and pitch. What he neglected to tell us was that he also wanted to remove that voice from a finished, completely produced, well known, stereo music performance.

The separation business killed him on step one. No need to worry about changing the pitch.


I think the current topic title is probably a better indication of the subject than the purple cow. :smiley:

Yes, reverberation in the original recording is a show spoiler, however, it can be reduced without going as far as carpeting the walls. Simply hanging some heavy blankets/coats over a suitable stand and placing the microphone between the sound source and the blankets will reduce reverberation.

Also, using the microphone close to the sound source (close mic’ing) will record more direct signal and less reverb, but this will often produce increased bass (proximity effect) which will need to be corrected using Equalization.

Listen to the Left-Right sound test.

That was produced with a microphone sitting on my bed. The bedroom has heavy carpeting and “cottage cheese” ceiling.

It can be done without going nuts.


Getting the following error from that link koz:

“Connection Interrupted
The document contains no data.
The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again.”

Thank you iPower, formerly iPowerWeb. We on the left coast of the US have been having
“internet storms” of late. My web site drops off line here and there. Try it again a bit later. I show it back to normal.

We just upgraded the company connection to something blistering like 200MB or 300 MB and were expecting All Our Problems To Be Over. This week we started up four dual-stream videoconference sessions at the same time to our production facilities in Asia (12MB tops) and brought the network to its knees. Literally destroyed the network – 20% packet loss.

Thi_______________sum______________bu______________ous. And fo______________

We have several calls in to the ISP.

I called the contract support for one of the conference units that wasn’t feeling quite well, and he asked me to delay a bit because he was dealing with major client network issues.

Not getting enough fuzzy-warm, here.