Acoustic treatment is one of the first steps in achieving quality sound. Primacoustic is a trusted name for solutions to everyday problems associated with poor room acoustics. In this review, we’re looking at the Primacoustic VoxGuard: an affordable means of isolation, so you hear less of the room (and all of its issues!) and more of the artist.
The Primacoustic VoxGuard Brings the Vocal Booth to You
The VoxGuard by Primacoustic is a mic-mounted “shield” made to isolate a microphone from unwanted reflections. Recording a clean vocal with minimal acoustic problems is paramount if you want things to sound as professional as possible.
The VoxGuard is a relatively inexpensive solution to help you achieve better quality vocals in your home studio.
What Does an Acoustic Absorption Shield Do & How Do They Work?
An acoustic absorption shield, such as this one, captures acoustic energy (e.g., vocals) directed towards a microphone and diffuses or absorbs much of it before it can reflect off of hard surfaces back into the microphone. It helps dampen room tone by not letting sound escape past the microphone, stopping it before it can turn into unwanted reflections.
Most mic shields utilize some sort of dense foam or other acoustically effective material to absorb frequencies. One of the biggest problems with recording at home, in an untreated room, is phase cancellation, resonant buildups, and excess reverb. A shield can help mitigate some of those issues for better sounding recordings.
Do Acoustic Absorption Shields Really Work?
In short, they’re definitely better than nothing. Depending on the material used and the quality of construction, some are more effective than others.
If you have the opportunity to at least treat the first reflections in your room, then a shield will certainly complement that for even more isolation. Ideally a shield is meant to work on its own. However, a little bit of room treatment, in addition to a shield, is the best solution for tracking vocals at home. At the very least, you will have covered all your bases.
Primacoustic VoxGuard Review
Specs & Design
The Primacoustic VoxGuard uses high-density acoustic foam to reduce ambient noise. The small slots between each strip of foam are supposed to minimize low-end resonance that can be a problem with other shields.
The back of the device is simple ABS plastic — a hard, reflective surface that rejects any sound that might otherwise come in from the backside. Primacoustic even incorporates a small “window” into the design so a vocalist can retain line-of-sight with their engineer. Compared to other shields, the VoxGuard is meant to be lightweight, yet effective.
Ease of Use
The VoxGuard comes with a threaded mic stand adapter to help you easily mount it to your existing stand. Once you’ve threaded the mount onto the stand, you thread an additional thumbscrew on top to which you can attach your microphone’s shockmount.
The kit also includes an extension bar if you want to pull the mic away from the shield a few more inches. The installation process doesn’t change much; you will still use the threaded thumbscrew to provide a place to mount your mic.
How Does It Sound?
Because of its large size and density, the VoxGuard does a good job of isolating a microphone. Vocals that are too dry can be just as bad as ones that are too roomy, but it provides an overall balanced amount of isolation for higher quality sound.
If you’re coming from no isolation whatsoever to using the VoxGuard, you should hear a substantial difference.
Closing Thoughts: Is the Primacoustic Nearfield Mic Shield Effective in a Home Studio?
In review, the Primacoustic VoxGuard offers an affordable means of minimizing many of the acoustic problems that present themselves in the average home studio. It’s lightweight and easy to install, so you shouldn’t have to upgrade your existing microphone stand just to use it.
If you’ve struggled to record vocals at home, the Primacoustic VoxGuard is definitely worth a try.