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By Ashley Kennedy |

Setting Up a Recording Booth for lynda.com Courses

Ashely swapout

Have you ever shut yourself in an unventilated closet for hours at a time during the hottest, most humid months of the year?

It’s fun—let me tell you.

And if you’ve watched any of my courses on lynda.com, you’ve probably heard my voice speak through the sweaty resilience that resulted from such a setup. But no longer.

Life is looking up, and it’s thanks to the life-changing addition of a WhisperRoom recording booth to my professional setup.

I’ve been a lynda.com author for more than four years, and for the past three, I’ve recorded my courses from my home. During this time, I’ve configured a number of scenarios to ensure a quiet recording space to block out the sounds of my Chicago-area residential neighborhood (cars, planes, lawnmowers, my kids).

For the first year, I hung heavy blankets on each wall of a small closet and battled claustrophobia, stuffiness, and heat. Between takes, I’d open the door and fan myself enough to go another round.

Then, about two years ago, the good folks at lynda.com sent me a makeshift setup of collapsable soundproof walls, which I set up in my husband’s home office. It helped achieve the proper acoustics, but it didn’t eliminate major environmental noises. I therefore had to stop recording every time there was an audible event—like a passing truck, the neighbors’ basketball game, or a plane flying overhead. And there were many of those occurrences.

Still, it was much cooler and roomier than my previous setup, and I was willing to deal with the frequent interruptions. My husband, however, was forced out of the office each time I had to record, relocating his entire setup to the dining room table every couple of months. It was not the most convenient arrangement.

Fast forward two more years to this April. I left my position at Columbia College Chicago to join the lynda.com team as a full-time staff author. And with this came—drumroll—my WhisperRoom.

I immediately knew how life-changing this addition would be because for the first 1.5 years as a lynda.com author, I recorded my courses in a WhisperRoom on lynda.com’s California production campus. So I knew how quiet, cool, roomy, and convenient they were. It would be a total game-changer for my recording setup.


I must admit, the day my WhisperRoom arrived was one of the most exciting days of my professional career. Can you believe it arrived on this truck?


This is what our porch looked like after my husband helped the FedEx man unload all of the boxes. We were suddenly inundated with about 20 boxes of equipment, weighing a total of nearly 1,000 pounds.


Then Nick from lynda.com arrived. He had flown all the way out to install the WhisperRoom. He and my husband carried all of the boxes upstairs.


Once they were unpacked, the wall panels lined the empty room, waiting for installation.


It only took Nick about two hours to put it together. He’s installed several dozen of them for lynda.com, so he’s got the process down to a science.


Once built, the room is 4’ x 6’, which is plenty of space for what I need. With a glass door and window, it offers some daylight, and with the wonderfully soundproof material, I’m able to record through most general environmental noise.


While I love recording courses, it’s always been a challenge to achieve the perfect combination of soundproof conditions, comfortable environment, proper temperature, and resilience to outside audible events.

But now that I have the WhisperRoom, you can be sure that when you hear my voice in lynda.com courses, things are feeling good on the other side of that mic!

In addition to viewing Ashley’s courses, starting next month you can catch her each week in a new lynda.com tutorial series, Video Post Tips Weekly, where she’ll take you through various post-production techniques in each of the top software solutions.


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