RTV’s Whisper Room provides lab for sound construction

Ellen Glover • Dec. 4, 2017

Nestled in the back corner of Studio 5 in the Radio-Television Building sits a diminutive gray bunker, otherwise known as the Whisper Room. It doesn’t look like much, but this space is an ideal one for optimal sound design, a popular area of study here at IU.

The room, which is essentially a 5-by-7-foot soundproof booth made of medium-density fiberboard and Velcro, has been in the building since 2013. The room is filled with sound-making objects. Wood boards topped with bricks and fake grass and a storage bin full of cement blocks and assorted odds and ends are tucked into a back corner.

The space is perfect for making audio recordings, said Norbert Herber, a senior lecturer at The Media School who teaches sound design for film, games and other interactive media. Sound design, said Herber, is an art that is “a complete and utter construction,” in which you “rely on digital tools for shaping a sound.” In accordance, the room is equipped with technology that allows a sound designer to patch the sounds created in the room to a computer, allowing for easy editing.