Vocal/Iso booth at home?

  • picothinker
Posted: Fri, 02/29/2008 - 18:43
Like many here, I just have small studio at home, it gets improved as time/money allows. I am wanting to add a somewhat acoustically treated space for mostly vocals, but cannot do a full construction project of properly doing floating floors, non-parallel walls, and so on. I have researched a LOT online, and have seen most variants, from a cube of foam with a mic in it, to full "suck-the-air-from-your-ears-quiet" padded rooms. I think what will work for my budget and space is a so-called 'open booth'. I have a corner I can use, one side is concrete (this is in a basement) the other is general cheap panel 2x4 construction. Basically a properly padded corner, vocalist with back to the corner. In front of the vocalist would be an acoustically treated screen (like a room divider) with three sections, kind of defining a square that the singer is standing in a corner of. Just padding everything with foam is not accurate, it blocks things from 300-400 hz on up, but does nothing for bass resonances. The divider can/needs to be removed for normal life in that area. What things do you all use for small budget iso booths?

Egg trays

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Thu, 01/14/2010 - 19:07
While there is nothing wrong with the shape of egg trays as a sound absorber, egg trays by itself is a lousy absorber, no matter how much you increase the entrance surface. You could try filling the trays with rubber foam to increase the damping characteristic of the material, or stick two or more layers of it together using Green Glue (tm) You may find that auralex starts to become more and more affordable if you compare the price of it to the amount of effort required to achieve a good barrier. Then again, nothing like a good creative studio build experiment to keep you out of trouble! Cheers, Q

idea.

  • cmay
  • 10/15/09
  • Thu, 01/14/2010 - 09:39
I am going to build four moveable walls to use for vocal booth at homer. they can be made pretty cheap by making a stand for a single piece of something like drywall or the same material you would be putting up a wall from and on the one side the same material used on bathrooms for reflections that gives good reverb and on the other side a neutral material like egg trays. they will be able to be put aside or used as room divider. sorry I cant find a example on the net what I am talking about and My english is not so great that I can express this more clear than this. Hope it makes a bit sense anyway.

It depends on what you're

  • Debora Brod (not verified)
  • Sun, 01/10/2010 - 08:52
It depends on what you're trying to do with them, how would you like to use them. For instance if you want that, you could get some roll forming for the beginning and as money allows, try to get the other parts needed. Good luck with that! Edit: Nice try... Strike one. (One more and you're out ;-) - Admin

egg boxes

  • ttoine
  • 11/15/07
  • Sun, 03/16/2008 - 22:09
hey, Don't forget the egg support, that is very usefull, once on a wall, to avoid sound reflexion. I'am a speaking about that stuff, not about boxes, of courses, have a look on the link : http://www.destockplus.com/pic_prod/3391409681901492942.jpg http://www.smacoudelou.fr/produits.php?lang=1&cur_page=&limit_bas=440&limit_haut=10&prod_sens=&prod_order=&test=1&page_debut=41# It is very cheap : around 20€ for 100 plates. Toine

Treatment

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Tue, 03/04/2008 - 20:36
I wish I had isolation: I stay in a high rise development - luckily at the top though! Those packing blankets also work on tile. My vocal booth, (pronounced ex spare room, and almost my daughters room), is a tiled bedroom with the resonance of a cave. The above treatment (On a Budget) gets me a clean bill of reverb. At the moment I am using it to record mostly spoken word (under the banner - "things you want to say at an event, but you are sure you would be to emotional to speak"), and the last thing you want is the haunted house effect! A normal cardioid dynamic is out of the question, because without fail you get either super explosive "P" or wildly varying signal, or worse, a recording of the vast space of air between your speakers belt and his mouth (for the ones insisting on self holding) For real music, I have a verbal arrangement with a local theatre, that I can use their stage (and auditorium), given they don't have a production that night. I am working on a solution to a "real" studio... Just not there yet. Give me 3km to the closest Pepsi machine anyday!

isolation versus treatment

  • picothinker
  • 08/22/07
  • Tue, 03/04/2008 - 21:48
I have two spaces I am trying to get modified. The so-called control/mixing room (also pronounced Spare Bedroom) is in basement, with one outside wall, it's other walls are panel 2x4 construction. In there I am just trying to get rid of standing waves, and resonances. Just outside that is another room, with one concrete/underground wall, and tile floor. This is the vocal booth (also pronounced Laundry Room). In the corner of that I currently have two mattresses propped up, and throw heavy down comforters and a sleeping bag over a divider screen in front of the mic. It works fairly well, since the tile in there is pretty live, and I can't hear it over the mic (much). I am rural, and live 3 km. from the nearest Pepsi machine. True soundproofing is not an issue or a goal, as it is very quiet. The mattress hut does look kind of funny, though. EDIT: I suck at math. It's about 4 miles or 6.4 km. to the nearest Pepsi machine.

Free foam...

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Tue, 03/04/2008 - 15:17
I work for an international medical imaging company by day, and we frequently have installations (with lots of free foam) Unfortunately 99% of that foam seems to be sonically transparent, and definitely only a firetrap... The only type I found working properly is a kind of foam rubber used for supporting very heavy shock sensitive parts. An easy way to check your free foam... Keep it next to one of your ears and listen for a difference. If you can still hear properly though the foam, you can make your assumptions as to it's sonic absorbency. Like trying to mop up some spilled coffee with a feather duster. Since setting up my project studio I find myself listening to stuff, as you would smell stuff. Stick your ear against it. That's how I found the Oasis block to be so effective. I once stuck one against my ear and had that "Air sucked out of my ears" feeling, you so eloquently described above. If I had enough money I would cover my booth's walls with the stuff. But then again, the sound of a live booth is a bit easier to use for an amateur vocalist - not so intimidating. Happy foam hunting!

Free Foam?

  • picothinker
  • 08/22/07
  • Sun, 03/09/2008 - 06:07
Thanks for the lead, I will try to get some. Also in my quest for acoustic treatment info? I found a good post. They point out that a good source for egg-carton foam is a Best Buy, Circuit City, or any big consumer electronics retail chain. Just go up to them and tell them you are a home studio owner and ask them to save you some foam. The post I was reading said that in two days he got enough to cover everything he needed. I am _very_ sure this is not proper acoustic foam. If you cover your room in it, you are both making it a firetrap and not doing the best for sound treatment. But hey, it's free, and free can be better than nothing. I am considering trying to get enough to roll/glue it up in big cylinder. If I can stand them up in the corners it may be a bass trap of sorts. In my control/mixing room I am currently using old office cubicle walls stood up in corners, and have foam triangles for the wall/ceiling corners. The cube walls aren't really tall enough, and a roll of free foam may help/improve things. I also read and found http://www.foambymail.com/Products.html Some are saying that it is Auralex type acoustic foam, just cheaper than anyone else. EDIT: After further reading I find many people saying that foambymail.com products seem to be fradulent. I cannot verify this via any experience. I noticed that they also sold mattress foam. These guys seem to be on it: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-construction-acoustics/

USA blankies

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Mon, 03/03/2008 - 12:20
http://ntmxn.en.alibaba.com/product/50017819/203144064/Moving_blankets_pads/moving_pad.html These should do it...

Blankets

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Sun, 03/02/2008 - 14:39
You must look for any dense blanket, and I use mine because it's cheap and dense. You might find it at packaging companies or removal companies, because they make for very good shock absorbers for household goods transportation. I doubt it would be sold for human / pet use in USA. http://www.makro.co.za/ProductDetail.aspx?cat=-1&prod=7390&SKU=000000000002328326|EA http://www.makro.co.za/ProductDetail.aspx?cat=-1&prod=7323&SKU=000000000050003639|EA It seems they are now ever cheaper than I remember (R13 = 1.7 USD)- though it is middle of summer here, and demand for blankets are at an all time low. Maybe I'll go and get some more now! Cheers,

Source?

  • picothinker
  • 08/22/07
  • Sun, 03/02/2008 - 01:31
Sounds great Quentin, where do you get these blankets? I am in USA so our retailers will likely be different.

On a Budget...

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Sat, 03/01/2008 - 08:18
Bass frequencies are tricky, as you know. Go and buy 4 or more corner bass traps (those foam triangles) and stick them in as many corners as you can, beginning close to the "vocal corner" of course. A nice thick sofa for the other side of the room also works wonders (for relaxing and as a bass trap of sorts) Stick a nice thick carpet with some felt underneath in the corner. This should dampen floor-ceiling reflections a bit. Next you can get some of these cheap "doggy blankets" and put brass eyelets into them on one side, with hooks into the wall in the booth. You can then adjust the amount of damping by hanging more of these blankets. The blankets I refer to are available here in South-Africa for about R50 (That's about 5Euro each) and consists of pressed together of-cuts of fabric - essentially industrial naval fluff (and is bluish in colour) You'll find the brass eyelets costing more than the blankets probably! Next, I like to record vocals using Omni mics. Gives a wonderful warm response, but as you know omnis are omnidirectional - not ideal for open booths... So, I found a wonderfully cheap solution to that. In the florist industry you get these green blocks used for flower arrangements. Here we call them oasis blocks, and are made of a soft foam like material that gives way to flower stems. They are then filled with water. Right - back to the mics. I used a piece 15x15x10cm, and made a hole through the centre of the thin side with a piece of copper piping, matching the diameter of the mic. I then push the mic through the block, and now you have an adjustable directional response (depending on how far the mic sticks out the other side) and the low-end dynamic of an omni. All you need now is a eager vocalist to come and give it all he/she's got for a bit of fine tuning: move a bass trap to another corner - hang a few more/less blankets - move the mic in its block Presto! your budget open vocal booth...