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Cheap vocal booth build?

Discussion in 'Bar' started by ForHerDeadEyes, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    I'll try to keep this short and sweet.
    I'm going to build a booth by myself. I've built one before that was super budget.
    But I had to tear it down recently for reasons (I did save the acoustic dampening foam).
    The old booth worked great and I could sing, and scream., in the middle of the night.
    That's what I'd like to achieve again so I won't be disturbing the neighbours.
    I think the booth was really dead inside and I never worried about the acoustics.
    I just worry about the noise.

    Pics from the process of building old one:
    https://i.imgur.com/01I7C5V.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/vY7eSC0.jpg
    The old booth was (outside to in) Wood, isolation foam, two layers of fabric, acoustic dampening foam.
    Was planning on showing the whole process at some point. Though it's pretty pointless now that it's gone.

    I've gone through different ideas now on how to make it a cheap build (that would be easy to do at home).
    I really don't want to use wood board again. Hate the sawing and I want something lighter that I can tear down again if need be.
    There's one company that cuts board to specification but the price is too much (for me; in my situation).

    I plan to make the walls around 200x100cm (78.7x39.3"). The inside would then be 100x100cm.
    I might make it 210x95cm. Or even 90cm to save space, but still enough to fit a guitar or cab in there.
    The floor would have extra studs and a wooden square to stand on.

    My current idea is to make walls out of 45x45mm (1,77") wood stud as a frame and filling it with 45mm glass wool.
    Then adding some thin (thicker than regular paper) paper to seal in the wool on both sides.
    Then a couple of layers of paint, and lastly the acoustic dampening foam.
    I'll use latex sealer (for windows) in the corners, then some spray on foam to cover any airpockets in the wool and also in the corners to keep it in place.

    I still have to saw, but hey, it's the cheapest option I can think of.
    But would the glass wool be enough?
    Or instead of paper I could add a couple of layers of 2mm (0.078") Polyethylene foam/plastic, that's used under floors, to keep the wool in place.
    And then on the inside I can use a layer of polare fleece before the dampening foam.
    Though fabric ups the cost.

    The frame, glass wool, and two layers of polar fleece. = $68 = 61€
    On top of that is foam and insulation for the corners, hinges for a door, and paint.
    Then I'll add a mat/covering to the flooring and I might need another bag of dampening foam.
    It's going to be twice the cost, when everything is purchased, of the estimate above.

    I know it's not a lot of money for some, but I'm on a tight budget.
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Better than what I did! Haha!

    I used a bunch of moving blankets and draped them over some PVC frames (took our band scrims and made a big frame) and sorta mounted it all halfway inside/outside of my mixing rooms closet. It worked decently to keep any bleed and noise out of the mic, but not so great for "soundproofing". Good luck with your build man!
     
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  3. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    Thanks!
    You make do with what you have. :)

    I thought about just using drywall boards, foam, and some blankets. It's way cheaper. It would be almost half price.
    But I'm not sure it would be sturdy (a door would probably break) or dampen the sound enough.

    The acoustic foam I use is for speakers/car speakers and is super cheap compared to more fancy brands versions, but hey, it works for me.
    If the glass wool frame idea is good enough then I'll post build progress pics later..
     
  4. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

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    please dont built anything as small a vocal booth, at least as long as you don´t put some 400+ mm broadband traps in there.
    The dimensions scream for boomy low-mid resonance, which you won´t ever be able to handle with just some foam absorbers.

    The construction itself sounds solid, except that I would never include paper into any building. Better use some painters´ foil :)
    Oh, and don´t forget you need to breathe in there. That´s probably the most important point ;)
     
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  5. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    I never actually had a problem with the resonance, it was a bit boomy but the foam for the car speakers works okay. :O
    Nothing I felt impacted what the mics pick up.
    5 pieces of 40 x 60 x 2 cm foam, for under 16€: http://i.imgur.com/dEMInz4.jpg
    It's not going to be Abbey Road Studios, but at least I'll be able to record again. :)
    I'll be making the new booth taller than the old one.

    Maybe it is painters foil? Paper was a poor translation on my part. It's a paper and fabric mix that's 0,7mm thick. It's used under flooring.
    And I can cover the booth on the inside twice and the outside once. Then there's latex filler and spray on foam insulation in the corners.
    Then I'll paint the damn thing. I might even add layer of polar fleece that I can paint to get something that's a bit dense.

    Do you think the 45mm wool will be enough to reduce the noise?

    I did make a ventilation system with a fan that I never installed in the old booth but I did survive without it.
    Though it gets hot as fuck. :D
     
  6. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

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    2 cm foam is not able to absorb a lot (close to nothing) below 2kHz, so all your fundamentals and mids will be bouncing around the booth. On top of that your walls might resonate somewhere around that area as well, because very light foam doesn´t prevent them from doing so. That really is a problematic frequency area for any recording. I´d go with at least 10cm thickness, plain form and no fancy pyramid shit (!), 100x50cm, 10 pieces, and put some additional bracing behind the boards.
    The foam you linked is too expensive for the fact it doesn´t do anything usable at all :)

    the 45mm wool should be enough. It´s not there to do the soundproofing anyway. That has to be done by the walls as well

    myself, I built a sound-proof wall which divides one big room into two smaller rooms, which now make the studio. It´s 28cm thick in total, made of 4x25cm wooden planks as the base structure. 15mm wooden boards as walls, dampened with bitumen all over from the inside, plastered from the outside. Filling material is 50/50 wool and styrofoam. The edges were treated with compressing foam band, it seals small gaps from 3-15mm by self-expansion.
    That´s about as sound-proof as it gets, literally nothing is able to pass through. Weakest link in that wall stays the door though, so keep an eye for the door as well ;)
     
  7. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    Yeah, I know it won't be perfect at all, but the foam really does help compared to nothing at all.
    With just fabric it sounds like a closet; with foam it's "dead".
    I'm on a tight budget here!
    Not sure the wool is going to resonate. This time around I'm not bulding the walls out of 1,5cm wood board.
    The density of the wood definitely helped sound proof, and I won't have that now, but I'm sure the wood resonated at bassier sounds even though I had covered them in spray on foam.
    But again, it wasn't anything I felt impacted the final sound.
    It is going to be a small booth cause I can't take up the whole room. :)

    The door is getting the same treatment with a frame inside the booth that will cover the gaps.
    In the old booth I just pulled cabels through the cracks in the door (dampened by foam).
    I might pull cables through the wall this time.
    A patch box or a panel would be cool, but.. money, money..

    Your build sounds great and I'd love to be able to do that, but the budget and space doesn't allow for it. :(
    I assume you live in a house to be able to do that?

    I'm in an apartment, but I don't really hear the neighbours, so I guess the walls are pretty soundproof to begin with.

    Some ideas I had before the frame idea (to make it easier to work with at home) was just making the walls out of 10cm thick styrofoam, and nothing else, then spray on foam in the corners and layers of fabric and the dampening foam.
    Or make the walls out of just 13mm drywall.
    But I guess not any of those alternatives would be sturdy enough. Or they'd break a lot easier after using it awhile.

    But if you/people think the 45mm wool in a frame will be enough; then I'll be building it next month probably.
     
  8. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

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    2cm foam doesn´t make "dead", it makes boomy ;)
    long-term rented room. The wall is removable in its entirety without scratching any other surface of the room, except for 8 holes in the side walls. Just gotta bring the big toolbox and a lot of time (or just smash it with a wrecking ball :whistle:)

    Well, of course, if you gotta buy it all anew in the shops, it´s as expensive as a girlfriend. Be patient and lucky, and you can build it almost for free. The wall I built cost me ~700 bucks, including stagebox (as a patchbay) and safety power strips inside the wall, door and window.
    With your booth, I´d just run cables right through (with a spare). It won´t be too difficult to drill new holes if you do need some more :thumbsup:

    A booth solely made of styrofoam won´t be soundproof (it´s some kind of insulation, not a "wall" in itself) and would break a lot easier
     
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  9. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    I have a ton of stuff to save money for; hence the cheap build.
    Yeah, I'll probably pull a few cables through the wall and just insulate with spray on foam. :)

    Thanks for the replies!
    So far there hasn't been any objections here so I guess the plan is to make the frames, but it could always change later down the road..
     
  10. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    This is the latest plan, it increases the cost with over a third, but.. yeah..
    [​IMG]
    Every piece will be built like that, then I put them together to make a booth..
    The flooring will have some extra studs inside..
     
  11. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    What's the purpose of those wood boards? I think they are reflective material and some kind cloth are mostly used for that.
     
  12. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    It seems that what insulates sound the best is density. The denser the material, the more it stops sound. Even better for low frequencies is density combined with an airpocket before another dense material.
    I'm doing a combination of cheap and trying to have to do less sawing (although that's out the window) and something that's easier to bring home. If I had more money I'd definitely have a better build.

    So the boards will hold the fiberglass/wool in place while also being dense.
    If I'd only use cloth or some thicker paper, it wouldn't do that much to reduce the noise.
    So I'll probably compress 90mm (0.354") glass wool, then add two layers of 2mm (each) layers of plastic foam, and then two layers of thicker cloth. Maybe go cloth, foam, wool, foam, cloth. All compressed into a 36 or 38mm stud fram, with the 3,2mm boards on each side.
    On the inside of the booth is acoustic dampening foam (and maybe some layers of cloth).
     
  13. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

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    that is correct. The compressed wool will apply steady pressure on the wood boards though, be careful not to break them while installing already (get 2 or 4 more hands to work on them).

    What are those cloth and foam layers inside the panels supposed to do?
     
  14. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    Gotta do it all bah mahself!
    I'll use different materials to create layers that break up the sound from going through just one material, and then it adds a bit of air between the materials, and also makes it airtight when I seal the edges around the layers. (since the plastic foam doesn't let air through).

    So it's:
    Board>thick cloth, plastic foam, fiberglass, plastic foam, fiberglass, plastic foam, thick cloth<Board..
    Not sure I can compress the fiberglass (even though it says it can be compressed to a 10th of it's size) to the level i want..
    Since, in total, the plastic foam will be 6mm, the cloth 4mm and the fiberglass would then have to be compressed from 9cm down to 3cm.. which is a 3rd..

    But..
    That's the plan, for now at least..
    Making a really good booth would up the cost way too much.
    Trying to it on the cheap, by myself, and getting drywall instead of fiberglass would of course be better but it would be a pain in the ass to bring home..

    My only concern is the neighbours, but I think the walls here are already well insulated..
    The other day my neighbour was playing music, but I didn't hear it until I stepped out into stairwell to my apartment.
     

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