Monday, September 21, 2009

DIY Vocal Booth (Big Blue)

So, I started building a modest studio in a bedroom of my townhouse. Unfortunately, it is the most god awful room in the world to record anything in. The largest surface area in the entire room (besides the ceiling) is literally a brick wall. If that wasn't bad enough (and trust me, it is bad enough) I live right next train tracks and a free way. When I say I live right next to train tracks and a freeway I don't mean I live close enough to hear trains off in the distance. I mean, I have:

Back Yard-->Fence-->Train Tracks-->Freeway

To drive the point home even farther, I am sitting in my studio writing this and out of the one window, I can see both the train tracks and freeway. That is my view. Hahaha.

So, I needed someway of getting a little control over my recording environment. Like a lot of people, I don't have the option of destroying a room and properly turning it into a recording studio because I am renting. I am pretty cool with my landlords, but I think even they would have a problem with seeing a room completely covered in sound dampening foam with a built in room devoted to vocal recording. So I looked around the internet to see what other people were doing and did some research to see if I could buy something to reduce sound bouncing around this room and to screen some of that noise coming from outside.

I found everything from small rooms built out of sound dampening foam (for $1,000+) to an Se Reflexion filter ($300), but nothing that was really in my price range or I thought would realistically work for my needs. On a side note, I think that the Se Reflexion filter is a fantastic product and I might eventually purchase one. Just not right now. In my journey around the net I stumbled across a blog that discussed how this guitarist made 2 walls out of PVC pipe and moving blankets to cut down of frequencies bouncing around. I thought that was a great idea so I made a vocal booth out of the same materials. After I was done, I found a number of people that did exactly the same thing (I could probably have saved myself a few headaches if I had found them sooner). In total, I probably spent about $80 to $100 for my booth that is about 72" tall by 46" wide and 46" deep.

Since no glue was used, it is completely portable and light enough (even though it is huge) to move around my room with ease. While it certainly isn't perfect, it is a great start in the right direction. I had a recording that I did as a test when I got my bluebird and then I tested it again with the same song inside Big Blue and the difference was definitely worth the $100.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've gotta say - you are very, very resourceful! I know how it feels though not to have any real peace of mind. I have been trying to finish a 300 page novel in a month and a half with a screaming 8 year old, 10 year old, 4 year old, 3 year old, and twin 5 year olds right outside my bedroom door. The experience quickly taught me how difficult it is to plug your ears and type at the same time.