Vocal booth design help needed.... bad

Discussion in 'Studio Construction & Acoustics Forum' started by audio-tracks, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    I am wanting to add a vocal booth to my studio room located in the basement and i was thinking of using the 2 concrete walls and just covering them with foam, auralex, etc as part of the vocal booth. The other two walls would be made out of wood studs, sheetrock, etc. The area is only 3'2" wide X 6' long X 7' high. I can make it smaller if need be, but can i have a great vocal booth in that kind of space? If not, what would be the best measurements to have? If this is confusing, i can definetly explain more and send pictures. The control room is 15'7 x 10' and all of the ceilings are 7' high. I desperately need help, and the more i read, the more confused i get. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. sheet

    sheet

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    That's pretty narrow.

    What are you expecting performance wise out of a booth? Is it isolation from the outside noise? Is it a bigger vocal sound?
     
  3. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    Well, isolation from outside noise, mainly... i am not sure of what "ideal" dimensions are. I have heard a perfect square and i have read more of a rectangle... I'm just wondering if i can make this sound like a pro booth.

    Thanks, Matt
     
  4. mozdedo

    mozdedo Guest

    If your concern is outside noise, then foam on the concrete will not help that at all.
     
  5. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    Then what will help? I thought being in a basement, and putting foam to kill the reflection, would help or be beneficial. Any ideas?
     
  6. mozdedo

    mozdedo Guest

    Foam will help with reflection but not with any noise from the outside. How much noise can you really be getting into the basement anyway? I cant imagine anything that will make a difference from the outside will penetrate earth and concrete walls,that is if you basement truely is under yours house, ie with dirst packed up to the walls of the basement? If not then you should build out from the concrete walls, leaving an airspace between the concrete and your stud wall. look in one of the sticky post to get details on consruction. If you dont float a floor you will still get transmission loss going outside through the slab,( low freq. Waves like kick drum and bass) but if thats not a concern it doesnt matter. Those low frequencies will only transmit through the slab in your live room or control room. In the vocal both you wont get any transmission loss recording the human vioce. If you stick a bass amp in there, well thats a different story. Describe your "basement better"
     
  7. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    Let me change that.... im not getting any noise from the concrete walls, that was just the reason i was building a vocal booth. It is solid wall, packed dirt behind it under the house, so i thought it would be a great area to start. I thought the foam would help just "deaden" the area. The other 2 walls, would have to be constructed, and i could do something like a floating ceiling, but i only have 7'. I can attach a pic, but i cant get the darn thing to upload right.. any ideas on that? Can i upload it from my harddrive or do i have to have it out on the web? I mainly want it for vocals, and possibly a guitar or bass, but the main build is for vocals. What do you think about the dimensions?
     
  8. MadMax

    MadMax

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    OK, let's hit a couple of things essential first. A square room is a major NO-NO. The only thing worse than a square room is a perfect cube. Odd dimensions and/or odd shapes make for better tracking rooms.

    When you say "Pro Booth" what exactly are you envisioning and what's the primary purpose of the booth? If it's for VO work, then yeah... a small booth is cool... not great, but servicable. If you're expecting a small booth for tracking vocal that will sound like rooms that "the big boys" use... you are being lulled into a pseudo stereotypical thought process. (Me too!!!)

    This is a dirty little secret in our industry... so shhhhhhh... don't tell nobody... In actuality, there are many times that the vocal booth is used to do nothing but the scratch vox. You don't want those scratch vox getting in the other instruments since they're scratch and liable to change signicantly.

    The real vocal takes are then done in the bigger main room... where you have better natural ambiance and reverberation. This in consideration that to get a good/unnatural/processed sounding reverb, delay, FX, etc, you then WOULD track in the booth as you DON'T want any extraneous natural ambiance... or very limited anyway.

    IMHO, since you are limited to a fairly small sized room, you want to design your room factoring in LOTS of broadband absorbtion... EVERYWHERE... i.e. every corner... walls and ceiling. That dictates that the room is going to need to be a bit larger than you are probably envisioning.

    I would allow for the corner absorbtion to be at least 2 feet diagnonally across the corners... 4 feet would be better... again, making a larger room by a factor of two. In a 3'-2" wide booth, you would have something like 4" of wall between the corner absorbers. So you couldn't have a door on that side.

    Be sure to take into account some sort of ventilation no matter what size you end up with.

    As far as "ideal" vocal booth sizes... that's a loaded question... as big as you can make it I spose... Some vocal booths are 4x7 (final inside dimension) up to 12x20. What I'd have a tendancy to do is to try to find out what the smallest size area that you would feel comfortable standing in for 30 minutes.

    Can you rework your design to maybe use the 3'-2" dimension and the 6' dimension as just one wall each of two sides? Then take the remaining space to create a slightly bigger/odd shaped room.

    Max
     
  9. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    Thanks for the reply... Well, i would like to be able to do voice over work, as well as record vocals for music as well. The MAIN purpose for this booth would be for recording the vocals for music. If i could get this pic to upload, you can see better what im up against, but im not sure if it has to be out on the web or if i can point it to my harddrive.
    Do you have a pic or drawing of what you have in mind? I am very anxious to get started, but i want to do the right thing.

    Thanks again,

    Matt
     
  10. MadMax

    MadMax

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    Matt,

    Either pop me a PM with your email addy, or send me an email through my profile... you can attach that image to the email... and I'll send you a pdf of what I'm talkin' about.

    To upload images here, you have to have a url to upload them to. We (as in community) don't have enough server space and/or bandwidth/sponsorship for Big Tree to just give us free reign on uploading to the RO servers...

    Which is a good chance to remind and encourage everyone... myself included, to make a donation to RO, to help cover the expenses of running this place.

    I have no idea as to what the "income" is here... but I can more than likely guess the Big Tree sure as hell ain't gettin' rich off this site. I'd be suprised if "we're" even in the black. Heck, who knows... if we all were to actually pitch in enough, we could possibly get some image space... whatcha' think Big Tree? is it possible?

    Max
     
  11. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

  12. mozdedo

    mozdedo Guest

    Max is giving good advice. I have made alot of records, none of which have had final vocals recorded in a booth. Look into some rigid fiberglass as opposed to "foam" for your broad banding.
    good luck

    Moz
     
  13. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    I agree on the good advise.. please elaborate on the vocals not being recorded in a booth, and explain more on the rigid fiberglass please.

    Thanks
     
  14. MadMax

    MadMax

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    Didn't get the PM yet... dunno why not... may want to try again.

    Rigid Fiberglass... a high density fiberglass panel. Where "Pink Flufy" like R-19 is 3 lbs/sq ft, Rigid (like OwensCorning 703) has actually been tested for it's absorbtion characteristics and weighs in at double that of an R19. It's density is such that it is litterally rigid-enough to virtually stand on it's own. OC 703 is typically found in either a 2" or 4" thickness.

    Moz is refering to the point that I made about many final vocal tracks are made in the main room as opposed to the vox booth.
     
  15. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    I sent you an email instead, so i could enclose the pictures.... sorry for the mixup. Let me know if you dont get it.
     
  16. Groff

    Groff

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    Your control room is 15.7 x 10 x 7h. Why don’t make just one room for double purposes, recording and mixing. Sure, little bit more of working and investment but, imho, it's better way to go. Corners traps, cloud and movable wall traps (rearranging and controlling symmetry and reflections).

    I had once the iso (6.5' x 5' x 8.8') with 3 walls completely foamed (2''), one wall and ceiling in one feet thick mineral wool. O.K. it was usable on the beginning but after a while i discovered more and more troubles. At the end I found it sucks.

    If you find interest, maybe I could put some links about solutions (in general) for „one room for all“ design.

    You can put your pics and sketch on some free „photo-server“ then paste the links here. The more we can see the better for all.

    my2c.
     
  17. audio-tracks

    audio-tracks Guest

    That sounds good. I thought about it, but im not sure on how it would sound, because i have hard wood floors in it. Plus i think it looks better if there was another room with a window. We did record some vocals in the same room, and u could hear the slight reverb in it.... not bad, but needed to be better. Plus i would have to be very quite when mixing. Please put some links together if you have time... you can check out another thread of mine to see pictures. Thanks!!

    http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=55261#55261
     
  18. MadMax

    MadMax

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    OK... that would explain why I didn't get the PM... :D I'll let the Mrs know to keep an eye out for it...

    I kinda' agree w/Groff about considering a one room design. Wes Lachot and Ethan Winer did a really nice article for EQ Magazine about one room designs.

    I'm sure there's quite a few more... hopefully Groff will point a few more out.

    I will however say this... If... BIG IF... you can cost justify an ISOLATION booth... not necessarily a vocal booth, but an ISOLATION booth, then yeah... by all means do one... and say 3x4x7 would be about right to isolate a guitar or kb amp... probably not big enough for a bass amp though.

    I'll check on the email a bit later today.

    Max
     
  19. Groff

    Groff

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    Small but nice place. I like all those faders 8) . Hard floor actually is what you need, and soft ceiling of course.

    In general:

    1. Move the desk to the right wall. Find your position at 38% from that wall then set the monitors in „golden triangle“ (your main pair of nearfs.)

    2. You need broad band absorbers (supporting frame, minimum 4'' layer of 703, cloth, no slats) in ALL corners including wall/ceiling. The wider and deeper gap behind the better. In small place like this (and mine, I have control room almost with the same dimensions) broadband absorption would be better than using tuned resonators.

    3. Make a cloud, or better complete absorptive ceiling (existing ceiling – 4'' air gap – 4'' 703 in frame – cloth).

    4. Make lateral (703 + acoustic foam) broadband RFZ at the mixing place

    5. Movable slat/slot absorbers on right and left wall. I'm thinking of non-tuned absorbers, just 4'' 703 in wooden frame, one side with slat/slot pattern (50:50 %) and the other side as open back design. You can freely move those to achieve symmetry and more absorption (open side to the room) when mixing, and asymmetry with some reflection (slot/slat side to the room) when recording. Of course, with this, you can tune the shape and width of recording field.

    6. The back wall. Very important. Full broadband absorption from bottom to top and left to right (yes i know – the door, but you will figure out how). In a „one“ word - the giant broadband trap. Leave at least 1:1 (air/703) gap behind.

    7. Drill small hole trough the wall for cables and move computer out of this room. It's easy, cheap, efficient and fast way to get rid of computer noises. I did it. I'm happy. (although i'm not the reference)

    8. Don’t be afraid because of that much absorption. It’s small place. Read the Mark’s thread:

    http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?t=456&highlight=marks

    and look what he did and how flat is the room response on the end. Diaries are good.


    After all it depends of needs and budget. Removing two walls would make somewhat bigger place to play....

    [​IMG]

    Take a time. Don’t hurry with decisions. Manny options. You will see during the learning process.

    More to come. I have to dig into my acoustic folders ....

    Best regards
     
  20. Groff

    Groff

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    ups! bedroom not bathroom. sorry. :oops: