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How small could vocal booth be?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by JLiRD808, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    How small is TOO small for a vocal booth? I don't have much space and am thinking it may come out to 3x3x7. I do have high ceilings however (10 feet).

    At the most I think I can go 3x4x7. It's really just enuff room to put a person and a mic stand in there.

    Am I thinking way to small or can I do this?

  2. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    3x3x7 sounds eerily similar to some coffin dimensions.

    You will have problems with that size booth.

    Others can give you more detailed responses as to acoustic problems inherent in small spaces like that.
  3. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    So what is the smallest usually? 4x4xsomething?

  4. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    I'll throw out an example:

    9' x 12'

    Much larger than what you are talking.
  5. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    What about those iso booths and whisperooms that are 4x4?



    In fact the top whisperroom is 3.5x3.5
  6. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    Check out the recording studio part of this forum - you may find some answers there.

    I was sick of stuffing my wife (who is my singer) into the closet and had to find alternate methods. I'm not poor and could afford many auralex booths if I wanted but - as we are industrial musicians, the need to create and have a mood changed our minds.

    Here is what we did:

    1. Bought some foam that you put on top of mattresses at walmart for about $20 or $30 dollars. We covered it in fake blood stains and stuff and covered the bath tub.

    2. found an old wooden stool and put that on top of the foam.

    3. Bought a 4 x 8 piece of plywood about 1" thick (about $20), cut it to be the same size as the walls around the bath tub, attached a dim interrogators light, and covered it with foam and fake blood stains.

    4. Found some old 2 x 4's at a scrap pile and cut them down to size (to hold up the plywood. Nailed some fake ears and hands and stuff to the 2 x 4's.

    5. We put some old comforters (that we got from a hotel doing renovations - nice and thick!!) and nailed them to the top of the ply wood so they would hang down all four sides and dampen sound.

    6. Success!!

    We now have a vocal booth that helps create a mood for our music, I no longer have to feed my wife under the door and we can take it down in a hurry (though leaving it up when unwanted neighbors come by can be priceless!!!)

    Just an idea. I'v seen people who would record vocals in the back of their van, in sheds with blankes up everywhere (also served as a practice studio), and storage crates that they ship motorcycles in (with blankets everywhere) that they put in their garage.

    If your looking for something more professional looking, think modular. You can buy panels of wood, plastic, etc. - throw on some hinges (so you can fold and unfold the panels, and really doctor them up to look nice. You could include cable runs, lights, a stand for lyrics - hell, just have fun. I think this will help you for better recordings too!! Knowing that you created what is being sold for hundreds of dollars comercially and knowing that yours is probably better will make you comfortable when it counts the most.

    Anyway- my .02 rubles worth :)
  7. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    This is not a flame-starter (necessarily), but more of a lesson to you:

    Do you honestly, and I mean honestly, think I didn't know about Whisper Rooms?

    I do not think a homemade booth of the same dimensions can compare, even if OP has the funds available for similar materials.

    If Whisper Rooms were the absolute end-all $*^t, then shitloads of professionals would have a a bunch of WhisperRoom booths. Fact: They don't.

    Furthermore, it is something that is routinely confused, by pros even, but isolation booth does not equal vocal booth. Does not.

    Just somethings to think about.
  8. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    No I know everyone knows about Whisperroms. I didn't mean it like that. I was just a bit startled by the 9x12 dimension u threw out there. I'm trying to go small.

    I just got scared that there is something as "too small" when it comes to vocal booths as this is the first one I have ever built. In fact, I haven't even been in or seen to many either as I live in Honolulu and I don't get to frequent what few studios we have here, most of them being less than professional quality anyways.

    Thanks for your advise. I was actually hoping to hear someone say something like that. I've always liked to do things my own way but sometimes that leads to multiple headaches later. I just wanted to get some feedback on minimum size requirements.

    I'm gonna just have to deal with the space I got then. It'll be pretty amateur but who knows, maybe it'll have some magic in it. :)

  9. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    cool thing about our bathroom vocal booth - if you need a little natural reverb you can lift a blanket out of the way!! :)
  10. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Can you do it in 3x3x7. Yes.

    Will it be the "beallandendall" of vocal booths. No.

    Don't let small size stop you(It never stopped me!)...

    Fix it in the mix......

  11. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member


    I would not spend a dime on creating a 3x3x7 vocal booth. Iso booth maybe, but vocal no way. Spend your money on minimizing reflections and standing waves in whatever room you're using and THEN fix it in the mix.

    Your vocals will not breathe (either will your singer) in that size space.

    If you're doing VO and want to compress the hell out of it, tweek it until it hurts for radio broadcast, then by all means go for it.
    But for singing, I can't see creating that kind of space.

    my .02

  12. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest


    I will agree with you all the way.

    I was just offering an alternative to what some of us can't have. We have actually had good effect with our poor white trash blue collar idea - that may not work for everyone.

    I just give some ideas. Hell, if I could turn the living room into a recording mecca, a mecca it would be!!!

    I think the point is this:
    We will all have tried and 'proven' methods and we will all have an idea as to what is right. But, we will always be surprised by the most absurd things. Eric Clapton re-wrote the book on reverb and recording and for singing on stage!! There is my teacher, even though our style of music and ways of life are worlds apart.

    So JLiRD808, I hope the best for ya and there are very few 'absolutes' in this realm - thus, we are an art and not a science. However, I would definately take the advice of pmolsonmus as, we learn from both example and experimentation :) For that matter, pmolsonmus may be very right and I might just be a fool with toilet water in my mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Dearest Terror,

    I'm not knocking your idea at all. Actually it sounds kind of cool. But....and this is big but...from your description, you didn't spend $ on it.
    And that, to me, is critical.
    Try anything, there are no rules, but if you're gonna spend cash on it, use those dollars wisely. You'll want/need them for other things. My point is to spend the money in a larger room which will probably help your monitoring environment as well.

    Peace, love and blood-stained bathrooms,

  14. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    I don't think your knocking me. I was just offering an alternative for the mean time. We (the band) understand that there is no such thing as price on something one really needs. At the same time - in a pinch, we will do almost anything. Like I said, I agree with all the advice on this topic and just mentioned something we did to cope with small spaces. Living in Japan, you will find most rooms are barely 10x10 (that being the biggest room) and, of all things, the bathrooms seemed to be working solution for us. As I understand it, it's just advice and it's up to the person to use it or modify it or not take it.

    Seriously, I take comments like yours as a blessing to those looking for an answer to their goals. It just shows them that there is a proper way and at the same time, this is an art where the rules are solid but different in every situation!!!

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