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Closet vocal booth, is it a bad idea?

Member for

21 years
Hello everyone. I have a room with my setup. The room has carpet floor (which kills the sound) but I'm renting so I can't remove it. I get some noise from the street and I thought that maybe I could make a vocal booth in the closet. It is an average closet: about 9 feet long, 4 deep, and 9 feet high. I have auralex absorbent foams. Is it a good or bad idea? Would the sound be killed this way? I also want to get away from the window and the computer to avoid noise as much as possible. How does the carpet affect the sound of voice? Am I better off recording in the middle of the room rather than inside the closet?Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Member for

14 years 5 months

song4gabriel Thu, 01/08/2009 - 21:56
i record myself singing in my home studio. my room is treated with a decent amount of auralex absorption and diffusion. I also hang a nice fluffy blanket over the windows when i record. i also use a big down comforter that i prop up on the floor agains the wall nearest my singing position. this works rather well.

on one or two real scremers where i really needed to belt it out (im talking scream belting like), i have used my closet (for the sake of my neighbors' houses being kinda close). it comes out okay. but it is definitely not good for the "vibe" as it is so constricting and a singer...kind of embarrassing and anti-inspiring (which i differentiate from "un"inspiring). i inevitably will think to myself "i can't believe i am singing in my fucking closet."

as a singer i have to feel cool and sexy. and being in the closet i feel neither. since i am my own engineer i have to make my environment as comfortable as possible (not comfortable as in an old pair of trousers- comfortable like i can give a great performance)

aw man...i can't believe Barry Manillow is gay.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Sun, 08/10/2008 - 16:45
An average closet? For a girl maybe!!!

Maybe you can move the computer gear to the closet and get away from the noise that way. You can also install some heavy, as in, he ain't heavy he's my brother, drapes over the offending windows. Or get help in developing a temp type of window plug for the same reason.

The carpet may not be hurting you as much as you may think...with all the noise coming in the windows and the reflective walls and ceilings, etc.

I leap to a conclusion that the room you are in is of a nice size, with a closet so spacious. So it could be the better of the two.

I have a question. You state "I have a room with my setup?" Did you think no one would know how to deal with that ;)

Welcome to RO, take me with a rain of salt but trust everything that I tell you.

Your epidermis is showing!!!

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 12/14/2008 - 11:35
I hassled with a closet booth for months, and I am pretty good with manipulating acoustics.

Small rooms like closets just don't work.

Here's what you need to do. Put big fluffy pillows in the corners of your bedroom, where your big fluffy bed is, and use that room. As for the noise, you just have to do your singing in the very early am, I mean like 4:00 or so. It'll work and it's way easier to get up at 3:30 than it is to work overtime at an awful job to pay for studio time.

Make sure that at least once you listen to your final track with the bass all the way up, to be SURE that there isn't somebody's car in there.


Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 08/11/2008 - 17:49
Soundbomb wrote: Try recording your vocals in the bathroom like Big Boi (from Outkast). The acoustics should be much better.

:shock: :? Well, It's an effect. It might work for Big Boi, but not every type of music. It sounds like it would be hard to work with. I find it easier to start dry and add to make it blend instead of working around something that is already ... dare I say ... wet as a shower?

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Mon, 08/11/2008 - 22:30
Closets sound like closets. I'd rather be in the big room with a little background noise. Of course, some people never come out of the closet. Barry Manilow did. And the old ladies still love him!

So to deal with the background noise, use a Shure SM58/Beta 58. Then you'll have no problems and only good sound.

I swear by them and on them.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 02/27/2009 - 20:27
Kinda new to all this but I thought with todays technology that it would be best to track vocals as dry as possible? I have a set of bifold commercial closet doors that I screwed together to create and easy to move wall. It goes from floor to ceiling. I have moved it to close me in the corner, placed it in allkinds of wierd ways to get the best sound possible. I track in a room about 15x20 and I liked the sound I got when I would surround myself in the corner with a blanked thrown over the portable wall. Nearly zero natural reverb. Then I do as I wish after its tracked.
Keep in mind I truelly know very little. I'm sure I'm showing that now lol.
Be Gentle!

Member for

20 years 6 months

MadMax Sat, 02/28/2009 - 06:02
Here's a dirty little secret...

Closet based recordings suk. Period.

The smaller the room, the more low frequency build up. That's physics.

So it doesn't matter what's recorded in a closet/isolation booth... it's going to have a high amount of low frequency to eq out of it.

The larger the room, the better...

If you don't like the ambiance of the room, then as Remy said... consider using a dynamic mic like a 58.

Bathrooms are generally better to use for re-amping as an effect. But if you have a nice big tiled room... sure, why not try it for tracking. But the human voice is one of the most complex instruments to capture, so YMMV.

Here's another nasty tidbit...

Consistent sound is the key to getting good results... e.g. repeatability.

Hanging blankets, bi-fold door gobo's, etc are all fine and well... but if you go back and try to recreate the setup, if you can't repeat it... you won't get that same sound. IOW, if the room is not dedicated to music, e.g. a typical bedroom, your environment can actually change dramatically from one day to the next, depending on things like clothes closet doors being open, furniture arrangement, etc.... If you do things consistent, you will get repeatability.

In cdebusy's case, there's noise leaking in from the outside. I'd either look at creating a window plug, or possibly invest in making a roll around gobo, or set of gobo's.

Set it in front of the window, and/or elsewhere in the room that gives you a desired sound... then mark the positions with tape on the floor, a small pencil mark on the wall, or write the measurement from a known point, in a book.