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looking to buy a vocal booth for cheap

hello I'm in los angles and i m looking to buy a used vocal booth i live in a condo and that would be strictly to record vocals
please contact me if you have or know of one
price should be fair
i ll will be also willing to built one if i have too
thank you


TeddyG Sat, 12/17/2005 - 12:03

I don't know your experience, pardon me if I digress too far...

Most any space with enough sound dampening will do. How well it will do may be up to you and your ears? Basic idea is to cut ALL reflections down as far as possible - make a "dead space", as it were, that adds nothing to the sound of the vocal and you add the reverb, etc., electronically. Right? A secondary goal(Or primary?) may be to seal out as much sound as possible from the outside, or to keep sound from the inside from getting to the outside(Sound proofing)! This can be -- cut to the chase -- just not possible in any sort of "normal" situation - maybe a "factory made", or home-made, fully-enclosed "vocal booth" will be the only way? Still, we do the best we can. How?

Anything from going to the "Depot" and buying Armstrong ceiling panels, or other such dense "insulating stuff", you screw onto the walls of the room(Like I did here in the bedroom), or in a closet, or put into home-made, maybe even portable or changeable frames, or to the "office cubical" panels available at the office furniture store(Or used office furniture store) - more like "gobo's", may be enough? Also available are pre-made panels one sets up wherever, from "studio sound control" companies, like Aurelex. Of course, one can go the "big money" to buy/build a "vocal booth", but it would be highly recommended to, somehow, try "THE" one you contemplate, before sending one's coin anywhere, or starting construction, as the actual worth of such things depends, again, on you and your ears and your pocketbook. Sad to get one of these babies paid for and "installed" and not like it --- Very sad, indeed......


anonymous Mon, 12/19/2005 - 16:48

vocal booth questions

after giving it some thought i have decided to use one of my closets as a vocal booth
prob is ,that closet is not in the same room as where the console and speakers will be
its a corner closet with no connecting wall to another unit and below is a garage
now as far as the walls what sould i use on them?

a cable will run through the wall of my working room to that closet
is it a problem?
should i use a camera?
keep in mind that most of the recordings will be done by me doing voice over work or singing
so i guess i ll some king of controller in that closet right? i ll be using protools 002
thank you

TeddyG Tue, 12/20/2005 - 08:49

I don't see any problem running the cable(Assuming a mic cable?). Actually no problem seen running any needed cables(Also assume you mean your studio as "working room"?). Great to just drill a whole in the studio floor, run it/them accross the garage ceiling and up through another itty-bitty hole in the closet floor...

Controllers? I don't know? They're "out there", but I don't know. Even if I "do" the closet thing, I'll likely be fine with a second screen, run from a "two screen" video card(Matrox) and my wireless mouse/keyboard - closet is in the same "room" here.

What to put in the closet?

The problem is the smallness of the closet(My closets are like 2x4 feet) and the longness of the sound waves to be stifled.

"Try" just "tacking" up some ceiling panels from the Home Center, right over the wallboard. It will cost you around 20 bucks to see how much this helps. I bought Armstrong(I live in Lancaster Co., PA, where they're made, excuse the shameless plug - though I receive no compensation! Ha!) 2x4 foot ceiling panels 5/8" thick(Boxes of 10 panels), going down the row of boxes to determine those with the highest noise reduction properties - right on the labels. I bought a box of screws and some "fender" washers(Big washers) and put one screw/washer in each to screw them to the walls, cutting panels to fit, as needed. Took all of about an hour in my room(Which I simply "banded" with a couple of rows of the things(Quite a difference!). I also installed a "drop" ceiling, using same panels and the appropriate hardware, but you may not want to bother, just tack more panels to the ceiling(Or not. Again, go as far as you like.). If a layer of this stuff is sufficient, you're done. If not, another layer, or partial layer(Maybe just another 2 foot "band" at "mouth level"? can be applied. Of course simply screwing it up means it comes down very easily, or is quickly replaced at any time.

Honestly, this is cheap and dirty(By dirty, I do, rather, mean dirty! The stuff of which I speak can "shed", especially when you rub against it, but has been no problem at all for me for the last several years.), though it works very well at "voice frequencies".

It is "density" we are looking for and this stuff is dense without being "hard"(A brick is dense, as is sheetrock, but not so good here as a sound deadener.). There are other materials used, fiberglass panels, etc., but the only ones I've found are not nearly as dense or efficient.

Want to "get nuts"? There are 2 to 4 inch thick, 4x8 foot inch panels of rather "hard foam" at same Home Center! THESE(I think I'd "strip off" their thin covering?) over the sheetrock, followed by the Armstrong Panels would be something I would like to try in my own closet!

Of course, anything you put up, you can cover with fabric or carpet, or Aurelex panels(One of those 99 dollar box "kits" could look nice.), though the "standard" foam Aurelex panels would not be enough - in MY opinion, by themselves, in this application.

BTW: Aurelex has a "place" on this forum, I believe(Down below the Vocal Booth "place")? Aurelex surely DOES make things you could use for what you're doing. Especially if you have an actual budget for this project. Go have a chat down there - or go look over their website... RealTraps, is another place to look! Again, though, my advice is to "try" the cheap way out first(It's SO cheap and SO quick, you could be done and "hearing" it in a few hours, including run to the store) just to see how it does for you.

Teddy G.

moonbaby Tue, 12/20/2005 - 09:37

Teddy G:
You have given XYZ some great tips on a DIY booth. I have tried that Armstrong paneling (thanks to you) in my studio and it was just the ticket. But he would do well at researching the actual size of the room that he'll need.
Think back a couple of weeks ago. There was a post here from someone IRATE at the results of a Whisper Room he spent his hard-earned $$ on. Turns out the room size was a joke for VOs/singing...anything, really.
Other posts chimed in and said that the dimensions were such that NO amount of treatment would make it suitable. In fact, some questioned the manufacturer's ethics in offering a 2.5'x4.5'x6.5' booth(approx), citing the standing wave problems such a small environment created (ca 250Hz.) that are largely un-correctable.
Ccool posted the formula for dimensions that will yield decent results. XYZ would do well to research this post (entitled "Whisper Room") in this section. Given the wealth of materials information that you have provided from your personal experiences, plus the data Ccool provided, XYZ should be able to construct a MUCH more useable VO environment than what the "pre-fab" manufacturers can provide. And with the $$$ he/she saves just on shipping, they can afford a nice Lawson AIR mic (OK,you'll say a C414!) to go in that booth!

TeddyG Tue, 12/20/2005 - 11:22

Well.... As I have no experience in purchasing vocal booths, but I DID do some reading on them(Including reading some negative comments - on ONE/SOME booth(s), for ONE/SOME applications(?) and I've been in a few - which I rarely "listened too critically", but just kept on reading...(Good enough for them, good enough for me - thankx for the check!), I thought I'd "ease in" and suggest trying the cheapest, most effective thing first... I admit that if I was to "go by formula" for most of the things I've done throughout my life I would never have tried ANYTHING - HA! INDEED, though, one reason I suggest a simple layer of "stuff" for starters was - for sure - that if it didn't help - ALOT - right off the bat, that "finagling certain problems left-over" may be like looking for the holy grail..?

Ooh! I can use this post to add another thought I had(Lucky me!):

The reason the 99 dollar box of foam sells so well is not because it "does it all" or anything really well, it sells because it makes an audible difference for very little money and it looks cool. I have only applause and congratulations for all of this! Make no mistake! I am NOT running down the foam! NO!!! Would like to add a layer myself -- I like to pick at it... calms me... at least when I didn't pay for the stuff. However, for 20 bucks, my "ceiling" panels(Though they do include the convenience of being "self-picking"!) may not look as cool(Though I think they look pretty nice) and certainly will not "do it all" either, they will give you an instant indication of whether this sort of thing will work at all and there's also that second third and fourth layer(?), to be tried, which STILL may not get you to 100 bucks for a tiny booth? ... and often layer number one will work quite well...

AGAIN! It's JUST voices at voice frequency. It ain't drums, it ain't bass. If you scream real loud and you can actually hear the vibrations of the walls anyway, over the screaming, and it "hurts" the sound of the screaming, you have different values than I. That said, for the price and time expended, I believe, it is more than worth the try, for any room dimensions... AND, the Armstrong Co. has not been doing well lately(Asbestos suits threatening from long ago...) the folks could really use the coin. Matter of fact, while you're at the Depot, anyway, consider some nice, new Armstrong flooring, too. Won't help the accoustics much but it does look pretty......


BTW: To change room demensions, open the booth/room door, leave it open and ask everyone to keep quiet while you're performing. Helps... sometimes...

BTW: If your name is Richard Sturbin(I think it's Richard? ... I think it's Sturbin...???), the "it ain't bass it's just voice" rule does not neccessarily apply... thankyou......


anonymous Fri, 12/23/2005 - 11:23

I found a good looking product with a NRC .70 (70% absorbtion). Pulled snug and tight, combined with sheet rock or any wall, would give you over 80%....for Vocals and Voiceovers not low frequencies. I think I read online that the Armstrong Ceiling panels were NRC .65 -.80 but I may be wrong.

Link removed

It's called AUDIMUTE and he sells it by the box for cheap on ebay. You can look on his lab report in the auctions to see which frequencies it absorbs best. Its almost 200 sq feet for less than $150. I'm picking up 2 cases to put infront of the walls and to double up across the corners at 45 degrees.

anonymous Wed, 01/04/2006 - 15:01

pk back to square one i want to built a v/o booth

ok i have decided to built a v/o booth in my stidio room
i need some ideas like what materials to buy, beside screws!> and i need either pic or a design floor plan
i will most likely only records vocals and sometimes guitar no amp
any thoughts
thank you

anonymous Thu, 02/16/2006 - 11:28

Re: vocal booth questions

XYZ wrote: should i use a camera?
keep in mind that most of the recordings will be done by me doing voice over work or singing

That's what I've done. I have recently built some tall flexible gobos - - but since I didn't build in a window in the gobo I just set up one of my old video cameras to keep an eye on the talent that goes back to a monitor at the control area. I think video monitoring is pretty slick and at will I can stream the video online. For my situation, I am very pleased with this approach.

anonymous Sat, 02/18/2006 - 19:48

this really doesn't have anything to do with vocal booths, but thats cool ted that your from lancaster county. i was born in lancaster, lived in york for a while, my grandparents live there, and my parents grew up there. both of my grandfathers actually worked at armstrong. they might have access to some of those tiles and various other stuff i could use. i'd have to ask. the lancaster area is a nice place. (atleast where ive been, ive heard parts of downtown lancaster is rough...) i live in new jersey now, but i moved here a year ago from nashville, tennessee. it was an awesome place to live, but i really missed those Utz chips and turkey hill iced tea. thank god we can get that stuff in nj.