Cheap, portable outdoor sound booth?

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by publicinterviewer, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. I'm looking to construct a transparent sound booth to conduct seated audio recorded interviews in public. It doesn't need to be completely soundproof, but it needs to significantly buffer sound from the street (it might not need a top) and it must be see-though so that pedestrians can watch interviews. I'd also like to be able to assemble/disassemble fairly quickly (20 minutes tops) as it won't be based in a permanent location. Any ideas or guidance? Thanks!
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Have you looked at any of the ClearSonic products?

    They make clear plexiglass panels hinged together in a variety of configurations. Commonly found on stages around drumsets, guitar amps, and other loud instruments to keep them from overpowering the room. Fold them up and you're gone in two minutes, but they are heavy.

    But to be clear (no pun intended), they don't absorb sound at all, they just reflect sounds above a certain frequency. When cities construct sound barrier walls along freeways, they often find the noise gets worse somewhere else.

    Bass (the low rumble of a truck or bus) cannot be stopped by anything less than a well-constructed building.

    Your other problem will be, doing man-on-the-street interviews with amateurs who don't want to talk directly into a microphone. To gain anything significant from the plexiglass shields - you'll need to use a properly aimed directional microphone instead of an omni like you may normally use for this sort of thing.

    You will need to be seated fairly close together and each have a mic fairly close.

    If you are shooting video as well, you will have to position the plexiglass and camera(s) so you don't get a lot of glaring reflected light from the plexi.

    If your idea of "cheap" is less than $400 - $600 ... good luck with that. Please let us know what you found that meets all the criteria for less.

    If you know anyone in the sign business, or large hardware/ builder supply store, they may be able to get you a deal on Lexan (plexiglass) and you might save a little constructing them yourself with piano hinges. But be aware, if the plexi isn't of a certain thickness it will not be able to stand up without framing.

    Good luck.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Active Plastics, Inc. also offers similar shielding at a little better price....
    One thing to concern yourself with is....WIND ! ! ! !
    A gust of nature's invisible power can easily topple a shield set, and you DON'T want to be on the receiving end of THAT.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Excellent point about the wind moonbaby! Yet another potential problem / or worse yet potential injury. Good call.
  5. StillCrazy

    StillCrazy Guest


    You can get Clearsonic portable booth that should be stable enough for most environments for about $1100. Auralex MAX-Wall for 1k but it's all foam and no lid so I would go with the Clearsonic. The guys at CCI Solutions can get you the best price over the phone.

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