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Recording booth
Old 28th June 2022
  #1
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Recording booth

So I moved into an apartment a while back and the walls are paper thin … I can literally hear the person below me talk to someone on the phone but I can actually hear the person that they are talking to…

I built a booth , each ply wood is 4ft wide and 7ft tall , but it’s really making my vocals sound weird and not as exciting. I have 3 layers of moving blankets on each side, roof and floor, I also removed some where I had only 1 on each but I still am having troubles getting a good sound

Any other ideas on how I can some how get a space done up where I don’t have to worry about my neighbors hearing me? Should I get more plywood and make a larger booth?
Old 29th June 2022
  #2
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undagc ➡️
So I moved into an apartment a while back and the walls are paper thin … I can literally hear the person below me talk to someone on the phone but I can actually hear the person that they are talking to…

I built a booth , each ply wood is 4ft wide and 7ft tall , but it’s really making my vocals sound weird and not as exciting. I have 3 layers of moving blankets on each side, roof and floor, I also removed some where I had only 1 on each but I still am having troubles getting a good sound

Any other ideas on how I can some how get a space done up where I don’t have to worry about my neighbors hearing me? Should I get more plywood and make a larger booth?
The sound of a 4x4x7 box. And the bane of small room recording.
Enter 1.2, 1.2, and 2.1 -your box in meters here. Click on the various frequencies. Visuals of the various 'hot spots (dark) (resonance/freq. peaks), some piling up from two and three directions.. Basically nasty collections of uneven freq. responses.
https://www.hunecke.de/en/calculator...igenmodes.html
Your 'whole room had them as well, but at least came with some bit of 'air/'space now missing.
Never tried a 'box solution but learned (especially via kits' and my low ceiling..) the only choice is make the boundaries disappear'.. absorption.
How low to go... how thick, for a vocal? 3, 4, 6"? (guessing..

I guess could add..
Quote:
Should I get more plywood and make a larger booth?
The freq trouble spots would shift, but likely that would be about all.

Last edited by Wayne; 29th June 2022 at 03:27 AM..
Old 30th June 2022
  #3
I'll suggest a very low-rent but VERY effective and versatile option. Get some garment hangers, and buy some Harbor Freight moving blankets. 2 per hanger, to build a movable, adaptable "booth". It can be closed in, expanded, added to, moved easily, angled and altered easily and with minimal effort or storage.

I've been doing this for vocal and instrument isolation and room control for years, and it works wonderfully.
Old 1st July 2022
  #4
Gear Guru
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undagc ➡️
Any other ideas on how I can some how get a space done up where I don’t have to worry about my neighbors hearing me? Should I get more plywood and make a larger booth?
room-within-a-room is just about the only viable way to go for soundproofing. But as you have found out, if the "room" you build is just a box, it is going to sound boxy. The sound bounces off these very close walls and back into your mic. Deadening it with blankets will help control some of the high frequency reflections but blankets do almost nothing below 500 Hz. The absorption is uneven and that's that woofy sound you are getting. Real panels (fiberglass or rockwool) of substantial thickness could help, but 4" panels all around are going to shrink your booth even more.

Building a larger booth, if you have the space and the energy to do that would almost certainly be a help. A combination of a larger booth and absorption that is wider than mere blankets would probably help quite a lot.

Another thing that might be useful is to build an irregularly shaped booth. Squares and rectangles are not the greatest for sound. Parallel surfaces encourage standing waves and flutter echoes. Check out the Acoustics forum here. There may be existing plans for 'scientifically' shaped booths. But even without precise plans, I know from building several of my own studios, that even a modest deviation from right angled corners can be a big help. One of the best sounding rooms I was ever in was a pentagon. An uneven pentagon where some walls were longer than others. In fact the walls were not even 90º off the floor, they were tilted slightly in.

At some point, though you might want to contrast your efforts at booth building with the amount of effort to simply move to a more appropriate space for a musician. I had an apartment that was upstairs from a wood shop. Could not record during the day, but they went home at 5:00 on the dot every weekday, and the weekends were all mine as well. Considering I don't get up until noon....

Speaking of time- another form of "moving" is to move in the temporal dimension - simply put, maybe you can record when your neighbors are not at home - assuming they follow a regular schedule..
Old 2nd July 2022 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
room-within-a-room is just about the only viable way to go for soundproofing. But as you have found out, if the "room" you build is just a box, it is going to sound boxy. The sound bounces off these very close walls and back into your mic. Deadening it with blankets will help control some of the high frequency reflections but blankets do almost nothing below 500 Hz. The absorption is uneven and that's that woofy sound you are getting. Real panels (fiberglass or rockwool) of substantial thickness could help, but 4" panels all around are going to shrink your booth even more.

Building a larger booth, if you have the space and the energy to do that would almost certainly be a help. A combination of a larger booth and absorption that is wider than mere blankets would probably help quite a lot.

Another thing that might be useful is to build an irregularly shaped booth. Squares and rectangles are not the greatest for sound. Parallel surfaces encourage standing waves and flutter echoes. Check out the Acoustics forum here. There may be existing plans for 'scientifically' shaped booths. But even without precise plans, I know from building several of my own studios, that even a modest deviation from right angled corners can be a big help. One of the best sounding rooms I was ever in was a pentagon. An uneven pentagon where some walls were longer than others. In fact the walls were not even 90º off the floor, they were tilted slightly in.

At some point, though you might want to contrast your efforts at booth building with the amount of effort to simply move to a more appropriate space for a musician. I had an apartment that was upstairs from a wood shop. Could not record during the day, but they went home at 5:00 on the dot every weekday, and the weekends were all mine as well. Considering I don't get up until noon....

Speaking of time- another form of "moving" is to move in the temporal dimension - simply put, maybe you can record when your neighbors are not at home - assuming they follow a regular schedule..
Thanks for the reply everyone, I had replied earlier but not sure why it’s not there, I’m definitely taking these tips for sure, I had thought maybe one of those se electronic reflection filters would maybe work for now? I know they can cause some mud aswel but was thinking maybe for the time being it could really help eliminate the “boxy” and “muddy” sound from the booth?
Old 2nd July 2022 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undagc ➡️
I had thought maybe one of those se electronic reflection filters would maybe work for now? I know they can cause some mud aswel but was thinking maybe for the time being it could really help eliminate the “boxy” and “muddy” sound from the booth?
These are made for recording a room that has no booth and no treatments. I doubt if bringing one inside your booth will do much, since all the surfaces inside the booth are so close together they will overwhelm any 'shielding' it offers.

If you can enlarge your booth, that will probably help.
If you can put in some real broadband absorption that will be a big help - i.e. not just blankets, but actual 703 panels, your vocals will be truly dry - instead of just dry in the high frequencies. Dry is not very "exciting" but you can more easily add reverb effects to a vocal that doesn't have the sound of a "box" imprinted on it.
Old 3rd July 2022
  #7
Here for the gear
 
I have some tips on bringing life into a dead vocal but not about isolating from the neighbor other than what you’re already trying to do. Obviously a larger booth is better if you can swing it. Absorbing with 703, 705 or Rockwool will give you better results than blankets or foam. I was stubborn about this for too long and dealt with a lot of muddy, muffled sounds. Have you tried Omni mics to reduce proximity effect? Might be worth a try
Old 4th July 2022
  #8
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Bstapper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
As you are obviously aware, lack of real estate and funds is always a compromise.

But you can perhaps maximize what you have going on via perforated and/or slatted interior material, isolated floor of booth, and then as much absorption in the wall before using as much mass as you can on the exterior of the booth. Perforated material could be steel with a certain amount of open area and/or wood.

There’s always the other considerations of how to climate control/ventilate and still retain some isolation.

As with most acoustic issues - it’s expensive vs typical construction and the sound treatment is the easy part; it’s the acoustic isolation (especially mechanical) that gets ya.

Please share what works for you as I’m always interested in how folks tackle this scenario.
Old 4th July 2022
  #9
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undagc ➡️
So I moved into an apartment a while back and the walls are paper thin … I can literally hear the person below me talk to someone on the phone but I can actually hear the person that they are talking to…

I built a booth , each ply wood is 4ft wide and 7ft tall , but it’s really making my vocals sound weird and not as exciting. I have 3 layers of moving blankets on each side, roof and floor, I also removed some where I had only 1 on each but I still am having troubles getting a good sound

Any other ideas on how I can some how get a space done up where I don’t have to worry about my neighbors hearing me? Should I get more plywood and make a larger booth?
A small dead booth should work ..just add digital ambience later, like a doubling effect.
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