DIY vocal/ISO booth

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digitaldrummer
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DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:12 am

I was considering making one of these portable/collapsible booths (also known is some circles as a portable paint/spray booth).
anyone else ever do it? After building the frame, you wrap it with moving blankets. put bolts in the right places, and you can dismantle it if needed.

the PVC parts for this design would be about $50 based on prices I see locally (Lowe's).

10 pk of 3/4" elbows = $4
14 "tees" (a 10pk plus 4 more) = $10
12 10ft 3/4" pvc pipe = $36
pvc glue and some #10 bolts/washers/nuts = $10 ?

moving blankets are $7.86 ea at my local Walmart. so most likely you get a 4x4x8 booth for around $100

would be nice to be able to put a window in it though to provide some visual connection.
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vocal booth.jpg
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:07 pm

I've built many a makeshift booth out of boom stands and packing blankets. Results were always ok to questionable. What's your goal with this? Are you looking to isolate the vocal from the effects of the room or isolate from bleed? Mine never did a great deal to control bleed but it helped cut down on weird room sounds in the upper range of frequencies. Packing blankets wont do a thing to control the low end.

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Re: DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:06 am

I was thinking more for just doing vocals -- isolate the room. definitely agree it's not going to do much with a band in the same room. My other thought is I may put this on the outside entry area of my studio to accommodate singing or horn players (since I don't want that inside my studio right now...). But if the weather is right, it might be a way to maintain social distancing... but I'm not completely sold on it yet.
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Re: DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:57 am

Oooohh. I like the idea of having an outside booth for vocals. What's the ambient noise like where you are? I fear it wouldn't work here. Our warm season is short enough that it's pretty much guaranteed that someone will be doing construction within a one block radius of the studio. Sawing cement is the sound of summer.

Add to that traffic, air planes, helicopters (I'm pretty close to a major air ambulance trauma centre) and general big city noise.
If it works for you I'd say do it. Even post covid it would be awesome to have a vocal booth removed from the live room. It's like adding an addition to the studio.

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Re: DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:04 am

I do have neighbors - not real close, but close enough. there are dogs, lawn mowers, jets, trains, cars on a highway (a couple miles away_). I do have a bunch of gobos and I have used that as an "iso booth" for vocals or other inside the studio when recording a full band. it works, although it's not perfect isolation - there is still some bleed, but I can usually make it work. But those gobos, while easy to slide across the studio floor, are kind of heavy to pick up and move outside, which is where I though this might work. I have a couple "maybes" when it comes to finishing up some vocal parts, but no full commitments yet. if I get real interest I think I could build this quickly. And since I'm in central Texas, we have plenty of warm days that pop up all year round. Of course, in the summer, it would only be good for about 5 minutes (between ice baths). :twisted: And I figure it would require multiple takes, and probably some comping to get the barks and bird squawks out of the best takes... ah, but these are unique times...
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Re: DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by The Scum » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:14 pm

I've built temporary forts out of c-stands & moving blankets. It's a fun project, but moving blankets don't really keep much sound from going through. If you build it tight enough, it might reduce a bit of room sound.

The main thing I learned is that moving blankets smell funny, even after washing.
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Re: DIY vocal/ISO booth

Post by drumsound » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:27 pm

It's not a terrible idea, but I'd make it bigger than the picture. The singer is going to feel like they are stuck in a phone booth. I'd consider a wider base, and possibly using some 45º angles and make a bit of a trapezoid shape. You'll need a couple of extra packing blankets, but it would be a more pleasant place for the singer to be.

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