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What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

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What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby teeeth » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:21 am

Hello everybody,

For the first time in my life I've got a room in my flat dedicated to recording my voice and my acoustic guitars. I've built a wooden frame out of an old wardrobe and I'm going to get some foam to line it in order to make a vocal booth.

Here's a low quality photo of the frame so you have some idea: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Yfis3 ... O8Q2O2u9yT
Image

there's about 40cm/16inches of space from the mic to the foam on all sides. So, my questions are:

1. Is this really going to be an effective tool in an otherwise untreated room?
2. What shape of foam is best for me? (eggshell, pyramid, toblerone...)
3. What else could I do that would help avoid reverb?
4. Another thing: is a dynamic mic likely to be better than a condensor for avoiding reverb?
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:11 am

Welcome!

Firstly, your pic hasn't loaded... use something like Imgur to host your pics.

These home-made booths are very rarely successful and usually sound pretty dire - boxy and unnatural.

You'll be better-off getting some heavyish duvets and using something like portable handing rails to hold them in place. Experiment with positioning them, but not too close is usually better.
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:31 am

Yup, and if you do use foam the surface profile will make little difference, thickness is more important.

A little more sophisticated than your booth but there is a Studio SoS article detailing the build of a vocal booth here https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/studio-sos-building-diy-vocal-booth

HTH

edit :- A supercardioid mic will be better than a cardioid and a cardioid better than an omni but whether it's a dynamic or a capacitor won't make much difference to reverb pickup.
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby ef37a » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:49 am

Don't build a booth, read this instead..https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... er-on-road

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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Dave B » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:13 am

I'd suggest another alternative : treat the room.

That way, the room should be controlled / tamed (which makes for better listening / mixes) and you can get away with something simple like a reflection filter around the mic.

Room treatment doesn't have to cost the earth. My room is quite nice sounding and it didn't cost me any body parts. Admittedly, a mate (who used to build studios) helped me sort it out, but there is plenty of knowledge round here that can be tapped.
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby teeeth » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:46 am

Well, thanks for all your advice everyone :headbang: Damn, I had so much fun putting the wood together!

I am going to go to a few shops today, I will see what they say.

On a side note: does this mean reflexion filters aren't worth having? Wouldn't a (well-constructed) booth be like having a very good reflexion filter? I know a few articles online that suggest it's enough to just foam one corner of your room and put the microphone in there. That's not true is it?
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:18 am

TBH, that's probably the best advice of all. I've just done exactly that myself, acoustic treatment cost me just under £300 and, like Dave B the results are great.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jnjnecivuelkuxm/Studio%20Finished.JPG?dl=0
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:08 pm

If you do go for foam don't just use cheap foam intended for furniture. Acoustic foam is closed cell foam which tends to be stiffer (and usually more expensive).
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Dave B » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:25 pm

Good one Sam - your room is not a million miles from how mine looks. It's just cleaner and neater ;)

I would definitely recommend reading the Studio SOS that Hugh and Paul did for our very own Zukan. His room is now a nicely tamed but not too dead and with a good reflection filter (which is in the article), he can happily get good results. And it was a relatively simple 'fix' for people who knew what they were doing. Not too expensive either

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/studio-sos-eddie-bazil
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:25 pm

I fear a typo has crept in there: furniture foam is (usually) closed-cell, acoustic foam is open-cell.

You can test the difference quite easily by trying to blow through a sample: it's easy with the open-cell, and impossible with the closed-cell. The open-cell works acoustically by allowing the sound waves to move through the material, losing energy through friction as it goes.

H
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:56 pm

Ah - I knew it was dangerous to post that without properly looking it up first :headbang:
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:33 pm

Dave B wrote:Good one Sam - your room is not a million miles from how mine looks. It's just cleaner and neater ;)

Thanks Dave, if it's any consolation it's somewhat less clean and neat now I've been using if for a couple of weeks :smirk:
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:01 pm

teeeth wrote:On a side note: does this mean reflexion filters aren't worth having?

They're OK, but they're not the answer to all your problems. In particular if you're singing with others then the visual aspect can rule them out. For instance I sing in a three part close harmony group. We habitually arrange the mics when recording at the three points of an equilateral triangle so we can all see each other - very important when you want to achieve tightness without recourse to Melodyne and impossible if you've got reflexion filters on the way. But if I'm recording a solo singer then I habitually use a reflexion. Particularly useful if you're using a ribbon mic.

CC
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Re: What foam should I use for this home-made mic booth?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:06 pm

But there's no reason not to use three duvets around the outside of the triangle is there CC? that'd be like having three HUGE reflection filters?
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