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DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

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DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby pariah223 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:25 pm

Hoping some pros can chime in and let me know if this idea has any huge pitfalls such as any frequency build ups or anything before i spend money to give it a shot.

So being home with my noisy family during this virus, i figured it would be a great time to finish up some of my music projects form the past. I quickly realized however that my family and neighbors and trains and birds make entirely too much noise. I had an idea for modular vocal booth that may block out a good amount of the sound but as with most of my ideas, im overlooking some major flaws. Here is my idea in a nutshell:

Take a corner of the room i currently use for music, and frame it out like i have seen many diy vocal booth builds do. Now since im not looking for complete soundproof, because i dont have the funds, What i was thinking of trying was to build the 3 walls and ceiling, sheetrock the outside, put roxul safe n sound on the inside, and then cover the interior with some sort of fabric or speaker cloth. I would basically have a room within a room, and the interior walls would be sound absorbing and it wouldnt break the bank. I would have to figure out the door side, maybe just another wall on a hinge that i can pull shut behind me.

Im pretty uneducated in room modes and stuff like that, so could anyone see a major pitfall of this design aside from the less then stellar sound proofing? Id be happy with 50% noise reduction. I just dont want to build it and find that when i record my voice, its sounds horrid. Thanks in advance! hopefully this description gets my idea across.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:19 pm

Not familiar with what Roxul and sheetrock are I'm afraid, and I must stress that I'm about as far from a pro as it's possible to be but still post on here, but two things spring rapidly to mind.
1) Soundproofing is all about mass and air-tightness. If you don't have them, then you can put a load of work in but find very little improvement.
2) The most common effect of building a non-professional vocal booth is worse sounding vocals than if you'd just recorded in the room.
I'd suggest you'd be better trying to work with the fabric of the room and look to improve the sound-proofing of the existing structure.

Better minds than mine will likely be along shortly.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:26 pm

If you're using a corner of the room you only need two walls, not three... But unless the room is HUGE there's a very strong liklihood that your new booth will sound boxy, boomy and generally naff -- and if some of the noise you're objecting too is footfalls, door closes and other structural noise, the booth won't keep it out anyway.

Instead of building a booth -- which will feel cramped, sound boxy, and get hot very quickly -- I'd suggest spending money and effort on improving the sound isolation of the windows and door. They need to be air-tight, so make up tight-fitting removable acoustic panels, or fit secondary double glazing in the window soffits, and come up with a scheme to adds seals around the door jamb, for example.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby pariah223 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:32 pm

ah, it is as i feared. I am glad i asked before i jumped right in. I was hoping if i built a small room and made sure it was decoupled from every other part of my current room it would be enough that i wouldn't hear my noisy daughter playing upstairs, my wife doing laps around the house as she cleans and re-cleans to stay sane during quarantine.. and they wouldn't hear me search for the right notes (i don't record well when i know people can hear me.. insecurity issues).

So basically without making the small room itself totally soundproof, even if all walls, and the ceiling (its in a basement) have an air gap, the ambient sound wont be cut enough for it to be worth it, and the room itself will sound bad and boxy due to sound leaking in from the room its in?
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:21 pm

Well, never say never... There are ways of achieving what you're imagining, but if you're going to do it it has to be done well and properly, otherwise it will be a liability. And to achieve that is neither easy nor cheap, nor discrete!

The room will need to be pretty large to avoid sounding boxy, with effective bass trapping and broadband absorbers. And It will need to be built as a real 'room within a room' -- meaning a fully floating structure with a new raised floating floor, walls and ceiling, all completely decoupled from the original room structure. And for sound isolation it will need to have heavy, massive walls (so floor loading could be a concern), and it will need some kind of silenced forced ventilation.

The best advice I could give would be to consult with an acoustician/studio designer with experience in this kind of build. It would be money well spent!
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby James Perrett » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:29 pm

You mention a basement - are you the only user of the basement and are there any doors and windows?

It may be the case that most of the sound is leaking through the ceiling but do you have enough height to create a false ceiling?

As Hugh says, an experienced acoustician could probably look at your place and tell you the options in just a few minutes. There are so many details that need to be taken into account which would be obvious to someone in the room but not so easy to convey on a forum.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby MOF » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:43 pm

It might be worth making up a framework and hanging heavy fabrics/duvets etc above and all around it and then doing vocals very close to the mic’ with a pop shield.
Any stray bass frequencies can be rolled off and by getting in close and singing reasonably loudly you (the signal) are that much louder than the noise.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:20 pm

pariah223 wrote:sheetrock the outside, put roxul safe n sound on the inside, and then cover the interior with some sort of fabric or speaker cloth. I would basically have a room within a room, and the interior walls would be sound absorbing and it wouldnt break the bank. I would have to figure out the door side, maybe just another wall on a hinge that i can pull shut behind me.
.

I built 1x6 wall frames, filled them with Roxul, covered them on both sides with canvas from an artists supply store. (Cheap!) The door was the same but I slide it behind me to close it. My roof is a sound absorbing panel I found at a big box hardware supply place but the roxul frame would work too. Underpad and carpet on the floor.

It works ...... OK. It does get hot. It doesn’t block out all sound by a long shot, especially low frequencies like footfalls from above or stiletto heels!. I roll off the low frequencies. I use it for close miking when I don’t want any room tone. So it’s better than nothing and wasn’t expensive. I don’t do vocals in there so can’t vouch for boxiness.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:11 pm

You'll be amazed by how much sound you can keep out by just treating the door to start with. I have done this on two doors in my house, one to prevent us hearing my son practising his electric guitar and one on my studio door. I started by screwing a layer of thick pdf to the doors, almost to the full size of the door, this gives it a lot of extra bulk. But you can just buy a heavy, fireproof door of course. I then worked on making the door seal as well as possible. I have three lots of weather seal around the door jamb, two of the rubber tube type, one of the plastic folds-over type. Plus I glued a batten to the floor to make a fourth sealing point at the bottom of the door, with rubber seal attached again. With all this going on the door now makes a nice tight seal along all four sides. I am lucky that I don't have a problem with noise through the windows as they're all reasonably double-glazed but again, you can make simple secondary windows with perspex, sealed around their edges properly, that I am reliably informed can do a good job.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby zenguitar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:21 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:I started by screwing a layer of thick pdf to the doors

Sounds like Tolstoy, or some other classic Russian literature. :bouncy:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby Stratman57 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:19 am

But it only works if you print out the pdf files then apply to your walls. :-)

Regards, Simon.
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby blinddrew » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:14 am

I shouldn't just nail my kindle to the frame then?
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:36 am

:bouncy: ffs stupid spellcheck. MDF of course! :headbang:
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:38 am

[quote][I shouldn't just nail my kindle to the frame then/quote]

Yes this is well worth a try, please post a picture today if you can to help the OP
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Re: DIY semi soundproof booth that i am not sure will work

Postby CS70 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:14 am

pariah223 wrote:I quickly realized however that my family and neighbors and trains and birds make entirely too much noise.

Many people in the same situation - suddenly very hard to get a proper quiet space with family and everybody else being in the surrounding.

As others I've said, soundproofing is hard, long and expensive work. By the time you are done, the virus will hopefully be no longer a problem!

Sometimes it helps to consider problems from a different perspective however.. these days there's an enormous amount of unused, quiet space: offices, shops, theaters., you name it.

While many of them won't be suited to record a drum kit or other instruments who need a great room to shine, most rooms can be adapted to record acoustic guitar and vocals if you know what you are doing. Even electric guitar and bass don't pose a problem (other than a lot heavier stuff to carry) but for these I'd advice the convenience of a modeler.

If you normally work in an office, chances are you can ask to go there in the evening when there's nobody around to do a vocal or guitar recording. Otherwise, you can probably ask to use a theater stage or a closed pub, maybe in exchange for a few quids.

When you are there, all you need is a portable recording rig (inexpensive laptop + inexpensive two channels interface plus tracking headphones), your mic, a couple of mic stands and a duvet or two. Perhaps a reflection filter for the mic. You tackle bad room reflections by using the duvet, the reflection filter and your mic high pass filter. If you happen to be in an office space you may even find there's conference rooms with a degree of treatment, especially on the ceiling.

After having done it a few times, the entire setup can be rigged in ten/twenty minutes depending on how much time you want to use to find the sweet spot for the mic+duvet combination.

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