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Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

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Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Guest » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:47 am

Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Hello again
I would like to make a cheap sound booth big enough for me to stand up inside and sing. No recording or amplification used just a practice\ rehearsal room. Been used in my living room in a block of flats. Would like to build it out of mostly recycled\ waste products if I can to keep the cost down

Any ideas please?
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Watchmaker » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:57 am

There's tons of great threads in this forum you can browse. Also check out the Useful Information Archive which is here if I link correctly...

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=35
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby ef37a » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:05 am

music master wrote:Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Hello again
I would like to make a cheap sound booth big enough for me to stand up inside and sing. No recording or amplification used just a practice\ rehearsal room. Been used in my living room in a block of flats. Would like to build it out of mostly recycled\ waste products if I can to keep the cost down

Any ideas please?

Why? If you are not recording in the booth the only reason I can think of is to spare others the sound of your dulcet tones? Won't work. To reduce the sound level exiting the flat by any usefull amount would need another room built inside.
Yes, for just voice frequencies you could probably get away with two skins of plasterboard but even that is going to be costly and unless quite big, sound horrible.
Yes, you could absorb the dickens out of the inside but then you will burst your clapper trying to get a decent sound in such a dead space.

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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:06 pm

Do you get complaints when you practice? If not then I'd carry on as you are. As Dave says useful sound proofing (as opposed to 'acoustic treatment' is either expensive/difficult or largely ineffective (TBF with just voice to deal with it's a lot easier than if drums and loud electric guitars are involved).

If you do get complaints then you might be better finding a room (My son used a local Church to practice, he is a professional french horn player) where you can sing without causing issues.

Otherwise the link Watchmaker provided should reveal something useful.
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:42 pm

I don't get complaints as I dont do it hear
But I would imagine some of the voice building exercises I do that go over 100db up to C6 would!
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:14 pm

I get where you are coming from now. It is much easier to practice regularly if you can do it spontaneously rather than have to book a room etc......

Run a search for "DIY+Vocal+Booth" in that link WM posted :-(https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... m.php?f=35 and you'll get loads of useful info.
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Guest » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:01 am

Sam Spoons wrote:I get where you are coming from now. It is much easier to practice regularly if you can do it spontaneously rather than have to book a room etc......

Run a search for "DIY+Vocal+Booth" in that link WM posted :-(https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... m.php?f=35 and you'll get loads of useful info.
To be honest the search results are more for recording in booths rather then trapping the sound inside them
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby blinddrew » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:22 am

The basic problem is that sound proofing*, which is basically what you're after, can't be done simply and cheaply. You need heavy, isolated walls and ceiling, an isolated floor, and an airtight construction.
On the positive side, you're only trying to control sounds in the vocal range (which gets rid of some of the problematic low frequency stuff), but the negative side is that the vocal frequency range is where our ears are most sensitive.

* as opposed to sound treatment, which can be done in a cost-effective way.
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Wonks » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:20 am

In this case, significant attenuation is probably not required, but some attenuation should be possible using basic materials. Even 10dB would be a useful reduction.

When you measured a 100dB level when singing, how and at what distance was this measured? A reasonable distance would be 1m in front of you, which makes it fairly easy to work out further level reductions by distance alone. Measured too close, the dB level measured will be much louder than further away, but also the relationship by which the sound level drops off with distance doesn't really settle down until you get to around 1m. If 100dB was measured next to your mouth, then it certainly won't be that loud at the walls if you stand near the centre of your room.

If you have your own sound level meter, you could try some simple attenuation tests such as lying on your bed, covering up round your head with a thick duvet and measuring how much quieter it is with the duvet at 1m away (obviously give yourself room to breathe!). You may obviously need some help with this. But a reasonable level reduction may mean that a simple frame around (and above) you which you can hang duvets or thick blankets from might be sufficient to give you enough reduction that you then feel happy singing.

One problem with any form of isolation booth is that good sound insulation also means good thermal insulation. So it's going to get warm inside. Duvets will allow some ventilation, but not a huge amount, so you'll need to take a break from time to time and let some fresh air in and heat out. If you build a booth with thicker, denser materials for more attenuation,, the problem gets worse.

For proper soundproofing, you need thick walls, isolation from other surfaces (especially the floor) and maximum airtightness. Heavy, permanent, ugly and as you either need sufficient air volume inside to work for a reasonable time before using up the oxygen or getting high CO2 levels (which means a very large enclosure) or else fan-assisted ventilation with attenuators (which adds another layer of complexity).

So I'd suggest trying something really simple and basic, as the alternatives all become much more complex. You aren't banging anything that will transmitt bassy vibrations through the building structure, so you can probably get away with a much lower level of attenuation than is needed for proper soundproofing.
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:59 am

Should you follow Wonk's excellent advice and find the resultant space rather dead and uninspiring you could use a PC or a mixer with FX, and an ear bud to give yourself some "verby" foldback?

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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:55 am

music master wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I get where you are coming from now. It is much easier to practice regularly if you can do it spontaneously rather than have to book a room etc......

Run a search for "DIY+Vocal+Booth" in that link WM posted :-(https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... m.php?f=35 and you'll get loads of useful info.
To be honest the search results are more for recording in booths rather then trapping the sound inside them

If you read them they will, as I suggested, give you useful advice. A 'vocal booth' only ever has one main function which is to acoustically isolate the vocalist/mic from the surroundings, usually to reduce the amount of spill getting into the mic from the band in the main room or other external noise. This isolation works both ways and it will also reduce the amount of vocal that is getting out at the same time. All the acoustic 'treatment' referred to is simply to mitigate the acoustic effects of singing/recording in a small box.
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Re: Ideas on building a cheap sound booth

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:49 am

Probably best leave it then. But thanks anyway
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