Treating A Vocal Booth
In this blog we will focus on treating a vocal booth. Now this time we will briefly discuss soundproofing. The whole purpose of building a vocal booth is to isolate yourself from the rest of the studio. So when you build a vocal booth you need to make sure that you properly soundproof it. How you go about this depends on whether you a building a small area within your existing recording room or whether you have a small room you wish to convert. The ideal way to do this is to install one of our Silent Space Isolation Booths. Our Isolation Booths are perfect for this application and are available in small sizes such as 1.2m by 1.2m or 1.2m by 1.8mso are the perfect size for recording vocals. The Silent Space Isolation Booths will isolate you from the studio but it also has the added benefit of already being acoustically treated in the inside so there is no need for supplementary acoustic treatment. As soon as the booth has been build it’s ready to go.
If you prefer to build a vocal booth from scratch we would use our Studio Wall System to build it. With the Studio Wall System first you need to build yourself a stud work frame to make up the walls and ceiling. For a door we would use a heavy fire door as these have a good seal and usually offer good isolation properties. Firstly you need to fill the studwork cavity with our Rockwool Flexi-Slab. On the outside surface and the inside surface we would then install the resilient bar followed by a layer of acoustic plasterboard. On top of that we would install a layer of M20 for the wall and 2 layers of Soundproofing Mat for the ceiling. Then finally we would install a 2nd layer of acoustic plasterboard. Once you have done this to both the outside and inside surface you can either tape-edge the joints or plaster it ready for painting. You also need to make sure you have some form of ventilation in there. If you have built the booth well you should have an air tight space so unless you add ventilation in the wall you would only be able to stay in the booth a short time before you start to run out of air. So an Acoustic Vent is a must.
Now that you have a vocal booth built you need to take steps to acoustically treat it. Depending on the use of the vocal booth depends on how much coverage you want to put on the walls. If the booth is being used for recording vocals for music then you need to keep some life in the room so we would cover between 50% and 60% of the surface area with acoustic tiles. By doing so you still have some reflections in the room for natural reverb when recording but you have control over the booths acoustics and the space isn’t overly reverberant. If the booth is being used for recording voiceovers etc. then you will need a dryer sound and so heavier coverage is needed, between 70% and 80%. We would never recommend 100% coverage in a vocal booth. This would simply make the space too dead for recording and it would be a very unnerving space to have to work in.
There are two types of tile we have developed for use in vocal booths and for vocal recording work. These are the F.A.T. PRO Acoustic Tiles and the Wedge PRO Acoustic Tiles. The tiles are 75mm thick at the peak and are perfect for this application as they are able to effectively absorb from the lower midrange upwards, exactly what the vocal region is. In terms of placement there is no fixed rule when placing acoustic tiles in a vocal booth, what you do need to ensure however is even coverage around the booth, it really is that simple when it comes to acoustic treating a vocal booth. The difficult part is the prep work when building the booth.
If you are building a booth from scratch there is one thing you need to bear in mind and that is the amount of wall thickness the booth will require. If you base the construction on a 50mm stud then the total thickness of the wall including acoustic tiles will be around 250mm that is a lot of space that will be taken up with the walls of the booth. When you consider the wall construction of our Silent Space Isolation Booths is just 50mm and the booth can be disassembled and moved if you move the Silent Space Isolation Booth is both a space saver and a sound investment.