How to Construct a Vocal Booth with Great Acoustics
A vocal booth is a vital part of any home recording studio. It allows you to isolate the singer from the other musicians. This is important if recording everyone at once as it stops the instruments bleeding into the vocal microphone. Having a dead vocal booth that’s soundproofed also means it’s easier to add effects later to the vocal track.
Step 1 - Framing
Decide on the size of the vocal booth in your recording studio. It doesn’t need to be large; 4 feet by 4 feet is adequate. If you have carpet in the studio area, don’t remove it, but frame in the vocal booth from floor to ceiling. Putting it in a corner will mean less work. Set the frames on 16 inch centers. Allow space in one of the walls for the door.
Step 2 - Drywall
Apply drywall to the outside of the walls and nail in place. Moving inside the booth fill the area between studs with insulation and then hang drywall on the inside of the booth. If there is no carpet inside the vocal booth put down underlay and carpet to fill from wall to wall. This will help to deaden the sound within the vocal booth, and increase the soundproofing by deadening vibrations from other parts of the studio.
Step 3 - Door
Having framed in for the door, now you need to hang it. Ideally the door should have a double or triple pane window and the door itself should be solid core. It’s important that you hang it properly so it opens and closes easily but is a snug fit. With the door in place you need to have weather proofing around the edges. This will increase the soundproofing by helping to seal the opening. Use the weatherproofing on both sides of the door.
Step 4 - Ventilation
The problem with the vocal booth as it stands is that there’s no ventilation in it, and the singer needs to breathe easily. This is why a ventilation fan is important. Drill a hole in the one of walls of the vocal booth and then use a jigsaw for the correct size to put a fan through into the vocal booth. Seal it with caulk on both sides. The more you seal the less sound will get through.
At the same time, drill holes through the wall for microphone and headphone cords. After feeding them through into the vocal booth, use caulk to seal the openings.
Step 5 - Soundproofing
Cover all the walls and ceiling of the vocal booth with soundproofing foam. In most cases this will glue in place. Be sure that you cover all the area from floor to ceiling. There are several different types of foam you can use-buy the best you can afford for your studio. Apply it according to the instructions.
After this, set your equipment going and test the vocal booth, preferably with instruments playing in the other part of the studio.