Many people approach vocal recordings with a flawed frame of mind. They mistakenly believe that all you have to do is throw up a mic and record all the while assuming that any lack in quality can be fixed in post.
These types of ideas are what separates the amateurs from the professionals.
What many people fail to realize is that if you tamper with voice recordings too much in post production, the sound takes on an unnatural quality. This might work for some people, but not most.
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Why are vocal booths needed?
It is vital that you take the time and the money to set up your vocal booth the right way the first time. This will give you the depth and richness of sound that everyone is truly looking for. By focusing on improving your room acoustics and recording techniques you will get the highest quality sound on your final track.
When your vocal booth is set up the right way, everything that comes next is easy. You will only need to use EQ in order to remove the bits that don’t sound good while exaggerating the good parts.
If you feel intimidated just reading the phrase, room acoustics, don’t worry. In this article we will cover many vocal booths you can set up and some of them will not require any handyman skills.
Vocal booths don’t have to be expensive!
The following plans will help you to design a DIY vocal booth in no time and without breaking the bank.
To buy a vocal booth is indeed expensive, but you can design and set up your own for a fraction of the cost. Sure, it will probably not look as good but it will do the same job. Which in the end is the most important part.
Building a DIY vocal booth
The following tutorials will lead you through setting up your own DIY vocal booth.
1. Cheap Portable mini vocal booth
This tutorial is great for those that want to take recording on the road with them. It is nice and small as well as cheap and easy to build. You will be able to do so much with this simple project.
You will be able to cancel background noise or have a portable mini dead room which is perfect for specialized field recording.
Use this vocal booth for podcasts, filmmaking, and recording any other vocals.
All you need to set up this mini vocal booth are the following affordable items:
- Sounds isolation foam
- Cardboard boxes
- Mic stand
- Handle from a bag
Just follow the steps here to complete your vocal booth. It will cost you about $20 or less, and you can have the project completed in about 20 minutes.
EDIT: The original video got deleted by the uploader for whatever reason. Above is a video of a booth that is quite similar.
2. The Wooden Vocal Booth
Difficulty: 7/10 (If you're not experienced in building)
Just like the above option, this one is nice and cheap to build. It gives you great acoustics without causing you to go broke. It is more complicated however and if you are not confident in your handyman skills you might have to look elsewhere.
You will need more than just cardboard for this booth. It is a true vocal booth, made from scratch with wood, foam, nails, plastic sheeting and more. As the video itself says, this is a project for those who like to build stuff. If you don’t want to swing a hammer and nails or you don’t have space for a true vocal booth, you will want to refer to some of the other options on this list.
Once you have the materials all you need to do is start building. It’s fairly straight forward, you build the booth out of the wood and then lay the foam and plastic sheeting inside for the best sound. Again, it is not exactly a small project, it will take you some time, but if you are handy, it’s worth the little bit of trouble.
This is a great option for those looking for a professional level vocal booth.
3. The PVC Vocal Booth
If you are looking for a nice, easy, affordable way to build a DIY vocal booth, this might be right up your alley.
You just need a few supplies from your local hardware store:
- PVC pipe
- Connectors- L, three way and elbows
- Packing blankets
You will use the PVC pipes and connectors to build the frame for your vocal booth. Next, hand the heavy packing blankets from the top of the frame and place foam over the top of the booth.
If you didn’t want to put out the extra expense of the foam, you could simply drape another of the blankets over the top, that works well too.
4. Cheap Mini Box Vocal Booth
This is one of the easiest recording booths for you to make on your own. It is small and portable and perfect for those who need to take their studio on the road with them. It should be noted that this booth is great even for those that don’t travel, who just want a compact booth that gets the job done and doesn’t cost much to make.
You will need:
- Studio foam (can be found at local music supply shops or online)
- Whitmor cube
- Bread knife
- Tape measure
Assembling the cube could not be easier. Cut the foam to size and simply put it along the inside edges of the cube. Place the mic inside. That’s it. You’re done.
5. The Blanket Vocal Booth
Of all the simple DIY vocal booth ideas on this list, this one is the simplest. It requires nothing you don’t already have laying around the house. Which makes it perfect for those on a tight budget but who still need quality sound.
What you need:
- A blanket
- Some way to hang it from the ceiling- this could be anything from hooks and string to wire and some clamps, feel free to get creative with whatever you have on hand.
To set up, simply hand the blanket from the ceiling like in the picture above and you are set. It really is that simple and it works. This is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of extra time or money but who need to be able to record quick vocals.
6. Vocal Recording booth from trash
This is another easy to follow project that will you can complete in a short amount of time. Not only do you get great sound, but it is easy to fold away and store when not in use.
What you will need:
- Cardboard box
- Empty masking tape roll
- Pair of stockings
- Towel, bathrobe or rug, anything with soft fibers
- Two toilet paper cores
The first thing you need to do is lay the cloth materials along the inside of the box, covering all sides. Then made a stand for your recording device using an old toilet paper core. This is important because it lowers the vibrations and gives you a cleaner sound.
If you are looking for a low-tech way to soften the tones of your voice this tutorial has that covered as well. Take the stockings and pull them over the empty roll of masking tape. Place this in front of your recording device and your tones will be cleaner and easier for others to listen to.
7. PVC Vocal Booth #2
This vocal booth is very similar to the third one on this list. You will build the booth with PVC piping and packing blankets but then add a step of lining the inside of the booth with foam. This adds another layer of soundproofing for high quality sound.
As you can see, building a DIY vocal booth does not have to be expensive or hard. Whether you are recording music or you are taping podcasts, these tips will help you build the booth you need with ease.