Recording in the studio can be an expensive process. Learn how to build your own DIY vocal booth at home that’ll fit your budget. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll have access to record your singing in an environment conducive to creating quality.
In this article we’ll let you know the tool and tricks you’ll need, to create your very own recording setup.
How to build your own DIY vocal booth at home
If you want to record your own music at a low cost, find out how to build your own DIY vocal booth at home. This is a much more affordable option than buying a professional vocal booth. And you’ll even be able to make use of things you have lying around the house.
Your vocals are arguably the most important part of your song. So you need them to sound mint. If you record in an open space your voice will reverberate around the room, and that’s not a good thing. The larger space you’re in, the worse it will be. If you’ve heard of podcasters and voice-over artists recording from their coat closet, this is why. Reduce the room and you reduce the reverb. This helps you sound up close, rather than far and distant.
How do you make a homemade vocal booth?
With a full size professional vocal booth costing anywhere from £600 to £4000, you’ll make a whopping saving by creating your own. Some of the options we’ll suggest involving buying some kit. Others utilise everyday items, making your own vocal booth a very real possibility. Even with no budget at all.
Here are some things to think about before you begin building.
- You’ll be spending a lot of time in your booth. It can feel claustrophobic and get hot quickly. Try to use low energy lighting options to reduce any extra heat build-up.
- If you’re building a 4 x 4 booth (we’ll go into more detail on what that is later), you’ll still need access to power for a mic, playback and possibly keys. Remember to run a power pack, or leave gaps to access power points on the wall.
- Get some fans, ideally silent ones. A few small ones at a low level work better than one big one. You can switch these off during takes if they’re noisy. But it helps ventilate the room in between.
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How do you make a homemade recording studio?
Of course, vocals may only be part of your recording. If you play an instrument or several instruments, you’ll need to record these also. If you want the full recording experience, not just a facility for vocals, you’ll need (at the very least) a laptop with recording software and a decent mic. But you can add in all sorts of extras. If you have a garage or a solid shed, these may be places you can create a studio environment. Brick or stone-built constructions are excellent starting points, as they’re more solid than wood. Although a timber-clad interior is helpful. You have to work with what’s available to you.
Building a cheap vocal booth
A booth also keeps out exterior noises. This is important when recording, especially at home, where you’ll have a lot of extraneous sounds like traffic if you live on a busy road or other household members. It won’t be a soundproofed space if you’re doing it yourself, but it will absorb a great deal and this applies to both incoming noise and your own sound. While you may have a beautiful voice, your neighbours might not want to hear 200 takes of the same song. Your vocal booth provides a little more protection for the music escaping.
It’s not just about finding a confined, quiet space to record in. Not every small room will enhance your sound. You’ll need to add some material and features to make it work for you. A wardrobe or cupboard may be ok for the spoken word, but sung vocals need a different kind of environment to sound their best.
How can I make a cheap vocal booth?
You can build your own reflection filter using foam. This works really well on higher frequencies, but less so on lower ones. The thicker the foam the better. Buy big panels very cheaply. If you already have a room that works well, has little reverb or sound leakage, then you have the option to use panels in places on the wall. This is opposed to fully lining the space. You can see this technique used in this video, where only some space on the wall is lined with acoustic and foam panels. Foam is the best option for your ceiling if covering the area above your head.
DIY vocal booth plans
It may seem odd, but the most crucial areas to cover are behind and above the singer. This means, if you have very limited resources, you should ensure that you have some coverage at least in these areas. If you have a room with an echo, you can also use egg boxes, or something similar to absorb the sound. Controversy to popular belief, egg boxes won’t work as soundproofing. But bumpy materials help to deaden down the sound a little. Additionally, you should avoid using dimmer lighting in your booth space. This creates electromagnetic fields that can create a subtle buzz on your recording.