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Designing and Building A Guitar / Vocal Booth

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  • Designing and Building A Guitar / Vocal Booth

    I am renovating a room in my house right now and I have decided to make the closet in the room a guitar and vocal booth. Keep in mind I am a carpenter so the labour is not a factor in cost or time. Before I build it, I would like some advice from the forum...

    1) Is it possible to make a booth that will be good for both guitar and vocals?

    2) What dimensions should I build? I would like it big enough for 1/2 stacks with 100 & 50 W heads, and of course the vocalist.

    3) I would like to insulate the walls to limit as much sound outside the closet as possible. Sould the walls be 2X4 or 2X6 studs? Wood or metal studs? Sould I use a double layer of 5/8 sheetrock inside and/or outside the closet? Is normal R20 or R15 insulation enough to sound proof? Should the walls be paralell or should angles be incorporated? What would you recomend?

    4) Room treatment. Should the entire booth be treated with foam or the "checker" pattern? Ideas for the floor or ceiling? Currently, the floor is hardwood and the ceiling is sheetrock.

    5) It would obviously be more convienient to have a power recepticle in the closet. Is there and reason not to put one in there?

    6) What kind of door(s) should the closet / booth have? I'd prefer a solid core wood door if I can get away with it.

    7) Am I missing anything?

    I seem to reacll hearing/reading about a company (Auralex perhaps?) that will help design rooms for potential customers...links anyone? Thanks for the help guys.

  • #3
    I forgot to mention that you can attach the SoundBoard to the studs by mounting them to resilient channel strips, which further stop the vibrations from being channeled through the wall.

    The idea in all this is that you are trying to isolate the vocal/gtr booth from everything else.
    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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    • #4
      My current design has the booth coming out of a corner of the room like so:
      /
      _/ The top two slashes being the existing walls/corner.

      It would basically be a 5 sided booth withou any parallel walls. Would this design also help to break up the acoustics of the room if I were to record a kit in it? After the acoustics and soundproofing questions, my main concern is the dimensions. I'd like to keep it as small as possible...

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      • #6
        I understand that but I can only work with the room I have.

        What I am saying is that after I build the booth I can use the rest of the room for items such as a kit.

        I want to keep the booth as small as possible, while retaining a good area for acoustics for the amps and vocals, and thus leaving as much space as possible in the room for the drums. The shape of the booth I was refering to is also to help break up the room's parallel walls.

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        • #7
          Gotcha. I misunderstood you before, thinking that you wanted the room with the drums to be as small as possible. Which really should made me read your other post more carefully since that makes little sense! Oh, well....sorry 'bout that!

          And as you suspect, the non-parallel walls should be quite beneficial. Lucky you. I can't do that with my room.
          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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          • #8
            No worries.

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            • #9
              Strange,
              Remember, one of the corners of your room can be used-retro-fitted as half, or all of your booth. This takes up less space too!
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/guitarlessonsinriversideca" target="_blank">http://www.myspace.com/guitarlessonsinriversideca</a></div>

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              • #10
                Any measurements on the room / closet in question? That might be helpful for us in helping you.

                As far as isolation, a few general suggestions:

                Mass is your friend. The heavier a partition, the more it will reduce sound passing through it - especially at lower frequencies.

                Dissimilar materials can be useful due to boundary layer effects (sound doesn't travel well between the boundary layers of two materials of dissimilar density). IOW, instead of two sheets of 5/8" sheetrock, I would suggest a layer of 1/2", followed by a layer of soundboard, followed by a layer of 5/8" sheetrock. All mounted on resilient channel, as Ken suggested. Cross layer the materials too... IOW, if your first layer of materials is mounted vertically, mount the second layer horizontally, and the final layer vertically again. Mud and tape each layer so that there are no cracks, and caulk around the perimeter, because...

                Air tight is also your friend. If air can pass through, so can sound. IOW, good gaskets and heavy doors are a must!

                Studs / framing? There's a couple of ways you can go... first of all, decoupling is a good idea... when two materials are mechanically coupled, sound / vibration will travel through one material and into the other far easier than if they are only connected via air, or if they are decoupled via neoprene or other resiliant materials. Instead of using a normal wall type construction (2X4 frame with wallboard on each side), you'd be better off using a "staggered stud" configuration (2X6 base, with 2X4's "staggered" so that the two seperate 'sides" of the new wall don't touch except at the 2X6 base and the cap up by the ceiling. Even better still is a pair of seperate waills, each made the standard way, but seperated by a couple of inches of airspace. No need to "skin" the interior of each, but filling the interior with fiberglass is good.

                As far as the sound INSIDE the new booth, the best material is semi-rigid compressed fiberglass or mineral wool (3 lbs / cu ft density or heavier - Owens Corning type 703 or equiv - check with insullation suppliers / contractors and A/C companies). It can be covered with a fabric such as colored burlap or Guilford of Maine fabrics. It's less expensive than acoustical foam, and absorbs better. While foam and fiberglass are normally best at absorbing mids and highs, when placed 2" out from the wall (2X2's will work), you get even better broadband absorption from it than if you just glue it directly to the surface of the wall.

                Generally, I think that the smaller the room is, the "deader" it should be, but don't overdo it though. Too much material will disproportionally absorb the mids and highs and you'll wind up with a bass heavy sounding space. Of course, in an iso booth, you don't have a lot of space for bass trapping, but you can use those wall / ceiling junctures for some... just angle some 2X4' sheets of that semi-rigid fiberglass diagonally (45 degree angles between the wall / ceiling, using the 2' width to bridge between the wall and the ceiling) across those wall / ceiling corners and that will definitely help.

                Please get us some dimensions on the room and we'll see if we can't get you some more specific suggestions.

                Oh, BTW, the Auralex site is at www.auralex.com - and they do sell neoprene isolators as well as mineral wool.
                **********

                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                - George Carlin

                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                • #11
                  Beautifull. That is a huge start Phill and much appreciated. Excellent info on the materials and applications!!

                  The room dimensions are 135" (11' 3") X 120" (10') with an 8' ceiling. The old closet is already demo'ed so those are my rough dimensions. My main area of concern now is the actual dimensions for the interior of the booth. The room isn't that large and I would like the booth to look as closet like as possible...ie not a huge space occupied.

                  A few more questions...

                  *Would I keep the hardwood floor in the booth or treat it as well?

                  *Is my design for a 5 sided (ie roughly a triangle shape) booth wedged in a corner a sound plan or would a rectangle or square be better?

                  *Is it a good/bad idea to have the electrical outlet in the closet. I would assume in the closet is a necessity.

                  *I am familiar with Auralex products and their site. Are they the company that does the consultation?

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                  • #12
                    I'm sorry Phil.....are you suggesting that ripping off my hinged closet doors and draping Winnie the Pooh blankies over them isn't up to snuff?










                    ok, it's a bit ghetto.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">If I ever get to the point where I can't even turn my own tuning knobs, someboy please shoot my roadie. - Jeremy Skrenes<br />
                    </div>

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                    • #13
                      Man. I've done that more times than I can remember...but my blanket of choice was STAR WARS.

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                      • #14
                        i had a he-man sleeping bag on the wall behind the drumkit at one point, does that count?

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                        • #15
                          Originally posted by guitwizz
                          Strange,
                          Remember, one of the corners of your room can be used-retro-fitted as half, or all of your booth. This takes up less space too!


                          Can you explain this further guitwizz?

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