Recording at home is never easy at first when you want to start. Especially if the space you own was never intended to have recording done in it. Because I am doing VoiceOvers now as a supplemental income thing, I don’t intend on remortgaging the house anytime soon to get the latest in recording and soundproofing technology. I won’t say I’m building it “on a budget” because everything is on a budget. I will say that I want to build it as inexpensively as possible and get the best value I can.
The space I use is in the quietest part of the house I could find: the basement. It is partially finished and is essentially the man cave. It is also ideal for late night recording projects as the bedrooms are 2 floors up ( I work nights at my full-time job).
The problem I face now is that I am not happy with my current soundproofing set up. After doing many sessions in a commercial studio with a professionally set up vocal booth, you tend to see and hear the difference in your work at home. With some changes I made in the room in the last year, my situation has improved and it was surprisingly not that expensive. (I did use my audio editing software to clean up the audio but you can only do so much.)
By “not that expensive”, I mean this:
- Studding – I built some temporary walls around my desk space for recording using utility grade 2×4’s (about $1 a piece for 8 foots) and skinned the outside with some cheap paneling. At the bottom of one wall, I left a hole to run cabling to my recording PC which was placed outside the desk space.
*Wood ran me just under $40
- “Soundproofing” – not really 100% but dampening or lessening echos really. I picked up some carpet underlay and stapled it to the studs inside my desk space (blue side out, looks kind of cool, actually). Also is a great bulletin board, just straighten out a paperclip and you can hang a script page.
*This was about half the cost of the wood, so around $20 or so.
Now this did work at appeasing me for a while and I could work with it as it stood. But the more I recorded, the more I wanted to improve it.
So, after seeing several ads for “portable booths”, I decided to try a variation of that myself . I essentially built a box, lined with foam squares with an egg carton-type surface and put my mic stand, mic, and pop filter inside.
*Scrap wood around the house $0 and foam cost me $10
The difference in background noise improved greatly by essentially closing off 3 of 4 sides around my mic (270 degrees, perhaps you could say). There remains the background noise, mostly room echo, that comes from behind me and into the mic. (I have tried using a bipanel door with foam glued on but it’s not as effective as I would like it to be.)
So, the plan is this:
- To make a 36″ x 36″ recording booth attached on the other side of the current desk space. There will be a step up into the booth to isolate the inside floor from the laminate floor that it will set on as laminate telegraphs sharp noises from outside the booth. (Its true, I have heard it elsewhere)
- Insulate the void in the booth properly and line the inside with the correct Auralex foam.
- The Cure for Bad Recording Conditions at Home — Editors Keys Release the New Portable Vocal Booth ‘Home’ Edition (uk.prweb.com)
- 5 Tasteful Ways to Soundproof Your Space (casasugar.com)
- Room Soundproofing – Everything You Should Know (mydecorarticles.com)
- The Portable Field Recorder – Overcoming A Major Stumbling Block For The Novice (audiofieldrecordings.wordpress.com)