Instructables
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In this tutorial we will make a DIY portable mini vocal booth that can be used to record your voice on the road (on a flash disc recorder). But there's more that can be done with this easy to make project.
You can cancel background noise when doing Foley recordings in your project or home studio, or have a portable mini dead room, ideal for specialized field recording.

The DIY Portable Mini Vocal Booth is ideal for podcasters, DIY filmakers and sound designers alike. My personal motivation to build this, was a desire to have a mobile mini deadroom to make foley recordings and recordings for my music.

For additional resources and more tutorials go to Humanworkshop.com
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Step 1: Why a Mini Vocal Booth?

While a recording session with live played instruments might involve one or multiple 'room' mic's to enhence the sound, some recordings need to be as small and 'dead' as possible.
In Short: If you dont have a treated room your audio quality gets comprimised by the reflections of soundwaves on hard surfaces in your room. A deadroom or treated room, ensure a clean recording with as little 'room' or 'echo' as possible. Once you have the perfect recording you can treat the audio with any reverb, effect processor or VST you come up with. Its better to add things later than not being able to remove things later.

IR / Convolution reverb
A common practise in sound design is applying an Impulse respondse (IR) Reverb to a recording. A IR reverb uses the actual reverb of a room. like the name suggests, an impulse, like a loud clap or a starters pistol, triggers a decay. The charactaristics of a room can be applied to any sound source this way. The less room in a recording the better the results will be when you use a IR reverb. There are IR kits featuring crazy rooms like a pharao's tombe chamber in a pyramid, but you can also choose what seat you'd like to have in carnegie hall. More info aboutIR reverbs
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taodih3 years ago
If you do not feel like getting foam and go for the extreem cheap version you can always use egg carton, it's used alot to insulate a room for bands to play in. On the cheap ofcource.

and if in dire need you can replace the entire material with just the egg carton.
taodih taodih3 years ago
wiki quote

"Similarly, acoustic foam tiles which help in sound proofing and the limitation of acoustic resonance have a similar form to egg crates. Egg crate mattresses are occasionally used as an inexpensive but poor substitute to acoustic foam."

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_carton
Kawaiigirls3 years ago
That looks okay it might handle some basic reflections but I cringe thinking about my lovely voice going through the foam and vibrating on that cardboard I got one of these AE-F reflection filters for cheap http://www.soundkitz.com/Gargoyle%20Reflection%20Filter.htm and it's been doing an awesome job so far.
dchall85 years ago
This is a great idea! I suspect you could get away with any foam as long as it was not a solid surface like closed cell Styrofoam. The foam in this 'ible looks like ordinary waffle-type packing foam, but it might be more special than that. I would try using the waffle foam things they make for the top of your mattress. I'll bet you don't need to look any further than Walmart for waffly foam. Is there a reason for a metal pan in the last picture? Why not cut one more piece of foam to fit the bottom? -and another for up top for that matter?
The 'waffle foam things' are not really useful at all. It's the equivalent of stapling a mattress to the wall in lieu of decent acoustic treatment. Now, the "memory foam" crap...THAT I would love to see. Seems like the same consistency - open-celled and dense - which makes me think it would much cheaper for treating a room, rather than these little squares that sell for $60...
$60 for a square? Maybe $60 for a pack of 24 squares but definitely not $60 for a single square. They usuallly sell these waffle squares in packs of like 10 atleast but not for that price. Either way its gonna be worth the money unless you happen to work at sleep number bed or sleepy boy matresses or whatever and get some left over of defected matresses or basically salavge for free and experiment. As for the "memory foam crap" one can experiment., but I can see how it would dampen sound but I dont kno how good it can be if useful enough.
Much of Sonex's stuff is, in all seriousness, visco-elastic urethane waffle mattress liners. A lot of them improve sound deadening compared to the waffle-style by having deeper wedges that trap sound better. But as far as material goes, rubber (especially open-cell expanded polyurethane) has one of the best sound attenuating properties of almost any material, natural or manmade.

But I think a lot of the cheaper waffle liners are that "foamy" foam that may or may not be close enough to rubber for the best attenuation, but it will still do.
humanworkshop (author)  guitarman63mm5 years ago
@ guitarman, ah you commented on another comment, i was wondering what you were talking about ;)
humanworkshop (author)  guitarman63mm5 years ago
waffle foam things? memory foam crap? commented on the wrong instructable maybe?
humanworkshop (author)  dchall85 years ago
Yup, its even better to also put foam on the bottom. The Bowl was there because thats what i recorded as a test run. I did not make one for the bottom because in most cases the surfaces would be eighter uneven or soft and thus sound absorbing. There is one for up top though, walk trough the tutorial and you'll see ;) You can make a portable mini vocal booth with as many folds as you like, this way you can choose to leave just a few inches open if you only use it for voice recording for instance. Sound can travel trough very
humanworkshop (author)  humanworkshop5 years ago
**small openings
grumo4 years ago
Why the metal bowl on the picture for the last step? A 'plate' reverb? Sorry if it's a stupid question, I'm quite new to this...
humanworkshop (author)  grumo4 years ago
nope nothing special, it was there coz i wanted to record it when hammered (with rice inside)
nfarrow5 years ago
What kind of Mic is that? or what kind of mic should I buy?
humanworkshop (author)  nfarrow5 years ago
@nfarrow It really depends on the purpose you'll be using it for. You can buy very decent mic's for 50$ these days, but when doing pro recordings 5(0).000 is possible also. I use a shotgun mic in the picture. For more info about what kind of mic to use check out the link in the tutorials' 'placing the mic' chapter. (one tip is to buy a condenser, as dynamic mic's dont pick up much room in the first place, so you wont need a vocal booth anyway.)
marksstudio5 years ago
Try double faced tape, maybe up a grade from carpet tape, but I'm sure carpet tape would be acceptable. 3m makes a great tape called VHB for very high bond. Great Instructable!
I had made a similar dead room for some recordings that I make. I record off my land line telephone in the speaker phone mode. I listen in on meetings of the organization to which I belong when I am unable to attend. My dead room is a small rectangle that is big enough to get a small speaker, usually used for my laptop, and a microphone inside. Like your "room", my box is lined with fingered foam. Mine came as packing foam. For my purposes this works great. I can't hook the recorder and the phone directly due to the hum created.
http://www.foambymail.com/Products.html

Stuff on there ranging from about $0.90 per sq ft to $2.20, which seem relatively good.

At the very least seems cheaper than the other guys, and it's nearly the same exact stuff material wise.

Although it irks me slightly that they don't have the really nice deep wedges.
I seriously recommend AudioEase Altiverb 6. It's the best sounding IR-VST I've heard.
humanworkshop (author)  regularjohnny5 years ago
yes, my first choise also.

To keep things in DIY spirit there ilso the free SIR 1 http://www.knufinke.de/sir/sir1.html
Hatredman5 years ago
The project (and the idea) are great, but why bolts? It looks stupid to do so. What's the problem with glue? Not criticizing (yet) but I didn't really get it.
humanworkshop (author)  Hatredman5 years ago
I choose bolts, so i can take it off. You can do it permanently with staples. Foam + glue is no good imho. Adhesives tend to work less good with structures with air holes
Humm, I get your point. There are accoustic foams, however, that comes "ready to glue", you just have to peel a plastic cover. And they´re cheap.

http://www.illbruck-sonex.com/broadcastaudio.php

(Again, I'm not criticizing you. I just thought it was valid to bring the attention of readers to this. Your project is great, cheap and simple, like all good ideas seem to be, and I'm doing one myself for a school movie project I'm involved with now).
humanworkshop (author)  Hatredman5 years ago
When a product is designed to work with glue its logicall to use glue. But again, glue is permanent (until it peels off, which renders it useless most of the time) I think the foam you link to will be more expensive then isolation foam. When in a construction like this i wouldnt spend too much money the foam. Good luck with the project! thats why i posted it here, so people can put it to good use.
humanworkshop (author) 5 years ago
thanks guys, glad you all like it.
Ooh i think ill do this I make some mobile podcasts and will do this for our car I made something similar with a full he\d helmet for my bicycle
Bartboy5 years ago
Cool!