Mic Room Soundproofing?

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Music Afficionado
Member Since: Aug 12, 2008

I currently have a 4.5'x4.5' vocal booth that has auralex foam on everything but the ceiling. I had an exterior steel door with head to toe glass installed backwards - all of wihch seems to work pretty damn well. However, at what size is it unnessary to "deaden" out a vocal room? Meaning, I would like my next studio to have a vocal room approx. 8x10 - mainly used for vocals and accoustic guitar but would be big enough to record an entire drumset. Anytime I see larger studios with vocal rooms they often times only have a rug on the floor and (what appears) to be minimal soundproofing - mainly in the corners. Is there a general rule of thumb once you get up to certain dimensions? Thanks.

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Sep 22, 2008 01:01 pm

It seems to me your are mistaking "soundproofing" and "room tuning".

The auralex, carpet and such is only for tuning the room, deadening some frequencies and the like. Sound proofing is stopping sound from getting out or outside sound from getting in, thats an entirely different situation.

Most vocal rooms I have ever been in simply carpet the walls very thinly, I have only been in one completely dead room in my life, and it's a very disturbing feeling and not pleasant to record in. You want to have a little bit of sound bouncing around...

Ne'er ate 'er
Since: Apr 05, 2006

Sep 22, 2008 01:38 pm

a very disturbing feeling and not pleasant to record in

Yeah, the same feeling as being outside in a thick fog.

I'm considering hanging pleated curtains in my new room.. Everyone will think it's full of windows. May be more aesthetically pleasing for the ol' lady as well.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Sep 22, 2008 01:43 pm

A true "dead room" is really, really weird. You can literally feel your heart beat, there is no bouncing sound at all...very, very strange.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Sep 22, 2008 10:06 pm

Yep, you really only want to control the bounce in a vocal booth. In some voice over booth cases there may be more deadening but rarely complete dead air.

People who have never been in a tuned room let alone a dead room have a freak out when they come here. The mixing room here is also set up for me to play live guitar or synth in and it is a bit frightening for some the first time they come in here as there is pretty much no echo at all.

so basically you simply want to control the echo a booth might have.

The bigger the room the more control, but only to a point. Your best alternative is to make it tunable for more then one type of use.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Sep 22, 2008 10:22 pm

There are three things you keep in mind with a vocal booth:

1) Never, ever, under any circumstances, make it square.

2) Never cover the walls with foam - Especially if it's square.

3) Always, ALWAYS kill the ceiling.

You've made a low-end resonant chamber and then took all the high end out of it so the low end is free to take over completely. The only thing you can really do with it is to rip all the interior drywall out of it and fill the stud space with 703 or rockwool. Including the ceiling. Never leave the ceiling live... Leave the floor live, no doubt.

I'd completely agree with the larger room - But 8x10 is a reasonably small vocal booth - Not a drum room. And 8x10 is a (very) bad ratio. Not as bad as 1:1, but not much better.

Before you even think about driving another nail, I'd start looking for titles by F. Alton Everest. The titles themselves will reveal which books you should be looking at.

And make sure you budget enough for reasonable room treatment - "Real" broadband treatment - Not foam. Always, ALWAYS take care of the low end first - The high end will tend to take care of itself if the low end is in order.

www.massivemastering.com/...Room_Setup.html -- Generally, it applies mostly to monitoring situations. But the physics of low end / broadband absorption are pretty much universal. Guaranteed those "simple" vocal booths you're seeing in the larger studios are anything but "simple" in construction...

Music Afficionado
Since: Aug 12, 2008

Oct 02, 2008 11:18 am

Thanks for all the replies. I have been away from a computer for a bit. It's funny that the way I had it set up is about as wrong as you can get - exactly why I joined (and thoroughly enjoy) this forum.
Well, since posted, things have changed and my wife and I have bought a completely different house. I am trying to choose between 2 rooms in the basement to determine which will be my studio - again my studio would be a control room and then a mic room/booth as I record mainly vocals. Both rooms have 9' ceilings
I uploaded rough to-scale diagrams of both options on my profile in case any of you could take a look and let me know what you recommend.
One room is approx. 18x14 which I would divide so that the mic room would be about 6.5'x14' leaving the control room to be about 10.5'x14'. The other room is 14'x15' but has a rather large but oddly shaped unfinished storage space behind it which I would use for a vocal room. It has a nook that you can see in the pics - not sure if i should just close that off? Obviously finishing the oddly shaped storage room would be cheaper and better for resale than dividing a perfectly good room with a halfwall/halfglass partition. However (with kids undoubtedly on the way at some point) this could be my last shot of having the studio as a personal priority so I would like to do it as right as possible this go around. As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated. Once I hear back, I well then re-ask questions regarding soundproofind and room tuning each room. Thanks so much!

Music Afficionado
Since: Aug 12, 2008

Oct 02, 2008 11:19 am

Forgot to also say - the pics show up as the red Xs on my computer but if you click on them the load to view just fine. Thanks.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 02, 2008 11:23 am

try uploading them again...the code didn't create the thumbnails automatically like it should have...

Since: Feb 07, 2005

Oct 02, 2008 11:36 am

A true "dead room" is really, really weird. You can literally feel your heart beat, there is no bouncing sound at all...very, very strange.

At work here we have a round room with a dome ceiling. Very strange... actually I should try and record something in there. But ya, a dead room sucks sound right out of your ears.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Oct 02, 2008 11:57 am

This is a pretty good resource for soundproofing and sound treatment. It's put on by Auralex so they pimp Auralex products, but the site itself is full of good info:


Mans reach exceeds his grasp
Since: Oct 23, 2007

Oct 02, 2008 02:04 pm

Here's a beginners jumping point for you- www.homerecordingconnecti...ory&id=1467

Since: Jun 28, 2010

Jun 28, 2010 03:42 am

Soundproofing is different from room tuning. But if youre looking for the former, Id recommend QuietRock soundproofing drywall. Cuts out 90% of outside noise and works great!

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