Doug Orey is a Student Advisor at Berkleemusic.com. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2009 where he earned a degree in Music Business and Management. He is currently an avid gigging musician heavily involved in the Boston rock scene. He is the lead singer/rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for The Field Effect (http://thefieldeffectmusic.com/). He enjoys pizza and also has a beard.
One of the toughest parts of recording in a home studio can be tracking vocals. Your bedroom most likely wasn’t designed with room acoustics in mind. Maybe you have roommates or younger siblings moving about and making noise. Or if you’re like me you live in the city on a busy street and with all kinds of traffic at all hours of the day.
A few years ago I stumbled upon a blog post in some random corner of the interweb about how to build a portable isolation booth for under $30. At first a kind of scoffed at the idea, thinking it was most likely a scheme to get you to open a credit card and once you spent “X” amount of money you got some kind of a gift card you could use to buy all the supplies you need for such a project. In reality it turned out to be one of the simplest and straightforward ideas I have ever seen.
Here is what you’ll need:
1 Collapsible Storage Cube – (This is a set of two but you should be able to find just one for around $5 to $7 at your local Target or Wal-Mart)
1 Sheet of Acoustic Foam – (You can find a 12 pack here but should be able to pick up a single sheet from you local Guitar Center)
I think perhaps the most difficult part of the project is going to be cutting and fitting the foam into the cube. I suggest beginning with the sheet for the rear of the cube. Take your measurement and cut the foam to fit. Keep in mind this is soft foam so it doesn’t have to be perfect you’ll be able to mash it in there.
Once this is done cut the piece for the top of the cube. Remember to take into account the space that is being taken up by the foam you just put inside.
Repeat this step for both sides.
And there you have your finished portable isolation booth!
I actually didn’t build mine for the portability factor. I ended up measuring my height and actually mounting it to my bedroom wall. By cutting a whole in the bottom I was able easily take mics in and out. For those of you on the road touring or travelling for work this is the perfect solution to help improve the quality of your demos on the road!
Check out our Acoustics course if you want to get REALLY deep into sound isolation!
Berkleemusic’s next term begins on April 2nd, 2012.
Find out more at berkleemusic.com or contact a Student Advisor:
1-866-BERKLEE (USA) | +1 617 747 2146 (Intl) | firstname.lastname@example.org