Vocal booths are ideal for singers, musicians, or voice-over artists because they act like mini studios, dampening any outside noise, so you get the best recording possible. But, unfortunately, a professional booth could cost a lot of money to install. So, if you need a booth but want to save some money, why not try building a simple yet sturdy vocal booth out of wood?
Here are eight easy steps for building a simple wooden vocal booth:
- Measure and cut the wood frame.
- Screw the wood pieces together, creating the booth walls.
- Place the insulation inside of the wooden wall frames.
- Staple the insulation to plywood backing.
- Cover the insulation with fabric or material of your choice.
- Join the wall frames together with screws or door hinges.
- Place an acoustic panel on top of the wooden walls.
- Add carpet to the floor.
- Add foam panels to the inside walls (optional).
- Try it out.
This article will cover all the steps to building a simple do-it-yourself wooden vocal booth. We’ll also discuss what you need to, how to put it together, and the best ways to cancel outside noise.
1. Measure and Cut the Wood Frame
Measuring and cutting the wood is essential and the first step to designing the best do-it-yourself vocal booth.
Before measuring the wood pieces, it would be best to consider:
- Your height – if you’re particularly tall, you’ll need to account for that. Although many people can work while seated, you’ll want the option to sit or stand comfortably.
- How wide you want the booth – as mentioned, your comfort is critical. For example, if you’re an audio-book artist, you may want to include a comfy chair, which will take up more room. You might also want to have space for a desk.
- How noisy it is around you – if you live alone in a detached house, you won’t have to worry as much about soundproofing as someone who lives with people or in an apartment.
- The overall shape – a square or rectangle will be the easiest to make, but if you have a specific area it needs to fit into, you might need to rethink the shape.
- Where the booth will be – it would be easier to attach the booth to a wall and even easier if you have a corner it will fit into.
Once you have the above figured out, it’s time to start the design and build.
Here are a few primary items you’ll need to begin:
- Plywood measuring 0.25 inches (6.35 mm) thick
- Screws and a drill or electric screwdriver
- Measuring tape
- Insulation or acoustic foam
- A staple gun or heavy stapler
- Fabric or material to place over your insulation
- Scissors or box cutters
Once you have decided how tall, how wide, and the shape you want your booth, you will need to begin cutting down the wood pieces to match your design. If you have decided on a simple wooden cube, it will be easiest to start with an overall square or rectangular shape for your frame.
2. Screw the Wood Pieces Together, Creating the Booth Walls
This section should be relatively easy. Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure the wooden pieces are the exact length and width of each wall frame. For example, if your walls are six feet in length and two feet in width, you would ensure each section of your wall is the exact measurements.
- Use a screwdriver, drill, or electric screwdriver to bind the pieces together to make the frame. If attaching to a wall or in a corner, start with those sections, securing the structure to the wall before building the unattached frames.
- For free-floating frames, place the wooden pieces in the correct shape and begin by drilling screws into the end of the width piece. In this case, you’ll have a rectangular, loose frame on the floor or your workbench.
- To create a more solid wall frame, you may also want to place another wooden stabilizer between the two longer pieces. This will be the same length as the end pieces.
Check out this video for a more detailed visual:
Be sure to leave the wooden frame empty. That is where you will be placing the acoustic foam or insulation. You can add a stabilizer to the stand; however, most of the frame should be left empty.
3. Place the Insulation Inside of the Wooden Wall Frames
Whether you decide to use acoustic foam or insulation is your choice. Each individual will have their reasons for using each.
For example, some people may have an allergy to insulation which may irritate your skin or eyes, so you may prefer to use acoustic foam instead.
Here’s how to fill the wooden frames:
- Begin by laying out your wall frames side by side.
- Next, place the insulation or acoustic foam with the paper facing the ground.
- Finally, cut or measure the insulation or foam to fit perfectly inside of the wall frames.
Be Cautious With Insulation
Chances are, you’d know if you have an insulation allergy. But if you’ve never come into contact with it, look out for itchy or watery eyes, itchy skin, or rashes; you may also have difficulty breathing.
If you create a vocal booth with insulation, you should be aware that this can be a common problem for anyone with this type of allergy. Do your research and be careful not to use any material that may harm or injure you, your pets, or your family.
If you have any allergy to insulation, you may want to wear protective gear such as gloves or a mask to prevent any uncomfortable rashes or other health issues.
4. Staple the Insulation to Plywood Backing
Once the insulation is cut to fit, you’ll need to secure it in place. The easiest way to do this is by stapling (or gluing) it to a sheet of plywood.
Make sure you stick the plywood to the side with the paper. There should be writing on that side, so you know where to glue.
Alternatively, if you used insulation with paper backing, you can just staple that to the frame. Though an extra sheet of plywood will provide both stability and another layer of protection from unwanted sounds.
5. Cover the Insulation With Fabric or Material of Your Choice
If you have decided to use acoustic foam to insulate your wooden vocal booth, you may opt-out of wrapping your booth in fabric. That step is optional and is only needed if you use pink insulation for your booth or if you choose not to add a sheet of plywood.
Here’s how to cover the insulated frame with fabric:
- Once the insulation is attached to the frame, flip it over so the paper side is on the ground and the insulation is exposed.
- Using your chosen black fabric – which can be a simple flat bedsheet – pull and staple it to the frame.
The sheet is more to ensure the insulation doesn’t come out and o protect users from irritation.
Again, the best option is to cover the whole frame with a sheet of plywood, sandwiching the insulation in place.
6. Join the Wall Frames Together With Screws or Door Hinges
This next step is solely dependent on your choice of shape for your wooden vocal booth. If you have decided to make a cube and aren’t planning to move the booth from room to room, you may want to add screws to pin it all together.
However, if you want to fold up your booth, you may decide that door hinges replacing essential screws would be the best bet for you and your situation.
Watch this video as a guide:
If you decide to add screws, place your pieces together while it’s standing up to avoid hills or uneven platforms. That will bypass any mistakes and unneeded holes in your booth.
Add screws to the tops and bottoms of the wall frames. That will add balance and stabilization to your vocal booth. If you have opted out of using a door hinge and keep your booth unmoveable, then screwing down the top piece will form a better sound than just a four-wall booth experience.
7. Place an Acoustic Panel on Top of the Wooden Walls
Placing a lid or panel on top of the wooden vocal booth should help create a balance and keep out unwanted noise.
You’ll create the top panel in the same way you made the wall frames:
- Measure a piece of plywood to fit the dimensions of the box.
- Build a frame to those dimensions.
- Fill the frame with insulation or foam panels.
- Cover with fabric or another piece of plywood.
- Place your top panel on top of the secured frame and screw it into place.
If you have decided to use door hinges, you may choose not to screw down your panel. That is solely up to you and the design you have preferred to create.
It’s also a good idea to make a matching panel and add it to the floor. The more insulation you use, the better the soundproofing will be.
8. Add Carpet to the Floor
Once the walls are secure, and the roof is in place, the final step is to add a carpet. You’ll need this to prevent any unwanted sounds from your shoes or from a chair moving.
Any carpet will help with sound dampening but know that the thicker, the better.
You might also want to consider adding fabric to the walls to help dampen the sound. This doesn’t prevent noise from outside coming in but will prevent echoing or reverberation from your voice as it hits the walls.
9. Add Foam Panels to the Inside Walls (Optional)
The combination of plywood and insulation should be enough for a simple vocal booth. However, if you live in a particularly noisy area or need the booth to be extra quiet, you can take one more step to guarantee silence.
Foam panels, like these Siless 12 Pack Acoustic Panels from Amazon.com, are designed for use in studios and booths.
- ★ Good Sound Absorption Characteristics - If you are mixing music in a recording studio, you have...
- ★ Quality - You may be concerned that our acoustic soundproof foam is so lightweight and...
- ★ Value - Acoustic Foam Panels are so popular, because they are the most cost effective, studio...
Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
They’re high-density panels with a wedges design, which is to help with sound vibrations. The shape absorbs sound far better than a solid, flat wall, making your booth less echoey and your voice crystal clear.
10. Try It Out
Now that you have created your wooden vocal booth, the last step is to try it out! You put all that work into your booth; now, you need to make sure it works the way you want it to operate.
Remember that whether you are using a $30 microphone or a $200 microphone, there should be a noticeable difference in the sound.
There should be less background noise and a more professional-sounding tone to your voice. In addition, the noise of feet shuffling or touching your microphone should be canceled out due to the insulation or acoustic foam you used.
Try moving the booth around (if possible) until it is placed in a spot that doesn’t bounce back noise. It can take a slight movement, but you should be able to use your wooden do-it-yourself vocal booth in no time.
These steps should give you the knowledge and a general idea of creating the best vocal booth for you.
Though this guide isn’t the final word in building a vocal booth out of wood, it’s a great place to start.
You’ll need plywood, screws, a drill, some padding, fabric, and a few other items. And keep in mind that you can always have the wood cut in the store. That will be a big help if you don’t have access to a saw.
Building a simple wooden booth is a rewarding experience and cost-effective whether you are a voice-over artist or just someone who wants an unmistakable sound to go along with your microphone.
- YouTube: True Sound Studios: How To Build the Best DIY Vocal Booth
- YouTube: Eric Strebel: Voice Sound Booth Whisper Room
- Better Sound Proofing: How to Build a Soundproof Vocal Booth
- Wyoming Roofing: What You Need To Know About How Insulation Affects Health
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