Sound Absorption for Voice Recording Room

I was shooting this for my own journal and didn't think I would actually publish the video, as i'm pretty private about certain things I work on. Then again, I was pretty happy with the results and wanted to share what my treatment was.

Keep in mind that this is not for Sound Isolation. This is not a Sound Booth that will block out all ambient noise. This setup is merely just 'treatment' of a small space to make the vocals sound better (get rid of echo and deflection).

DIY-Voice-Recording-Sound-Booth-Vocal-Room (4 of 5)DIY-Voice-Recording-Sound-Booth-Vocal-Room (1 of 5)

Sorry fellas, I have to warn you that the video (below) even gave me a bit of motion sickness. If you're not interested in building out a room for voice recording, maybe you should just skip this one. At about 3:50 into the video, you'll hear a before and after comparison (turn up your volume).

There are low budget options to sound absorption, but I wasn't very happy with those results (I tried). When it comes to covering the most amount of square footage on the walls, the AudiMute stuff was my best bet.

DIY-Voice-Recording-Sound-Booth-Vocal-Room (5 of 5)DIY-Voice-Recording-Sound-Booth-Vocal-Room (2 of 5)

I tried the heavy moving blankets to absorb sound, but going with the more expensive AudiMute Sound Absorption Sheets was worth the difference (and look much better). You can get a pack of (5) 4x8 sheets for $230 dollars.

Audimute Sound Absorption
find-price-button AudiMute Sound Absorption Sheets

I also tried a variety of cheap foam, but in the end, a box of Auralex foam wedgies solved all the deflection issues. I used about 12 on the ceiling and another 12 to make a Reflexion filter behind the Rode ProCaster microphone. A box of 24 Auralex Wedges will run you $99 bucks. You don't need to cover every square inch with this stuff, just a few will treat a room very well.

find-price-button Auralex Wedgies Box of 24- 1'x1'x2 Panels

For the floor we just added some thick padding. So for about $330 dollars, I feel we got some really good results in a fairly professional looking voice recording room. Hard to tell from the audio of the point and shoot camera I was shooting on, but through a high quality vocal microphone it's a world of difference.

If you're looking to buy Foam by the piece (not the box), you can find a variety of types on eBay starting around $5.00 dollars (Click Here).

find-price-button Foam Wedges Pyramids Acoustic Sound Panels

12 thoughts on “Sound Absorption for Voice Recording Room

  1. Pingback:

  2. Robert

    I just want to point out that one should be careful adding so much high frequency absorption. While it might be ok for a VO it spells disaster for just about anything else.

    The Owens Corning 703 suggestion by jarrett is spot on. Gobos (audio gobos) can be made from folding doors and serve to also break up parallel surfaces.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Jeff Simpson - Thanks. There are a few DIY Portable Sound booth articles in this blog. They do work great, but getting the right foam is key to making the portables work. You could get decent Foam Wedges for about 5 bucks a piece if you don't need the whole box.

  4. Jeff Simpson

    Hey! great post! a while ago, i was researching building something like this into a closet, and then i came across this great idea:

    and here is a diy version:

    only cost about $30-$40 (depending on where you buy the cloth box and foam) but it works sooooo good. the vocals you get are bone dry and as a bonus, you can keep this in your travel gear so you can do voice over stuff on site with maybe a decent mic and a h4n, or even just throw the h4n itself inside the box and get some great voiceover stuff for cheap, and portable :)

  5. jarrett towe

    oh, one other thing,dont forget the sound cancellation for background noise available in logic and audition. i suppose its in most software, but i use those, and it does a tremendous job if you record a dead space at the beginning of your voice over and let it build and apply a cancellation profile. magic!

  6. jarrett towe

    for larger areas, they can look pretty cool with the right cloth, and they are really light, much lighter than you would think with the level of absorption they provide. Still, your area looks really good, and professional, and that counts a lot.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @jarrett towe - I was actually going to build those, but the room looked better with the curtains. The walls in this space are quite an eye sore. I was also thinking about making sure all of this equipment can be moved easily at a later time, and the sheets were easy to fold up for transport. I still may look into building out the Owens panels for a larger area in the studio.

  8. jarrett towe

    Here's something to try. Owens Corning 703 is a fiberglass sheet that is 24"x48"x2". It comes in a box of 10 or 12 for 99$. You get it from local insulation suppliers. It cuts easily with anything from a plastic knife or sharper. Most DIY studio people recognize it for its sound absorption. The commonly used method is to build a frame from 1"x2" boards that wrap around the edges of a piece. Then you go to a cloth store, buy what you like, wrap it around and staple it to the back sides of the frame. The finished product is quite attractive, and the sound absorption surpasses most add on tiles out there. Professional bass traps are constructed almost identically, and the finished product cost pennies on the dollar!

  9. Dollar Bob

    Nice space, and your treatment has a dramatic effect on the room's acoustics. Well done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RSS Feed Widget