A soundproof booth offers the best way to record music if you don’t have a quiet studio. It allows you to record music without compromising the quality of your recordings. It is necessary, especially if your studio is an apartment room. In such a case, the outside noise is a big problem. So, an excellent soundproof booth would do the trick of shutting off outside noise.
How To Acoustically Treat Your Apartment for Optimal Soundproof Booth Recording Quality?
In my opinion, it’s impossible to soundproofing the whole apartment. Unless you have unlimited budget and plan to convert the whole unit into the professional recording studio. If you are living in that unit, I would suggest you to partially-treat your apartment acoustic environment and use a professional portable vocal soundproof booth to further isolate the sound source for vocal recording purposes. However, you will need a portable modular soundproof booth or setting up a blanket soundproof booth at a corner if you plan to work on the musical instrument recordings.
Soundproofing your home studio can be a bit costly. So, if you don’t have enough money to soundproof your whole apartment, you can opt for a soundproof booth. Soundproof booth, of course, is a cheaper alternative! You can get hold of more affordable materials in the market for your soundproof booth. Hence, you don’t need to burn your wallet if you opt for this alternative.
Always remember that soundproofing should not be that expensive. Some simple acoustic treatments and the use of a portable soundproof booth may do the trick for you.
Before using a soundproof booth, you need to soundproof your apartment partially with the acoustic treatment panels. Once done with it, you can then set up your soundproof booth for better recording quality. Acoustic treatment, of course, is necessary because apartments are not soundproofed.
Moreover, if you are only renting an apartment, acoustic treatment may not be a good idea. But if your tenant approves of it, then you can engage in a budget-friendly acoustic treatment.
Best Budget-friendly Soundproofing & Acoustic Treatment Materials for Your Apartment
At the onset, you need to acoustically treat your room before setting up the soundproof booth. You should bear in mind that different materials have different effects on sounds. Thus, you need to select the best acoustic treatment materials. Your acoustic treatment, of course, can be permanent or temporary. Here are the most common materials utilized by experts for acoustic treatment of a room:
1) Bass Traps
Before you set up your soundproof booth, you should first consider setting up bass traps. Bass traps are acoustic foams that can absorb bass frequencies well. Bass frequencies, of course, can cause problems during recording. Especially if you are in a small room. Too many of them can be very annoying. So, to mitigate bad bass sound, you should equip your room with bass traps.
2) Acoustic Panels
Bass traps cannot absorb the mid and high-level frequencies during recording. So, you need to equip your room with acoustic panels. Acoustic panels should not be expensive. You can buy cheaper acoustic panels to lessen your expenses.
Acoustic panels reduce friction and vibrations of sounds that move through the air. They are important, especially if you intend to isolate sounds during recording.
Without these acoustic panels, your recorder will record even the echoes in the room. Moreover, you will find it difficult to remove these echoes after recording. So, it is best to deal with them before you start recording. You can mitigate the effect of these frequencies by using acoustic panels.
Diffusers are important to your recording studio. They are there to disperse sound and lessen echoes. By using a diffuser, you can do away with unnecessary frequencies. You can diminish echoes and rid your recording of unwanted vibrations.
Equipped with diffusers, your room acoustic will significantly improve. They complement the acoustic panels by dispersing sounds. They don’t absorb sound. Their primary function is to diffuse sounds. They are not ideal for smaller rooms. But they are more useful in larger studios. They are also more expensive than other studio treatments.
4) Soundproofing Foam
Soundproofing foam is another material that you can use to improve the acoustics of a room. These foams are shaped like an egg carton. They are cheaper than other treatments. They are also useful in absorbing unnecessary sound frequencies.
5) Mass Loaded Vinyl
Another material that you can use is the mass loaded vinyl. This material can control the noise. You can use them on ducts and ceilings. It is like linoleum or a thick wallpaper that comes with special acoustic features.
6) Floor Mat
The floor underneath your studio instruments and equipment can affect acoustics. Hence, you should equip the floor with something that could mitigate vibrations. You can use a floor mat to do the job of mitigating floor noise or sounds. You can also put MLV right under the room’s carpet.
Under the vocal booth, you can also spread a thick mat. This will help prevent friction and vibrations from traveling through the floor. You can also install a solid block of wood with attached rubber legs. On this solid wood, you can position your soundproof booth so that no friction and vibrations will go inside the booth.
Make sure that you put layers of plywood at the bottom of the booth. Then, use Styrofoam in-between those plywood pieces. You can also use MLV on the floor to control floor noise.
7) Clear PVC Curtain
Another material that you can use is the clear PVC curtain. This is a less expensive plastic material. You can use this to mitigate the impact of the sound on the windows and doors. Moreover, it provides you with a clear view of the outdoors.
The Best Soundproof Vocal Booths in the Market
There are vocal sound booths in the market today that you can easily fit into a small corner in your apartment. Hence, you need not create your sound booth, for there are ready-made sound booths for vocals. Here is a short review of the most popular vocal sound booths in the market today:
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1) Aston Microphones Halo Portable Microphone Reflection Filter
The Aston Halo features a distinctive rounded design. The Aston Halo reflection filter is manufactured by Aston Microphones. It features an innovative design that you would surely appreciate. It comes with a bigger wrap-around bottom and top for optimal rear depth. Its rear depth is almost 100 mm for improved absorption and isolation.
The Aston Halo features a wave-formed surface that helps disperse direct sound. Its design provides a more organic-feeling space. It is also eco-friendly and makes use of mic packaging that is 100% recyclable.
The Halo is wrought in patented PET felt. It is very lightweight and efficient in dispersing sound. It is one of the technical acoustic products that is worth-having. You can use it for your vocal booth. Moreover, it is ideal for use as a reflection filter.
It is also easy to set up! Since it is lightweight, you can mount it with ease. It also comes with easy-mount hardware. When set, it is sturdy and stable on mic stands and looks fantastic. It is perfect for recording studios that feature highly reflective flooring and ceilings.
2) Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield
Another great option for a vocal sound booth is the Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield. You can use this to block unwanted sounds from being absorbed by the microphone. As an isolation shield for the microphone, it comes with an acoustic foam front. It also comes with a vented metal backplate. It allows the microphone to breathe. It also prevents reflections within the shield’s arc.
The Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield makes use of a dual clamp-mounting bracket. This attaches to the booms. It may also stand up to 1 1/4″ in diameter.
You can fold the outer panels inward if you want to store it away. You can also fold the two outer panels for tighter acoustic isolation. Moreover, you can use it in the usual upright orientation. You can also set it up inverted with the microphone hanging down inside the chamber.
3) CAD Audio Acousti-shield AS32
The CAD Audio Acousti-shield AS32 features a flexible six-way mounting design. You can adjust this shield to allow for different types of microphones. It also features 16-gauge stainless steel that is perforated and comes in 3 styles. One of these styles is for instrument mics.
If you use it right, you can effectively reduce unwanted echo flutter. You can also lessen reflections and other acoustic interference. It is very flexible and easy to use. Moreover, it is very stable and sturdy.
The CAD Audio Acousti-shield AS32 has an innovative mounting design. This advanced design lets you get the maximum stability position for this shield. It is very portable and is easy to set up. If you don’t want to have a soundproof booth inside your studio, you can opt for this vocal sound booth.
4) Rockville Recording Studio Microphone Isolation Shield
The Rockville Recording Studio Microphone Isolation Shield is a piece of powerful filtering equipment. You can use it for filtering reflections and echoes. This package comes with the mic isolation shield and along with the sound dampening foam. It also comes with a heavy-duty tripod pole-mount DJ PA speaker stand.
Rockville Microphone Isolation Shield can keep excess sound from interfering with your recording. It isolates the microphone when you are recording vocal tracks and acoustic. It also isolates directional mics from off-axis coloration. Moreover, it limits external bleeding coming from unintended sound sources.
This isolation shield also features a two-inch-thick high-density acoustic foam front. It also comes with a vented metal backplate for the reduction of noise. You can stand-mount it or set it in a fixed location. It is also best used for vocal work as well as for a live recording.
5) Porta-Booth Pro
Another good option for a mic isolation shield is the Porta-Booth Pro. The Porta-Booth Pro is a portable box-style mic isolation shield. It makes use of a 2-inch thick Auralex Acoustic Studiofoam for its inner lining. It is effective in isolating the mic. Hence, it is very popular among voice-over artists. It is easy to handle and is very much easy to carry around.
Although it may look cramped inside, it can still provide a room for a small notepad. It also comes with a clip-on light to help you with the visibility.
The Porta-Booth Pro features two-way zippered bottom and rear slots for mic cables boom arms. Its corner straps also add rigidity to it. It features an anti-sway strap along with a booth lifter for boom arm mounting. It is easy to set up and is very portable.
The Porta-Booth Pro, however, does not completely isolate the mic. There will still be sound coming from the back. You can use a curtain above your head to reduce the effect of sounds from behind. Yet, it can help reduce unwanted sounds.
To come up with a good recording requires a proper studio setup. You would achieve good recordings if you got a good microphone setup. You also produce great recordings if the room has excellent acoustic treatment and soundproofing. In the absence of soundproofing booths, you can use a mic isolation shield. You can also select from the abovementioned microphone shields if you need one in your studio.