Category Archives: Lessons/Tips

How I Built an In-Home Sound Booth (3 of 3)

How I Built an In-Home Sound Booth (3 of 3)

Part 3: Perfection Until It Hertz

microphone with text reading "Keep Calm and Start Recording"
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Please review my "Disclaimers" at the bottom of the page.
A sound booth without a roof wasn’t going to cut it! At this point, I had spent $350 to $400 and wasn’t looking to investing much more.   The solution? Cardboard, acoustic panels, and some felt fabric from Michaels.   With the panels taped on to the carboard, I wrapped the fabric around it and sewed everything in place. It was perfect! Later, I worked on sewing panels into the walls of my booth and taping them to the walls in my office to diminish the reverb in the room.
acoustic foam panels on the walls in my office
The taped acoustic foam panels on the walls in the office.
The background noise in my audio recordings was reduced dramatically and I was well on my way to producing that high-quality voiceover I had only imagined.   My brother was visiting from out of town and he said, “You need better equipment if you are going to be a professional”. So, we went to Guitar Center. And let’s just say that my original budget for this project was stretched just a tad. Within a week, my new home studio and sound booth were equipped with a Rode NT1 Condenser Microphone, Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo Interface, and Pro Tools software. About $1,700 later…
microphone, stand, audio interface, headphones, and a sound booth
Brand new voice over equipment and the finished sound booth.
Voiceover sound booth with the lights off.
Lights out…a small battery operated light bulb is placed inside the booth.

The time, money, and energy invested into this project was worth it. My recordings ascended to a whole new level of audio quality. I was motivated to learn more about audio editing and mastering. I also discovered and uncovered a newfound level of confidence in my ability to start freelancing as a voiceover talent.

So, how much money and time can you expect to spend on a similar project? Here is my total cost breakdown:

  • Materials = $400
  • Audio Equipment = $1,300
  • Software = $300
  • Sweat Equity = 8 to 15 hours

Want to learn more about this journey? Need the right voice talent to bring your next project to life? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted: June 12, 2019
Author: Michelle Francine Turner
Editor: Angela Ferrannini Nielsen

How I Built an In-Home Sound Booth (2 of 3)

How I Built an In-Home Sound Booth (2 of 3)

Part 2: The Sound of Sweat Equity

microphone with text reading "Keep Calm and Start Recording"
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Please review my "Disclaimers" at the bottom of the page.

It’s tough being a woman at times. You don’t always get taken seriously when you are out buying a new car, or getting a quote from the roofer to fix that leak, let alone, while you are shopping at the hardware store. Feeling a little intimidated about starting my project, I enlisted the help of a buddy who worked in construction to help.

We agreed to meet up at our local Home Depot. I grabbed a cart and we hit the aisles. After 45 minutes and enlisting the help of some friendly staff, we bought most of everything I needed from the shopping list (see previous post for the tea).

An orange Home Depot cart with pic pipes, moving blanket, zip ties, and more.
Items purchased from Home Depot to start building my sound booth.

 

Once we got back to my place, we measured and cut the PVC pipe. I found the needle and thread that I needed. Later, I turned to Amazon to find and purchase the acoustic foam panels. I made quite a few purchases of foam, thinking that one set of foam panels would be enough to get rid of that nasty echo in the room.

Over the course of three or four days, I was alone, the office was a mess, and parts were everywhere. And you know what? I was so very happy. Blissfully happy! I had such a deep sense of accomplishment and ambition to reach my goals. My friends only heard from me through social media.

Facebook post with picture of mallet, grommet kit, knife, and moving blanket
My Facebook post showing the construction of the booth walls.

 

Focused and determined, I built the frame of the booth, finished the moving blanket, and zip tied the walls. My Rode podcaster microphone, reflector, and stand fit perfectly!

 
PVC pipe frame with microphone and stand
The PVC pipe frame for the sound booth.
PVC pipe frame with moving blanket warped as walls
The walls of the sound booth are installed with zip tied moving blanket.

I was so proud of my creation! Then, I looked up and realized…I didn’t put much thought into the roof of my sound booth! I had more work to do…

Posted: June 2, 2019
Author: Michelle Francine Turner
Editor: Angela Ferrannini Nielsen

How I Built an In-Home Sound Booth (1 of 3)

How I Built an In-Home Sound Booth (1 of 3)

Part 1: Parts, Passion, and Persistence

microphone with text reading "Keep Calm and Start Recording"
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Please review my "Disclaimers" at the bottom of the page.

So, why did it take me so long to write this blog post? Because I have a day job at, hands down, one of the best companies in the world! And, due to some exciting changes in my role at work, I haven’t had the mental space and time to dedicate to my newfound love, voiceover and audio production. However, it’s a new year and I feel inspired and empowered to rededicate my free time to an activity I genuinely enjoy.

I was a green, aspiring voiceover talent embarking on a journey to learn what she could about the industry and practice in July 2016. If I wasn’t reading eLearning scripts for work, I was certainly rehearsing for several presentations. Many colleagues said I had a knack for it, so I started my coaching sessions with Such A Voice. By October 2016, I was hooked! It was as if I turned into a mad scientist, obsessed with the idea of starting a freelance business, providing the highest quality product, and building her own sound booth.

My brother always had an ear for music, recording and producing songs. “Hey, you were always making your own sound booths and makeshift recording studios back in the day,” I said to my brother. “I need something lightweight, portable, and easy to construct on my own…a voiceover booth that will diminish reverb I hear in my recordings…what do you suggest”? He immediately started sending me pictures he found on the Internet and said, “If I were going to build something portable and lightweight, I’d stick to PVC pipe”.

So, I went to work. I measured the available space in my home office, sketched a diagram with the desired dimensions of the booth, and created a shopping list based off of what I saw in the example pictures my brother sent me: 

Initially, I did a bit of research to determine how much all of this would cost me. I figured I would be out about $300, but knew it would be worth it to eliminate all the reverb I was experiencing in my little home office during a recording.

So, I was all in! Ready to commit to this project…but…I couldn’t do it alone…

Posted: May 23, 2019
Author: Michelle Francine Turner
Editor: Angela Ferrannini Nielsen