Continuing from my last post with Part 2 of putting my StudioBricks booth together. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest doing so to keep up with what I’m sharing here.
I had put my studio together with the help of my brother, my boyfriend and my Dad. It looked amazing and was quite cozy inside. However, after all the unloading, and putting it together one section at a time (which took maybe 3 hours), there was a problem.
The floor was creaking.
Each time I stepped in or moved my feet around, the wooden boards on the outer floor frame made slight scraping sounds that I knew would interfere with recording and be a pain to edit out. After speaking with the great folks at StudioBricks and my good friend Jerry Pelletier, who was instrumental in helping me understand the fine points of how to assemble it, we realized the floor was uneven. Now, foot holders came with the package and were easy to adjust. Unfortunately, we neglected to measure each area to make sure the sides were even. There was only one solution to treat the problem: Taking it apart piece by piece and starting all over again.
For this round, my boyfriend and two of our friends helped. We started from the ceiling, and took the whole thing apart from top to bottom. Once we got to the floor we spent 30-45 minutes making sure the feet were adjusted accordingly, and that each side was even. Then, we added foam beneath the floor boards. It’s not necessary to use expensive Auralex foam. We used cheap bedding foam from Walmart. We had to apply something heavy for the middle board for a while since it kept trying to pop up. But now it no longer needs pressure to keep it down. We walked on it several times to make sure the creaking was gone. I can occasionally hear a tiny scrape when stepping inside, but it doesn’t stick around. Now I can sit, stand and move without worry that noises will interfere with recordings.
We assembled each section yet again, starting from sections label A1 to A5, then B1 to B5, then C1 and C5 and onward.
Despite how exhausting the process was of putting it together, then taking it apart and building it back up, it was totally worth it!! I love going inside to record now. I don’t hear planes flying overhead, I don’t hear the 60 hz hum in the walls and I don’t hear my PC.
Some tidbits worth sharing about my experience thus far:
-I specifically asked the manufacturers not to include the aeropack fan. They assured me that it’s silent. However, it’s really not. Even still, they sent the fan anyway, free of charge. I don’t use it.
-The subject of airflow in the booth is an important discussion. At the moment, I have nothing filtering air outside in. It’s a process still in the works.
-I didn’t use all the foam that the booth came with, not even the bass traps. In fact, most of that stuff is in my closet. Quite a few people said to use the bass traps on the corners, but because they’re solid foam, I worry that they’ll make me sound boxed in with the foam already built on the walls. So, for the time being I have sound panels positioned around me, which I made with compressed fiberglass boards wrapped in calico cloth from a fabric store. I’d like to have one positioned above my head on the ceiling, as I’m not crazy about the egg shell foam above my head.
-I don’t like the desk that came with booth because when I sit to record and brush against the edge of the table it rattles a bit. It’s left in there for now, until I can find something better. I recommend a wooden table with wobble-proof legs.
-The window is left uncovered for the time being, but if I hear too much reflection when I’m shouting for games or animation, I’ll cover it temporarily with some foam or moving blankets.
-If you get a chair, make sure it too doesn’t rattle when you sit or shift in it.
-If you get a booth of any kind, I recommend going with a rectangular space, not square. If you have doubts, contact home studio professionals like George Whittam, Dan Lenard, or Dan Friedman. If you Google their names, you’ll get great info.
It’s still a process to make it just right, but the booth is finished and I love it!
If you decide to specifically go with a StudioBricks booth consider the following:
-Know the exact size you want, and the space in your apartment or house for it. Measure out how much feet it’ll take and keep in mind the booth will weigh over 2,000 pounds. Be sure your floor can hold that amount of weight!
-Don’t rely on foam alone to fix all your problems acoustically. The booth will need more treatment no matter what. Some complain that the booths are too much of a pain to treat, but others say it’s great. I like mine so far.
-There are single-wall, double-wall and triple-wall booths. Don’t just consider the space you have now, especially if you plan to relocate. It’s more expensive, but I went with a triple wall so as to not worry about potential problems at future locations when I move to. Remember, this is an investment.
-A wooden door or a glass door? I don’t suffer from claustrophobia so I went with a wooden door so that I could mount a panel or foam on it if necessary. A glass door would cause too much reflection and I can’t hang a panel or glue foam on it since the surface would be damaged.
-Do NOT assemble the booth by yourself. Find friends or if need be, hire help.
-MAKE SURE THE FLOOR IS EVEN before assembling the whole thing!!
That’s my journey. So far no one has complained about my recordings. As I said earlier, I’m still going to make tweaks and changes here and there. It’ll never be perfect, but so far it’s helped a lot!
If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask them and I’ll do my best to answer.
Chris Dover says
I am in Sydney Australia. In 2016 I purchased a triple wall pro in the dimensions as yours I think. White and rectangular. I also fretted over acoustics with the booth when I first set mine up, I bought this and that bass trap. But I think a lot of it is psychological as they are already dead just right for voice over I think.
My next worry.. and I know how much anxiety it was waiting for it to arrive etc, worrying about customs in Sydney and I live in a 1 bedroom unit.
But my next mission is that Im selling my unit and possibly going back to country radio. So now Im thinking about the best way to transport it, I so don’t want to sell it after all the anxiety and cost of getting one. I’m thinking a commercial van I will buy that will hopefully fit it in.
I was just going to say, I never received a desk. But what I have in the booth is only my microphone and I rest an iPad for script reads. My iMac computer is on a standing desk outside of the booth.
Happy to send photos… All the best. Kris Dover (the voice realm). Still got to launch my website.
Howdy from Texas! I love, love, LOVE Sydney Australia. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, I kid you not! The desk for my StudioBricks booth came with the VO Edition. If you didn’t order the VO Edition, then it wouldn’t come with it. Good luck with your new booth! You’ll enjoy it!
I am wanting to get a studio bricks booth. I live in Adelaide SA. How did you get yours. Did you get it through an importer or buy it from an overseas distributor or direct from the manufacturer.
I ordered through an employee who works with Guillermo (founder of StudioBricks) who is located in New York. It was a bit tricky at first because of some misunderstandings but it worked out. What I suggest is contacting Guillermo through the StudioBricks website and ask him if there’s someone in Australia that you can work with to order the booth. More than likely you won’t find one, but it’s worth asking. Guillermo speaks English so it may just be best to order through him. Be sure to know what kind of booth you want. Shipping and customs is what will determine the primary cost. The booth will be delivered on a boat, not by plane. When I ordered my booth it was delayed because workers went on strike at the boat docks for about 3 weeks. But I received my booth eventually and it is the best thing I ever invested in. Try not to go for a box/cube shape booth such as 4x4x7. I chose 5x6x7 so that the booth was uneven on purpose and then I used sound panels to help dampen the space. The booth comes with LOTS of foam and base traps but too much foam will make you sound like you’re in a box. I do have friends who got the Studio One and the Studio One Plus. But I went with a pro and a triple wall because I can’t predict the spaces I’ll move to in apartments or houses. Are you near a freeway? Is there lots of noise in your neighborhood (lawnmowers, construction, etc)? Do you have faint electrical buzzing in your walls? Don’t be afraid to ask Guillermo his opinion on what space would be good for voice over.
Lastly, the studio comes with a ‘silent’ fan. But no fan is truly silent. I asked not to receive the fan but it was sent anyway. I keep it in a closet until I know what to do with it. Or… you can get the fan and keep it turned off in your booth while recording, then turn it on when you’re on a break. I’m in Texas and it’s VERY hot right now. But I don’t like the air conditioner on while I record so I turn it off and after 2 hours I need a break. Or, I wait till night when the sun has set and the temperature is less hot.
There are ways to generate air from the outside in, but it takes lots of research and careful planning. I’ve been given good ideas but I’m fearful to go through with them because they’d involve drilling holes on one of the walls. Not sure I ever want to do that.
So, feel free to contact Guillermo, tell him about the space you have, and what kind of booth you’re interested in (Studio One, Studio One Plus, Studio Pro).
Josh Mead says
I know this post is a few years old, but I had quick question! I was looking at the OnePLUS (not VO edition) and attaching my monitor and a little shelf for my keyboard/mouse etc. Do you think that’s possible without damaging the unit?
Appreciate the info!
Hey there Josh, it’s going to depend on the size of the booth. I chose a 5x6x7 because I wanted to be able to fit a whole desk and have uneven space that wouldn’t make me sound like I was in a tight box. If you’re not getting the VO edition what I’d recommend is looking for a desk that is height adjustable (in case you want to sit or stand while recording), and maybe inquire StudioBricks if they’ll include a monitor mount and or Mika arm for your microphone. If you install a mount on your own you could damage the booth walls and there’s no replacing them unless you have the money. The VO edition gave me a mount for my monitor but I’m more than happy just having a monitor on my desk which I bought from Nebraska Furniture. This way I can adjust the height of the desk. However, I don’t know what size booth you’re considering. Just to let you know, a booth with even walls like 4 x 4 x 4 is discouraged. George Whittam explains why better than I do. I took his advice and I can’t live without my booth. But I totally understand that it’s A LOT of money and a MAJOR investment. If you do lots of animation or games or singing like I do, then you’ll want space to move your body with. But for commercial, elearning, or narration you don’t need an enormous space. The desk that came with the VO edition booth is not very good because 1. It only holds up to 100 pounds, 2. The metal handles against the wall were not holding well so we disassembled it after 6 months. 3. It rattles a bit if you bump into it while recording. For desks, I recommend going to Ikea or a furniture store and finding something with strong legs for support, not something you can attach to the wall. Ask StudioBricks if they can include a wall mount for your monitor and/or a Mika arm. Good luck and let me know if you have more questions! I’m no expert but I love my booth and have zero regrets choosing StudioBricks.
I’m thinking about getting a 9′ x 9′ x 7′ Studiobricks Triple Wall booth, but I’m concerned that it won’t do a good job of reducing low frequency sounds nor eliminating low frequency vibrations, like bassy sounds one would hear at live concerts. Could you provide any insights? Have you noticed any sound leakage with the wire and ventilation ports?
Hi John, it all depends on the space you want to put the booth in. I live in a quiet neighborhood and my booth is at the front of my house by a window. Now and then I’ll hear faint lawnmowers but filtering easily removes the noise as does the air conditioner when it’s turned on outside my booth (i don’t use the fan the booth came with). If you use a PC outside your booth the fan noise can still get through a triple wall. I used to use a PC with my booth but I got tired of seeing the sound waves blended with my voice recordings. Again, filtering removes it but I’m obsessed with reducing the need to add too much editing to files, especially if the client wants it raw. I did something extra unique with my booth, I stuffed bed foam under the floor boards to prevent any creaking or extra floor noise. It’s helped tremendously. The sound booth isn’t the answer to a perfect recording space but for me it’s been a major game changer in the amount of work I’ve booked. A little leakage of sound shouldn’t kill the recording. My house has a 60 hz hum that cannot be fixed so for me, the triple wall has eliminated the major cause of bad recordings in my closet. I also feel comfortable leaving the house air conditioner on (I would turn it off when recording in my closet) while in my booth. Yes the mic picks up the low frequency hums but it’s barely noticeable unless you turn the volume waaaaayyyyyyy up. George Whittam (do you know him? He’s the ultimate pro in recording studios and sound) himself said that after listening to a test audio from my booth that after filtering, it was the most quiet space he’d ever heard.
Hope that answers your question. For me, it’s the best investment ever. When I move to a new house I don’t have to stress about finding a way to adapt a new space for recording. I just set up my booth. Take care!
thanks for the great write up! Any chance you have anymore pictures from inside the booth or happen to have the measurements inside with all the foam installed? I’m looking at getting the exact same one and I’m trying to map out the dimensions in my room properly.
Do you think it’s enough room for someone to comfortable practice with a full size guitar inside?
Hi Jim! Thanks for reading my post and commenting! I do have pictures of the interior but I don’t know how to share them in a reply here. I will say that I have a wide-height adjustable desk to hold an extra computer monitor and speakers, homemade sound panels behind me (rather than using the extra foam that came with the booth), and a computer chair which all take up lots of space but as I usually sit for most auditions and stand for jobs, I have ways to adjust the space. If you had a comfortable stool to sit on while you play, an adjustable mika arm to hold your microphone of choice (or a stand would work too, I just prefer the mika arm) and used a wall mount with the booth for your computer screen to monitor your recordings, then the 5x6x7 should work out fine. I chose that size because I got tired of running in and out of my closet to adjust recording levels and such. I wanted a space that could hold my desk and allow me to edit as well as record. I know some artists have used a smaller space to play the saxophone so this should be fine for you and your guitar.