This won't eliminate all ambient noise like a true sealed sound proof room, but when you can control or eliminate sound deflections that can reach your microphone, it takes your audio to another level. An excellent tool when doing voice over or narrative work to your videos. Here's another cool looking portable DIY sound booth for microphones. The walls break down using Eyelets and Hooks when not in use. [Thanks Joel]
$109 Auralex ... Box of 24 Studiofoam Wedgies (enough for audio walls, plus a back wall that I built to put behind speaker. Use Liquid Nails to glue the Wedgies to the particle board walls).
$10.75 1/4" 4x4 sheet of Particle Board @ Home Depot (probably need 2 sheets)
$1.18 Metal Eyes @ Home Depot (pack of 8)
$1.18 Metal Hooks @ Home Depot (pack of 4)
$2.29 2x2x8 Wood @ Home Depot (use for reinforcement on walls. The amount depends upon how much you want to reinforce, but you will definitely need these to anchor the Metal Hooks and Eyes for attaching the side walls to the back wall - and for the ceiling to prevent sagging)
Ceiling: 35" wide x 28" Deep (it simply sits on the two walls with a bit of overhang)
Side Walls: 24" tall x 28" Deep (walls connect to the back with the eye hooks
Back Wall: 24" tall x 36" long
Clip on Ikea desk lamp for $5.99 (see photo).
For the not-so-diyers there are a number of these Portable / Collapsible Traveling Sound Booths available on both eBay (click here) and on Amazon (click here).
Portable Sound Booth
I agree with some of the comments.
The important factor is to hang something behind you and above. The rest is not that important.
It appears these portable curved sound baffles looks good but it's really not worth any money.
Like one said, spend money on the mic and learn how to adjust it. Sometimes you can have a totally empty room and a good mic and yet you still don't hear any echo, flutter, whatever.
Speaking into a box is not natural and sound is lacking in richness. There must be some residual sound from the recording place is needed. Well, it's sound like it would be a defeating the foams but it's not. Audio people know about flat and rich sound. Just because you have absolute quiet due to all the foams, it's not a good recording. Experiment and find that happy medium when your voice is RICH and not muffled.
Start with a good mic about $200 and up would be fine. Select the pattern you want and adjust your input. The rest is easy.
I don't know about this or any other auralex products if they really work.
OK, let's say you use their units or made a box like that. All it does is give you a MUFFLED sound that comes back and hit the mic from the rear or from the foam wall. None of these are any good for quality recording. The sound can not EXIT and sort of make your voice muffled and soft... but not real. This kind of thing is an art and there are no easy solutions.
The best comment I read is to put a blanket behind you, but that also has limited success. Do this test: Take a 18X24" cardboard and fold in a curved surface. Put your mic in the middle and test it. It's nearly identical sound you get with the curved foam product !!!
A muffled one.
If you get a good mic in the $300 range and select a pattern this will pick up, you can sit in a totally empty room and won't hear any echo. Assuming... you know how to set levels on your input to the mixer.
There is a cheaper version you may try: Get a low cost shotgun mic and just put a blanket behind you, on the floor and maybe hang a fabric horizontal above you.
It works superbly. It's a matter of finding the best sound breaking method without obstructing the back of the mic as it would be in this box or those products with the curved back.
OliviaTech » Tuesday Tip: Last Minute DIY Sound Booth
Go to target and get the folding cloth boxes for around $7
they have many colors. These work very good as boxes and you can fold them up. I have 3 Black ones I use one for my Teleprompter, one for my video monitor shade cover and the other for a protable recording sound booth.
I love seeing everyone's DIY sound booths. However, I've found that it's tough to read copy while 'leaning' into the padded area of the 'box' configurations or needs to be elevated to mouth level.
I made this booth for less than $60 in total. 8 Auralex wedgie pads purchased separately at Sam Ash ($4/ea), Wood and hinges from Lowe's ($13), and foam board & 3M foam tape (FoamTak too messy and $$$) ($13):
Obviously not portable but it'd be even cheaper to make entirely out of foam board, while being portable like this guy did:
In practice, when someone leans into one of these DIY booths, they do a decent job of blocking the sound from the open side while directing their voice into the mic without the risk of room noise and echo if they're talking to an open room.
I'm not sure I would spend $109 on foam to stick it in a little box, although I'm always baffled by the price of similarly styled absorbers that wrap around microphones on stands. If you're going DIY, a cheaper foam would surely do just as well! Most of the cost in Auralex (and others) is for looks and fire resistance I've always figured anyway...
@ Christian. I agree 100%. I made a box like this 3 years ago and it works perfect, however I did place a blanket behind me. I made mine a bit cheaper though. I bought an $8 Rubbermaid brand collapsible box and $11 in foam top for a twin mattress. Probably not as good as Auralex but it works perfect.
My version had to be portable so I bought a clothes rack and draped a moving blanket. It's a perfect setup.
Not a very good design from an audio engineering standpoint. Most microphones used exhibit a directional pickup pattern. Think of the microphone as a camera: with this box design the microphone is pointing out of the box at the performer and the room.
A better solution would be to place the absorbant materials behind the voice over artist and have the mic in the room pointing at the artist. That way it 'sees' more of the foam, less of the room.
hope this helps. Great site!
I made a very similar type of set up using an old camera case. The case originally housed a big VHS shoulder mount camera and was solid plastic padded with about 3/4th an inch of foam. Threw a mic in there on a stand and boom it works a charm. I use it now for location VO when needed.
Very cool set-up and much larger area than the manufactured versions. Looks like a lot of equipment could be accessable.
Very clever! Thanks for posting.
Very nice! I need to figure out how to put one of those babies together.
Hey Joel (and/or Emm and/or any clever person), any chance of doing an Instructables (https://www.instructables.com/) on the putting together part?
Thanks for this looks like a good idea might have a look at putting something together for my NGT-2 and Marantz PMD 661 as a voice over rig.
Be interesting to see sound difference over just a standard recording.