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I'm finally building my drum booth Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 
Spikeh's Avatar
 

I'm finally building my drum booth

Hey forum,

I finally have the budget to build a drum booth. I have plenty of space to build in, and plenty of height to work with in my studio. Obviously I have a few questions that hopefully people can help me with.

1) What's an ideal room size for the booth? At the moment I record in a 25' x 45' x 12' room, which is oddly shaped, but doesn't produce too bad results. I'm looking at building my both as an 8' cube - too small, or about right? I'm aware I'll need to add plenty of treatment, but I'm looking more for a workable size... I mainly record rock and metal, if that counts.

2) I've been looking at John Sayer's vocal booth design recently. Should I apply the same principles for a drum booth? Tbh I will probably use this booth as a vocal booth as well, for isolation purposes. I suffer from outside noise in the room I'm in at the moment (but only when recording voiceovers) - I can hear car exhausts occasionally. I aim to reduce this by double - plasterboarding the windows and siliconing around the edge (I'm not allowed to brick the windows up, unfortunately).

3) "Floating Floors". I've been speaking to a builder about this, and he seems to think this is basically laying the booth on top of some insulation (he mentioned Kingspan). I thought a floating floor was basically some magical way of stopping the booth from touching the floor with a fancy frame? Any advice would be appreciated

4) Insulation. I made some bass traps and mid absorbers with some Rokwool insulation a while back. I'm under the impression that the denser the insulation, the better for this application? Does it need to be packed in the cavity, or just fitted firmly with air around it?

5) Caulking. Is there a specific type of caulk to use? I heard something about acoustic caulk? Does it make that much difference?

6) Air flow. Any recommendations on air flow units, or any manufacturers I can look at for options?

7) Door. Double door, or single door? Ideally I need isolation, though the windows *should* sort out the majority of the issues. I'll still suffer from direct noise from downstairs, but I'm not sure if 2 doors would make all that much difference when it comes down to isolation.

Any help would be massively appreciated. I'm at the early stages, but I'm hoping to get it done in the new year
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
JWL
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PLEASE do NOT build an 8x8x8 cube and expect to get good sound results. Ideally the room should be as large as possible, and no 2 dimensions should be the same (or even multiples of one another).

Before I dive further in to your questions, let me ask one: why do you want to build a drum booth? What are you hoping to achieve sound-wise?
Old 17th December 2010
  #3
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
1) What's an ideal room size for the booth? At the moment I record in a 25' x 45' x 12' room, which is oddly shaped, but doesn't produce too bad results. I'm looking at building my both as an 8' cube - too small, or about right? I'm aware I'll need to add plenty of treatment, but I'm looking more for a workable size... I mainly record rock and metal, if that counts.
No. a cube is a bad idea. You will get resonances based on the dimensions of the cube. 25' X 45' X 12' is brilliant even though a little large. I would recommend a booth of at least 1800 cubic feet and not larger than about 4500 cubic feet. - For metal, if may work best with 1800 cubic feet and quite absorptive (dead) - for Rock, it could be larger with more diffusion. Here we get into subjectivity. Your choice or a blend of the two. When designing a drum room you should either have good modal response and distribution based on a rectangular room or use plenty of angles to shift the waves into the oblique, diffusion without damaging reflections, and decay times from 0.4 (tight) to 0.9 (ambient) seconds - or adjustable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
2) I've been looking at John Sayer's vocal booth design recently. Should I apply the same principles for a drum booth? Tbh I will probably use this booth as a vocal booth as well, for isolation purposes. I suffer from outside noise in the room I'm in at the moment (but only when recording voiceovers) - I can hear car exhausts occasionally. I aim to reduce this by double - plasterboarding the windows and siliconing around the edge (I'm not allowed to brick the windows up, unfortunately).
To reduce noise by half, you only need to build or add something that will increase your STL by 6db.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
3) "Floating Floors". I've been speaking to a builder about this, and he seems to think this is basically laying the booth on top of some insulation (he mentioned Kingspan). I thought a floating floor was basically some magical way of stopping the booth from touching the floor with a fancy frame? Any advice would be appreciated
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
4) Insulation. I made some bass traps and mid absorbers with some Rokwool insulation a while back. I'm under the impression that the denser the insulation, the better for this application? Does it need to be packed in the cavity, or just fitted firmly with air around it?
Denser is not better. It depends on the application and frequencies involved. Generally, for rock wool, an average of 60kg/m3 is good all around. higher or lower density will lean towards one end of the spectrum or the other - depending on application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
5) Caulking. Is there a specific type of caulk to use? I heard something about acoustic caulk? Does it make that much difference?
Yes. You do not want the caulk to separate or crack with age. Use a good rubber based caulk - compare to OSI SC-175

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
6) Air flow. Any recommendations on air flow units, or any manufacturers I can look at for options?
None specific but you should be able to get a recommendation from an HVAC specialist in your area. You will need to provide some heat load information to him.. he'll give you a list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
7) Door. Double door, or single door? Ideally I need isolation, though the windows *should* sort out the majority of the issues. I'll still suffer from direct noise from downstairs, but I'm not sure if 2 doors would make all that much difference when it comes down to isolation.
Two doors make a large difference over one. With two you can create a MAM system similar to your walls. But it depends again on how much isolation you really need. But one sand-filled door weighing around 330lbs with excellent seals can give you about STC 48 or better.

Cheers,
John
Old 17th December 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 
Spikeh's Avatar
 

Thank you very much for the replies!

OK, so this has turned it on it's head. Basically, although I have a large live room, I have limited space to actually build the booth - any larger than maybe 10ft x 10ft x 8ft and I wouldn't have much room for all the gear!

What I'm trying to do is kill two birds with one stone - I need an isolation booth for recording vocals (the main priority) and I need to improve my overall drum sound. The room isn't treated all that well (though I'm leaning more towards making a vocal iso booth and room treatment for the drums instead after reading these comments).

What an ideal size for a vocal booth then? I presume it would be smaller than 8 x 8 x 8?

I'm getting the windows plasterboarded too - a layer of plasterboard, a 3" gap, then 2 layers of plasterboard. Should I apply insulation here? I'm always going to have some sound intrusion, but I'm just trying to minimize it.

I imagine bass traps, mid absorbers and maybe wood panelling is the way to go instead of a booth?


Any comments on the floating floor question?
Old 17th December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
... than maybe 10ft x 10ft x 8ft a...
Remember that dimensions that are multiples of each other are not good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
What I'm trying to do is kill two birds with one stone - I need an isolation booth for recording vocals (the main priority) and I need to improve my overall drum sound. The room isn't treated all that well (though I'm leaning more towards making a vocal iso booth and room treatment for the drums instead after reading these comments).
Do you really need a vocal booth?? see these articles here and here. - Definitely treat your room. You can arrange baffles/gobos around the kit to cut ambiance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
What an ideal size for a vocal booth then? I presume it would be smaller than 8 x 8 x 8?
Try a booth of 150" by 119" by 96" - LWH. -if you must.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
I'm getting the windows plasterboarded too - a layer of plasterboard, a 3" gap, then 2 layers of plasterboard. Should I apply insulation here? I'm always going to have some sound intrusion, but I'm just trying to minimize it.
That sounds good as long as the outside layer of gypsum board is right up against the glass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
I imagine bass traps, mid absorbers and maybe wood panelling is the way to go instead of a booth?
Proper room treatment solves many problems at once. You will be glad you did it.

Cheers,
John
Old 17th December 2010
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
What I'm trying to do is kill two birds with one stone - I need an isolation booth for recording vocals (the main priority) and I need to improve my overall drum sound. The room isn't treated all that well (though I'm leaning more towards making a vocal iso booth and room treatment for the drums instead after reading these comments).
I would focus on the one room to get is sounding as good as possible. Also you will be able to mix properly so you did kill 2 birds with one stone. heh
As far as vocals you can use something like the following in the same room.


In action.
Old 17th December 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 
Spikeh's Avatar
 

Thanks for those links

OK - as far as drums go, I'm with you... I won't bother with a booth, and I'll spend some time treating my room instead. I've made a few absorbers already myself, but I may give something like the absorber in the video a go too. Tbh, the drum sound I get isn't too bad at all... I just thought I may be able to improve it with a booth.

So, plasterboarding windows, adding bass traps in corners, adding more mid absorbers around the room (I think I have more than enough diffusion with all the other kit lying about) and maybe some wood panelling somewhere? Any other suggestions? I've added some pictures of my room to this post...

As for vocals - yes, I'm pretty sure I need a booth. Basically, I suffer from outside noise quite often - I can only really record vocals between 8am and about 2pm most days, and even then I suffer from exhaust noises, helicopters, planes, trucks, buses (the council have just redirected most bus routes in the town past my front door :|) and other bands down the corridor. It's embarrassing when I have clients in and it costs me money, as I feel obliged to refund a few hours to customers because of the interruptions.
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Old 20th December 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 
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So, any feedback on the floating floor?

Additionally, I'm going to get the windows boarded over first - best approach? Should I use insulation between the gaps, or is it OK to go without?
Old 20th December 2010
  #9
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Perhaps you should look at acoustically treating the control room and also look at improving the insulation from outside sounds as well. To do this properly would involve a room in a room design but it depends how far you want to go?
Old 20th December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 
Spikeh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
Perhaps you should look at acoustically treating the control room and also look at improving the insulation from outside sounds as well. To do this properly would involve a room in a room design but it depends how far you want to go?
The room is not mine, unfortunately - I'm not allowed to modify it... hence why I'm only plaster boarding the windows.
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