My Studio Layout and Vocal Booth Construction

Your Home Studio - a basic tutorial on home recording studio setup, including building a home recording studio, digital recording techniques, computer recording information, recording software information, how to buy equipment for a home recording studio and operating an audio recording studio at home

Your Home Studio

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LGM Productions

Guitars at Musician's Friend

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Its no secret to those of you that have perused the web site that my studio is set up in my 2 car garage. However, how its set up has never been disclosed. I got an email at questions@yourhomestudio.com from one of the subscribers that wanted to know how I constructed my vocal booth and I thought it might be time to let you see a bit of my lair.

 

The space of the garage is broken up into 3 distinct areas. 1) The main studio that is used for rehearsing and recording as well as mixing, 2) the vocal booth, which is used for recording live drums, percussion, vocals and acoustic instruments and 3) storage. If you click here, you can see a diagram of the studios layout. Its not exactly to scale but its pretty close.

The open, main studio is approximately 16 wide at the narrowest point and 20 wide at the widest. Front to back its about 20. The vocal booth, if the walls were exactly parallel to the existing walls would be about 4X8. The storage room is about 3X10.

 

I have my mixing desk slightly angled in the corner with the monitors situated so that the speakers are about at ear level when I sit at the mixing position and the alignment is such that my head is the intersection point of the two speakers. Along with the monitors, I have my Roland VM3100 Pro (which is the audio interface for my computer), the Yamaha AW2816 and a headphone amplifier that services the whole studio via 25 headphone extensions.

The other desk supports my computer, the Mackie 1640 VLZ Pro and my computer monitor. I use the preamps from the Mackie since the ones on the Roland tend to pickup interference. The direct outs from the first eight channels are connected to the line inputs on the Roland mixer via a 8-channel recording snake. The Yamaha can be connected in the same manner but if do need to use it in conjunction with the Mackie, I connect the digital out of the Yamaha to the digital out of the Roland and make the Yamaha the timing master.

The vocal booth construction is illustrated in the diagrams detailed on this page. The diagram on the left shows how each of the panels that have windows in them are framed up. The blue lines are 1X6s and the black lines are 1X3s. Theyre sheathed on the side facing the rest of the studio by Oriented Strand Board (OSB) but I probably should have used 2 layers of wallboard with Green Glue Adhesive in between (you live and learn). The other side is covered in carpet. Green Glue should also be used where the pieces of wood are joined as well. Everything is fastened using deck screws. To put a door inside the frame, make the main outside box using the 1X6s and then frame up everything inside with 1X3s.

The diagram in the upper right shows a top view. It illustrates how the 1x3s are staggered and how the insulation is weaved in an out of the space. The reason for this is so that vibrations dont transfer from the front of the panel through to the back.

 

The last diagram features the construction of the windows. Its a little hard to see but the panes of plexi-glass are separated by 1 inch at the bottom and they are separated by about 4 inches at the top using 1X1/2 moulding. This keeps any sound from outside the vocal booth from reflecting directly to the wall that it is parallel to. It does the same thing on the inside and keeps the sound generated inside the booth from reflecting right back into the microphone.

 

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