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#777957 - 12/11/09 02:53 AM What are the best portable sound booths?  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
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mattbanx  Offline
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Northern Minnesota
I'm in a small room where I record to where everything is placed in the corner.
Can't re-arrange much with it.

Any booths or better type of material of booths that would be better?
Advice appreciated!

#777968 - 12/11/09 05:02 AM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Jan 2001
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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New Jersey, USA
http://www.google.com/search?q=sound+booths&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
Start there. See what materials are used, then see if you can get them or similar at stores that sell just the material and make your own. Cheaper, I bet.

Are you recording real drums? A band at one time? What?

Some tell me I need a padded cell!

John


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#777970 - 12/11/09 05:23 AM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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mattbanx Offline
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Northern Minnesota
Thanks John!

The material for a padded cell would probably serve real well.

I want to do a lot of synthetic and organic sounds with it.
I figured I might try the more conventional method then building my own, but that is fun too.

Is there any brands in particular that can be recommended?

My bedroom is made of sheet rock.
Seems real well to hold in sound.
I'm thinking that maybe the material of the walls to the booth may matter too.
Rooms, rooms, rooms.

#777972 - 12/11/09 06:01 AM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: mattbanx]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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I use foam on the walls, and the angled part of the ceiling, in the small room for our band. The foam is the kind that is used for placing on a mattress for added bed comfort. It has those bumps thoughout. Great for trapping sound waves. 30 bucks or so for a king size bed section. Staple it on the walls. For booths,,,,I don't know if you really need them. Sub doesn't use them, and you hear what comes out of his place! Just good mic placement and levels for whatever you are recording. Or go direct for some, and there;s no sound out there to be concerned about.

I did our whole North and South CD in this little room before anything was placed on the walls. Just got close to the mics for guitar and vocals, and went with keys for drums and bass, (real time finger drums). Lennons tribute song was done up here like that. No booths, just sat with the SM57 mic in my hand and sang the parts. Same for all those songs. It's how ya play and record that matters most. No one hears the baffling anyway! Just good for having our band play up here though!

The most I would do might be the bed supports on the walls and or ceiling.

John


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#777974 - 12/11/09 06:09 AM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: mattbanx]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Curmudgeonville, Tn
I have heard one of the most expensive items in a recording room can be the sound proofing or sound control. There are companies that will actually engineer your space for you and sell you a sound control kit designed specifically for your space. Very expensive I think.
If you want a live sound hard surfaces are best. Lots of natural reverb. If you want a dead room use lots of padding.
You can then add reverb in the software. Egg Crate Foam Mattress pads work pretty good to deaden a small space.
A 3 foot by 6 foot pad will run about $20.00
But the shape of the room will matter as well. Parallel walls and right angles are not very good for recording. Bass may be a problem. Use soft material in the corners on a 45 degree angle. Commercial bass traps can get expensive. Foam mattress pads work pretty good. one to two inches thick.
Cover the windows with fabric or curtains. Glass can cause all kinds of unwanted feedback.
Hard wood floors can be a problem. Small area rugs work pretty good to dampen the reverb. Tile floors too.
On the other hand If you have wall to wall carpet you might want to pick up one of those plastic sheets they use under office chairs. The ones that allow you to roll around on the carpet. Or any hard surface will do. A sheet of 1/4 inch plywood. It's light and can be moved around but not very durable.
When recording acoustic guitar you can sometimes get a brighter sound if you sit on a chair over a piece of hard material. But if you are using an archtop acoustic you might not want to do that.

this is all just my opinion of course. Some of the other recording gurus here might have better solutions.

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 12/11/09 06:11 AM.

Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

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#778050 - 12/11/09 02:07 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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James Perrett Offline
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It is probably worth pointing out that mattress foam is very different from proper acoustic foam. Mattress foam my have an effect at high frequencies but it will do nothing to tame the mid and low frequencies which are often a bigger problem with home recording rooms.

Acoustic foam will work on a wider frequency range but, if you are on a budget, you would probably be better off looking at rigid fibreglass like Owens Corning 703 (in the USA) or Rockwool RW45 or RW6 (in Europe) covered with fabric.

Cheers

James.


James Perrett, JRP Music http://www.jrpmusic.net

Della Perrett's Sweetedge http://www.sweetedge.com
#778067 - 12/11/09 03:14 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: James Perrett]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Minneapolis
Don't do a thing until you know the whole plan. Do you want a perfectly dead room, or do you want to optimize the sound of the room itself?

If you deaden the room, then you can add artificial ambience, reverb, etc. If your room is to sound better, then it's a matter of bass traps, and a mixture of sound absorption and baffles to control the natural reflections of the room.

The cheapest short term fix is to deaden all reflections with the blanket trick: Put three hooks in the ceiling to hang two moving blankets or old comforters behind you in a V-shape, the mic facing into the blankets with you singing or playing in between. Works a charm.

But making your room sound good...research and make a well-understood plan before you go out and buy any materials.

#778072 - 12/11/09 03:43 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Mark is right. Know your goal before you do anything.

James is right about the mattress pads. Not all mattress pads are created equal. smile

I used this type of foam in my studio in Michigan for a vocal booth and it worked very well. The room was "Dead"
In the live room it worked well for controlling Bass. But I had a room with 14 foot high ceilings and sloping walls. Very few parallel surfaces or right angles. I panned the ceiling.

Here are the acoustic characteristics of Egg Crate foam. The same foam I believe is used in some Mattress pads.
There are Mattress pads that are high density and not egg crate. I don't think they do well with low frequency.
If you are a home recording person and don't want to spend Hundreds or thousands of Dollars on sound control these are good alternatives.
Now if you have professional studio that's a different story.

http://foambymail.com/Eggcrate.html
Check out the Acoustic foam at the site as well. It will give a pretty good comparison. I am considering ordering some from these folks for my new setup. I haven't planned it out yet. Then I'll decide on which product will work best.

EGGCRATE FOAM
RECOMMENDED FOR: People who want the good sound deadening qualities of 1" & 2" wedge foam, but at a budget-conscious price. Eggcrate Foam's style keeps its price low, yet allows it to absorb sound very well for the price. Eggcrate Foam is also a good choice for people who want to cover their sound deadening foam with acoustical cloth.

NOTE: Due to the manufacturing process, the pattern will not constant, so installing them side by side for looks will not be advised.


1-1/2" EGGCRATE FOAM
Freq

NRC

Overall NRC
125 Hz

.12

.67
250 Hz

.20
500 Hz

.58
1000 Hz

.92
2000 Hz

.97
4000 Hz

1.01



2-1/2" EGGCRATE FOAM
Freq

NRC

Overall NRC
125 Hz

.20

.75
250 Hz

.33
500 Hz

.68
1000 Hz

.99
2000 Hz

1.01
4000 Hz

1.03


Acoustic Foam - Eggcrate
72" x 80" x 1-1/2"
Covers 40 sq. ft.

$32.99
CHARCOAL

Acoustic Foam - Eggcrate
48" x 72" x 1-1/2"
Covers 24 sq. ft.

$32.99
COLORS

Acoustic Foam - Eggcrate
72" x 80" x 2-1/2"
Covers 40 sq. ft.

$46.99
CHARCOAL

Acoustic Foam - Eggcrate
48" x 72" x 2-1/2"
Covers 24 sq. ft.

$46.99
COLORS


Last edited by Bill Robinson; 12/11/09 04:02 PM.

Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#778077 - 12/11/09 03:54 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Bill Robinson]  
Joined: Sep 2007
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Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Posts: 6,531
Minneapolis
...and get familiar with this forum: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-construction-acoustics/

Lots of experts there.

#778091 - 12/11/09 05:46 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I think you may have your priorities wrong. The first thing you need to concentrate on is decent recording equipment and the know how to use it properly. No point spending any time or money on screen filters or room treatment if your set up is bottom end of the market and you do not know how to use it. The guys who sound treat rooms in studios normally would have spent many thousands of dollars on gear and be a bit of an expert sound engineer before they would finally think about room treatment.

#778710 - 12/14/09 12:20 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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James Perrett Offline
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Hampshire UK
I don't know Jim - modern budget gear is much better than older budget gear and people are now using large diaphragm condensers much more than they used to. Large diaphragm condensers tend to pick up more of the room sound so decent acoustics are more important than they used to be.

Cheers

James.


James Perrett, JRP Music http://www.jrpmusic.net

Della Perrett's Sweetedge http://www.sweetedge.com
#778715 - 12/14/09 12:58 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: James Perrett]  
Joined: Sep 2002
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Tom Tracy Offline
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Tom Tracy  Offline
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if you're good with basic carpentry skills, you can make some portable sound baffles. Get some 1x6's and make retangles (like 4 sides of a box). Fill the middle with fiberglass insulation (pink on both sides is best) and cover the thing with burlap. They won't be pretty, but very effective. Put some feet on them, so they can stand up, then you can move them around to wherever you need them.

#778735 - 12/14/09 02:26 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Nashville Tennessee
Matt,

Here's something I'm working on. The idea comes from some articles I've read about podcasters who need to have some form of portable acoustic treatment when doing location broadcasting.

Buy five pieces of one-foot square two inch thick acoustic foam:
http://www.samash.com/p/Wedgies%20Wedge%20Foam%2012%20x%2012%20x%202_-49983753

Find or buy a 12x12 cardboard box:
http://www.allcraftsupplies.com/p-39197/foldable-card-box-12x12-white.html

Line the inside of the open box with the foam, flat side of the foam toward the outside, serrated site toward the inside. The open side of the box will face you, you can slit the foam and put a table mic stand in the box with the base under the foam and the stand sticking up through the slit. Here's a table stand:

http://www.samash.com/p/A188%20Tripod%20Desktop%20Microphone%20Stand_-49987330

If you want to attach the box to a floor standing mic stand, You might cut a hole it the box to thread the stand through it and the slit in the foam, then attach the box to the stand using a length of heavy wire bent to grip the stand like this:

http://www.samash.com/p/Original%20SwirlyGig%20Beverage%20Holder_-49990327

only instead of the cup holder, bend the wire above in a flat circle to rest the box on.

Now you'll have sound tamed from above, below and behind the mic, but you have to think about what's in front of the mic. If it is a bare wall or wall, there will be reflection that bounces right into the mic. A bookcase full of books can really tame down reflection. So can a sheet of that foam.

Of course, this is an unscientific solution, but it should cut down the room sound by a significant amount.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#778774 - 12/14/09 05:59 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: James Perrett]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Originally Posted by James Perrett
I don't know Jim - modern budget gear is much better than older budget gear and people are now using large diaphragm condensers much more than they used to. Large diaphragm condensers tend to pick up more of the room sound so decent acoustics are more important than they used to be.

Cheers

James.


Hi James....I agree 100%..... but you must have the basic equipment first inclding a decent mic. I suspect that Matt does not. Assuming that is the case.... I think his priorities are all wrong. That is why I asked him what gear he was currently using. Last time I spoke to him re gear he was using a cassette tape recorder a casio keyboard and a $4 mic and pretty much refused to go digital.

#778778 - 12/14/09 06:32 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Sep 2005
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WriterTomYeager Offline
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WriterTomYeager  Offline
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Harrisonburg,Virtginia
Soundproofing made simple

here's a link that Google has when that topic is typed in.....

http://www.soundproofing101.com/


good luck Matt/others doing that project

Tom

#778961 - 12/15/09 11:59 AM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,558
Tom Tracy Offline
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Tom Tracy  Offline
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Lumberport,WV, USA
Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
I think you may have your priorities wrong. The first thing you need to concentrate on is decent recording equipment and the know how to use it properly. No point spending any time or money on screen filters or room treatment if your set up is bottom end of the market and you do not know how to use it. The guys who sound treat rooms in studios normally would have spent many thousands of dollars on gear and be a bit of an expert sound engineer before they would finally think about room treatment.


WOOOOHHHOOOOOO I waited a looong time to say this, because usually he's right, but now I can say it.... Big Jim, YOU'RE WRONG!!! The FIRST thing you need is a decent song to record. smile Why spend all this money if there's nothing worth recording??
Now I'm not impling that the originator of this post cannot write good songs, because I know he can. I just wanted to finally say Big Jim is wrong. smile

#778969 - 12/15/09 01:01 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Tom Tracy]  
Joined: Dec 2006
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niteshift Online content
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niteshift  Online Content
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Sydney, Australia
Every room has a natural frequency which will "drone" in the recording. Hence the baffles. I'm sure there is a gadget, similar to what live bands use to find the feedback frequency of a room. It finds it and automatically cuts it out. Perhaps there is a virtual version for your PC ?

Other than that, a dead sound is best these days. You can always "enliven" it later with the myriads of plug-ins available.

cheers, niteshift

#778978 - 12/15/09 01:28 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Originally Posted by Tom Tracy
Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
I think you may have your priorities wrong. The first thing you need to concentrate on is decent recording equipment and the know how to use it properly. No point spending any time or money on screen filters or room treatment if your set up is bottom end of the market and you do not know how to use it. The guys who sound treat rooms in studios normally would have spent many thousands of dollars on gear and be a bit of an expert sound engineer before they would finally think about room treatment.


WOOOOHHHOOOOOO I waited a looong time to say this, because usually he's right, but now I can say it.... Big Jim, YOU'RE WRONG!!! The FIRST thing you need is a decent song to record. smile Why spend all this money if there's nothing worth recording??
Now I'm not impling that the originator of this post cannot write good songs, because I know he can. I just wanted to finally say Big Jim is wrong. smile


Hi Tom Hah hah hah .........You need a decent song to record first......well that goes without saying....LOL
I just give out the tech info and advice it is up to OTHERS to decide on the merits of the stuff they want to record. If having decent material and musical talent was a prereqisite then lots of people should not buy any equipment PERIOD. Do you want the manufacturers to go out of business? Do you want to prevent people from spending money on THEIR hobby and deprive them of their pleasure? I think not.
Sadly for you I was right AGAIN.
You really are scraping the barrel if this is all you can find TO PULL ME UP ON after such a long time..LOL
Try again.... I promise you that sooner or later (probably much later) you MAY find something I was wrong about.... so feel free to try again LOL

#778980 - 12/15/09 01:38 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
If you want a dead sound, you've got to limit reflection. A blind vampire can't hear his echo, you know.

Getting rid of reflection is different than eliminating direct noise. You eliminate outside noise by providing a barrier that won't vibrate with the sound waves. Two concrete walls with sand in between would be pretty good for that. The question is, how much and what kind of direct noise do you have?

In the average house it is probably the heat/air system, the computer, oustide noise, and the family in the next room. A few good doors in between tames them. You can turn off the heat or air fan for a few minutes, especially in the good weather. The computer tower can be in a box (watch out it doesn't overheat) or in another room. A good heavy curtain can cut much sound if you don't live in a particularly noisy neighborhood. So now you look at reflection. Sound passes right through some things almost as if they weren't there. If this were not true, they wouldn't be able to make pop filters.

So, if you just hang a tapestry on a concrete wall, it might only make a small difference. You can buy auralex foam blocks, and that's what I like about making an acoustic foam box, open on one end. it blocks a little bit of direct sound, but mostly it stops sound from reflecting back around the microphone...it eliminates "room" sound and deadens the overall ambience. I'm now thinking about using a milk crate instead of a cardboard box.

Bookcases full of books are amazingly good at cutting reflected sound, so is a rack of heavy clothing (ever hear a "deader" environment than in a closet full of clothes? ). Then there is the directional pattern of the microphone. If you have a cardiod pattern mic, it will reject sound coming from behind it. If you have eliminated a lot of the reflection from in front of it, then you're well on your way to a flat ambience.

So, put the computer in a box or build some kind of wall in front of it. Turn off the fan while recording. Treat all the walls in the room in some way that reduces sound bounce...reflection...put in bookcases, hang acoustic foam or acoustic tile on the walls, buy heavy throw pillows and glue them to the walls (this is what a buddy of mine did in a house in Texas, bought a bunch of throw pillows with heavy fabric and glued them to the walls, then they recorded Willie Nelson's "Stardust" album that sold millions). Stuffed furniture is good, a heavy fabric chair is better than a wood or metal chair. A fabric couch. You might by four auralex bass traps for the corners of the ceiling. Bass moves upward as well as downward, gravity has a minimal effect on it in a small room.

Cut down on the sound reflection, use the directional pattern of the mic, do a bit of soundproofing and you're good to go.

You can buy a frequency analyzer or hire a pro to analyze your room, or you can do it the way my engineer friend who worked with Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris, Rodney Crowell and others did it at his studio. Keep adding stuff to the walls until it sounds good.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#779005 - 12/15/09 03:09 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,481
niteshift Online content
Top 50 Poster
niteshift  Online Content
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,481
Sydney, Australia
"Keep adding stuff to the walls until it sounds good." - Mike D

Hehehe Mike...

I came across a round biscut tin of origional 45's. Some really cool clasics from the 70's and eighties. Mostly scratched and no use, but good for decorative effect ? Classic labesls, from Warner, Epic etc, even have the Billy Idol number "White Wedding" . Thought I might be artisic and produce a wall of sound in the home studio. ( scuse the pun ) Wattya think ? How does vinyl react to sound waves. **shrugs** It'll look cool though, huh ?

cheers, niteshift

#779031 - 12/15/09 04:53 PM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Most studios I have been in have lots of stuff on the walls.....pictures plaques records memorabilia etc. I think all of this stuff is cool and interesting. The biggest enemy is empty echoey rooms and hard shiny surfaces. So lots of soft furnishings and wall coverings are always good to dampen sound.
Unless it is a dedicated studio used for only that purpose you nearly always have to compromise. Most wives will not take kindly to decorating the living room with acoustic tiles. LOL

#779800 - 12/18/09 12:00 AM Re: What are the best portable sound booths? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Thanks much to all for the useful information.

I checked out some of the brands and also unearthed some clothes from my youth I meant to send to Goodwill, as well as blankets.
Blankets seem to be a bit harder to part with this time of year in the climate where I live.

I figured before that this question might have been asked and would be taken as too basic.
But there has to be a start somewhere and I am sure glad I asked.

I hope the posts for this topic keep coming.



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