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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Acoustics in Motion => Topic started by: breathe on December 07, 2008, 09:56:01 pm

Title: x-large pre-fab 'vocal booth' as control room for home garage studio?
Post by: breathe on December 07, 2008, 09:56:01 pm
I can't be the first person to have considered this.  I'm currently living in a small apartment in West LA where my ability to play audio at good volume (not even rocking out) is extremely limited due to thin walls and the needs of the neighbors.  I am planning to move to a house in the Silver Lake area which I will share with hopefully cool people and where I get to have the whole garage to set up my studio in.  Both because of concerns for neighbors and also my housemates, I will need some significant soundproofing in the garage so I can play audio at real levels.  I am hesitant to do some serious and expensive construction in said garage because I honestly have no idea how long I would be living in said house, or at least having my studio there.  Who knows, maybe I'll eventually come across some cool affordable warehouse space similar to what I had in Portland (though not for THAT price!  4000 sq/ft @ $2k/mo!).  

So I was thinking that a solution to my predicament was to get an extra large version of those pre-fab vocal booths advertised in the back of Mix Magazine.  Three companies selling such a product were advertised and I went to all of their websites.  It looks like for an 8x8x7 single walled room the cheapest I'm looking at is $8k plus shipping.  I think ventilation might be extra.  So is this a viable solution?  If it is prefab I assume that once it is constructed it can later be deconstructed and moved to another location and/or sold to another party.  Is this correct?  Has anyone used this kind of setup?  How much do you think it would cost to build a reasonably  effective sound room from scratch at 8x8x7, taking into account the "Time=Money" reality?

Any advice would be extremely appreciated!!!


Title: Re: x-large pre-fab 'vocal booth' as control room for home garage studio?
Post by: brett on December 08, 2008, 05:08:15 pm
trying to do mixing in an 8x8x7 room will be a major challenge. My 11x13 room has serious issues and its drywall. Small room mixing for tv is getting done using remote trucks etc. so it can be done. Also, at least drywall will let a lot of energy out. A sealed and solid walled room will let less energy out. Means more issues inside. I vote Bad Idea!

If you just made the garage air tight you would be half way to not making neighbors pissed. Sealing off the door with framing drywall and insulation is a start. An Air gap and another layer of drywall all the wal around and you're done. Be way less than $8k. you can drive down to home depot in hollywood on sunset just east of the 101, and find guys who know how to drywall standing outside ready to work. Just buy the materials and bring a couple of drywallers home with you and knock it out. You have to make it air tight first. A lot of caulking!    

Then you will still need to treat the room. A sound proof room is harder to treat then a normal room because the energy cannot go anywhere.
Title: Re: x-large pre-fab 'vocal booth' as control room for home garage studio?
Post by: franman on February 08, 2009, 11:08:52 pm
If you look at the Studio Profile in Feb PSN you will see a high-end studio project we did in NY called KMA Music.. We used the exact concept you are considering albeit on a larger scale. The isolation shells were all pre-fab construction (IAC Moduline panels, floors and ceilings for this project). We do a lot of work with IAC Doors, and some projects using their modular shells for isolation solutions. The main reasons we use them is typically financial (they can be leased as a fixture... not permanent construction), or for the reason you list: wanting to be able to take it and relocate.

It is possible, but I have to agree with Brett on the size issue. This is a very small room you're talking about.. Remember all the same issues with small rooms apply to pre-fabs, so be careful about your room proportions (use one of the calculators that are available) and expect to have to treat this room, install electricity and air conditioning.

The IAC modular rooms are not cheap! It is typically more expensive to go this way vs. traditional construction, but the advantages are as listed above.

I would strongly recommend you go for the largest room you can afford and hold some serious budget for the treatments, electrical and HVAC work. Also, make sure you are specifying the performance you need: STC values, etc. Don't expect an inexpensive booth from the 'back of Mix' to be a panacea. It won't be... BUT, you can do what you're talking about, I assure you, from personal experience.