How to turn a Closet (or small room) into a voice over booth is actually something I’ve been asked a lot! There are a few ways, but let’s talk about how to do it without breaking the bank. So, if you are in the market for making your own closet voice over booth, look no further. In this episode we will demonstrate a simple way to make your very own voice over booth!
If you walk into a recording studio anywhere in the world, you are destined to spot a voice over booth. These booths (also known as iso booths, vocal booths, and even WhisperRooms) are meant for recording clean tracks that are free of any extraneous noises from the studio or out in the halls. These rooms are generally treated with expensive acoustic materials that do a great job at isolating the room you are in.
Which closet is the best one for a Voice Over Booth?
You need a closet that is comfortable enough to stand in. If you are claustrophobic because of how small it is, that’s not a good idea. Find a closet, or a small room, you can stand up in with no problem. I am pretty tall and had to remove the top shelf in my closet in order to get in properly.
You are going to remove everything, including the clothes, and be in there with minimal equipment. Clean the walls, sweep the floors, and get it spotless.
What Do I Need To Buy for my Voice Over Booth?
When it comes to supplies, not much is needed, especially if you are not doing the acoustic tiles route.
The main ingredient. There are a bunch of different kinds and colors you can get. You are going to need about 10-15 blankets for a normal sized closet. You will be using them in a pattern that doubles them up. By the time the closet is finished, there are about 3-4 layers in all the areas, which lays flatter than the acoustic tiles that most studios use to dampen the room just the same. You do not necessarily need to get the thickest furniture pads – there are some bulk options that you can get that work perfectly.
The whole goal of a voice over booth is isolation from anything that vibrates. The floor is one of the biggest vibration issues in a house or apartment because it is attached to the concrete slabs outside that connect the street to the buildings. Vibration is everywhere! This is why when professional studios are built, they raise the floor of the building to remove it from the other sources that vibrate.
Rubber mats will help with a few things:
Keeps vibration from hitting the stand and microphone
Helps with fatigue
We recommend picking up a decorate mat to put over the rubber mat to keep your room looking stylish!
Wow, has technology changed. Down to the hammer, er, gun. When I made my first voice over booth, I had to use the manual staple guns. It’s not a big deal, except you are going to staple hundreds of staples in different angles working really hard to keep things tight. My recommendation is to get yourself an electric staple gun and possibly an extension cable. You will need a lot of staples too – more than what is in the box.
Scissors and Razor Blades
These help you to shape the furniture pads that will be going all around the room. You need sharp scissors and a sharp blade or you will be wasting your time repeatedly cutting when you could just swipe through things and be done with it. Be very careful as well. Sometimes you are cutting on top of a chair in the corner of the closet. Do not cut yourself on accident. Slow and steady wins the race.
Getting the Voice Over Booth Done
When it comes to the actual process, it is quite easy. Work either with a friend or not (it is MUCH easier with a friend) and fold the blankets into easy trifolds that can be held up starting in the corner at the bottom and then stapling it down tight. We start in the bottom corners and work our way up and around first.
The goal is to continue pulling as you staple to keep the furniture pads tight. You don’t want any of them loose.
When you are finished with the first layer or two, it will look something like this. Keep working to get the pads tight and layered evenly. It takes practice. Don’t staple them down unless you know they match up properly from top to bottom.
On the ceiling, I do end up using some acoustic foam first. I staple a few pieces into the ceiling, and then cover it with furniture pads. Use flat pieces that won’t show any pointy bumps. This allows you to have even more absorption on the ceiling.
Then, the final layers come from the top down for a more visually appealing look. The end result must not only look good, but be efficient! You may need to fold over some of the furniture pads in areas or even cut them to keep the furniture pad close and around corners.
When you are all finished, it will look something like this:
INSERT PHOTO OF FINISHED
Uh, oh – We’re Moving our Voice Over Booth…
That is the joy of building studios. Once they are built, they are used, and then broken down. Understand these rooms are meant for application and it will involve a lot of elbow grease the day you decide to rip it all down. There will be a bunch of staples flying so make sure you have eye protection and a set of gloves that will protect your hands from getting stabbed by staples flying out when you grab and pull.
Another great tip is to have a couple different types of pliers with you when you tackle this job. Regular pliers are great for the each ones and give you a lot of torque to pull the little guys out. However, for the ones that are tighter into the wall, you may need to use a flat head screwdriver or even needle nose pliers to get these going. Don’t get frustrated. Turn on some music and just get it done! You can do it!