There may be times when you try to create a professional recording but due to the sounds in and around your home, you are unable to.
This can lead to severe frustration and can have you throwing money down the drain.
Renting a recording studio can be expensive so how can you get professional recordings done at home without being plagued by noise?
One solution is to make a soundproof booth right at home.
The steps are very simple as you will see as we dive deeper into this article.
No need to worry if you do not have enough space because we even talk about how you can transform your closet into a soundproof recording booth.
So grab your gears and let’s get into how to build a soundproof booth for professional quality recordings right at home.
- 1. Find a suitable spot
- 2. Design a plan
- 3. Frame your walls
- 4. Installing the door
- 5. Add soundproofing material
- 5. Drill holes for cables
- 6. Seal all gaps and holes
- 7. Install weatherstrip tape around the door
- 8. Install door sweep or use door draft stopper
- 9. Soundproof the floor
- 10. Soundproof the ceiling
Steps by step process to building your DIY soundproof booth
1. Find a suitable spot
Choose a location in the home that is hardly ever used.
Your basement, attic, or garage may be just the place.
Wherever you do decide on, ensure that you have enough space to move around and fit your equipment.
No one wants to be too cramped while recording.
2. Design a plan
Depending on the location you picked out, it is time now to design a plan.
This step is where you put everything down on paper.
Remember to write down the materials needed and the size and design of the soundproof booth.
To determine the size of your booth, it is important to answer some very crucial questions.
Will you be sitting or standing when recording?
If you’ll be sitting then you’ll need enough space to fit a chair along with your recording equipment.
Do you need lighting?
The answer is, of course, lighting is a must because you need to see what you’re doing
However, sometimes using an external source of lighting works.
Will you need ventilation?
This depends on how long you’ll be spending in the booth.
Will you be recording for hours or just a few short recordings per day?
Which direction will you be facing?
You need to know this so you can know where to leave space for the door when framing the walls of the soundproof booth.
How much space to leave for a door?
Depending on the type of door you intend to use, the dimensions will be different.
Answer all of these questions and design your plan according to your answers to ensure everything is correct so that there is no mistake once you start building.
3. Frame your walls
After having a solid plan in hand, it is time to frame the walls of the soundproof booth.
You can use plywood sheets for the walls.
Although lightweight and not the best soundproofing material, it can work since we will be adding some soundproofing material to the inside of the booth.
For some of the best soundproofing materials, read this best soundproofing materials article.
4. Installing the door
Choosing the door type is going to be a hard task.
It is much easier to buy a door than building one.
So if your budget allows, your best bet is a solid door since most doors available are hollow on the inside which allows sounds to pass through.
However, if the price for a solid door is out of your budget then a hollow door can work just fine.
A hollow door works only if you install a soundproofing layer behind it like a soundproofing blanket.
Ensure the door is installed correctly so that all pins and knobs are secured and will not fall apart anytime soon.
5. Add soundproofing material
Now that you have the walls and the door to your soundproof booth, it is time to install the soundproofing material.
The plywood sheets no matter how thick on their own cannot give you the amount of sound deadening that you need.
For a soundproof booth, you can go with either of two options.
The first option is using drywall sheets and the other is acoustic foam.
Drywall is used to create walls and ceilings and it is very accessible.
It is very effective when soundproofing and you can find it in almost any hardware store.
In this instance, you want to install the drywall to both the exterior and interior walls to stop the transfer of sounds.
If you do choose to use drywall, the process is a bit time consuming and requires some work.
You need to make sure that the drywall sheets are well-secured and have no spaces in between them.
It may even require some assistance but it is well worth it.
Acoustic foam is also very effective when it comes to soundproofing.
They are specifically made for studios and booths so of course, they’ll be perfect for your DIY soundproof booth.
These acoustic foam panels come in different shapes and sizes so you will find some to match your tastes.
However, not all acoustic foam panels are created equal so depending on the material and thickness, each type will have different capabilities and structure.
Acoustic panels give you more room to play around with since they can be organized in any pattern and have the same soundproofing effect.
All you have to do is make sure they are installed correctly and will stay in place.
5. Drill holes for cables
Since it is a booth where you’ll be recording, you’ll need some holes to pass cables through.
Count the number of cables that you’ll need to pass through the booth before you get to drilling.
Eyeball the size of the cable so you know which drill bit to use so that the holes aren’t too big.
6. Seal all gaps and holes
Yes, you’ve installed everything correctly ensuring there are no spaces or gaps but you might be surprised to find that somehow noise still filters in.
This is because there may be small gaps and spaces that you cannot see at the first glance but only upon closer inspection.
To seal these gaps, you’ll need some acoustic caulk.
This type of caulk is better than regular caulk that cracks and breaks over time.
They can help to increase the STC rating in your soundproof booth.
Green Glue is the best acoustic caulk around but it can be pricey but no worries other affordable options are available that work as well.
7. Install weatherstrip tape around the door
Now that we’ve completed the major components of the soundproof booth and sealed tiny holes and gaps, we’ll need to further soundproof the door.
Around the door have gaps as well and these need to be sealed so that when the door closes no sounds can come in.
To do this you will need some weatherstripping tape.
8. Install door sweep or use door draft stopper
At the bottom of the door will have a large space that cannot be sealed with weatherstripping tape.
In this case, you will need to install a door sweep or a door draft stopper to fill that space to stop the transmission of sounds.
9. Soundproof the floor
This is an important step especially if there is another room below you.
Soundproofing the floor can be as simple as using drywall sheets or laying down a thick plush rug.
10. Soundproof the ceiling
This is a step that needs to be done if there is a room directly above your soundproof proof.
You can easily attach some of the acoustic foam to the ceiling of the booth so that it will not allow sounds from the room above to filter down to you.
11. Install sound panels
To further elevate the quality of your recordings you can install some sound panels inside of your soundproof booth.
Sound panels are made specifically to improve sound quality and work in the same way as acoustic foam.
However, sound panels have an advantage but they can be quite expensive.
Read here for the process on how to make DIY sound panels.
Why you need a soundproof booth
Whether you’re talking or singing, your vocals are the loudest and most prominent element in the recording.
Any sound bouncing off hard sounds or coming in from outside will be front and center in your recording which can make it sound like a mess.
There is a reason why a singer that performs live goes to the center of the stage to perform.
It is the best place for vocal reverb.
Reverberation simply put is the resonance of sounds.
In other words, it is the echo-like sound that can be heard in recordings that you hear normally.
When recording you do not want too much reverb since this can spoil the sound of your vocals.
You want your vocals to be heard loud and clear.
This is the reason why you need a soundproof booth when you are recording.
The soundproof booth will be able to block outside noises and absorb the sounds in the room instead of reflecting them and getting picked up by your microphone.
Why build a DIY soundproof booth?
There are many reasons why you need to build a DIY soundproof booth from cost to comfort.
Lets us take a look at some of these reasons to engage in a soundproof booth DIY project.
Building a DIY soundproof booth is easy and only requires a few products some of which you may already have at home.
What is even better is that you can easily transform your closet in just a few easy steps and create a soundproof booth that requires very little work.
When building your soundproof booth, you can keep adding or removing soundproofing products until you are satisfied with the quality of your recordings.
If you find that one product does not work well enough, you can try different options until the desired quality is met.
Personalize your space
You can also remove soundproofing products and mix and match as per your liking without worrying about others that use or own the space.
This is great especially if you’ve been renting a recording studio since you can personalize your booth.
Making your soundproof booth all your own can put your mind at ease and allow you to relax when recording.
Quite possibly the best reason for a DIY soundproof booth is the fact that it is inexpensive.
If you’ve ever rented a studio to do your recordings, you know how expensive it can get.
The total doubles and triples if you keep renting every month to do multiple recordings.
Taking matters into your own hands and diving deep into a soundproof booth DIY project will save you a ton of money once it’s finished.
However, if you’re not interested in building a soundproof booth, you can check out how to soundproof a room for recording.
How to transform your closet into a soundproof recording booth
If building a soundproof recording booth from scratch seems like too much work, you’ll be glad to know that you have another option.
Your walk-in closet is already separated from external sound sources, while it may not be the best at soundproofing, it is good for sound dampening.
However, installing a few soundproofing products can very well turn it into a soundproof booth that is easier to create than building one.
1. Make adjustments
Some minor adjustments will include removing shelves and racks so that you and your equipment can fit into the closet.
You will need lighting as well as outlets to plug in your equipment.
Hire a licensed electrician to do this for you to be on the safe side.
2. Soundproof the walls
Closets aren’t built to be soundproof so you will need to follow the instructions above to soundproof the walls.
You can use sheets of drywall or acoustic foam.
Choose either or since they both have soundproofing properties and work great.
3. Soundproof the floor
If there is a room below your closet, you will need to soundproof the floor.
As mentioned before, you can use drywall here as well or a nice thick high pile rug will do.
4. Soundproof the ceiling inside of the closet
While soundproofing the top of the closet can stop sounds if there’s a room above, it can also be done to cover up the hard surface so that sounds do not bounce off of it.
This way reverb is reduced and your recording is crystal clear.
5. Soundproof the door
Doors to closets are the normal hollow core doors you find inside the home.
SO you will need to soundproof that door since these types allow sounds to pass through due to their hollow nature.
Same as before a soundproof blanket works well in this instance.
To further block sounds, install weatherstripping around the door and a door sweep under the door.
After soundproofing every corner of the closet, you now have yourself a soundproof vocal booth.
You can also check out our how to soundproof a room for podcasting and our how to soundproof a room post before building your recording booth.