Build-a-booth! Building a recording booth on a budget.
So I wrote an article when I realized I was going to have to bite the bullet and build my own studio in Iceland. I have learned a lot since then! I'm onto my third booth build and all of them have been budget-friendly.
My first studio was essentially a mattress and duvet fort in my windowless spare room, and it worked beautifully. But oh my days! Was it hot! Thankfully I live in a country where it's newsworthy when we hit 20 degrees celsius. I could live with the heat but the mattresses took up a lot of space, and when I play characters I need space to stomp and roar. (Yes, my ideal role is a dinosaur - please contact me with offers - I do a mean pterodactyl impression...)
Can you spot the subtle hint that I love living in Iceland?
This summer I had to go back to the UK for a few weeks - but put an extra 10 days on the start of it in case I had to quarantine. Those extra days I was meant to be recording and I didn't want to be the reason the project was delayed. I decided to make a travel studio - borrow equipment from Lottie and Matt, and build a booth following a design I found on www.musicianonamission.com. Which is a great website that I learned so much from, I thoroughly recommend it, it would be all too easy to come and point out just the faults in this design, but honestly - love this website have a look :)
The main idea behind the booth is to build a frame using PVC plumbing pipes and then cover it with acoustic blankets from www.vocalboothtogo.co.uk.
As a temporary recording studio, it worked. However, my original plan had been to bring it back to Iceland, so the spare room could return to the original purpose if we had guests staying over. I decided not to bring it back because the frame just wasn't strong enough to support the weight of the blankets (about 4kg each) and several of the joints cracked in the time I used it as the frame twisted. Perhaps this issue could be mitigated by using cross bracing?
If you are thinking of using that design I would wedge it into a corner at least, ideally with something solid making up the third side so it can't twist.
I didn't actually take a photo of the studio - but I did record in it... and I have realized when I record I do some really silly faces. So enjoy!
The blankets I wholeheartedly recommend - I paid for an extra suitcase to bring them back to Iceland with me! Then used them (hung on metal poles, not plastic pipes) to redo my home studio. Getting rid of the mattresses has given me so much more space, and it's cooler when I record. I like the white lining of the blankets too - my studio is an even lovelier space to hang out in!
My current studio - lots of light, and plenty of space for dinosaur roars and stomps!