Fine Tuning the Vocal Booth- Pt. 2

by | Studio Equipment, Voiceover

My talented Voiceover friend Scott Gentle, who resides all the way across the country wrote me a very long note about the previous day’s post, and his own vocal booth issues.

I felt that a lot of vo folks  who read the blog could relate in some way, so I promptly asked if I could share his thoughts here as today’s Guest Blogger.

  NYC-Based Voice
Talent + Multimedia Audio Producer

 NEW video

Hey Bobbin:

Happy New Year to ya – hope you had a great holiday season and have been
well since our last e-mail swap. Just caught your blog post and wanted to throw
a suggestion your way, as vague as it might be for the moment, at least, as your
situation sounded kinda familiar.

I bought a used 4×4 standard model Whisper Room off Craigslist last spring
out of necessity, as I live in a pre-war apartment in NYC – meaning lots of
solidly built but highly reflective 1920s-30s era concrete-hardened fireproof
walls, high ceilings, and ornate hardwood floors – they definitely do NOT make
’em like these anymore.

So I already had plenty of room issues….and these were compounded by

  • next to a busy 1-way lane leading directly into the main boutique shopping
    streets in my borough 
  • across the street from a city park (meaning lots of loud pre-school kids and
    their came out to play all at once and all day long 2 months earlier than usual)
    with both a playground and a busy open-air handball/basketball court complex
  • less than 200 feet from the main artery of the Long Island Railroad, the
    sole commuter train line between Long Island and NYC (6 tracks worth, most of
    which are electric, and the rest being diesel powered double-deckers…still
    loud either way, especially during rush hours coinciding with prime European or
    West Coast studio times)
  • directly between the flight paths of the two major NYC airports 
  • susceptible to all the other usual urban sounds and street noise from
    garbage/delivery trucks, double-parked taxis, stray dogs/cats, neighbors living
    directly above/below/beside, random people walking by with Tourette’s syndrome
    or road rage, etc. 

I could do small VO jobs, but to do the pro stuff, I really needed a pro
booth, and I had no time, tools, or space to do the DIY thing like you did – and
believe it or not, it actually wound up costing less than treating the room with
soundproofing stuff like you described, which still wouldn’t cut my exterior
noise very much. 

The seller actually delivered and helped me set the booth up, and luckily,
I had him bring along a whole pile of 4′ x 2′ soundproofing panels he offered to
throw in for free, one of which I’ve removed and attached a few cellphone pix of
(apologies for the basic quality shots) – I HIGHLY recommend checking into these
for your upgrade.

However….I haven’t the faintest idea who made them – I’ve been too busy
working since I got the booth! 

They’re very good quality whatever they are, very much like the the Sonex
that radio engineers would drool over, which I can vouch for after working at a
station that had it installed in both on-air and production studios; they’re
infinitely better than the basic pyramid-shaped factory ones from Whisper Room,
and extremely thick (3.5 inches at their deepest, 1.5 at their

Without ’em, I get weird resonances and a “boxy” tone in my booth just like
you’ve described with your post, but when I have ’em up, that sound – and most
of the aforementioned urban gremlins – are massively reduced. May even be a bit
too dead to some, but for me it’s fine, and I can always pull panels if I need
more “room sound”…since the interior space in the booth is a bit smaller than
4×4, I don’t even need to use fasteners. I just stack ’em on top of each other
and bend ’em a little, and they’ll stay wedged in place on the walls (and
ceiling!) on their own via the foam’s natural flex tension. 

If your booth is bigger, you might need some heavy duty velcro or staples.
Or like the original owner of mine, via caulk, liquid nails, or some other
industrial-tube and gun adhesive if you want a more permanent mount.

Since I’ve now got some pix, I’m going to do a TinEye visual search and see
if any brand names come up on these, but I do recall seeing similar patterns and
depth available on some of the similar paneling I’d checked out before getting
the booth, and definitely recommend for you to keep in mind in your

Good luck, and please let me know if you have any questions and how your
upgrade goes!

– Scott


  1. I see you got talent in writing articles. Waiting for more posts

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