Andrew Peters, Australian voice actor and co-founder of Realtime Casting, describes building his own home voiceover studio (slideshow below)
Andrew Peters of Realtime Casting states, “Building your own is possible.”
Over the years, I have built a few voice over booths in places like cupboards, small sheds, bigger sheds and finally…a car garage. The main challenge is always understanding the difference between sound proofing and acoustic control. Through trial and error (and yes…there were a few expensive mistakes along the way) I came up with a pretty good design.
Before you start remember the outside dimensions will be somewhat different from the inside dimensions. Therefore, it is best to work from the inside out when calculating the size of the voice over booth.
In my particular case I had one small issue; a pitched ceiling. This is good news because it eliminates one right angle, but the bad news is it becomes a trip wire for someone not skilled in any building trade! Once I worked out “where I was going to build it” I had to work out “how”. Building against walls, especially walls I could NOT touch, makes construction challenging.
Next few steps
I had to build two of the walls at another location and then bring them in order to secure them to the floor I had built. Once I had the two walls up, the third wall and framework for the door could be built.
The next trick was the ceiling, which I had to slide into place, then screw to the inner stud-work. You can see from the pictures of construction that it was not a simple task. Once the walls were in place everything had to be sealed to make sure the booth would eventually be airtight. Any air getting in brings with it sound.
The materials used in building a voice over booth are the key to its performance. I have experimented with all kinds of materials in the past, but my favorite has always been “yellow tongue-floor timber”. This material is dense, VERY heavy, and when you get multiple layers in place, it is sure to work. I also had a plasterer finish off the outside to make it look nice, but I also did that to add another layer.
Here is a list of the materials I used and what they were used for…
- Heavy-duty rubber to float the whole structure. I also used a second layer between the two layers of flooring.
- Yellow Tongue for walls, floor and ceiling. Inside the layers is stud-work 90mm x 45mm
- Acoustic insulation is used inside the cavity of all walls
- Tubes of sealer to fill in gaps
- Auralex is superb and worth the money.
Important note: Remember Auralex is not soundproofing. It is used in order to control sound inside the booth.
- Double-glazed patio door, and make sure it is well-sealed; no cheap stuff. Spend the money for a door with a good energy rating and acoustic qualities. These also save you the task of having to build a double-glazed window (I’ve built one!).
Things you must do to make your booth work…
- Float the structure on heavy duty rubber to isolate it from the floor
- Do not have your booth touch any part of the existing building
- Make sure you bog all gaps so the booth is airtight
- Use multiple layers of dense materials
My booth has been put through the ultimate test; a major construction site next door! I was able to have a voice over session, as 4 jackhammers were going, and my voice over booth worked perfectly.
Keys points to remember…
Are you planning on building a voice over booth? Did you build one already?
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