How I built my Voice Over booth for under $500!
My first booth around Nov 2019 was a dining room table with its legs turned up against a wall, covered in packing blankets. (Thanks to Timmy for all the blankets!) I put my computer on a rolling chair outside the booth, so I could reach through the french doors and stop/start the recordings.
I was able to mount the mic on the side support, and mounted a 2010 iPad using string.
I stapled acoustic foam on the underside of the table, and also made sure to fold a packing blanket on the floor under my stool.
(Author's note - my first attempt at a booth was actually in my bedroom closet. But the noise and constant groan from the building's basement heater was so terrible, that I don't even consider it my first booth. I used a wire hanger and underwear as a pop filter. It was rad.)
My 2nd / 2.5nd booth was also made from packing blankets.
I used a lighting stand and a step & repeat stand. For the backing, I used a 4" thick memory foam mattress pad, which absorbed a lot of sound.
The top booth was the 1st iteration that took up too much of the living room.
The bottom was the 2nd iteration with the same stands, but a different set up. I was able to close the "front" with a blanket as well, but there just weren't enough blankets to absorb all sound.
This booth was never meant to last, and every time the pup came in, she would lean against the wall and it would shift (which was not good).
I did a consultation with Frank Verderosa and he noticed that the open space in the living room was audible.
I knew that I needed to make a new booth!
I saw these metal shelves on sale and immediately started sketching and brainstorming. The total for 2 after taxes was $137.60.
The sketches on the right are different than the final product, but it really helped with planning!
Nov 22 - Bought shelves.
Nov 25 - Shelves arrive (wasn't supposed to until Dec 1st). Bought the roof wood panels from the local hardware store. Set up the skeleton of the shelves and installed the roof. Was up til 3am.
Nov 26 - Added fabric to all the open shelving to absorb sound.
Nov 30 - Additional blankets arrive. Added blankets to booth and rearranged living room.
Dec 1 - Did my first VO & On camera live directed session in my new booth!
The final itemized list is below! Links are in the document at the bottom of this blog.
Front shelf against wall
Back shelf. (This now has the keyboard & monitors)
Living room setup with the couch.
Time Lapse build videos!
1) I bought some boards to go on the roof of the booth from a local hardware shop.
Thanks to Mere and Lauren for their insights!!
2) Mochi helping me unpack the shelves!
3) Baby steps. First shelf being put together.
4) Starting to take down the shelf and monitors from old booth.
5) Fully taking down Booth V2.5 to make space for the 2nd shelf! You can see the setup I used.
6) Starting to take shape. Ended up putting the keyboard on the back shelf because of space. Added the mattress padding against the neighbor wall (where they have a dance party every Friday night!)
7) Adding the roof (three 1x8 planks.) Covered the roof with canvas first to help with bounce.
8) It's a booth!! Added LED lights and an overhead light. The overhead light is now a ring light.
9) Timelapse of me working at my new booth for the first time! Got my noise floor from the low -40dbs (booth V2) to the -60dbs!
10) Adding the first round of additional blankets around the sides of the booth.
11) Adding even more blankets to the roof! Ended up nailing them in to make sure they were secure. I accidentally plunged the screw gun into my hand at one point. (Just realized that's a double entendre.)
12) Played tetris with our couch. We have a living room again! You can see the sketch from the top of this post of how I wanted the living room to look, and it worked out!
Early December Updates
Part 1 and Part 2 of "Things about my booth that just make sense." My favorite things about my booth!
The teleprompter is now gone.
Budget note - I got my monitors for free from a neighborhood share group on Facebook.
Let me know if you have any questions!