I finally bought a Vocal Booth! – Part 3

In Part 1 of this series, I went through the questions that anyone should ask themselves to see if their sound issues can be handled without the expense of a Vocal Isolation Booth. In Part 2, I went through some questions that anyone should consider if they have decided that they do indeed need a booth. And, I went on to detail some vendors that you might consider.

Now, in Part 3, after much research and consideration, I decided that  I will buy my Vocal Isolation Booth from Barcelona, Spain-based StudioBricks. Why StudioBricks?

The audio in that video above says a lot. StudioBricks delivers a solid booth at a reasonable price.

Before shipping, (as of March 1, 2014) the StudioBricks One costs $2545 less than an a WhisperRoom of comparable size and strength (4’x4′ enhanced). And, where the big American companies (GretchKen, WhisperRoom, and VocalBooth.com) use standard acoustical foam, StudioBricks uses products from a Portugese company called Vicoustic, that give their booths a much more pleasingly finished aesthetic. Since I am planning on spending many hours a day inside the booth, how it looks and feels is important to me.

As you can see from this video (and reviews like these from Paul Strikwerda), StudioBricks booths are already making waves throughout the greater Voice Over community. They are proving that a quality product does not need to be prohibitively expensive.

StudioBricks mockupAs you may remember from Part 2 of this series, my booth needs to be able handle a low ceiling issue. And, I liked StudioBricks’ solution the best. Since their design is built from smaller, easy-to-handle, solid wood sections that have been precision cut, they were able to offer me a single booth that could be assembled at two different heights. Those smaller pieces also mean that StudioBricks booths should be easier to get through narrow entryways or around odd corners (common here in old New England homes).

Guillermo Jungbauer of StudioBricks made the ordering process easy. Early on, he emailed mock ups of the design to help explain my customization. Then, we discussed the details over Skype. He then invoiced me for 30% of the total cost and got to work building the booth. Over this last wekend, 3 days ahead of schedule, Guillermo sent me some photos of the finished, assembled, and tested booth. Once the booth is packed and ready to be shipped, Guillermo will send me all of the shipping details. Once I am satisfied that the booth is loaded on the ship and ready to head for the USA, that is when I pay the remaining 70% of my bill.

Paying part up front, and the rest when ready for shipment feels a lot better than laying out all the money up front. After some horror stories that I have heard about dealing with some smaller vendors (that might become a future blog entry once I collect enough data), paying only 30% up front made me a lot more comfortable with making the purchase.

Over the next few weeks, I will be tracking my booth as it makes its way from the workshop in Barcelona, Spain to my home in Western Massachusetts, USA. During that time, I will be checking in with others who already own StudioBricks booths, looking for insight, tips, etc. Some people says that the booths require extra sound treatment (most often bass traps), but the feedback on that is far from unanimous.

I can’t wait to slot the whole booth together and get to work. StudioBricks seems like it will be a major upgrade to my current workspace. No more cramped, over-insulated, under-ventilated closets for me!

A Cup of Coffee

A ridiculous amount of caffeine was consumed while researching all of this stuff.
Add some fuel if you would like to help keep me going!
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Related articles

Part 1 – Do I really need a vocal booth?

Part 2 – Yes I really need a vocal booth!

Part 4 – I bought the new StudioBricks One Plus!

Part 5 – 12 Questions to ask when buying a Vocal Booth

Part 6 – Yes! I finally have my StudioBricks Vocal Booth!

 

28 thoughts on “I finally bought a Vocal Booth! – Part 3

  1. Thank you for sharing a lot along the way to your decision! All valuable data for comparison purposes.

    You mention, under-ventilated – how does the StudioBricks solve this issue? Do they have fans / ventilation incorporated?

    Thanks again for the great story.
    Joe

      1. Me being from Texas,our spare room has an outside a/c condenser unit and it’s quite loud outside the window as well as a barking dog,I was curious if studiobricks can minimize those noises.

        1. Hi Tom, minimize, probably. If you look at Part 2 of this series of posts, you will see that I compared different booths based upon their ability to block sounds. Low, rumbling sounds are the hardest to block. Those are the ones that require significant mass. Remember, you don’t need to eliminate the noise, you need to get the noise floor down to about -60 dB. What is the noise floor in that room now?

  2. Steven – Congrats sir! I went through much of the same research you did and came to the same conclusion. I ordered my StudioBricks One late last year. After some weather delays on the east coast I just got my booth in and built as of last week. Happy to provide any feedback I can. So far, absolutely thrilled with the booth and the acoustics. I did just order a couple bass traps for mine to tweak it a bit. –Happy Voicing, Jerrod Haarstad : //www.VOJerrod.com

      1. Steven – Booth took just under 2 weeks from Spain to NJ. Once it arrived, there were some additional delays at the port in NJ due to “Polar Vertex” delays as well. In the excitement of the pending booth arrival I found out how to track the cargo ships progress along the way as well.

        Jerrod

  3. Congrats on the purchase of your Studiobricks ONE booth Steven! I’ve had one for a little over a year and absolutely love it. I also added some Auralex bass traps and 1′ acoustic panels to what was provided by SB.

  4. Steven, what a fantastic blog. I love reading things like this. It’s clear you are passionate about your VO career and take the time to research everything thoroughly to achieve results.
    I have turned a small cupboard under my stairs into a small booth. I like how it sounds and is sufficient for my VO needs. In the future, who knows, as my VO career progresses, I may opt to look into getting something similar to you. But where I live at the moment, the booth I have is very adequate. I live in a quiet street with quiet neighbours etc so only needed to really treat the sound more than anything. Anyway, here’s a short video of all that goes into making my booth sound the way it does: //bit.ly/1ne2DsO

    Great blog. Looking forward to reading parts 4 & 5!!

    1. Kevin, what a great setup! I’m still working out if I will have my Mac in my booth with me or if I will use something like what you worked out with the iPad. I considered a 2i2 but, in the end, I decided on the Focusrite Forte instead. If you had to do it all over again, is there anything that you would have done differently?

      1. Steven, I don’t think I would have changed anything. Other than maybe having a booth in the same upstairs room as the mac!! It’s taken me around 2 years of trying different things to get where I am today with my set-up. When I first started out, before the cupboard had the acoustic tiles, I would crawl in there between the jackets to try and make it sound better!! I started out with a USB mic and a cheap laptop. I guess everyone will be different depending on whatever funds, space and what they can use without disrupting too much of a normal family home. Like the thing with the twine on my video to keep the door shut! Yeah, I’m sure there is probably something better that would work but that’s what works for me at the moment and that’s fine. Since I’ve had this set-up I’ve never done a VO job where the client has questioned my sound. That’s encouraging. Every VO would love to have enough space to have a fantastic studio with no noise from neighbours, traffic, air con etc, but the truth is, that most VO’s with home studios make do with the space and equipment they have available. I guess it’s all about researching and finding out what works best for you. Like you’ve done to get to the decision you made in getting a Studiobricks booth. What are you using at the moment?

        1. Before getting married (and subsequently moving) last year, I had a nearly ideal room on the second floor of my home not dissimilar from yours (except that my closet was in the same room as my Mac). Since the move, my recording has become more commando/makeshift. I have even gone back to a less sensitive mic so I can pick up less room noise. You’d be amazed what can be achieved with pillows, duvets, and random bits of foam 😉

    1. You should probably email Guillermo at info@studiobricks.com and ask for real shipping numbers. It seems that they can vary quite a bit, so my numbers to get one to the Berkshires probably have little bearing on how much it would cost to get one to the Gulf Coast.

      1. Steven,

        Thanks. I found the email address and I sent my questions to Guillermo.
        I would love to visit Stuttgart again. I spent about 7 years in that area and I truly miss it.

        Reggie

  5. Steven, thank you so much for these blog posts. I’ve been researching like crazy and haven’t liked anything about the options that pop up first…from expense to design to possible issues…Studiobricks seems like a wonderful option. My husband and I narrate audiobooks and our building recently underwent some HVAC changes, making the ambient noise level jump significantly. Also, we’re located in downtown Los Angeles, so between sirens, helicopters, dogs, and folks, there’s a lot to contend with. I’m excited to have a new avenue to explore — thank you!

    1. If there is anything that you might want to customize for your situation, it would be the amount of isolation both inside and outside the booth. Look for Anti-Vibration Isolation Pads and either put them below the feet of your booth or inside your booth below the carpet. If you have significant HVAC rumbles and some are still leaking through even after you buy your booth, this would be a simple upgrade for you to do yourselves.

    1. Hernando, prices can vary wildly. That, in part, was why I detailed my process. Since the company that I bought my booth from is based in the EU, their cost in US Dollars can change as the Dollar changes value against the Euro. Get in touch with the vendors that interest you and ask them about their current prices.

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