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

StudioBricks wall with rubber mallet

Yes, I finally have my vocal booth – a prototype of the new StudioBricks One Plus – set up and ready to go!

The delivery process itself was an interesting experience. Shipping a vocal booth is not a UPS, DHL, or FedEx experience. A 600 kg (1300 lbs) crate needs to be shipped the old fashioned way. But, with 21 century conveniences, you can get alerts of the cargo ship’s location as long as it is within range of beacons on either side of the Atlantic. There were about 5 days when the ship’s location was not updated.

StudioBricks Cargo Ship LocationThe crate arrived in Port Elizabeth, NJ on schedule. The people at ShipCo contacted me to handle all of the customs paperwork at this point. Since I did not have an EIN number, my paperwork was a lot more complicated than it needed to be. I had to fill out the sort of paperwork one would file if I were moving a piano from a family residence abroad to my home in the USA. It was 6-8 pages of confusing information. The people at ShipCo were great about helping me get it all done. But, if I had that EIN, it would have been a 1 page form with about 4 simple questions to answer.

The crate was placed on a smaller vessel and taken up to the Boston Shipyard. Once the crate was unloaded in Boston, I was contacted about delivery. And, since I was having this delivered to my home, delivery was subject to the availability of a truck with a lift gate. Be very clear with them that you do not have a loading dock at your home (unless you really want to unpack your booth inside the truck and take it out piece by piece).

StudioBricks on the lift gateWhen delivery day came, I got a phone call from the driver when he was 30 minutes from my home. I got there a few minutes before him. The crate was huge, almost too large for the lift gate. He got it down and moved it close to my back door. That evening, my family helped me unpack everything.

I got all of the pieces inside and arranged them in groups (A1-A5, B1-B5, etc). Then, I stopped and watched a few StudioBricks assembly videos (just to be sure that I knew what I was doing).

Assembling a StudioBricks Booth

  1. StudioBricks floor with rubber feet and floating coverScrew rubber feet into the bottom of the Ground piece
    (I forgot to do this and wound up disassembling/reassembling the entire booth the next day since the rubber feet help with sound isolation.)
  2. Place floating floor on top of the ground piece
  3. Level the ground by adjusting the rubber feet
  4. Slide all but the last A Level Brick into place
    StudioBricks wall with rubber mallet(In my case, that was bricks A1-A4, leaving me just with A5. NOTE: If these pieces seem to require too much force, take my wife‘s advice, and let the pieces dry out from their journey across the Atlantic. They should slide together with minimal effort. If you live in a wet environment my best advice is patience and a rubber mallet are your new best friends.)
  5. Slide the incredibly heavy door into place
  6. Slide the last A Level Brick into place
  7. Assemble the door handle
  8. Slide all of the Level B bricks into place
    Inside a StudioBricks wall(At this point, the booth should be sturdy enough for you to open the door to aid in the rest of the assembly.)
  9. Repeat the process until your walls are full height
    (Usually this will be through Level D, but in some configurations this can be Level C.)
  10. Place the wooden tongue pieces into the groove of the roof’s frame
  11. Slide the roof frame on top of the booth
  12. Be sure the door is closed
  13. Tap the frame into place
  14. Slide the roof cap onto the booth

This is a good time for you to take a break. And, after your break, you might want to do a quick recording of the ambient noise outside and inside your booth. Even with my initial mistake of forgetting the rubber feet, I had a noise drop of almost 30dB – which was incredible!

Outside the booth:

Outside the booth

Inside the booth:

Inside the booth

Placing the Vicoustic Panels

Vicoustic Visquare, FlexiPanel A50, and the ventilations systemMy booth came with 9 Visquare Premium panels and 4 FlexiPanel A50 panels. Place the Visquares first (1 panel is meant for the ceiling). And, be certain that you do not cross any of the seams between panels when placing them. If you do, you will not be able to take apart your booth without breaking the panel. Don’t worry about spaces left in the corners of your booth when placing them. The FlexiPanels take care of that problem.

The FlexiPanels stay in place without any adhesive. So, you curve them into gaps left between the Visquares creating rounded corners and eliminating bass problems and reducing the need for bass traps.

The Ventilation Unit

In the box with the ventilation unit you will find a mounting diagram. Tape that diagram to the inside of your booth lining the image up with the pre-cut hole for air exchange. Shine a light into the hole from the outside to be sure that the diagram truly lines up. The directions ask for an 8mm hole. And, unfortunately, the local hardware store only carries drill bits in imperial measurements. After doing the math, I wound up purchasing a 21/64″ bit. Drill the 2 holes, slide in the mollies, and drew in the mounting screws. Then, hang the unit on the screws. It should fit snugly.

Booth Lighting

The booth comes with an LED lighting fixture. Though its instructions show it being screw mounted, I found adhesive panels over the screw holes and no screws enclosed. So, I removed the backing and pressed the fixture into place. You may want to affix the light so the power cable comes down the same corner that has the ventilation units power cable.

The Power Strip

The booth comes with a 3-plug power strip. And, since I live in the USA, it also came with a power converter for 110v.The power strip itself can fit snugly into the corner behind the ventilator so you only have to run the power strip’s cable across the floor of the back of the booth toward the cable passthrough.

 The Cable Passthrough

The best tutorial on setting up the passthrough is in this video from StudioBricks. Before setting it up, decide whether or not your computer will live inside or outside the booth. This will affect how many cable spaces you will need to prepare.

All that is left is for you to place the vent covers on the outside of the air exchanger and on the inside of the roof. And, congratulations, your booth is now complete!

Words of advice

Watch as many assembly/disassembly videos as you can before working on your own booth. They are all slightly different, and they are all helpful. I am including a couple of them here.

Assembling a One Plus:

Dismantling a One Plus:

Final Thoughts

Desk setup in boothI wish I had thought to ask Guillermo about reversing the placement of the cable passthrough and the ventilation. That would have worked better in my space. Aside from that, I have absolutely no regrets or complaints about the entire process. The StudioBricks was great during the design and build process. The shipping company was efficient during transit. And the build was manageable with 1 or 2 people. I will be tuning the booth over the next few weeks. And may purchase additional foam panels depending upon my results.

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!
$5$10$15$20$25Other

Part 1 – Do I really need a vocal booth?

Part 2 – Yes I really need a vocal booth!

Part 3 – I finally bought a vocal booth!

Part 4 – I bought the new StudioBricks One Plus!

Part 5 – 12 Questions to ask when buying a vocal booth

 

 

24 thoughts on “Yes! I finally have my StudioBricks Vocal Booth! – Part 6

  1. What was the final tally on shipping from Spain to your doorstep? I am assuming that the cost would be similar to get it from the seaport to upstate NY. I don’t have an EIN, only a SSAN as I am a sole proprietorship. Any advice to make that easier to accomplish? I also have to consider NYS sales tax which will be due at some point.

  2. Steven,

    Congratulations. What a great blog post and, more importantly, what a great accomplishment! I know you’ll get many years of great use and production from your studio and your example of hard work, entrepreneurialism, and dedication is truly inspiring.

    Kudos on a great moment and thanks for sharing it,

    Robert

  3. Congrats Steven on your new booth. Is your booth on a ground floor setting? Just curious as to what the load bearing weight of a floor would need to be if one of these booths were in a bedroom upstairs….?

    1. Thaks Kevy! My booth is actually set up in my poured concrete basement. The person that you want to check with is Andi Arndt. She did a bit of remodeling and an upstairs install of her StudioBricks One.

  4. Hi Steven,

    Firstly, thank you so much for your detailed post. It has been a great read and of much help.

    Now you have your booth fully set up, I wanted to ask you if it truly accommodates your needs?

    I was initially blown away by the “SB ONE”. But thought it may be a little too claustrophobic, given its dimensions and a possible need to layer more foam.

    Now reading your posts on the “SB ONE PLUS”, I feel it to be the better option to invest in.

    Also of great importance to me, is the soundproof quality of the booth.

    Is it 100%? If not? Have you endeavoured to achieve this?

    If this is not 100% possible with the “Standard SB ONE PLUS”, then I am looking at the PRO option of a larger booth with Triple layering.

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Cheers
    Shane

    1. Shane, no sound booth will ever be 100% soundproof. However, my family can now run the laundry and my neighbor can use his circular saw while I record without creating the need a re-take. If a heavy-footed teenager happens to pound across the floor above me, I can hear the low frequencies while inside the booth. However, these frequencies are lower than the human voice, so I tend to roll these off anyway. My advice, tell Guillermo exactly what you are trying to achieve. In my experience, he will give you his honest evaluation of whether he thinks that his booths are up to the task.

  5. As someone rather new to voice over, and who’s preparing to move to a new home in a few months, this series was incredibly informative and helpful!

  6. Amazing! So fun to read about your journey with this process! I contacted Guillermo and received a detailed reply…I’m so inspired by the ONE Plus…wow. Seems totally worth the extra bit. I’m so grateful for your posts!

  7. Hi Steven,
    Wondered if you feel that the extra foot in the Studio Bricks Plus has made a difference for you, rather than just going with the One? Also my one concern is hearing a bit of a boxy sound, wondered your thoughts? I am used to recording in a large room.

    Thanks Robin

    1. Hi Robin, I’ve never used a One, only the One Plus. So, I can’t really compare. I can tell you that after I had my booth set up, I hired George Whittam (who I expected to tell me that I needed more acoustical treatment – which he says that all One’s do indeed need). He listened to my booth and felt that it did not need any extra treatment. I did in the end add some treatments, but that was after visiting Armadillo Audio and trying out their booths. So, I added some CityBlox from Next Acoustics, in part because they are a close match for the Vicoustic treatments that come with the One Plus.

      1. Cool, thanks for your thoughts. I have had my 2nd floor studio checked by a structural engineer and unfortunately my floor will need reinforcing before I can put the booth in. Who would thunk? So I have to get the work done first. I will order on the soon though.

      1. Steven, many thanks for all the info. I am very interested in hearing raw files from your ONE Plus. My voice is a bit boomy and I fear no acoustical treatment can help in such a small room.

  8. Appreciate your posts Steven. I ordered a Studio Bricks ONE two weeks ago. Guillermo is customizing the height of mine; it needs to fit in a studio with a ceiling height of 88″ (2235mm), so they are making it about 2cm shorter. He says it will be a total of about 4 weeks before it’s ready to ship. Before setting it up I will review your directions again. How long was yours on the water and in transit before it arrived? Mine will be shipped to the top center of Illinois.

    1. Hello Greg. At this point I don’t remember exactly how long it took. I think the blog posts are pretty much real-time during the purchase process for what that’s worth. Also, I was able to do online tracking of the shipment. So, be sure to get that information from ShipCo (or whomever they use to ship to you). At first, I watched the ship as it left European waters, and then there was a lack of information until it approached the East Coast. Hopefully, yours will come to Chicago via the Great Lakes instead of being unloaded in New Jersey.

  9. Steven, many thanks for sharing your process in choosing this booth; very, very helpful! One question: can shelves/equipment be mounted to the walls a) at all and b) without damaging the sound-proofing? One thing I do like about my current (not sound proof) set-up is my custom-to-me shelf heights for my script and my keyboard and my adjustable mic boom — all of which are currently wall-mounted. Will I need to figure out a custom-built bit of furniture to fit into my future sound booth?

    1. Hi Angie!
      I would send photos of your current set up to Guillermo when you contact him (that is what I did). If anything special should be done to preserve the soundproofing, he would be able to tell you.

    1. The company is based in Spain. At the time, they paid for both supplies and labor in Euros. The economic climate then bares little resemblance to now. With all of the changes, my final cost would have little relation to a current quote. I suggest you contact them directly.

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