How To Build A Vocal Booth (Part 1)

double wall system floating floor hat channel system practice room rehearsal room vocal booth whisper room vocal booth Jul 08, 2024

If you have looked into buying a vocal booth or iso-room you know they cost a fortune. What about building your own? Is it cheaper? In this lesson I will go over how to build your own vocal booth or iso-room and yes, it will be cheaper than buying one pre-made and it will isolate better. This is part one of a multi-part series. We will go over the floor, wall and ceiling design. 

1) The Floor

First, lets talk about what you should do for the floor. There are two main options. Let's start with best. 

The Best Option:

To stop low frequencies down below 20hz you have two options. First, build your vocal booth on a concrete slab such as your existing basement, garage or backyard new build. If you don't have the luxury of building on an existing slab then you will need to float a piece of concrete. Yes, this is costly and not the easiest, but it is the best option. 

To do this, you need to float 4" of concrete on 4 PCF of mineral wool. (10cm Concrete on 70kg/m3 mineral wool. Below is a diagram of how to do this.

 You can only use this option if you have a structural engineer confirm your floor can handle the extra weight of the slab. If it can then you will not hear much if any transfer of noise from the room above down to the room below. This method is best for drummers, bass players and full bands. 

The Good Option:

Another option is to use a layered sandwich of materials. You can see in the diagram below how to construct a floating floor using this method. The weight of this floor is much less than the slab and should be able to handle more common building settings, however it is always best to consult with a structural engineer when you plan to add weight to an existing floor system. 


2) The Walls

Like the floor there are two main options I use for my walls. 

The Best Option:

The best option will be a double wall system where you can achieve and STC Rating of 63. This will be a great solution for any vocal booth if you have the space. The diagram below shows how to build a proper double wall. 

The Good Option:

If you don't have the space for a double wall system then I would suggest a hat channel system. This is where you decouple your walls using acoustic clips and furring channel. This system works well and can get you close to the same STC as a double wall system. Below is an example of how to install a hat channel system on your walls. 

3) Ceiling Options

The ceiling also has two different options.

The Best Option: 

The best option for your ceiling is an independently framed ceiling off your inner walls of your double wall system. To do this you will frame a typical ceiling joist system off the top plate of your inner stud wall. The downside to this system is that you need a lot of ceiling height. Below is a diagram of how an independently framed ceiling works. 


The Good Option:

The good option is to use acoustic clips and furring channels on your ceiling just like you did on your walls. This will save you a lot of money in materials and ceiling height, but it will not give you the best results. 



Stay tuned for next week's article on how to design the door and your ventilation system. Remember, there are numerous options when it comes to sound isolation, but I like to simplify an already daunting project by giving you two options. If you stick to this plan then you will end up with a great iso-booth and save thousands of dollars by not buying a pre-made booth.


Works Cited

Philip Richard Newell. Recording Studio Design. New York ; London, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.


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