Instructions for Building a Portable Vocal Booth
Whether you need a little quiet time for heavy thinking or a soundproof spot to make some noise, a portable vocal booth is your refuge. Musicians especially need a place to practice or maybe even a studio for recording. Again, a portable vocal booth provides private space. The greatest challenge for muffling sound is stopping it from amplifying through surrounding materials. That includes the wood and wallboard that compose the ceiling, walls and floor.
To complete the task, you will need 12 – 4X8 feet sheets of ½ inch drywall, 34 – 2 X4 inch wooden studs, 2 – 30X84 inch pre-hung doors, 2 – 4X8 sheets of ½ inch plywood, 2 – Pre-hung doors, weather stripping, roll insulation, silicone caulking, wood screws (3 inch and 2 inch), drywall screws (1 inch), sheetrock tape, sheetrock mud and metal corners.
Top Plates and Footings
Cut the plywood in half to provide doubled sheeting for both floor and ceiling, and cut 10 studs in half for top and bottom plates. Fasten the top and bottom plates to a plywood panel with the plates side by side for two separate walls. Leave a 1/8 inch gap between the plates. You will actually be building one wall inside of the other. Cut two 2X4 boards and screw them to the plywood floor and ceilings at 16 inch intervals.
Step 2 – Building Walls
Turn the two plywood panels upright and begin connecting 2X4 boards to form corners on each of the four sides and upright studs at 16-inches on center across three sides. The studs should be turned flat along the outer walls and vertically inside. This is to allow space between the walls for roll insulation. On the fourth side, frame a 33-inch space at the corner for hanging the doors, and set other studs 16 inches on center from the opposite corner. Turn the frame upright and hang the doors, one swinging in and the other swinging out. Air space between the doors will aid in soundproofing.
Soundproofing the Structure
Cover the studs with silicone caulking before using drywall screws to attach the sheetrock to the framing on the outside. Three walls will take full sheets, and the fourth can be finished around the door frame. Place roll insulation into the air space between the walls. Cover the studs on the inside with silicone caulk and fit all walls with sheetrock. Liberally spread silicone caulk over these sheetrock walls and add another layer of sheetrock to the walls. Cover the ceiling with sheetrock and the floor with plywood. The drywall and plywood will need to be positioned inside the booth before the outer walls are hung. Otherwise the sheets will not fit through the door.
Finish the drywall with the mud, tape, and metal corners. Insulate both doors with weather stripping. Paint the structure if you wish. The time has come to take rest from your hard work. Sing to relax or scream to relieve stress; no one will be disturbed if you are inside your new vocal booth.