How to Build a Very Cheap Recording Booth

By Jason Knabl ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Partition
  • Thick blanket
  • 5 square feet of thick carpet
  • 20-30 egg cartons
  • Handsaw
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer & nails
  • Small fan
  • Microphone
  • Microphone stand
  • Microphone cable
A recording booth helps you to create better home studio recordings.

Every high-quality recording studio should have a recording booth. A recording booth is generally separated from a studio’s control room, and functions to isolate a sound source and to reduce ambient noise. You can spend massive amounts of cash building a recording booth, but you don’t have to. A very cheap recording booth can be just as effective as an expensive one. Adding a booth to your studio enhances sound quality and allows you to craft better, more professional recordings.

Set aside a small space to serve as your recording booth. Use an empty closet or a small room, if either are available. Building new walls or plywood partitions is expensive, so work with what you’ve got.

Find an object to use as a partition if your space has fewer than four walls. A standing mirror, a cabinet or any tall object will work. Drape a thick blanket over the object to help absorb high frequency sounds.

Clear your space of any unnecessary objects, fixtures or decorations. Posters, paintings and other such items will degrade your recording booth’s sound quality. Do not remove fabric floor coverings such as carpet. Carpet absorbs unwanted sound frequencies, enhancing sound quality.

Cut a small hole in the shape of a semicircle along the bottom of your space's door, if applicable. The hole should be large enough to accommodate three to four cables and small enough to prevent sound leakage from the recording booth. Size the hole according to your needs.

Line your recording booth with some sort of sound-absorbing material. Obtain 5 square feet of thick carpet and cut it into squares about 6 inches by 6 inches. The exact measurements will vary depending on the size of your space. Fix the squares of carpet to the recording booth’s ceiling and walls using either staples or nails.

Gather 20 to 30 egg cartons--the exact number will vary depending on the size of your room--if you can't find carpet. Affix the egg cartons to your recording booth's walls and ceiling using either staples or nails. Space the cartons evenly along the walls so that your room will absorb sound evenly.

Place a small fan in your recording booth if you've got one. If you don't have a fan, plan to open the recording booth door in between takes to prevent equipment and the performer from overheating. A hard-working singer will produce lots of body heat in a small recording booth, which can create an uncomfortable performing environment. It's important to keep air flowing if you want to coax a good performance from a vocalist.

Place your microphone in the room atop a microphone stand and find its optimal position. This is a matter of personal preference and comfort.

Tip

Enhance your vocal recordings by using a microphone wind screen. Wrap a thin sock over your microphone instead if you don’t want to shell out the cash for a windscreen.

Make sure that any fan(s) you place in your recording booth aren't too loud. A sensitive microphone will pick up the sound of moving air and the fan’s motor, adding unwanted coloring to your recordings.

About the Author

Jason Knabl began writing professionally in 2006. He writes mainly for the gaming and entertainment niches and has contributed to numerous websites, including Holdem Strategy World and Dial-A-Dealer. Bloom holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Toronto.