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Humble Beginnings

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

Being a mom with a limited budget, I had humble beginnings to my Voice Over career, I had to make my own recording space. Many Voice Over artists achieve a recording space in their closet which you can too! I myself am claustrophobic and am fortunate to have a 5’x4’ area in my office where I can put my booth, so I was determined to use my knowledge of Sound Waves as an Amateur Radio Operator and build my own booth!


In all my research I found and loved this booth set-up by Deity Microphones. Check out their informative booth building video here!


I went to work with the objective of using my woman power completing this whole project without the help of my husband, I was determined to obtain all the supplies and build this booth by myself!


On Facebook marketplace I found a farm selling old PVC pipes (used as clean water pipes) and PVC joints. In Canada where I live building materials have become uber expensive thus I was stoked when I found this deal for $37…I calculated new pipes would cost approx $350 and that’s without the joints.


After picking up my pipes and the joints that came with it, I got so excited that I cut all my pipes to size as per the video. You know the saying, “measure twice, cut once” well I now say, “check you have all the pieces, before cutting”. I didn’t have all the correct joints needed! I went online and in store and either could not find the pieces or would have to pay astronomical prices and shipping fees.


So I did what any strong woman would do….ask for help….from her husband. We only had a TON of T joints and some 2 way corner joints. He helped me redesign my PVC frame to work with the joints on hand and already cut pipes.


The end result was a rectangle instead of square frame. Which gave me enough room to put a desk and chair in my booth…woot woot. Happy little accident!


This is the frame!


Now I need walls. We also happen to have moving blankets on hand. My husband got them from an antiques dealer, $5 a blanket…the dealer had a surplus…what luck! However I did not have enough moving blankets to complete the walls.





I inherited a ton of fabric from my late mom. I don’t sew often but I could not part with the fabric no matter how many times we moved places. Finally! I have a use for mom’s fabric! I used some to make straps which I sewed onto the moving blankets, allowing me to hang the blankets off the PVC frame. (My cats are emotional support animals in training. Here they are holding down the edges of the blankets from the high winds. :) )


I used tweed fabric to fill the gap on one side. Then a beautiful emerald green velvet with gold sequence in a stunning floral design which I used as my door; the most expensive piece of my booth…I bought the fabric for my bridesmaids but ended up going a different route and the fabric was $179 thus I was so happy to make use of it. PS. green inspires creativity so win win!


I thought I was done with the shell of my booth but quickly realized I was not. I learned via Gravy for the Brain you want a ‘dead space’ and a ‘repeatable’ sound.

What ‘dead space’ means, is the sound does not reverberate, the sound is absorbed into the surface. So having all the hard PVC pipes surface would reverberate my voice which could cause Standing Waves, something you do not want in Voice Over.

Their suggestion, cover everything in fabric. What luck… I already have a ton!


I went to work sheathing and draping my pipes. I even covered my desk.


We cannot forget the FLOOR! We want sound absorption on the floor too. If something is vibrating or rattling in your building, it can vibrate through your floor and/or booth causing sound disruptions….something we don’t want while we are in the zone recording. I reused old children's foam tiles. I didn’t stop there, I wanted comfy sound absorption below my feet where I plan to spend many hours….I put a rug on the foam tiles.


By covering everything in fabric preventing reverb off hard surfaces I also created a ‘repeatable’ sound. Which means if I need to re-record a take, my recording environment will sound the same.


In the end, I have a booth I love! It resembles who I am, someone who can roll with the punches and understands sometimes happy little accidents happen!


START HUMBLE

STAY HUMBLE





I wish you all the best with your booth building. Please check out these resources here:




If you want to know what equipment I use:


I bought equipment that was not overly expensive with great reviews. This is my gear:



Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools


AmazonBasics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable - 10 Feet, Black



OneOdio Hi-Res Over Ear Wired Headphones for DJ Stereo Monitor Studio & Mixing



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