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extra advice on designing a sound enclosure

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Nelson May
extra advice on designing a sound enclosure
on Feb 22, 2010 at 5:34:00 am

As a vo actor my dad and I designed a really nice sound room to house my TLM-103. It is double walled as well as the ceiling and floor are double walled. I used sheet rock and marine carpet inside and out after caulking. It is on casters to reduce any vibration. If I dismantle this, I don't think I will get it back together. the room is about 37 inches bu 35 inches.

I am selling my condo and have to make a smaller booth. As much as I tried, when I enable record, I can see a little vibration in the VU meter, but when I read, my signal to noise ratio give me professional sound that is used in all markets.

Anyway, I couldn't by a whisper room at the time. They didn't have any. I now want to build a smaller enclosure to take with me when I move.

Here is my thought. Since I am not totally isolating, can I build a smaller booth out of four sheets of 3/4 inch plywood with the solid core door that I already have. I will just use drywall screws to put the four pieces together as a box and add a lid and a floor. I will also caulk all the seams and put the marine carpet inside and out as well as put it on casters. If I make a room that is 3ft by 2.6 ft, and totally baffled with auralex, should I get a decent sound on the TLM-103? I see the smallest whisper room is 3.5 x 2.5 and assume the acoustics are pretty good. I want to know if loosing 6 inches will hurt me. I will also put the mic so I have most of the 3ft to move in and away from it as needed.

My question: Will 3 quarter inch high grade plywood do the trick enough to reduce the sound so I can get a clean VO? This is after the S/N ratio kicks in?

Cheers.


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Ty Ford
Re: extra advice on designing a sound enclosure
on Feb 22, 2010 at 1:21:48 pm

Hello Nelson,

Small enclosures lined with foam are problematic. I'm talking about energy, reflections and resonances.

As with any sound source, the human voice has acoustic energy. When that energy exceeds the resonance threshold of the enclosure, it resonates; like blowing into a pop bottle.

If the voice is loud enough to excite the room and/or the foam into resonance, those sounds become part of what the mic picks up. The result is "small, foamy room sound."

As long as you stay below the resonance threshold, that problem will be averted, however you may still have standing wave issues even with non parallel walls.

The TLM 103 is not a forgiving mic. I own a pair. It hears a lot more than most mics. It will definitely hear wonkiness in acoustics as well as external noises. It's also a bit picky about which preamp it want's to see. It can sound overly bright and brittle with the wrong preamp and wonderfully lush with the right preamp.

As regards the six inches, tough to say what that may do. There are dimensional formulae that acoustic designers use to avert resonance problems. Unless you know what those basics are, you may end up with height, length, width dimensions that cause unwanted resonance problems. I was in a studio like that once. As long as the mic was ( I forget exactly) about 18 inches from the studio glass, the sound was great. Farther or closer from the glass the mic picked up unflattering resonances.

What we don't see is that sound in a space has peaks and nulls that occur in any space, based on (among other things) the design of the space, the frequency of the sound and the point of origin of the sound.

Regards,

Ty Ford




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