Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Bobbin Beam's Do it Yourself Home Recording Sound Booth

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 9, 2007

Comments (23)

Bobbin BeamTo kick off our Family Week here at VOX Daily, I'd like to start with this gem of a story that features husband and wife collaboration.

Recently, Bobbin Beam and her husband Pete completed the building of Bobbin's home recording booth.

To learn more about the process of building a booth in your own home and find about how Bobbin and Pete successfully completed the booth on their own, read this interview with the one and only, voice actress Bobbin Beam!

Stephanie: What inspired you and your husband to build the booth in your home?

Bobbin: My studio is located in the family office, which means that nobody but me could be there while recording. I preferred everybody out of the house while working. No TVs, no music blasting, no doors closing, no highly energetic 16 year old singing, playing piano, guitar, etc. You get the idea. I also had practically zero desk space, as my equipment took up most of it.

There were other issues, too:

There are airplanes, helicopters, the occasional loud Harleys that roar down the street, the trash truck pick ups on Mondays, next door neighbors mowing lawns, AC and Heater vents, even computer fans create relentless acoustic intrusions into my sensitive mic. All of these noises intruded upon many "takes", slowed the recording process and I felt it was time to step up to the plate and have a sound booth. I looked at several pre-made ones on the Internet, and then Pete found do it yourself sound booth plans for the DAWBOOTH. We ran the costing numbers and it was a no brainer. The DAWBOX could also be disassembled to be moved, if needed. Pete was willing to help. Without his support and "heavy-lifting", it couldn't have happened.

I also now have not only a nice isolation booth, but I now have my separate computer desk, located next to the booth and my original work station back, where I can also edit if I so desire. What I find myself doing a lot is recording in the booth and doing longer edits from my external work station, when I want. It can get a bit closed in - hanging inside the booth for too long a time. This works very well for me.

Stephanie: How did you divvy up the construction? Were you both responsible for gathering the materials and also assembling the booth?

Bobbin: My husband (of 33 years), Pete really did most of the materials purchasing, hauling, fabrication, and foam and carpet installation. I'd caulk, paint, and helped lift and move the pieces from the garage into the office. I also assisted with logistics such as placement of shelving, lighting, wall holes, vent fan, and I handled purchasing my needed mic boom, extension headphone, computer monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, and assorted USB cables. And a bar stool, of course, for those longer narrations.

Stephanie: How many hours in total did you two spend together working on the booth?

Bobbin: About 28 hours, including trips to Home Depot, Guitar Center, and Fry's Electronics.

Stephanie: What are the dimensions of your booth? Is that a standard size for a home recording studio booth?

Bobbin: Dimensions are 4' x 4' x 86". Some booths I looked at are definitely larger, but this size seemed the best fit for me, and for the space in our family office.

Stephanie: Is building a booth a trying experience similar to how painting or putting wallpaper up is or was it more of a bonding experience?

Bobbin: It wasn't drudgery like wallpaper. It was exciting to put it together from scratch, and it was going to help my business. Definitely a bonding, supportive experience.

Stephanie: I know you have this on your blog, but could you please share the cost breakdown for your booth?

Bobbin: Materials cost $1,113.00 USD. The custom extras including a Mic upgrade was not included in this cost.

Stephanie: Did you do anything special with the decor of the booth to make it more like "home"?

Bobbin: I added some family photos.

Stephanie: What role does Pete play in your career?

Bobbin: My husband has always been supportive of my career. He's been my business partner, and for the last 33 years we're a unit, from my radio career days to my ad agency, to our sign and graphic design business, and throughout it all- to my freelance on camera and voice over talent work.

Stephanie: What is your favorite memory from building the booth with your husband?

Bobbin: Moving day for sure. That was the day it all became real. After about 6 hours of hauling the component parts in from the garage, assembling, fine tuning adjustments, wiring it and setting it up, then turning everything on... and it WORKED! It was immensely exciting and satisfying.

Stephanie: Is there any advice you would like to give to people who want to build their own booth?

Bobbin: Yes, If you end up using DAWBOX 2.0, make sure you contact Justin and obtain the corrected materials list.

Stephanie: Thanks for being a part of the Family Week on VOX Daily Bobbin!

New link to their 4x4x7, 4x6x7, and 6x6x7 plans for the DAWBOOTH courtesy of Justin Lynch, CEO of DAWBOX.

~~

Check out some pictures of Bobbin and Pete's project!

Old Studio set up "Before"

Bobbin Beam Studio - Before

Wood in and on the wagon

Wood in Truck

Construction in progress

Studio Construction in Progress

Setting up shop in the office - exterior

Setting up shop - exterior

Finished interior

Finished Interior

Final interior

Final Interior


Related Topics: Bobbin Beam, booth, DAWBOOTH, DAWBOX, DIY, How To, how to, Justin Lynch, radio, TV, Voice Over Home Recording Studio


Comments


    I saw the pics over Bobbin's blog, and it still looks great. (Sounds pretty good too!) Congrats again to Bobbin and Pete on a job exceptionally well done.

    ~ DH

    Posted by:

      Stephanie and Bobbin,

      I've followed this story with interest and am delighted to see this additional publicity. Bobbin is such a talented lady.

      Be well,
      Bob

      Posted by:

        Isn't it wonderful that we can set up a studio in our homes for such a small amount of money?? I hope lots of folks share their stories of "studio space" in their homes. Since most of us create in a vacuum, we don't often (ever?) get to see the inside of the studios of those we are competing against for jobs!

        I discovered the perfect spot for mine in my walk-in closet off the master bedroom. It's about 4'x 8'--and yes, I've left the clothes in there on two walls--helps make it perfectly dead for recording! The rest I've covered with Sonex. A garage sale schoolhouse table is my workspace, and I've drilled a hole big enough to slip the mike boom into. But here's the "lagniappe" (LAN-yap)--Cajun for "a little something extra": I've run RCA (stereo) cables from my soundcard through the wall of the studio into the back of my stereo receiver in the living room. I collect old music (mostly 45s) and I can now record my 45s, albums and tapes into Adobe Audition and remove the clicks, pops and surface noise. What a bonus!

        Please share your stories! And all the best to all of you!

        Posted by:
        • Robin Rowan
        • July 10, 2007 11:20 AM

          I agree with Bob Souer that Bobbin is a very talented woman. I've also found her to be extremely supportive of her vo family.

          I've followed the building of her studio with interest as well. The finished studio is incredible.

          Chris Fadala

          Posted by:
          • Chris Fadala
          • July 10, 2007 7:28 PM

            Hi David, Bob, Robin and Chris,

            Thank you for commenting! I too followed Bobbin's progress on her blog and on Bob's and am very pleased to see that all worked out perfectly with the studio.

            It not only works, but as many of you have noted, looks great too!

            Keep the comments coming, especially if you've built a similar studio in your home.

            Cheers,

            Stephanie

            Posted by:

              I met Bobbin for the first time (and worked with her) at Voice-International in Las Vegas. What a truly wonderful lady she is. I have heard her work and her name alot through James Alburger and Penny Abshire, and (shouldn't have been but was) just floored at how sweet and down to earth, and giving of a person she is.

              I have designed 2 studios .... One at home and one at the office. I can now swap equipment back and forth and record in several places easily. The studio office is my favorite because it's in the middle of a huge room, so there's no problems with handling sound and its' s-p-a-c-i-o-u-s, much more than I need, it spoils me really.

              My best to Bobbin!

              Barry

              Posted by:
              • Barry Trussell
              • July 13, 2007 5:42 PM

                Great looking studio! However, with my sound tech experience and knack for doing it yourself, I was able to put my studio together by hanging curtains and using some sound proofing material on the ceiling. Total cost...$0.00.

                The cost of the gear alone is a hefty investment. I worked at a large chain music store for a number of years and was able to get employee prices for my gear. My point is, there are ways to go about getting what you need with a little ingenuity without the big $ tags.

                I record into a BOSS BR1600CD digital work station though a fairly inexpensive Marshall MXL67 large diaphragm condenser mic, burn tracks onto a CDR and then upload into Cool Edit. I will do this until the lower cost mic interfaces are compatible with Vista.

                I would love to hear about other like studios!

                Thanks for the article.

                Jerry James

                Posted by:

                  Bobbin's studio just brings me to life!

                  Such great quality at a reasonable price? I intend to isolate soon and this just inspires me to do it right. I am researching here in Lagos, Nigeria to get the right materials for the isolation of my home studio.

                  Thanks Bobbin!

                  Sanjo

                  Posted by:

                    Wow! I've been away for three weeks and just returned last week and after opening mail and catching up on work, laundry, yard work, I finally had a chance to sit down and read this.

                    Thank you, Stephanie for the recognition for all the hard work. But I am also greatly moved and gratified by all the nice comments from my peers.

                    Thank you all so much!

                    All the Best,

                    Bobbin Beam

                    Posted by:

                      Bobbin and Friends,

                      Thank you for featuring my Vocal Booth Plans in your article. For anyone who has any questions or is interested in our do it yourself instruction plans please contact us.

                      We are all about the D.I.Y. and helping voice talent and musicians save $$$$ so they can afford to get the U87a!!

                      DAWBOX 651-307-1962

                      Vocal Booth Plans $45.00
                      www.dawbox.com/DAWBOOTH.htm

                      Posted by:

                        Hi all,

                        I LOVE IT.

                        I am in the process of setting up my own booth (as per yours)

                        BUT......my wonderful wife Cindy-Lou wants it in the garage (And I'm cool with that)

                        I'm looking foward to "all systems go" day (LOL)

                        THANKS.

                        Regards,


                        paul Thompson

                        Melbourne, Australia.

                        Posted by:
                        • Paul Thompson
                        • June 1, 2008 9:22 AM

                          The problem I have is that now the monitor fan makes too much noise. I use a closet to record. It's pretty silent, except now for the monitor. I have everything run in there wirelessly, so the computer is outside the space.

                          Every time I think I've isolated, a new noise (now the monitor) comes into play.

                          Posted by:
                          • Frank
                          • April 12, 2009 4:27 PM

                            I am looking forward to purchasing and putting this in to effect..thanks alot!!! looks good. God bless

                            Posted by:

                              I found this today. its alot cheaper! and really nice to.
                              http://www.thoughtlab.com/blog/index.php/how-to-build-a-soundbooth-on-the-cheap/

                              Posted by:

                                This is a good step for others to follow.
                                You can achieve any good purpose if and only if you believe you can.
                                No wonder the scriptures says "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength".

                                Posted by:
                                • Tolu
                                • September 17, 2010 7:19 AM

                                  Yup....a never ending process.

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Ian Da Wolfman Williams
                                  • December 2, 2011 9:21 AM

                                    What about Harlan Hogan booths?? Are those just for beginners??

                                    Posted by:
                                    • Krystal Barnes
                                    • December 2, 2011 9:22 AM

                                      Yes I did it all my-self:)

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Randal J Roubal
                                      • December 2, 2011 9:23 AM

                                        Yes- 4x6 booth in my loft. Cost roughly $500 for all the materials, and about a week of my time

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Ray Delnicki
                                        • December 2, 2011 9:23 AM

                                          I'm building my second studio right now.. there are a ton of pictures in my studio folder.. 6x 6 booth and full green screen capabilities

                                          Posted by:
                                          • Billy Madatchu
                                          • December 2, 2011 9:24 AM

                                            A little bit more than halfway there! :)

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Manuela Peace
                                            • December 2, 2011 9:24 AM

                                              Great booth!!!

                                              I am just about finished building my booth and really wish I had seen this before I started the project. I have most of the components you show and my walls are carpeted but I would really like to know what you put on your walls and where you got the material? I still have some echo that is driving me crazy.
                                              Thanks,

                                              Robert Craigo

                                              Posted by:
                                              • Robert Craigo
                                              • July 24, 2013 6:52 PM

                                                We are in Australia and record a lot of long form work like eLearning every day and currently in a rental so we can't modify things, and there are no walk in robes (it's an older house).

                                                I've been looking at the Whisperroom/Vocalbooth/Studiobricks and see that DAWBox might be a cheaper alternative all round (considering the others cost up and over $5000 once they're delievered here) - Bobbin, is the environment you record in stay the same ? What about blocking the outside noise (ie cars going by, people walking past the room you're in on hardwood floors) - can it achieve that ?

                                                Posted by:

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