A vocal booth isolates the vocalist from the rest of band so their voice can be recorded with the highest level of quality and precision. Vocal booths are a must if you want your track to sound professional, but is it a piece of equipment that you should invest in owning?
Here we’re going to weigh your three options of buying, building, or renting a vocal booth. Each option has its own specific benefits that need to be taken into consideration before you decide which one is right for you.
What’s your best vocal booth option?
If you're looking into buying, building, or renting a space that has sound isolation capabilities, then it’s safe to say that you’re involved in the production industry in one way or another. Having access to a good vocal booth is a cornerstone of any sound production project.
You need to able to isolate different sounds in your recordings in order to mix them properly. Check out our blog on mixing and mastering for more on this. If you need a sound booth, then you need to decide the best way to get access to one that makes sense for your project scope and budget.
Purchasing a professional sound isolation booth from a vendor will cost you between $200 and $10,000 depending on size and quality. Fully enclosed ones are an expensive and bulky piece of equipment, but you can also get portable booths as well. Homestudiomaven.com has a great post on choosing the best portable booth that you can see here.
A sound booth is only as good as the materials that it’s made from and you get what you pay for. Owning a full-sized from the factory vocal booth is probably only a good idea if you are involved in a professional production company. Many of these types of sound booths have been designed to be disassembled and moved, this can be a valuable feature if you need to record vocals on location.
If you’re thinking about investing in setting up a home recording studio then you no doubt have looked into building and installing a vocal booth. There are plenty of resources online that can help you build a vocal booth of your own and, as long as you have a basic understanding of tools and construction, anyone can do it.
This is a great option if you have already invested money into setting up a recording studio of your own. People build vocal booths in closets, bathrooms, and garages all the time. The cost of building one from scratch will vary based on the quality of materials you use and your skill level.
The great thing about renting a professional recording studio space that has a booth is that you know it will work. It doesn’t matter if you buy or build a vocal booth you’re going to have to test and calibrate it to ensure that it’s isolating sound properly and not distorting your capture.
When you buy time at a studio you’re buying the knowledge that everything has been optimized and calibrated to capture vocals at the highest possible level. It can be great for your budget too because you only pay for the space when you need it.
It’s clear that all three options have their benefits, but renting a studio when you need it, where you need is the most practical route for most people. Not owning a recording setup can provide you with much more flexibility and learning to work in this fashion means that you can work anywhere in the country without having to rebuild or move any of your gear.
Why you shouldn’t shortcut your vocals
The only way to make sure that you’re getting the best vocals possible is to record in a booth. You always have choices when it comes to what kind of setup you want to record with, that being said, different options are going to work better for different situations.
One thing is certain though, crisp high-quality vocals are many times the differentiation factor between a good recording and a great one.
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