How to record vocals if you don’t have a vocal booth


The ability to record vocals was one of my greatest dreams as a producer. Because I didn’t want to be guy lock away in a room, making beats on his computer without seeing the light of day or interacting with anyone. I wanted to make full songs with artist and I wanted to have a space  I could call my own.

So the most logical step was to build a vocal booth and record artist. But there was one problem, I didn’t have the space to build the booth. Also, I don’t have a dedicated room to build a recording studio. So all the fancy videos of people showcasing their own space with panels on the wall and dedicated voice room just seem out of reach for me.

At that time I was still living in my parent’s house. I had limited space in my bedroom but I had a closet I could use, so I started researching on ways I could achieve my dream of recording vocals.

While researching solutions one of the main themes that pop up is an acoustic treatment for the room that will be used to record vocals. The larger the room the better was the recommendations by most persons on forums such as gearslutz and among others.

For vocal recording to be effective the room has to be treated to reduce the amount of reverberation inside the room. So when you record the song, the vocals sound as dry as possible. The most recommended solution is that have a duvet or a thick rug behind the singer. This will allow for the audio bouncing off the walls to be absorbed. So these and other solutions were taken into consideration in my pursuit in 2010.

In order for you as a producer or singer/songwriter to record vocals, there are solutions available to you. From the DIY to the super expensive. All of which are geared at solving the acoustics issue when recording vocals in a small bedroom. Here are some ideas.

Closet with lots of clothes

This solution is free because once you have a closet with lots of stuff in it you can use it to record vocals. When I started recording, I used my closet to produce 3 – 4 compilations and lots of singles. When I released the tracks no one could tell that I used my closet.

To try this out, place your mic stand inside your closet with your condenser microphone. Ensure that behind and in front the singer that you have enough of your shirts and other garments that will be used to absorb the sound going into the microphone.

Sound Reflection filter

A recent option is the sound reflection filter. A lot of companies have their own variation which makes perfect sense. The device wraps around the microphone, it has acoustic foam secured inside a plastic which is secured unto the mic stand. The idea is when the singer sings, the sound going into the mic is absorbed and sound coming from the side and the back of the microphone is reflected away thus creating a dry vocal recording.

Gobo or portable partition

The last solution I want to share is the GOBO or portable partition. This is basically a moving acoustic panel. Recording studios use these panels to create a drum shield or to block band members from each other to do recordings.

You can build your own or buy one if you so choose. This involves creating a partition, placing acoustic panels on the partition and when you are ready to record you can pull it out set it up live a V, record your song and then pack it up when your done.

These 3 solutions are ideal to start with if you don’t want to build a full blown vocal booth. Hope these ideas help you in your recording pursuits.