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Vocal Booth Buying Guide

Published: Tue August 03, 2004  News Feed
What are some examples of sound room uses?

Dolphin Music Vocal Booths are ideal for recording vocalists, tracking bands, acoustic instruments, voice over work as well as practicing, rehearsing and instructional use. Other uses include sound stages for video and film, broadcasting and isolation for translation work, isolation for conferences, trade shows and industrial applications. Client categories include: recording studios, Internet companies, software manufacturers, electronics companies, universities, schools and the military.

With the advent of powerful computer based recording systems there is a need to keep computer fan and hard drive noises out of your recordings. You can choose to isolate the computer in its own small box or better, position it outside a sound isolation room. Run keyboard, mouse and video monitor cables to the inside of the Vocal Booth and place them along side your mixing console. Install audio monitors and operate your recording, mixing and mastering from inside.

What kind of lighting does the sound room use?

Simplicity of design and ease of construction are the hallmarks of Dolphin Music Vocal Booths. This means no internal electrical wiring or tricky cut outs for lighting insets. Lights are self contained units selected by you with electrical cords running out the cable tubes. Fluorescent lights give off the least amount of heat. If you use only one or two, interference with electronics is generally not a problem.

How soundproof are our sound rooms?

A completely enclosed and properly sealed off room is the most critical element needed for sound separation. From that point on your level of soundproofing depends on the type, weight and thickness of materials used (density stops bass waves). There are many variables in gauging sound reduction. For example, where is the sound coming from and at what frequency? How is it transmitting through space and structure. The most volatile variable is the human ear. One can talk about decibel reduction numbers but how a sound is perceived by each individual can differ dramatically.

Using our latest in house tests we can safely give you a range of decibel reduction numbers for our single wall Gold series system. At the low end of the frequency spectrum (bass waves) you can expect a 26db to 29db reduction. The mid range is 30db to 40db reduction and the highs from 35db to 45db. Talk to your local sound engineer and he will tell you this is substantial sound attenuation. If you see someone advertising better reduction numbers for a single wall modular design be very suspicious. Regardless of what they tell you there are no new \"high tech\" materials that can beat out weight and mass for stopping sound. Even then the physics of the single wall modular design has a law of diminishing returns. For example doubling the weight only adds, on average, a decibel or two of reduction. Doubling the walls with air space reduces it just a few more.

What does all this mean for your practical purposes?

How will this work for You?

For recording, most if not all environmental noise outside your building (with windows closed) will not read on your tracks. Most medium sized office noise (40db to 50db)should not read on your tracks as well as speaker monitors kept in this decibel range. For use as a practice room, loud singing and shouting is barely audible. Drums and amplified instruments are greatly subdued. Radio personality Jason Jarvis successfully did multiple live broadcasts from the noisy floor of the AES convention in an 8\'x 8\'Gold series sound room. A conga player averted a lawsuit from her New York neighbor with a 4\'x6\' Gold series. A Canadian weather news provider is continuously broadcasting from two Gold Series 8\'x 8\' rooms. A hospital does on site hearing testing in offices and factories with a Silver series. A nationally know platinum record selling group tracks all their tight harmonies using a Gold series 4\'x4\'. We can provide a sound reduction system for most any situation.

How many sets of acoustic modulator panels should you install?

Our sound rooms sound great just the way they are. We know from our own experience and from customer feedback that we have an acoustically sound design. If you wish to fine tune your sound room acoustics you can order our acoustic modulator panels. As a general rule, start with a enough panels for one full side of a sound room. There is no one way to install them. Try different placements and positions and see how they affect the acoustic ambiance. If more modulation is desired, order more panels.

Is the sound room easy to put together?

Two able bodied persons can install a 4\' x 4\' Gold Series in about two hours. There are no tedious small parts to assemble and the only tool you will need is a screwdriver for putting on the door knob. Our design is uncomplicated and the written directions are straight forward.

How do microphone cables and electric lines enter the sound room?

3 ?\" ports in the wall we call cable tubes allow cables into the sound room. Place the lines you desire and then seal the cable tube with the acoustic foam provided. Additional cable tubes can be installed at no extra charge.

Is the ventilation system quiet?

We are close to having sold over 300 systems and have yet to have vent noise interfering with the recording process. A slight sound of air movement can be heard if you put your ear close the vent grill. The ventilation system consists of two apertures in a wall panel. One is higher toward the ceiling and the other is lower toward the floor. Covering the apertures on the outside of the sound room are what we call \"vent boxes\" and they act as mufflers allowing air in and out while prohibiting the transfer of sound. The upper vent box has a fan attached to it that pulls the air out of the sound room. The lower vent box simply allows air in. For Gold and Platinum series we offer a 56cfm fan (cubic feet per minute) that is as large as we can get without noise problems. Silver series offers a 26cfm fan.

What kind of acoustic foam we use?

Our convoluted (egg carton shaped) acoustic foam is a proprietary foam manufactured just for our sound rooms here at Dolphin Music. In the industry it is known as a 2\" ILD 801, 1.8LB\'s. It has the highest fire rating available for acoustic foam. We arrived at these foam specifications because they offer a wide variety of acoustic applications at a reasonable price. Our sound room interiors are covered wall to wall with foam and the ceiling piece can be attached interior or exterior. The same foam can be purchased in full sheets or as remnant cuts.

How does shipping work?

Vocal Booth panels are stacked and sealed into a large plywood crate. We would then call you to make an appointment for delivery. Two able bodied persons can easily carry each panel. To give you an idea of the cost of shipping and handling, a 4\'x4\'Gold series to London is £100, Birmingham £150 and Manchester are £200. Shipping prices are subject to change. Please call to confirm. A 4\'x4\' crate weighs close to 350Kgs

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