Drums in a Iso Booth? ...Yes and No

I saw a post where someone found a iso booth for his drum room.

I'm sure it would be great to have in a house. You can play drums late into the night.

I've actually had one in my house. It didn't block the drums totally, and you could still hear the kick drum in the back yard. The cymbals sounded pretty good in recordings, but the snare I could never get to sound right. AlitVerb was the best solution to try and liven up a snare from the booth.

The best move I ever did, was to realize how the room that you record in, is a part of the sound of your recordings.

Your treatment in that room (Carpet, sound panels, furniture) is going to give that room a natural EQ and sound.

This means that you may have to remove items, or add items to change the sound. Adding curtains is an easy mod for a room. Also, an area rug can help a room that is a little too bright.

But it's very very hard to fake the sound of a room.

And it's always best to start off with a larger and more lively room than you want, and then you can add area rugs to slowly control the room when you do test recordings for drums.

So when I saw this post about a Whisper Booth being use as a drum booth, I wanted to roll my eyes.

But then I remembered how Queens of the Stone Age used a booth to get a super dry drum sound. And how even today, the technique is used where you start out with a dry drum sound, and you have an adjacent room that is your "Live" room. You can make a mix of "Dead" room and "Live" room just by pulling up the mics from either room.

Back to the "booth"...It's not a booth you actually want. At least an isloation booth. For drum recording, at least, you want the low end to escape the booth. Otherwise, the low end will build up and make the drums sound muddy.

If you want to practice drums, then the iso booth is perfect. It's about controlling sound leakage at the cost of the sound of the drums. 

What would be better, is to have very thin walls that allow the lows to escape. It's not about isolation. It's about texture and shaping the sound.

The room IS going to be a part of the sound of any acoustic instrument you record. And the more compression you plan to use in mixing, the more the room will matter.

So sure...go ahead and use a booth for recording. But don't use it for isolation. Use it as a sound shaping tool. The better option would be to use heavy cloth or bedding that is clipped to a pipe tent around the drum kit.

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