Necessity is the Mother of Invention. You have heard the adage a thousand times. I experienced this again this week. It was 100 degrees in Charm City several days this week. Heat index (still not sure this is a real thing) makes it “feel” like 115 degrees! My booth, made up entirely of sound absorbing panels gets to 90 degrees in the middle of winter. Imagine how terrible it gets when the temperature outside gets this hot? Oh, and did I mention, with the city of Baltimore being nearly at sea level, we also have 100% humidity. Yay!
So something had to be done. I looked around for some turn key ventilation systems and found them to be overly complicated and expensive. So, I did what any self respecting personal studio owner would do, I MADE THE DARN THING MYSELF. After all, my actual booth is really a drum shield, that I cobbled together to make it more sound proof. After I was done adding sound absorbing blankets to the walls and surrounding windows, I started affectionately calling my space “Franken Booth”. It is so lovely. Massive space hog on the outside, yet with only 3.2 by 2.8 feet of space on the inside. I get the worst of all worlds!
Anyway, I digress; back to ventilation. I went online to Amazon to buy an exhaust fan, typically used for venting pipes or air ducts. Mine was a 4 inch wide model. Then I bought some 4 inch flexible aluminum duct, 25 feet of it. The space I was shoving this contraption into was only 2 inches wide so I also needed a 4 inch to 3 inch duct reducer. Finally, I used a 2 inch PVC elbow joint as the lead into the booth. All product links will be at the bottom if you want to see the full list. After all was connected (with some hello kitty duct tape from my daughter) I pushed the whole line in through the cable pass through of my booth. Now here’s the fun part. I needed a way to turn on the fan remotely. The fan has no switches by default, it only powers on or off when it’s plugged in. For this 10 minute project I was not about to install a junction box and switch assembly. So, I plugged my old Clapper into the wall, and the fan into it. Now to turn it on, I just clap on! I do need to open the booth door for the device to hear me, but it’s a minor inconvenience. Lastly, I did figure out, with some help from facebook friends, that the best way to ventilate a booth like this is to actually SUCK air out as opposed to blowing it in. I did test both ways and found this to be true.
The results? Not bad! I can feel it noticeably cooler when I’m in the booth for long periods. it raises the noise floor by about 2 db, but that is not enough to get into my microphone. All in all a great process!
If you’d like to see the video I made outlining the process you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly6Yen66UgU