Thermal Plasterboard – Heavy Duty Soundproofing

If you are looking for some heavy duty sound deadening in your basement or home studio, thermal plasterboard may be right for you.  Thermal plasterboard is great for areas that have a heat source like some basements that are near the heater, incinerator, water heater or fireplace.

Using thermal plasterboard as a soundproofing device is quite common since the thermal plasterboards seem to be quite a bit thicker somewhat like Gyproc wallboard (insulated plasterboard).   These plasterboards are usually insulated and factory bonded and used in high thermal areas because of their excellent thermal capabilities.  You will be pleased to know that thermal plasterboard most of the time has an extremely low toxicity and includes many vapor control layers to keep moisture out.

As noted in the website before, density is what helps keep sound in or out.   Using thermal plasterboards is a great alternative to using something like the lead backed sheetrock.   I have a friend who used thermal panels in his basement and actually has them on rolling wheels and moves them around when needed.

Thermal plasterboards are not only useful in the studio to stop sound waves from getting out and bouncing around!   Thermal plasterboards are made to conserve energy.  If you are working or playing or recording in a basement, having the warmth stay inside is a great benifit, its like killing two birds with one stone.

Due to the thickness and weight to these boards as opposed to sheetrock, you will have to anchor them to the walls with heavy duty anchors, not just some cheap nails you picked up at the local Home Depot.   Make sure when working with plasterboard for soundproofing that you check with the local authorities as to the zoning laws.  In some states it is not permitted to put a caulk or thermal compound between the wall studs or sub-wall and any type of plasterboard, sheetrock or paneling.

If you are zoned for installing sound proofing and thermal plasterboard, you may be required to use at least four mechanical screw fixing to attach the plasterboard.   This is to prevent the plasterboard from falling down in the case of a fire in the area.

In conclusion, we’ve disgussed in the website the advantages of having extremely dense material as soundproofing.  Density is number one when it comes to noise reduction.   Recording engineers and hobbyists really look at thermal plasterboard as a solution because its dense, it holds heat, and can be painted to fit the existing room.

Speaker Damping For Auto And Studio

Speaker damping is very important when working with speakers for a couple of reasons. The ideal speaker enclosure should allow the speaker to move freely and let the speaker reproduce the sound without any coloration or added vibrations. This is one factor that increases the cost of most speaker boxes and cabinets.

The bigger companies will put a lot of research into materials to reduce the vibration and reduce the cabinet resonance that would color or render a perfectly good speaker useless.

When it comes to speaker dampening there are a couple of uses for the term. One term actually means the dampening of the sound inside the box, catching the resonance, and the other term can be used for foam or other products that are placed underneath a chamber to stop the low bass frequencies and vibrations from transferring to the listening environment. I forgot to mention, the types of foams and things that can be used inside the actual speaker box for speaker damping is called “wadding”.

Adding your own speaker damping is pretty easy to do. You basically remove the front plate also called a grill from your speaker, remove the mounting brackets or screws that hold the speaker and cone in place and you now have access to the speaker box where all the muffling takes place. You can use many products inside this cavity as speaker damping.

There are possibly hundreds of online vendors that offer solutions and sound proofing and sound deadening that can be placed in here. If you are on a budget, you can use soundproofing foam or use some packing peanuts that have been sprayed afterward with a soundproof adhesive.

Bigger box, More material

For the bigger in car or in trunk speaker boxes, you really need to work a bit harder, since you have a couple different variables to work with when thinking about speaker dampening products. You have a lot of heat from the speaker coils going on here, obviously you are going to want to use a flame retardant or flame proof wadding material back here.

The materials should be pretty heavy duty and I recommend using a lot of it, because you do have a severe amount of cabinet resonance in the case itself. Speaker damping materials are going to be a bit more costly when working in a bigger box like this, obviously both because of the sheer amount of material you need and the fact that you have to have a flameproof solution.

Using a speaker box that does not have any dampening material inside isn’t the best idea. You just simply aren’t going to get the quality of sound that you are expecting. You have to remember that when you have standing sound waves inside the speaker enclosure, those sound waves are pressing against the back of the speaker, this causes frequencies to be masked and that dramatically reduces the sound quality. Use speaker damping and you will be happy with the end results.

Soundproofing Walls – Isolation and Noise Reduction Methods

Soundproofing walls imo is the most important part to diy soundproofing.  The walls are very important because this is a major reflection point.  You will hear many cheap studios who do not have side wall soundproofing have very poor results.  When you dont go about soundproofing walls, the thing is you get a very strong comb-filtering effect.

Comb filtering without soundproofed walls is actually the sound bouncing off of one wall and hitting another.  This continues on and on until the frequencies of the sound end up cancelling out.

Soundproofing wall textures are available.  There are heavy paints that claim that they do a good job soundproofing wall surfaces.  Usually in studios you will see carpeting used to soundproof almost everything in the room, including the walls, doors, ceilings and obviously the floor.

A lot of the foam insulation or foam corner deadeners work very well.  Foam does over different advantages to other options as well.

Most of the sound proofing foam you will find will actually have deflection patterns inside the foam.  These look like hills and valleys and do just an excellent job sound sound deadening and killing those bouncing sound waves.

You also have to worry about standing sound waves in a room that did not have even the most basic soundproofing.  Standing waves are waves that bounce and bounc and clash with other standing waves in an unsoundproofed room.

Caulking the studs, simple decoupling.

This next tip is only applicable obviously if you are starting a new build such as a recording studio.  With just the studs exposed, it is common practice to start soundproofing the walls by putting up heavy cauking over the studs.

This both stops vibrations and stops air gaps, sealing them up so no air(which will contain sound) can get through.  You may also see the use of that green glue or other glues here to stop vibration.

If you are in a professional build, you can also look into lead lined sheet rock.  Lead lined sheetrock has about 1/8 inch of lead glued to one side of the sheetrock, you commonly face this side of the soundproofing sheetrock to the studs.

For soundproofing, this lead lined sheetrock is great, but id does coast about $150-300 per piece of sheetrock, now that may seem like a lot, but if your a pro, it soon pays off for itself.  How much does diy soundproofing lead sheetrock weigh?  Well sheetrock lead lined for soundproofing walls weighs about 2 pounds per sheet, soo it can get quite heavy.

Professional soundproofing does cost a bit, but well, thats just a part of being a professional :)

Soundproofing Products – An Overview

Soundproofing products come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be used for many different types of applications.  You name it and theres a soundproofing product for what your looking for for example, pipe soundproofing, vibrational soundproofing, garage soundproofing, door soundproofing, computer soundproofing.

It’s important to remember that there are two major categories for soundproofing products.  Sound proofing and sound absorption.

To make it easy, think of soundproofing as well, stopping sound from entering or excaping and think of sound absorption as blocking or eating reflections and echo points.

The term “products” is pretty big so here are some soundproofing products you may not have thought about:

  • Soundproofing glue
  • Soundproofing area rugs
  • Soundproofing fixation brackets
  • Mounting screws
  • Eggshell foam
  • Screws as oppossed to nails
  • Towels for handing from the ceiling

It’s very easy to get carried away with noise reduction efforts, and the good thing about this is, well its good!  Every small thing you do to block sound or bounce reflections and reverbs helps, you honestly can’t go too far with your noise reducing efforts here.

For advanced recording studio needs, there are a lot of hangers, stands, flanges, cables and ties involved with acoustical sound products.  For the most part though, the companies have done a good job at hiding these brackets and mounting flanges in the back of the diffusors or sound deadening panels.

Contact adhesives really have a strong role in the business.  Contact adhesives for soundproofing are used to keep the face plates of the panels glued on, which are usually made of cloth.  Remember that soundproofing products such as the actual sound panels are multi-layer and do require some assembly, this is where the contact adhesives really come into play.

Some real acustic guys will say that fiberglass, sound board, foam insulation and extra layers of panels do not stop noise transmission.  They are partly correct.  The are acting more as diffussors for the sound so if you really want to stop the sound you need mass and density.  Dense materials are what really stop the sound and create an echo free environment.  But I would not keep these soundproofing products out of the mix, they do have thier uses.

As you can see, soundproofing products range from glue to rugs to nails.  Basically anything that is dense and able to be used for hanging can be concidered a soundproofing product, now get out there and read some more and become a pro in noise reduction!

Soundproof Plasterboard – The Perminant Soundproofing Solution

Soundproofing plasterboard can be a real option for you because its easy to obtain, easy to install and can be finished to match the particular room that you are working with.  Soundproof plasterboard has great density, which is an important part of sound transmission.

To reduce sound transmission between rooms you basically create isolation by the use of high density plasterboard and/or insulation.   Plasterboard manufacturers have in fact reduced the thickness or density of many of their boards that are used in typical residential builds.  You can still easily obtain the thicker plasterboards by just asking as it does come in many thicknesses and densities.

Using high density soundproofing plasterboard for sound reinforcement and soundproofing requires that you use some heavy duty wall fasteners to fasten the heavy boarding to the frame walls.   You may have to purchase custom made heavy duty flanges and nails.  Make sure you are using an adhesive that is spread on the joints of the plasterboard to prevent vibrations and to further increase the sound deflection and absorption properties of the board.

Acoustic plasterboard is really effective when it is applied to the bottom of jointed  ceilings.  You can also use sound absorbing bars that will further reduce the sound absorption of the board.  When using plasterboard in conjunction with the other soundproofing tips on this page, you will realize how much this works over the other methods such as foam and soundproofing curtains.  This is because the plasterboard contains a high density mass, and as I have stated and pretty much preach that density is the name of the game when it comes to noise and sound reduction.

As opposed to some of the other soundproofing options as well, the soundproof plasterboard is usually rated with a good strong fire rating.  This means you can practically install the boards anywhere and encase a whole room in the stuff.  Soundproofing plasterboard, if you have the money should be considered to be one of the first steps in any sound reduction project.

Many online vendors will sell hopped up and special kinds of soundproofing plasterboard, so you have to look around and make sure you are getting what you want.  As always, you should check local vendors for soundproofing plasterboard so that you can actually take a look at the board and make sure it fits into what you are looking to achieve.  Soundproofing right from the start with a fresh build is extremely easy when using this type of noise reduction methods.  The density isn’t anything to worry about, but you will have to upgrade and possible use heavy duty grade nails and screws to support the additional weight.

Take a look around on the internet, follow links and make an informed decision.  There are a lot of products that you can install in conjunction with the soundproofing plasterboard that can greatly increase the effectiveness when it comes to the sound reduction properties for the home studio, home office, home theater, garage, basement or whatever you are planning on soundproofing.  Have fun and enjoy the ride, because once you take the time to put up soundproofing panels and boards, it is something that is permanent and not something that you are probably going to be replacing or modifying in times to come.  Good luck!

Soundproofing Panels – Portable Noise Reduction

Soundproofing panels are good for areas that don’t need 100% soundproofing. Soundproofing panels are great alternatives to solid insulation type soundproofing that is setup in a permanent structure. These soundproof panels can be places anywhere on an instance notice. Many of the panels have designs on them and can be mounted directly to your wall, taking up little or no space at all. Some great uses for soundproof panels are:

  • Engine Test Cells
  • Dyno Booths
  • Transformer Enclosures
  • Acoustic Louvers
  • Acoustic Doors
  • Silencers
  • Acoustic Screens
  • Generator Enclosures
  • Blower Enclosures
  • Pump Enclosures
  • Air Compressor Enclosures
  • Air Conditioner Enclosures

Soundproofed panels come in many shapes and sizes. The size of the panel greatly shows how much sound absorption that can be had. For example some of the soundproofing panels can measure 26X4 inches. These are great, not only because they are small, but they are quite efficient at what they do. These panels work really well for controlling reflections that you may have either from placing a speaker too close to a wall(because of limited space) or controlling the low end frequency bleed of instruments in the recording studio such as drums or guitar amps.

If you purchase the plain soundproofing panels, one option that you have is to cover them with carpeting, creating carpet covered soundproofing.  You will want to use a shag type carpet, because the shag will act as a higher density, and density is what create sound and noise reduction.

It may take you awhile to find the exact and best position to place the acoustic panels in at first.  No two rooms are the same, and the only way to find out what works in the room is to well, try it.  Some rooms are live and some rooms are dead, just by design.  Acoustic soundproof panels really do make a difference when your dealing with apartment noise reduction, since they are non-destructive and you can place the sound panels anywhere and not worry about long term damage.

Creating an acoustic barrier against doors is also a good use for these panels.  Doors react well when there are diffusions in front of them and not letting the sound pass right through the door.  Its like getting in the way of sound waves, you really want to make it hard for them to get where they are going.

DIY soundproofing panels is a common and quite easy task.  You can create a soundproof panel of your choice for about $20.00.  You need a wood frame, chicken wire and some insulation.  Wrap the chicken wire around the frame, stuff it with insulation and wrap/staple the cloth(an old sheet) to the outside and you have yourself a great low cost soundproofing panel.

Soundproofing panels can make all the difference in the world, and the good thing is, you can put them in the closet or storage space when your done!

Soundproofing Insulation – More Dense The Better

Soundproofing insulation has many uses, here are a few:

  • Broadcast Studios
  • Commercial Recording Studios
  • Commercial Theaters
  • Equipment Enclosures
  • Homes Theaters
  • Multi Family Dwellings

Investion in acoustic sound insulation and soundproofing is a great thing to do for a home studio.  You have to keep up with the changes though, because its almost everyday that you see insulation especially soundproofing insulation changing due to environmental concerns.  Many of the new foam soundproofing insulations of today are biodegradable or recycled from existing material.  Its part of the go-green movement.

When you are looking at getting some soundproofing especially insulating type, you should really look at price over the “quality”.  A lot of these insulations for sound proofing are the same stuff, but with different quality standards that are set to throw the consumer off.  Really, when it comes down to it, a lot of these deadening products are the same.

You want to look for some sound deadening insulation that is rigid.  This is because sound waves travel faster over flat surfaces, we don’t want that here, we want the sound waves to start to slow down, bounce off eachother and eventually cancel themselves out.

There are many shapes of soundproofing insulation on the market today and they have many uses.  Some sound proof boards are made for home studio use, some are made for industrial use and a lot of them are made for office usage.  They vary greatly in the types of material that surround them, for instance, an insulation for an industrial setting may have a water proof barrier on the outside.  A soundproofing insulation for an office setting may have cloth on the outside.

I typically try to get the thickest and most dense insulating material that I can find, since we are after density and rigidity here.  I like to pickup the square blocks of insulation instead of the rolled up fiber insulation.  I think they are neater and eaiser to work with in any setting, especially in tight bedroom studios and lower budget gigs.

Some soundproofing insulation will require you to get permits.  While this is not too common, it is something for you to check out, since we dont want to be breaking any health or hazard codes for your state/city.

The one thing that these soundproofing insulations wont help with are interior sounds.  Sounds such as walls and floors settling, water pumps, a/c units etc.  For these types of noises your really going to have to build a complete soundproof room and probably a floating room configuration, but those are only really seen in the big professional audio recording studios.

Soundproofing Foam – The Common Acoustic Solution

Soundproofing foam by some isn’t really a good noise reduction strategy.  It is proven that foams do not work as good as sheetrock or dense walls.  Well no kidding!  Soundproofing foam isn’t just for soundproofing and completely making something air tight and sound tight, its for controlling early reflections and very small high frequency noises that you may hear.

Typically though when I think of foam, I usually think of it as a way to keep sound out of a certain area instead of keeping sound in.  For example, it may be used in the walls of houses, in the walls of apartment buildings, in speaker cabinets etc.

In recording studios foam panels are used to on the face of walls and other flat objects as well as the ceilings.  This is very comming in as I said studios, gymasiuums and churches.  These open-cell type acoustic foam panels actually end up converting the sound engery into heat as they enter into the small micro-cavities of the absorbtion material.

The main benifit that you can see and hear right away to using foam for soundproofing is that you get a cleaner more crisp and full frequency response in the room.  This is because in the frequency domain, the echos that you hear in the room have a frequency and when two or more echos collide they mask or cancell out eachother, this is called masking.  A certain frequency range can be completely destroyed here, making your audio recordings very non-clear and not focused.

Another common use for soundproofing foam is to use it inside of your computer case.  Computer fans are quite noisey and it is common place now to create a sound tight and soundproof computer case.  After awhile the sound of the fan becomes too much for the average person after sitting at the computer for a long days work.   If you are worried about heat in your computer after installing sound deadening foam, you can easily create a hard drive isolation box and extend the wires of your hard drive outside of the case.  This keeps the harddrive cool and quite.

Most soundproofing foam panels are made from melamine and they come in a couple of different shapes and sizes.  You typically see the egg carton shape, the pyramid and the row shape.  While many professionals say there is a difference in the different sizes and shapes, I tend to think they all do pretty much the same thing, although it does matter how deep the pryamids stick out in soundproofing foams.

Acoustic soundproofing foam is great, use it where you can, remember that every little bit of sound deadening or sound reflection helps when soundproofing a room or studio.

Soundproofing Companies – Reputation Is Everything

Choosing a soundproofing company isn’t an easy task.  Many companies that do soundproofing have special requirements and only do certain styles of soundproofing.  How can you find a good soundproofing company that will work with you and provide you with the best solution?

There are a few questions you should ask the company such as:

  • Do the prices on the website still hold true for the prices you get when they come to your home?
  • Do they charge you for the scraps of sound insulation that are not being used?
  • Do they have to come out and do an estimate first?

Before you choose a noise reduction company, you should meet them in person at their shop.  It is real easy to sound well put together over the phone.  Soundproofing companies also are largely put together on scene, meaning they do not arrive from one central warehouse, so you have to make sure the workers are going to be on the same page.

I personally would look for soundproofing companies that opperate their own sattelite stores, where you can go in, check out the merchandise and new technology and actually meet a few of the employees.

Don’t be affraid to ask questions about noise or frequency waves or things that relate to audio here.  By doing this you will find out right away if this is the right soundproofing company for you, if not, there’s many other companies out there that can do the job.

The setup is usually pretty straight forward, but again it depends on the type of soundproofing that you are getting installed.  Some of the more detailed sound muffling technologies that involve removing paneling and inserting foam between existing walls can take time and cause quite a mess.  Its all worth it though, its only a few days of havok before you are inside of your new soundproof area.

As you should with any company check with the BBB to find out if they have any marks against them, and by marks, I mean serious ones, I wouldn’t frett too much about what some comments on there might have stemed from, seriously, these sound proofing companies deal with a lot of people, a lot of customers with different tastes and ways of doing things.

When your looking at a soundproofing company, remember that many of the businesses are going to the same manufacturer for their supplies, so don’t let the choice of insulation materials sway your decision.  Chances are most of the companies will have the same stuff and same processes.

Soundproofing Cheaply – Budget Soundproofing At It’s Best

Doing soundproofing cheaply isn’t a subject that you will typically find a wealth of information about. The reason for this is that soundproofing a room does not come cheap, these products are made to certain specifications and the cost really starts increasing the more soundproofing you want.  There are a couple of alternatives for keeping the noise out though and below I will discuss some of them.

Soundproof carpeting.  Well, it might not be soundproof, but it will definitely help!  Carpeting obviously, you want to find the thickest carpeting that you can find or you can layer carpeting up to get great soundproofing.  Carpeting will help dampen the higher end, such as for a drum set damping, the cymbals will be quieted down quite a bit.  The problem with carpeting as soundproofing is that it doesn’t contain much mass, and as said before, mass is what creates a great barrier.

When doing your soundproofing cheaply, you should think about carpeting, but don’t just tack it to the wall.  You have a real chance here to create a decoupled damper.  So you may nail the tops of the carpeting to the ceiling or the walls near the ceiling and nail it about 2 inches away from the wall on the floor.  What this does is both creates a decoupled situation, as well as deflects some of the noise to the ceiling of the room.

Can you get good results by doing soundproofing cheaply?  The answer is yes.  But this is mostly due to the fact that the high end is being damped.  You can perhaps use some bass traps in the room, but these are mostly used just for correcting the low end frequency response of the room.  Really to create a great room and do the soundproofing cheaply, you have to find some objects that have some mass, such as old plywood or Sheetrock.

The door in any room is a great place to do some soundproofing cheaply.  You can buy door gaskets that will seal the door and prevent the air from penetrating to the other side, and as we know, the sound is air.  The door should have a soundproof door sweeper installed on the bottom.   Again, this will stop a lot of the sound waves from getting out and into any room.  One important thing that these sound gaskets do for the door too is decouple the actual door for the most part away from the frame, decreasing the amount of vibration that is transferred.

Its really hard to say if soundproofing can be done cheaply.  While you may get some great benefits, its really up to what you consider to be the best soundproofing.  Soundproofing cheaply can be fun at first, but when you really start getting into it, you always end up buying better soundproofing and gear.  You could have started at that point right in the beginning!

Soundproof Studio – Noise Reduction For Professional Results

First thing your gonna wanna do to get a soundproof studio is talk with people.  When you are building a professional studio you really need the expertise of a professional acoustic consultant.  The acoustic consultant will be able to tell you everything you need to do to get a soundproof studio that will be capable of home recording and achieving professional soundproof recordings.

Each room has its own soundproofing needs, and nobody can tell you better than a soundproofing guy, I mean he does this for a living and perhaps and most likely has some college or in-depth education to back up his acoustical knowledge.

Some rooms you do not want to be 100% soundproofed.  This is popular in many of the new modern recording studios.  Since a totally soundproof room tends to sound “dead”, many of the new studios will have different rooms for different instruments.

Its not all that uncommon to see studios have a dead soundproofed room and a live room!

I’m definitely not saying to leave all aspects to a sound guy.  You do still have to do a lot of research to determine what different types of materials you may want to utilize.

You can use foams, corks, batting carpets, lead sheetrock etc.  There are so many options and you really need to do your homework here when deciding to start to work on a soundproof studio.

  • So the basic procedure goes something like this:
  • Do research into all the different types of materials you will need.
  • Measure the areas that you have, so you know how much of soundproofing that you will need to order.
  • Work on any rough work, installing window plugs etc
  • Install the soundproofing materials
  • Test the soundproofing job by using an SPL meter

Professional studios:  Room inside a room the ultimate solution.

If you’re really going out and having a professional soundproof studio built, you will probably end up creating a room inside a room.  This features floating walls, floating floors etc.

The main thing here is that the vibrational forces from sound waves will not transfer to the outside walls, and vise versa.  You really do achieve the best soundproofing this way, and its the sure ticket to getting a professional soundproof studio.

Wall plugs, wall coverings iso cabinets, rooms within rooms and diy sound material will get you pretty far in creating your dream sound room.

These soundproof rooms are commonly used for music recording, music mixing, mastering, mastering engineering etc.  Soundproofing not only cuts the amount of sound leakage, it also cuts back on the amount of extraneous noises that may show up in an audio recording.

There you have it, you have all the resources you need.  As I always say, search search search, look around, you find the best tips and advice by just searching around and trying out new links.

Soundproof Iso Box – Iso Cabs For Noise Reduction

Soundproof iso boxes or (iso cabs, isolation cabinets) are becoming extremely popular these days, with the price of consumer pro quality gear coming down.  Anyone can have a home studio now, but at its current state, vst plugins cannot hold compared to real studio quality amps like marshall and fender.

The thing is these amps sound good when cranked!  But its 3:00 in the morning and I have a sound idea, what do I do!?

That is why you need a soundproof iso box.

Some of the things you may find on a soundproof iso box are a high frequency roll-off switch, which can be helpful to remove some of the boxyness sound that these isocabs have.  You really notice this when you are running with high gain settings into the box.  A fuse.  Some of these soundproof boxes do include a fuse, which is nice, since you don’t really know how loud the speaker is, you may accidentally overdrive the speakers.  Instead of completely blowing the speaker in the soundproof iso box, you will just blow the fuse.  Let me tell you, a 5 cent fuse is a lot cheaper than a new speaker!

With a custom iso cabinet, you can record the sound and the character of any amp such as a live rig that may include, amps, pedals, racks or any other signal modifying device.  The big advantage too is that you can be recording with a live band, and not have the bleed or leakage of the other instruments in the guitar track, major plus here.

One thing i really like about some of these guitar iso cabinets that are soundproof is that they offer a bass port that you can either adjust by removing a bass port cap, or by adjusting the size of the cap, so you are able to adjust the amount of bass that the soundproof iso cab will represent.  Very important when you are recording, as different types of songs have different bass responses as well as different guitars have varying amounts of low end.

You don’t have to worry about soundproof windows or soundproof walls with this little device, since its all inside the box!

So with a soundproof isobox you can record guitarists and studio musicians with the advantage that you are getting the exact sound of a real tube amp, without the real tube amp volume.  You simply hook up the jack from the back of the amp to the iso box and start playing.  A lot of these soundproof iso boxes will have an impedence switch on them, enabling you to set and adjust the correct impedence based and matched to your amp.  You simply can’t go wrong with one of these cabs.

Soundproof Doors Using Sheets And Foam

Of all the soundproofing techniques and questions, I often get asked the most about soundproof doors.  The reason being is that the rooms usually do a good job at natural soundproofing.  The doors are various and they are shaped and made of different materials such as wood, steel and cork.

Soundproof doors are a bit tricky because you need them to be flexable, after all it is a door, you have to rememeber(which I hope isn’t too hard) that you need to be opening and closing this door.

The first thing to make sure of is to get a solid door.  Many doors in new builds are cheap and are actually hollow.  You need to start of with a good solid door and then move on to the door frame.  The door frame for a soundproof door is very important here, but can be one of the soundproof studios most easiest things to fix.

Any home improvement store will sell a sound deadeding or soundproofing type of foam insulation that you can use around the door frame as well as the door jam.

To have a fully soundproof door you are are going to want to get a guard or a sweeper that fits tight to the floor.  This will stop any of the standing soundwaves from penatrating underneat the door gap.

Soundproofing a door for better sleep?

All this talk about soundproofing too isn’t just for audio recording.  The door is a major leak point.  You can use these techniques for soundproofing for a better nights sleep for example.  Or allowing others to sleep well.  If you are not extremely serious about this, you can start with making a sealing door sweep.

Backing the door with high density foam is problably the most common technique for soundproofing in this area.

You will want to search for:

  • Door gaskets
  • Sealing door sweeps
  • Soundproofing barriers
  • Soundproofing rubber (for doors)
  • Soundroofed flooring

How to soundproof door? well, you’ve gotten a lot of tips so far, lets keep going!

Soundproofing a door: How the pro’s do it.

For a professional setup, you will build flanges that stick off the door about 2 inches.  Attatched to these flanges you should put some flat sheetrock or lumbar.

Its not complicated on how to soundproof a door. Attaching some foam to that will give you a great barrier.  Surely you can pickup some cheap sheet sets and staple them to the backing board or putting a design right over the sheets.

This will give you attractive soundproof doors to keep the sound out for recording or just getting that good nights sleep.

Out of all the soundproofing I have done to my rooms in a novice or beginner setting, I can say that having a soundproof door really does make the most difference when you are in an apartment setting.

Soundproof Curtains – Quilted/Thick For Noise Reduction

Soundproof curtains, yeah i’m sure you didn’t even know those existed, well let me tell you, they can make all the difference in the world!

A thick curtain does work and filter out some of the noise and reflections, but a full soundproof curtain will give you the most out of a piece of soundproofing noise reduction hears without too many if any negative effects.

Soundproofing curtains also go by the name of acoustic curtains.  These are the type of curtains you most often find in home theaters, because they do an excellent job in stopping sound cancellation and stopping sounds and noises from bouncing around the room.  Another name for soundproof curtains that you could investigate is stage curtains.

These curtains come in all different shapes, sizes and thicknesses.  The really heavy duty ones will be made from foam or have a fiberglass core that is faced with a quilted aluminized fabric.  They usually have the quilted pattern for good sound and noise reduction.  They kind of look like moving blankets, which are heavy duty and used, to make sure not to nick any furniture.

Most noise reduction curtains have an NRC rating about about 0.6 which means that it will reduce the amount of reflections or reverberation by about 60%, which is pretty good.  If you have a window plug with a soundproof curtain over it, your ahead by a lot.  You will need heavy duty curtain rods for these, as these curtains are quite a bit heavier than standard non soundproofing curtains.

If you need to have a lot of light in the room and you depend on natural lighting, you should look for some natural lighting alternatives since sound deadening curtains usually block out all of the available sunlight to the room.

Heat is another issue that you may face with these heavy duty sound proofing window curtains.  Since they are heavy, they keep a lot of heat in.  This could also be an advantage in the summer months as it does tend to keep the cool in as well!

These curtains come in all colors and finishings.  Personally I like to have a deep red color set.  I usually end up shining some light on them from floor lights, so they illuminate and look larger than life, or they look like a massive theater setup.  Hey, its fun haha.

In any event, soundproofing curtains are a viable option for reducing your early reflections by as much as 80% now, for the price you can’t complain about that.  So do your reasearch and find an available vendor that has these in the style and color that you prefer, size should not be an issue.

Soundproof Ceiling – Basements, Rooms And More

Sound transmission through the ceiling surfaces of an apartment or house is a common problem, especially in multi-family housing establishments suchs as townhouses.  Ceiling surfaces often do not get much soundproofing and are mostly overlooked.

Soundproof ceiling provides a reflection free area that covers the whole room.  People without a soundproof ceiling do not really understand the amount of reflections and bouncing of frequency signals thats going on.

Sometimes you want a live sounding ceiling, for such things as vocal rooms and drum rooms.  In these instances you can buy diffusors that are specifically designed to enhance certain frequencies and provide a certain sound.  Mostly though, I think the best and safest solution in the studio or apartment is to have a soundproof ceiling.

If you own your own home theres a couple of ceiling sealing things that you can do.  You can actually call out a company that will drill holes into your ceiling and inject a soundproof foam into the ceiling.  Now this is good for frequency range stuff like talking and television noises, but for walking and banging, theres really no solution that can be had for that.

Having a truly soundproof ceiling has got to start from construction.  I know this may sound funny, but for the loud music type stuff, you can actually(and I’ve seen this done) nail carpeting to the ceiling.  I’ve actually seen one person who applied some egg carton type foam to the ceiling and then nailed carpeting on the top of that.  It really made a difference, but most of the difference was in the room itself – helping out with echos and stuff of that nature.

We know that sound passes easily through solid materials, and well lets hope your ceiling is solid.  Another option you have to create a soundproof ceiling is to install a drop ceiling.  The cool thing about a drop ceiling is that you can stuff anything in between the drop ceiling panels(which provide great sound proofing) and the existing ceiling.

You will not be able to even see any of the sound deadening materials up there if you use a drop ceiling.  This technique is often performed in professional studios to create a totally soundproof ceiling.

Sound Deadening Spray – Automotive Undercoating For Noise Removal

Sound deadening spray or sprays are used mainly for auto body sound control and mostly for under coating.

Most cars come with a sound deadening under coating type option from the factor and it really does make a dramatic difference in the ride and quality of the car or truck.

It does have other uses as well such as being used for the inside of computer panels, guitar amps, it has been used to reduce the noise that comes from washing machines etc.

Best Sound Deadening Sprays

Below I have put a small list of the top performing sound deadening sprays.  Usually you cannot find these quality brands in stores, which makes them a very popular buy online.  I have personally used some of the lower quality stuff you find at “auto stores” and never have been impressed, until I used products from reputable companies.

3m spray sound deadener undercoating
3M Automotive (MMM8881) 3M Undercoating
  • Black, multi-purpose, low cost, aerosol undercoating
  • Specifically used for undercarriages, wheel wells, frame rails, and fenders
  • Designed to protect metal from corrosion and abrasion
  • Excellent as a sound dampening coating
3m rubberized sound undercoating
3M 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating
  • Can be used on cars, trucks and recreational vehicles
  • Black protective coating helps prevent damage from corrosion
  • Sound-deadening properties help reduce road noise
  • No-run formula for clean application
Beat-Sonic Sound Deadening Spray
Beat-Sonic BP-DSNR Sound Damping Spray
  • Engineered specifically to reduce ambient noise levels
  • Works well on treated or coated metal, fiberglass, plastic and wood
  • Weatherproof and Highly Durable
  • Perfect for irregular shapes and hard to reach locations

 

 

Usually with these noise reduction sprays you are going to want to apply many coats that are thin to achieve a nice thick Finnish.  Don’t worry most of these sprays dry pretty quickly as in a few minutes and are ready for another coat right away.  Some of the coatings come in cans that you can put in your own paint sprayer, but I would recommend getting a different nozzle, because some of this spray on sound deadener can be pretty thick and clog up normal paint spraying nozzles.

As I mentioned, this spray is sometimes used on the inside of dryer and wash machine panels and even computer panels.  This is ok because most of the pints are nontoxic and dry hard.  They also have the benefit of keeping moisture out where moisture is not wanted.  Sound deadening spray can be applied to aluminum, steel, fiberglass, wood and poly type glass.

Here are some manufacturers of roll on and spray on sound deadener:

  • Second-skin spectrum
  • Fatmat
  • B-Quiet Extreme
  • Dynamat Original
  • R-Blox
  • Sound Destroyer
  • Raamat

These rubberized sound deadening supplies come in spray cans that cans that can be sold in retails stores throughout the world.  Its very common.  You find that these are used in auto shops a lot to actually protect against rust and wear after a repair has been done, they work perfectly for this because of their anti-rust components.

Probably the most common place that you can go right now to see an example of sound deadening spray is in the trunk of your car.  Peal back the lining carpeting of the trunk and you will probably notice this thick black material that almost looks like tar.  This is the spray on or roll on sound deadening.  This serves a couple of purposes.  To not let the sound of the rear speakers out of the car and as well as keeping the road noise out of the trunk, where it can be amplified and spread inside the cabin of the car.

The Room Acoustics Calculator – Precise Results

If your looking for an acoustically sound room for mixing, recording, engineering or just listening to the hi-fi surround sound system, you need a room acoustic calculator to help you make decisions on what type of sound treatments your room is going to need.   Different rooms require different treatments, this can all be figured out basically by starting to work with a room acoustical calculator.

What is a room acoustic calculator?  Room acoustics calculators help you determine how many sabins you will need to add to your room to get the results you desire.  These calculators can help you see what downfalls in the frequency range your room may have.   You may find that certain rooms have a boomy 60hz boost while dropping quite a bit at 100hz.  Some rooms drop 5k and above while dropping the low end frequencies as well.   The only way to really know what type of sound eq correction your going to need in your room is by using a room acoustic calculator.

The reverb or room frequency calculators are pretty straight forward to use.  In most cases you enter the measurements of the room and make sure you specify that the room is measured in feet or meters.  You can select what type of wall materials and flooring materials are present in the room and any objects and the amount of objects.  You will then be given a result that will allow you to make a sound deadening or insulation choice based on those calculations.  Obviously these calculations are going to be more important and more dramatic in a smaller room say 12X12 feet as compared to a major concert hall.  But this is just the reason you need the room acoustics calculators, to get an idea of what you can do with an office space, basement space etc.

You can find a lot of the room acoustic calculators online and available for free using javascript.  Some of the terms you may find when using these room calculator softwares are:

  1. Axial
  2. Tangential
  3. Oblique
  4. Room Modes
  5. Phase delay
  6. Phase wrap
  7. Impulse response delay
  8. Sound exposure level
  9. Sound Level meter

Some of the simpler calculators will give you the axial, tangential and blique room type modes for simple rectangular rooms that have a symmetrical construction.

While room acoustic calculators and response calculators are great, they are not the end all methods for tuning your room to match a certain frequency range.  The  sound samples are taken at one point in the room, and the problem with that is, even slight movements in room position will greatly increase the equalization changes.   Mostly you will notice that its the high frequency response that will dramatically very over very short distances aka within as short a space as one meter.  The bass frequencies take a little bit longer to mature.

Even with the small drawback of changing frequency conditions, a room acoustic calculator can you get extremely close to being where you want to be.

Recording Studio Soundproofing

Recording studio soundproofing comes into play when you really start to get into multi-track and professional audio recording. You hit a limit. Your music is good, your equipment is good, yet the results still aren’t what you expected, the sound quality just isn’t up to par. I have put together some tips and general information regarding recording studio soundproofing that will steer you in the right direction and let you make an informed decision on materials to increase the sound quality of your studio.

What are some benefits of acoustic soundproofing?

Better sound quality. Better sound quality is one of the most sought after topics when you search and read interviews on the internet from fully capable audio engineers. Yet, from our learning or our complete lack of knowledge and experience in the situation, we do not believe that soundproofing can make as big a difference as we think it can. I am here to tell you it is one of the most important parts and materials that you should have on hand when running even a semi-pro or home studio.

Distractions. As is the case with many home studios the artists get distracted quite easily. A car passing by or a motorcycle passing buy can totally ruin the moment and a good take can be lost. You would be surprised how sobering and mind clearing it is to be in a completely dead soundproofed recording studio. Productivity really goes way up when you have the right tools.

The neighbors. This is the most important part that the novice believes soundproofing is for. They are scared to annoy the neighbors or other tenants living in the same apartment. While this is a great concern, it isn’t the sole or a large part of why someone would get into recording studio soundproofing. But think about it, this is a really good way to increase productivity alone. You have more hours to work on your songs or mix another musicians songs and you can do it at 3:00 in the morning without ever bothering a single person. Now that’s well worth it if you ask me!

Recording studio soundproofing in the studio comes in many forms and fashions. You have sound absorption materials plastering the walls, reflective deflection units used around the drum set to deflect or diffuse sound as well as acoustic panels that can be easily moved around to any instrument to create a box. For example you may use 3 or 4 mobile acoustic panels to isolate a guitar cabinet.

You can use many of the tips on this website and they will pertain to recording studio soundproofing.

Pyramid Acoustic Foam – Soundproofing Is In The Shape

Pyramid acoustic foam tiles are probably the most popular type of foam insulation that you will see in the soundproofing market.Not only do they work great, but they are versatile and really do a great job at reducing noise. The pyramid type shape is there to provide a 4-sided geometric shape that will supply extra diffusing along with its natural noise reduction capabilities
Pyramid acoustic foams are very safe, in fact most of them are fire retardant and comply with local fire laws. These are great panels, as opposed to regular insulation or soundproofing type foams. The pyramid as I’ve said really adds a lot of extra surface area that will increase the acoustic properties and performance of the foam. These acoustic pyramid foam panels usually have a rating that will allow the frequencies to be attenuated from the upper lows, midst and high end frequencies.

Pyramid foam is great for the following uses:

  • Computers
  • Home theaters
  • Professional recording studios
  • Warehouses
  • Equipment rooms
  • Tool rooms

Pyramid foam lines up pretty well, as I have just done a full job using pyramid acoustic foam. They seemed to be cut in a continuous pattern and that really allowed it to be seamless when the finished product was looked at. I ended up putting this acoustic paneling on perhaps 40% of the room I would say, its recommended to do about 50% but the client did not have the funds to do the other 10%.

I prefer to use the 3″ acoustic pyramid foams because it has better absorption on the low end, mainly because of the added mass that the extra inch provides over something like a 2″ or 1.5″ acoustic foam. They do usually come in 4″ or 5″ acoustic foams as well, but really, the amount of sound absorption for the money, the best bet is to get the 3″ as it provides more than what you are going to need.
Pyramid acoustic foam is great for a few reasons. Its safe as in fireproof, easy to install, it looks really great(it usually comes in many colors and even some custom colors). Seamless cut pyramid foam really gives a nice look to any studio or area where the acoustics are going to be the main focal point. If you really need a great looking, easy to install, safe and cost effective way to soundproof your room, go ahead and have a look at pyramid acoustic foam, you wont be sorry!

Isolation Pads – Stop The Vibration

I recently purchased a set of isolation pads for my home monitors.  I wasn’t really expecting much of a difference and had seen them being “hyped” quite a bit.  While at Guitar Center, I seen a set that were used.  I thought, “hey, what the heck!”.  I bought them.

The difference in how I mix with these monitor isolation pads is completely different.  I do not feel the floor, table or anything else shake or rattle.  Not only that, but I don’t FEEL the power which I thought was real.

The real power that I was feeling was the vibration on the computer desk without the isolation pads on.  This really gave my ears and body a false sense of what was happening in the mix.

I think you will find that by using a set of monitor isolalation pads, you will see that your mixes’ low end really cleans itself up.  Trust me though, its not all hype.  What may be hype is how much they cost, I mean, foam for insulation seems like it would pretty much all be the same standard stuff, but who really knows.

I would say that even the most basic set of pads for underneath your home studio monitors, or hell even home theater would work perfectly.  One cool thing too is that I can actually turn the volume of the material a bit louder, because the vibration is decoupled from the desk and the surrounding walls, so the sense of it being loud is really lower.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a set of isolation pads to put under your speakers!