Portable

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 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!

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 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 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.

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.

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!

DIY Soundproofing – Materials And Methods

DIY soundproofing material pretty much consists of thinks like carpeting that someone has thrown out, blankets, sheets or any type of fabric, old insulation and the use of Green Glue.

Green glue is a new and pretty innovative product that will really help with diy soundproofing. DIY soundproofing materials such as green glue will help solve air gaps and as we all know, the number one thing to avoid with soundproofing is air gaps.

 If you use green glue as a part of your soundproofing material, you can also apply it to studs before installing such things as sheetrock or carpeting.

Auralex Roominator Alpha 1 Standard(below)

64 Wedgies: 2″ x 1” x 1″ wedge-cut acoustic foam panels absorb flutter echoes, standing waves, and kill early boundary reflections for improved acoustic imaging
4 LENRD Bass Traps: Low-frequency absorbers for control of excess bass, and designed for horizontal and vertical corner mounting where low-frequencies congregate
Includes Tubetak Pro Adhesive

As I have touched on, one of the main materials in diy soundproofing is carpeting. Carpeting for soundproofing comes in many shapes and sizes. Using old carpets as soundproofing material in a diy project is very simple, and the carpeting is readily available for use. Carpeting is good because it does have a mesh type backing, almost like a burlap sack that will really stop soundwaves from penetrating. This is what makes it the perfect cheap diy soundproofing material.

Old insulation also is a great innovative cheap soundproofing solutions, since its readily available. Many times you will find insulation for soundproofing purposes just thrown in many dumpsters that happen to be at worksites. One word of caution though, when using insulation, always wear long sleeve shirts and gloves. The insulation acts as good soundproofing, but also will make you itch like crazy, since it is made of fiberglass fibers.

Reflection filters, simple to make.

A real simple diy soundproofing material project is a simple reflection filter. You basically find some scrap wood and make a frame, say 4X4. Staple some chicken wire on one side of the frame. Now take your soundproofing material insulation and lay it in the frame. Now take another piece of chicken wire and staple that on top of that.

Now you have a great sound deadening panel. You can get some sheats and staple that to the frame, and even sew on cool designs. These diy soundproofing materials can get you a long way!

There are a lot of website available that talk about diy soundproofing and give excellent information on diy soundproofing equipment and supplies. Following links to lesser known companies or forums is a great way to find soundproofing information when doing soundproofing on a budget.

Sound reinforcement is a very complicated task and there are a lot of professionals that can help. But many times, the best information about budget soundproofing materials can be found in forums and people who are just out experimenting.

Good luck with your diy soundproofing material search!

Cork Underlayment – Durable Soundproofing

Cork underlayment is one of the best choices when thinking about soundproofing a floor. It is often used in apartment buildings, in areas where local laws are strict about floor and ceiling noise. One important part to why cork underlayment is great at soundproofing is because theres an estimated 100,000,000 air cells per cubic inch. These air cells in the cork allow it to expand and contract and act as a sound absorber as well as a sound dampener.

As stated above, cork underlayment is great for soundproofing floors, but what else is it good for? Probably the most common use for cork underlayment is crack suppression. Yep, cork acts as a really great crack suppression barrier that can be used under laminates, hardwoods and ceramic tile. What is a suppression barrier?

A suppression barrier is applied to the raw floor, most likely concrete. Over time the house or dwelling will settle and you may start to see cracks in the flooring. What happens usually if you did not use a cork underlayment is that the crack in the cement will travel right up and end up cracking your hardwood or ceramic tiles. Its a good idea to use an underlayment for all floors such as this.

Obviously, its not hard to imagine that a cork underlayment has very little to no environmental impact making it a great green solution. The bark is taken from a cork oak tree and is completely safe. Don’t think that just because its made of cork that its not durable.

The average life span of a cork tree is 100 years. The great thing about cork also is how its constructed. You can literally take cork pieces and put them together and use those in other projects, as cork is highly recycleable.

If you are going to be installing any type of floor in the next few years, you really should check to see if there’s any underlayment underneath. If not, then you need to look online and find some resources that will provide you with enough information to make a great choice on some cork underlayment. Not only is cork necessary, but it is durable, will increase the lifespan of your floor and is sound resistant.

Controlling Noise Pollution – Simple Ideas

Its all around us these days, noise pollution. Controlling noise pollution can be done in a couple of different ways such as soundproofing, soundproofing outdoor walls or commonly, masking. Obviously some of these solutions are not going to be completely viable, but some of them really can help with controlling noise pollution and help your health, hearing and reduce your noise exposure.

Soundproofing is an excellent way to combat noise pollution, especially if you live in the city. There are many sounds you are hearing, buses, cabs, trains, planes, you name it and its pretty much there to distract you and slowly over long exposure to these sound levels, it does wear on your health.

Some people have gone so far in controlling noise pollution as to build noise proof or soundproof walls around their house. Now, I know what your thinking, “A wall around my house?”. Well its not a 20 foot wall by no means, but it is a slight wall of say 4 feet or so. These really do help diffuse the sound from environmental factors and push it away from the living area.

Now, from environmental listening to cars and buses, you probably aren’t’ going to have any long term hearing loss, but you may get distracted. Speaking of distractions, a good way to(and most common way) to get rid of these sounds is simply by creating another distraction.

Did you ever hear of white noise fans? Those are used to create a gentle white noise that masks these sounds, sure you hear a little fan going all the time, but its common and your ears adjust and over time you really do not hear the fan, but you don’t’ hear the cars or the buses either!

Listening to music is a great way for controlling noise pollution as well. My favorite method to control noise pollution though is a simple one. Controlling noise pollution can be done simply by getting heavy curtains that act as soundproofing curtains. You can also increase the amount of insulation you have on your windows, this really does help and its a great tip for people who live in small apartments.

Controlling noise pollution isn’t that hard if you have the right tools. And sometimes the right tools are pretty cheap, such as a small fan for white noise, an ipod or some heavy duty curtains. These will all help when you are controlling noise pollution in your home.

Cheap Soundproofing – DIY And Ideas

For cheap soundproofing your best bet is going to be getting materials that are found around construction sites, thrift stores, dumpsters and anything around that could be valuable as any type of cheap soundproofing solution.

The most popular cheap soundproofing items are egg crate foam mattress covers.  These things are literally thrown out everyday, the hard part is being there when they are thrown out.  You can find them in thrift stores quite a bit.  They are pretty much the same cheap soundproofing material that you will find at the music store, for free!  You simply have to nail them, glue them, do whatever, but get them on the wall and your done.

Hanging tapestries and thick curtains is one of the best bang for the buck soundproofing solutions for a person on a budget and trying to soundproof for cheap.  One common technique is to cover the walls in this egg carton type foam and then come through with some hanging tapestries or thick sound deadeding curtains to cover up the sight of the sound insulation that is re-inforced behind.

Having all these layers of protection helps.  For example, in the area where you have a window plug, you have the window barrier, you have the insulation, you have the backing board then comes another layer off this egg foam and then some thick covering from the curtains.  Thats a lot of sound deadeding and noise reduction in that area for cheap, thats cheap soundproofing that produces professional results.

You can make your own sound baffles as well or hang pieces of cloth or towels from the cieling.  As stated before this is very important for stopping reflections and breaking up standing waves which are very important but easy to do when you have a budget for cheap soudproofing.

Have an old mattress around that doesn have the eggshell foam to rip off, no problem.  Foam mattresses are often used in studios to stop reflections and outright noise reduction.  Matresses work good because they are very dense.  You can place this mattress right in front of your door in addition to the other sound proofing you’ve done cheaply.

One thing you will see in almost all pro sound studios are the use of bookshelves.  These bookshelves are uses as sound deflectors, completely different from sound absorbers.  They break up standing waves as well, but they shoot the waves into your already existing soundproofing.

As always consult the forums and check every possible link you can find on the internet.  There’s a lot of information about cheap soundproofing and you can find many tips and deals around if you just look.  Trust me, it can be done.

Bass Traps – Say No To Low Frequency Buildup

Bass traps are important for getting a clear representation of audio material. They are commonly made of porous materials and positioned in certain ways, mostly in the corners of the room. You will be able to take steps and educate yourself so that you can make a great decision on what bass traps are and how they can work for your listening environment.

When you have a listening room or control room that you either use for mixing or monitoring music, or perhaps you have an entertainment room, the frequency spectrum is exaggerated toward the low end. Standing waves are a real problem with bass frequencies, say below 150hz, if you look at the frequency response of a room that does not employ bass trapping material, you will notice quite a boost in the low end frequency response.

Bass Traps – Construction Materials

Acoustic bass traps are usually made of porous materials to absorb the low frequencies of a room. Many constructions are made with a rigid solid wood frame with soundproofing insulation or some type of wadding inside that will actually absorb the low frequencies in the room, giving you a flat frequency response to clearly represent the audio material that you are listening too. If you are making a bass trap as a bass trap diy project, you can start off by using any common 2″ foam or insulation. The good thing about using these insulation that are pre cut is that you can stack them up to your desired height.

Bass Traps – Locations

Bass traps are generally placed in the corners of the room. This is because the bass frequencies, or lower frequencies on the frequency spectrum like to gang up and build up in those areas. So when those frequencies build up like a bubble, it overloads and pushes all those lower frequencies into the room further masking the other frequencies. This is called masking. This is the exact problem we are trying to avoid. Some bass traps are disguised as everyday useful furniture products that would be found in any home studio such as chairs, tables or end tables.

As you can see, using bass traps will greatly improve the ability for you to hear your audio clearly and represent what you want to hear. Any studio weather its home studio or a professional recording studio needs to employ soundproofing and definitely bass traps in the overall soundproofing scheme.

Apartment Soundproofing – Your Options

Why would anyone want to get into apartment soundproofing?  There are many reasons, you may want to reduce road noise if you live close to a highway, reduce the amount of sound that comes out of your apartment if you like to listen too loud music.  I like the last reason haha, apartment soundproofing is a must for me, since I have older neighbors above and on the sides of me.

I know that drummers like apartment soundproofing.  You can achieve good results for dwelling soundproofing by just using a bunch of techniques and tips on this site, we have information that will almost make your apartment completely soundproof!

There are some things to think about, obviously your not gonna want to do anything that is too destructive like a room inside a room or nailing a lot of insulation to the walls.

Apartment Soundproofing And Bass Traps

You can however use bass traps, sound deadeners, sound diffusers, sheet rock that you can lay against existing walls, foam type insulation or insulation panels.  These are all viable options for apartment soundproofing.

The main items you will be interested in are the wall plugs, sound diffusers and any extra bass trap material.  Wall plugs as we’ve covered in other topics will sit right into the window and can easily be installed and removed without any lasting damage to the apartment.  Hanging sound insulation curtains are also another option.  These sound curtains are not only for use over a window, I’ve seen them strung around a complete room, and really it looked good and sounded good.

The Door And Apartment Soundproofing

Behind the door is a place you can really put some time into when you live in an apartment.  Simply adding foam to the back of the door and adding high quality foam soundproof sweepers help out more than you can imagine.  Remember, none of this is creating any destruction of any kinda and can always be removed if needed without much hassle.

Apartment soundproofing isn’t just for audio, have you ever lived in an apartment where you could literally hear your neighbors snoring, well, I have!  This works great for keeping those sounds out, or at the very least deadening or reducing the noise level of such distractions, and really who is going to complain about that?

I highly recommend that you try to at least do some of these apartment soundproofing tips.  You will notice each step of the way, but the finished product is what really matters here.  Do not be surprised if you find you are getting better, longer lasting sleep.

For more information for apartment soundproofing you can check out some of the links that are on this site including soundproofing the ceiling, basement soundproofing and soundproofing companies.

Air Conditioner Noise Reduction

Air conditioner noise is a big problem when in the home or residential environment.Manufacturers do have a reliable and stable number of decibels that the unit should meet up with. The problem with this is that the noise levels that a human hears are “virtual” or “perceived loudness”.

As an example, if you put an air conditioner in a small room, it is going to sound louder than in a large room. A pretty basic rule of thumb is as you increase the distance between yourself and the air conditioner, the noise level will drop by an estimated 5 decibels.

There are many manufacturers out there that manufacture air conditioner noise blankets. These are blankets that are somewhat like an insulation that can be used for heat pumps or air conditioners. You will notice a significant decrease in air conditioner noise when using one of these. I have read that products like the Brinmar sound blanket can reduce the noise of an air conditioner compressor by as much as 8 decibels!

Types of Air Conditioner Noise Reduction

There are a few types of these air conditioner wraps. Some of the blankets require installation inside the air conditioner, around the compressor itself. Some of the other types of air conditioner blanket type units actually wrap around the air conditioner. Finally there are tools you can use such as air conditioner vibration decouples.

This will create a decouple situation and not allow the vibration from the air conditioner to progress through the window mounting surface.

Most of the sound blankets are a universal fit and most will reduce the sound level by a minimum of 5db. These are mostly(if not all) a diy type project, meaning anyone can do it, if they follow the instructions properly.

Air Conditioner Noise Vs Safety

You don’t have to worry about overheating the motors in the air conditioner when using these, because the motor is internally cooled by the a/c’s refrigerant. Making these units quite safe to have in any home and/or in any weather type.

Air conditioner noise reduction is a popular subject. Air conditioner noise blankets can really help reduce the noise, as I said, up to 50%. These units can be installed right on the unit by yourself and you will enjoy the nice comfort of a quite sound relaxing area to live. Staying cool does not have to be annoying. Really, think about it. When you think of an air conditioner, I’m pretty sure that not after long, you are thinking about that tell tale air conditioner noise, well, put it to rest!