Soundproofing a Room For Music Recording
There are 3 ways to soundproof an existing room: by adding mass and density to it, by decoupling the walls and by filling the little cracks and holes in the room.
Until you have owned a recording studio, you won’t even realize how loud and noisy the world can be.
The worst thing is the fact that every single object in this world affects sound travel.
When you are in the music industry, you understand the value of soundproofing your home (or a room in your home) for audio recording.
Once you hear the audio in a condenser microphone, it becomes clear how important soundproofing is, but do you know how to do it?
What Is Soundproofing?
Newbies often misunderstand the term and confuse it with acoustic treatment.
Soundproofing and acoustic treatment are different things that offer different results.
Soundproofing is done to make the room quiet by preventing external noises to enter the room. Acoustic treatment make your recordings sound better by absorbing the excessive ambiance.
The ideal recording studio is a combination of acoustic treatment and room soundproofing.
How Does Soundproofing Work?
When you are trying to make your room soundproof, you are:
- Keeping the outside noise out of the room so that it won’t disturb the sessions.
- Keeping the inside noises in so that the neighbors don’t get disturbed.
Normally, unless you have tried a soundproof room, you won’t even realize how much noise is recorded in the audio.
Whether it’s people, traffic, fans, hardware, racks, or weather – everything interferes with the sound waves in the room and affects the quality of your audio recordings.
The methods we are going to talk about are applicable for a room that has already been constructed.
If your recording room hasn’t been constructed yet, then there are much better ways to soundproof it but we won’t be talking about those in this article.
So let’s get straight into it and talk about effective methods for soundproofing an existing room in your house.
How To Soundproof An Existing Room?
Add Mass And Density
To prevent any kind of sound entering the room, you will need a lot of mass. The mass can effectively prevent the sound to travel through the walls.
To add mass to an existing room, you can cover the walls, floor and ceiling with materials like loaded vinyl sheets, acoustic blankets and soundproof mats.
Decoupling The Walls
When two structures are in direct contact with each other, sound vibration can be transmitted from one surface to another. We just have to do the opposite to stop the sound waves from travelling.
Break contact between the two surfaces and sound won’t be able to travel.
Decoupling is the process of blocking the transfer of the sound waves. It can be done by isolating the contact points with a dense material like pliable rubber.
You can read more about decoupling here.
For soundproofing purposes, you can build a second wall (fake wall) in front of your main wall. To do that, you’ll need to build a wall frame and then cover that frame with drywall.
You can also add damping material like acoustic foam or acoustic adhesive between the two walls to increase the effectiveness of the setup and also stop the bass from amplifying in the air gap.
In the same way, you can build a floating floor using rubber isolation. Take a look at this article about how to build a floating floor.
It is advised to hire a handyman/mason for these tasks.
Decoupling can turn out to be expensive, be 100% sure before you get it done.
Fill Up The Little Cracks And Holes In Your Room
For the final touch, you will have to fill up the little cracks and holes in the room.
If even a small hole is left open, it can give a passage to the sound waves to sneak through and affect the recording quality.
Make sure there are no holes/openings in the room. If there are, get a mason to your house and get all holes filled with cement or POP (Plaster of Paris).
Sound can also seep in or out through gaps between the doors and the floor, and also between the windows and the wall.
You can use soundproofing door/window sealing tape to fill these gaps.