Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Soundproofing your home Studio

With the rising costs of commercial studio recording times, it only makes sense that having a professional grade home studio would be a realistic and cost effective alternative. Constructing a home studio in a garage, basement or bedroom is not really as complicated as you might think. The most effective home studios are the room within a room design. In essence, this consists of constructing an entirely new room within the walls of an existing room or space. The room within a room concept takes advantage of the dead air spaces between the new walls and the existing walls. Dead air is natures soundproofer where sounds coming from the studio are blocked to the outside and also the noise from the outside is blocked from entering the studio. This is critical for high-end recording. Keep in mind that a well-constructed home studio can also double as a home theater. The room within a room does take up precious studio space so for the budget and space minded there are other options. Basements as a rule have concrete earthen walls which in an of themselves are good soundproofers, so if you are building a recording studio in your basement chances are you will only have to construct 2 walls and soundproof them as well as the basement ceiling.
In a basement or garage studio situation always keep in mind that windows can be a major breach to any soundproofing endeavor. Short of replacing a garage or basement window, you have the option of adding a window plug to the well windows in a basement or to your existing garage windows. These plugs are made with a closed cell vinyl nitrile foam mat called America mat. If the window is say 3' X 3' you would cut the foam to a 3'1" X 3'1" block. This will give you enough extra material to help the plug fit snuggly into the window frame. Generally for windows with one dimension greater than 4' you will need a backer board to glue the America mat to. You want a lightweight material such as Luaan or common wood paneling. The addition of a couple of kitchen handles to the backer board makes for easy insertion and removal of the window plug. Another breach in a garage studio is obviously the garage door. Trying to soundproof a garage door is a major undertaking and is usually not very effective. It is always best to construct a demising or false wall to block noise from entering or leaving the studio.
Now comes the fun part, soundproofing the studio walls and ceilings. A lot depends on the kind of recording you will be doing as well as the decibel level of the bands or the music you are recording. When it comes to soundproofing, more is always better. (There is no such thing as over kill in soundproofing) However, there can be over kill to your wallet. We have the products and expertise to get you the right materials at the right price to soundproof any home recording facility.
One of the best products for soundproofing studio walls and ceilings is American mass loaded vinyl. MLV for short is a state-of-the-art soundproofing reflective barrier that is applied to the stud structure for walls and to the ceiling joists. Generally MLV is used with high quality sound batt insulation such as Roxul AFB or Roxul SAFE. The batt insulation would be friction fit into the stud and joist cavities and most insulation companies cut these batts to fit both 16 on center or 24 O.C. Once the batt insulation is installed, you would then stretch the MLV across the studs or joists to give the walls and ceilings membrane effect. The seams and the perimeter of the vinyl would be caulked with an acoustical caulk and the caulked seams would also be taped with a 2" wide sealer tape.
Now we're ready to drywall the interior of the studio. I like using a layer of 5/8" fire code drywall as my finished wall. This drywall would be screwed into the studs and joists directly through the MLV. If you are concerned about piercing holes in the vinyl, dip you screws in the acoustical caulk prior to screwing them in. Just a quick note, a lot of the home studio builders use 2 layers of 1/2" drywall instead of the single 5/8" variety, if you do this, run a bead of caulk in an "X" pattern between the layers to give some additional dead air space. This will also change the resonant frequency of the drywall and provide a little extra sound blocking.
Keep in mind that MLV is a heavy material that comes in both a 1# per sq ft and 2# per sq ft variety. Both are excellent soundproofing materials.
Next time we will be talking about the acoustical treatments you will need inside of your new home studio. Thanks for reading and learning together.

As Always,

Bob O.
e-mail: dr.bob@soundproofingamerica.com
Call Toll free (877) 530-0139

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home