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Soundproofing Question....

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jeffmed, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. jeffmed

    jeffmed Guest

    Hey guys, I am about to start a project to build a home studio down in my basement. Just wondering if anyone else has been successful with this because I need some ideas. What is the most cost effective way to get the best performance in building a soundproof studio????
  2. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Unfortunately you are not going to want to hear this but it has to said. Acoustical treatment and construction of rooms is not something you can really cut corners on if you want it to be at the pro level it seems you desire. There really is no cost effective way to do it. Especially in a basement - possibly the worst place for a home studio. Now if you are looking to build a studio for the simple purpose of getting your ideas down or being able to record demos for yourself then it's a whole different story. If you are looking to record the public though, you are going to be in a world of hurt come construction time. We're talking moving ducts around, building walls inside of walls, floating floors, floating ceilings, etc etc....and that's just to make the rooms' structures better. Then you have acoustical treatments...it gets very expensive fast, let alone difficult to do by yourself. I guess the bottom line is what you want to build the studio for. If it's just for you and your buddies or if it's a hobby then Yes you can do it. If it's for a publicly available and usable commerical home studio then No it is not possible - at least not without a ton of money, time, effort, and expert knowledge. Hope this helps.
  3. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Home Page:
    i am sure everything Rain said is right, but for a project studio we had great luck using insullation meant for dampening sound the then two layers of drywall. We caulked everything pretty well and so far, so good.

    Search for sound proofing on google and you will find all types of info.

    Then make sure you get some info from Ethan Winer about how to make the room sound good.

    It is two steps:

    1. sound proof
    2. acoustic treatment.

    You can do a lot if you are willing to do your reading and then handle the grunt work.

  4. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    I Agree with Jim and I just would like to clarify what I was really trying to get at with my first reply...It is a lot easier if you have a purpose in mind, a final goal, or a desired end result based on what your needs are. If you aren't catering to commercial, pro bands and artists than some things may be overkill and may just drain your pocketbook. The spending of money should always be justified by the projected workflow. It's an easy rule to remember and will save you tons if you stick to it. Good luck with it all.
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    If you measure the room and post the dimentions and what you want to do in the acoustic and design forum you will get specific answers. There are a lotta experience people in that forum that are happy to help you with specific questions.
  6. jeffmed

    jeffmed Guest

    Hey Guys.....

    I basically want to listen to my system at around 110 db and prevent sound from travelling to upper floors. I will have the room in the basement which is surround by concrete so I know that will help my situation. My room will be around 150 square feet and want to get the floor above at around a quiet room level which, from what I've heard, is around 40 db. I know the high and mid level frequencies are easy to stop by the bass is the real problem. I am in a townhome which is in the middle of 2 homes so I definetely want to prevent sound from going through the ceiling and from there through the walls.
  7. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Neuse River Watershed
    Home Page:
    It's not a big deal to "soundproof" a basement studio below grade from neighbors in another structure. However, to soundproof from upstairs neighbors is wholly impractical. You need to mechanically decouple the space below from that above. That essentially means building a floating room with a room in your basement. Given the typical ceiling heights of basements, you probably can't afford to lose the 12" to 18" you'd need to in order to make this practical.

    You'd end up spending more cash trying to do this than just renting some space nearby.

    I've tried the basement soundproofing without the full structural decoupling. I found the most cost effective way was to give the upstairs folks (my family in this case) some money to go see a movie and grab a bite. Then I cranked it up...
  8. oakman

    oakman Guest

    I have had pretty good luck with walls that have this cross-section...

    3/4" drywall-4" fiberglass insulation-2" air space-3/4" drywall.

    Double that and you won't hear a thing through it. Your room will be smaller though. :)

    You can kinda' decouple the structure using 1/4" felt strips on the studs of the original surface. Doing it on a ceiling is more of a problem. I did it once in a cheesy basement studio and it worked pretty well, but we had to hang the whole structure from thread-all with washers and bolts, which looks kind of tacky. I'm sure you could think of a better way.

    Presently I have one of those "hung ceilings", whatever they are called, and 10" of insulation above my basement studio. You can barely hear anything upstairs. It probably helps that there are hardwood floors upstairs.
  9. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Re: Hey Guys.....

    you are wrong here my friend!
    as an architect i can tell you just the opposite!
    many studios, home studios mostly have their acoustic design wrongly done!
    bass frequencies travel very well in concrete! that's why when you isolate you must have the structure isolated! it's like having to create a new structure and prevent it it isolation from touching the already existing!
    other thing you have to know is the best isolation for sound is air! so the bigger the box of air, the better isolation you'll have!
    watch out for pipes too... i used to play in my garage in my building and everytime i played drums everyone could hear in their bathrooms, including mine which is on the 6th floor!
  10. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    As was mentioned already, you will have a problem stopping low frequencies without mechanical isolation and air spaces. You may have some success with absorbing bass. If you build a hollow cabinet, filled with a material such as loose foam, aimed at certain frequencies in your room(see ethan winers modecalc program), you can target those frequencies that are the most pronounced, and the sound energy will vibrate the loose material ultimately converting a portion of it to heat. That energy conversion will result in a loss of sound intensity.

    Do the best you can with your budget, and then as a part of your acoustic treatments use the bass traps to improve upon it.

    As an aside, if you do this it may actually sound as if the bass is more powerful at your listening position since it will not be able to cancel itself due to standing waves.

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