How to Soundproof a Room for Music (Listening and Recording)
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Soundproofing a room can be a challenging job.
Whether you are making your own mini-studio, or just blocking out the noise from your teenage kid, making of the soundproof room might take some time.
The biggest problem is when the age gap between your older one and the baby is 14-15 years. As you may know, 14-15 years is where everything starts being interesting.
You need to balance between your teenager’s revolt of listening to the music at high volume, and your baby’s peace.
Since I was in this position not that long ago, my husband and I decided not only to soundproof the nursery room but the room of our older kid as well.
In that way, both of our kids got their peace, whether is that listening to a really loud music or napping.
In this article, you can find some of the methods that I used to soundproof a room for the music, as well as some other methods that I also find useful for the purposes of soundproofing.
How to Soundproof a Room for Music
First of all, we need to mention what will these methods do, and what are their effects on the noise.
As you may assume, the best combination would be to use some mixture of the methods below, since you will benefit with both, better recording conditions and quieter room.
1. Place some Soundproof Curtains or Blankets
Simply speaking, adding the soundproof blankets to your walls might exponentially reduce the noise coming inside as well as going outside the room.
Soundproof blankets are, as the word describes, blankets with special absorbing material which will absorb the excessive ambience.
As you may conclude, soundproof blankets are good if you wish to make a recording room.
However, if you want to make a better result when it comes to the quieter room, you should probably invest a bit more and buy some soundproof curtains.
Curtains, unlike soundproof blankets have some role in decorating your room as well.
Since they come in various designs and colors, you will be able to adapt them to the room’s interior.
Generally speaking, you may do the mixture of soundproof curtains and blankets. That will absorb the outgoing and incoming sound even more.
2. Bookshelves are good noise fighters
Next on our list are bookshelves.
Yes, you heard me well, bookshelves! They play a big role in soundproofing your room as they block the outgoing sound.
Not only that they will block the echoing from the inside of the room, but as well block the sound going through your walls as they act like an absorbing barrier.
Preferably, you should find some really big bookshelf that can cover the whole wall. Of course, it’s needless to say that you should fill it in with books.
If you are a book lover, now you know: books are even more valuable than you thought.
3. Shaky items should be mounted (like speakers)
Make sure that your speakers aren’t on a shaky ground.
You are surely familiar with the effect of rattling and buzzing vibration when your neighbor turns the speakers really loud.
Well, that vibration does mostly come from a bumpy position of his speakers.
The best way to prevent this is by strengthening the ground and fixing your speaker. This way, you will prevent unnecessary noise that comes from the sound.
For this purpose, we suggest some insulating vibration pads, as they will do the job perfectly.
4. Install Weatherstrip on Your Door
Have you ever heard of the sweep, or a weatherstrip? Well, this one is a really handy solution, not only for the noise but to some other things as well.
Sweep, or some may call it weatherstrip is a plastic or steel batten-look object that you fix on the bottom of your doors to cover the distance between the door and the floor.
As you may conclude, this one is not just a handy and cheap solution against the noise, but other problems as well.
So, take the tool into your hands and start weather stripping.
5. Install acoustic panels
Mostly, these panels come with an adhesive. Therefore, you will easily install them by simply pressing up against the walls.
Otherwise, you can use something like adhesive in the form of a spray to glue them to your ceiling or a wall.
If you wish to soundproof completely, cover all.
On the other hand, if you just want to cover one wall (for example, the one that meets with your baby’s room), that will probably reduce the noise but not as it would do by completely covering every wall.
For the best result, you should consider getting some acoustic panels with fiberglass. Fiberglass is the well-known warrior against the noise.
It will prevent the sound go through your walls, as well as the incoming one. Simply speaking, with this, peace is guaranteed.
6. Make a soundproof construction
This step is a bit more drastic. It requires a lot of effort and a bit more investment.
It’s common to do it at the very beginning of house construction, but it can be done afterward as well.
However, after fulfilling it, you will have no worries about the sound and the dissatisfaction that it may cause. Let’s see basic steps for this one.
1. Place thick material
The thicker the material is, the better! With 1.6 cm drywall, it will absorb much more noise rather than a thinner one.
If you wish to do improvements on your current wall, you need to build a standard wall frame that goes on those existing studs. Then, cover it with a drywall, or a new layer of sheetrock.
2. Separate layers of wall
Do you know how the sound is traveling?
Whenever it hits some surface, a part of it passes through while the rest is absorbed. In order to increase that part which is absorbed, you need to build a second layer of the wall from drywall, sheetrock or even two sheets.
Now, the secret is not in building that second layer of the wall but in making a bigger space between them as possible.
Keep in mind that this solution in itself alone isn’t the best since you are creating some kind of resonator box between those 2 walls.
Therefore, you may consider adding some damping compound that we will be explaining later on.
3. Think about your stud placement
Stud placement is of high importance to prevent the noise. The sound will easily travel through them.
Therefore, here are some examples of how to position them if you are building a new wall.
- Put studs in a double row, one on every interior side.
Although this one is an effective solution, it demands a lot of space between these rows.
- Try with a row of studs alternately arranged on the interior sides.
This might be the easier solution than the previous one although the first one might be a bit effective. Also, the first one takes a bit more space, so it’s only up to you which position will you choose.
4. Use sound clips or residual channels
For an additional insulation, you should use these things and place them between the drywall and the studs.
They will be soundproofing addition to your construction.
Sound clips are just another layer of your noise protection. You need to place them into studs, then put the hat channel, and finally, install the drywall over that channel.
Resilient channels are metal channels created as a solution to the noise problems. Screw them into studs and then put the drywall over it.
Keep in mind that this will increase high-frequency insulation but at the cost of low frequencies.
5. Put damping compound inside your walls
This procedure is easy and cheap. All you need to do is put this amazing substance between your walls.
Basically, the procedure is easy when you are constructing your house, wall, ceiling or floor. Otherwise, it requires much more effort.
Anyway, this method will drastically decrease low-frequency sounds. As you may assume, that is a great solution for bass or loud drums from music that’s playing.
Damping compound, or as you may know it by the name of viscoelastic adhesive or soundproofing glue will probably need few days to adapt and reach its full noise-absorbing potential.
6. Fiberglass as a cheap solution
As we already mentioned it in the text, fiberglass is a cheap solution and kind of an effective one.
It is hard for me to decide which one is better - fiberglass or damping compound. It would be the best for you to try it and see for yourself.
All in all, they will both do the job.
7. Fill all the crevices and cracks using acoustic caulk
If all of these steps are taken, and you still hear some noise, inspect for the holes as they may produce surprisingly loud noise.
Seal them with some of the soundproofing glues, or use this acoustic caulk. Either way, make sure that you use a soundproofing substance.
There are a few things that you need to know about acoustic caulks: There are water-based caulks which are easier to clean up. Sometimes caulk will not match your wall color. Make sure that you use the one that allows painting over.
Acoustic caulk is a bit more difficult to use rather than normal caulk. Normal caulk should be used for crevices and small holes.
7. Soundproof ceiling and floor
Similar to the walls, soundproofing a ceiling or a floor can be tempting. However, there are some tricks that you can use, but can’t use them for walls.
For example, if you have a house with several floors, then you can simply put the carpet above the room that you want to insulate.
Carpet from the room above will decrease the sound coming from that room (for example footsteps).
Or, you can use a carpet as well to soundproof the floor of the room that you want to insulate.
Furthermore, you can use some of the methods that we mentioned in the soundproofing walls section.
For the ceiling, you can use those acoustic foam panels. They have shown so far as an effective against outgoing and incoming noise.
8. When the work is finished, put on some soundproofing panels
As I mentioned in a previous step, but not only for the ceiling, you can use soundproofing panels as a cherry on the top to your soundproofing line of defense.
They are not expensive, and you can use them combined with several methods aforementioned.
I would recommend them always as the extra layers of defense, combined with different methods.
Keep in mind that you should attach them to some strong structures as wall studs, for example.
In that way, you will prevent possible buzz and vibrations that we’ve also discussed earlier.
On Soundproofing the Room for Music
Most of these solutions are well-known. I added several that you probably didn’t hear of. Majority, of them are simple and affordable.
However, when it comes to making a soundproof construction, you might need to invest a bit more money and effort.
Since the peace has no price, don’t wait for too much to take these actions. It’s definitely worth the investment.