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Old 04-09-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
timbit2006
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A Guide To Soundproofing

A guide to Soundproofing
Intro: There is no real way to “completely” soundproof a room on a budget lower than 1000 dollars, which I’m guessing everyone seeking advice from this guide, has a budget lower than $1000. I will cover three sections, Retrofitting, Remodeling, and Constructing. I will also eventually include my own soundproofing project. I am using the word “Soundproofing” loosely in this guide.

Table of Contents:
(Use Ctrl-F)
1.0-Retrofitting
1.1-Intro
1.2-Cost
1.3-Methods
2.0-Remodeling
2.1-Intro
2.2-Cost
2.3-Methods
3.0-Construction
3.1-Intro
3.2-Cost
3.3-Methods
4.0-Doors
5.0-Windows
6.0-Notes
7.0-Helpful Links
8.0-
9.0-Drum Risers
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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1.0 Retrofitting
1.1 Intro:
Retrofitting: To install, fit, or adapt for use with something older.
This is the easiest and cheapest way to soundproof. When retrofitting, you are really limited to installing new drywall over your old drywall. In this category, there is also echo reducing methods.
1.2 Cost:
Retrofitting is the cheapest way you can go with soundproofing. Retrofitting can generally range from $0 to $1000 plus.
1.3 Methods:
There are multiple methods for this category I will explain them in detail:
1.Double Layering: This is quite literally, adding another piece of drywall onto your existing one. What you would do, in order to achieve this, find some good soundproofing drywall. QuietRock is highly recommended.
Materials:
Sound Proofing Drywall
Acoustic Caulking
Drywall Tape
Drywall Mud
Drywall Screws

Installation: Installing is fairly easy. Very straightforward. Cut the drywall to size. You are going to want the least amount of joints possible, so be careful. Instead of using drywall putty/mud we are going to be using acoustic caulking. This is specially formulated to prevent sound from getting through the cracks. I’ll make a metaphor to help you better understand sound. “Sound is like a fat guy, he always wants to take the easiest, fastest route to get out”. Sound is lazy. Apply a bead of Acoustic caulking along the joint edge of the drywall (Edge that will be butt-jointed), then proceed as you normally would installing drywall. Screw it into place, do not use nails for this, because vibration causes the nails to eventually loosen, and the drywall at worst, may crack. Now, Tape off the joints, and, for this method you must use adhesive backing tape. Now you can start sanding. Finish off the wall like you normally would.
CAUTION: Some sound insulating drywall includes Gypsum. This is bad for your health, when inhaled. Always heed the manufacturers warning, and wear a dust mask.

Summary:
Double layering drywall is definitely not as effective as other methods, but it is the cheapest, and easiest. It will stop the Mid-High range from escaping, and it will prevent some low-end sounds from escaping.

2.Resilient Channel:
This is similar to adding additional layers of drywall, but the diference is, the second layer of drywall is floating, meaning it is not making direct contact to the other piece of drywall. The theory behind this, is the space in between, will cause sound to lose some energy as it passes.

Materials:
Sound Proofing Drywall
Resilient Channel Strips
Acoustic Caulking
Drywall Tape

Installation:

Installation is a bit harder using resilient channels, due to the channel part, and the precision of it all. Installation on the drywall on top, is the same as Double Layering. I can't really explain installation as I have never used this method before.

Summary:
Resilient Channels are a very cost effective way to soundproof a room. But, it requires quite a bit of labour.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
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2.0 Remodeling
2.1 Intro: This, is in the case of you are doing a complete remodel of your house, or studio. some of these methods will alter the structure of your walls. For this section and the next, I'm going to steal a couple of diagrams from QuietRock because I feel they illustrate it perfectly.

2.2 Cost: The cost in this case, It's how much you want to spend. I'm going to estimate here: $0 to $10000. This has to many variables to figure out an average(Room Size, Material Quality, etc.).

2.3 Methods:
1. Insulating: Pretty straight forward. Replace the insulation with Sound Proofing Insulation. For this, I reccomend Roxul Safe 'n' Sound.

Materials:
Sound Insulation
Sound Proofing Drywall(Optional, but Reccomended)
Drywall Mud
Drywall Tape
Acoustic Caulking

Installation:
Pretty Straightforward. Just install the insulation, in place of the old insulation, then if you can salvage the current drywall, use it. If not buy some new drywall, it should only really cost max of $40/Wall. I strongly reccomend getting sound insulating drywall.

Summary: This is one of the most cost-effective ways. Best bang for your buck. It creates two layers of soundproofing materials. The old layer of drywall will cause the STC rating to increase by a little, not to much though.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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Staggered Stud: The reasoning behind having a Staggered Stud wall, is similar to that of resilient channels, in having the sound having to pass another gap, losing some of its energy.

Diagram:

Courtesy of QuietRock

Materials:
Wood Boards
Acoustic Caulking
Sound Insulation
Drywall Tape
Drywall Mud
Sound Insulating Drywall(Reccomended)

Installation: Here is a great guide to installing studded walls. Since this guide is to visual to explain with drawings, I had to resort to using a link. Alternatively, If you are replacing a wall completely, you can use a larger base plate.

Summary:
A great way to soundproof, without taking up too much room.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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3.0 Construction:
3.1 Intro: This section will cover things you can do most of the time, when you are doing new construction. Keep in mind, some of these can be done to an already bult house, just they will consume a lot of space.

3.2 Methods:
1. Double Stud Wall:
The most effective design in sound proofing. This combines the Resilient Channel, Insulated Wall, and the Double Layer Drywall in one.

Diagram:

Courtesy of QuietRock

Cost: Easily the most costly of all designs. I'm estimating it at $0 to $10000 on an average sized room. This is due to the amount of soundproof drywall required.

Materials:

Sound Proofing Drywall(Enough for 2-4 layers)
Acoustic Caulking
Drywall Mud
Drywall Tape
Sound Insulation
Wood Boards

Installation: Put up your first wall like you would a normal one. Now, before putting up the second wall, Put the sound proofing drywall on that wall. Continue. Put up the other wall, but if you want, put another layer of drywall on the wall being put up before raising it. Insulate, then add the last Layer. That makes four layers. Two on the outside, two on the inside.

Summary: This technique is the best you can do. If anyone thinks otherwise, state your case, and I will ponder. This is used in Movie Theaters, and Professional Recording Studios.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #6
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4.0 Doors

Doors. This is one of the most common places for sound to leak out of your room.

Ways to fix it:

1. Buy solid Wood doors. Do not get metal doors, because metal is a vibration conductor.
2. Buy special sound insulated doors. I know that QuietRock makes them.
3. WeatherStrip-Put it on the bottom of the door, this will stop some of the sound from getting out.
4. Drywall-If you don't really care about looks, put sound insulating drwall on the back of the door.

5.0 Windows

Windows are the most common place for sound to escape.
There are a few ways to fix it:
1. Dont install a window
2. Take it out
3. Get double paned windows. The Canadian Government currently has grants, for the energy saving windows. Well, guess what. Energy Saving=Sound resistant.
4. I have devised a plan, which I am going to do in my studio. I will go in depth with this.

Insulate the window like you would a wall.

Materials:
Plywood
Sound Insulating Drywall
Sound Insulation

Diagram:

That is a window, In case you are wondering. It has a moderately large sill.

Installation: Cut a piece of plywood, so it is flush on all sides of your window frame. Cover the entire back of the window with sound insulation, then cover it with plastic. Install a piece of drywall on the front. And then for extra OCD points, put egg-crate foam on the drywall. Use "L" Brackets around the wall, screwing them into the frame.

Summary: I thought up this idea, and it is experimental. In theory it is very similar to a wall. I will make this, and report back what the results of the test are.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:15 PM   #7
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6.0 Notes
This section is dedicated to notes, and tips and things that did not fit in any of the above categories.

NRC Ratings
NRC(Noise Reduction Cooefficients) is a term used for a products noise reduction.
It is measured as 0 having no noise reduction, and 1 having perfect noise reduction.
The table can be found here .

I am not going to include how to soundproof a garage, but I am however going to provide you with this link
Rona and Home Depot will most likely not carry acoustic caulking, or sound proofing drywall. They do however carry sound proofing insulation.

I will add more into this section as I think of stuff to put here.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:16 PM   #8
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7.0 Useful Links:

Roxul
QuietRock
QuietRock Datasheets
Drywall Installation
Monitor Placement and Acoustic Treatment

Tell me if you think more should be added.

Manufacturers of Acoustic Materials

I got the info on that table from Mix magazines June 2007 issue.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Reserved......
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:18 PM   #10
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9.0 Drum Risers
After seeing a thread, with someone asking about drum risers, and partly because I've been plannng to build one, I've decided to do a section on this. A short one. I don't have too much material for here, yet.

Reason: Now why would you want a drum riser? Especially in your studio? Simple. To stop vibrations, and save yourself the tearing up of the floor to sound insulate it. What I reccomend, is putting your riser on casters. It is the same principal as amp casters, it stops vibration from being transferred.

Designs:

1. Acoustically sound:
Depending on what's in your area, this can be the cheapest, or most expensive method. It is using very rigid foam, specifically meant for isolating drums. I know there's an eBay store(Advanced Acoustics) with this in it right now.
To do this, cut the foam to size, then lay some plywood on top of that. The foam is rigid, so it can hold quite a bit of weight.
I also reccomend putting speaker carpet overtop, to prevent drum sliding, stand rattling, and make it look more professional.

2. DIY Riser:
This is fairly simple to make.
It is kind of like building a wall, or building a floor foundation.

Diagram:

Top View


Isometric View


Bottom View


You might be wondering why there is 2 smaller crossbars. This is not because of what I have available in my garage. There's a reason, that is, to place the sound insulation. I've said this many times before, and I'll say it again. I reccomend Roxul Safe 'n' Sound.
This particular plan has no glue in it. It is meant to be dissasembled, and assembled easily. Feel free to mod as you like.
This is a general drum size, compacted together. Measure your kit, and adjust accordingly.
To hold the insulation in, your not going to want to put staples through your plywood topper. Buy some sheet plastic(comes in rolls) and add the insulation. Staple the plastic to the bottom, covering all holes.

For the insulation, you are going to want it to be spaced for 24" studs.

Conclusion:
And that concludes this section. Post back if you have any comments/concerns or questions.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #11
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reserved........
Last one. post now. I believe 10 posts is more than enough, you never know.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #12
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looking forward to this
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:48 PM   #13
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Pretty informative so far. Anticipating the rest.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
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Thanks!
Tell me if you think there should be some more stuff I should cover.

Also, the last 2 posts is where my actual project will go.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:50 PM   #15
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would glass block windows be as good / better than double paned?
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpatan
would glass block windows be as good / better than double paned?


I'd say it is an STC rating of 39-50 and a double paned window is STC 26-33 and single pane is STC 26-28.
So, to answer your question, yes it is.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:54 PM   #17
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Coming Soon: Room Acoustics
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:08 PM   #18
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Awesome guide so far!

Definitely keeping a record of this for future use.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:29 PM   #19
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Sorry I haven't got to the room acoustics yet.
I was going to finish it this weekend, but I had to record and master some tracks.
I also feel inspired to do a section on drums, and drum shields.
Perhaps even sound booth guides.
I dunno. Whenever I get time, which will most likely be Friday night, unless we decide to record again...
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:56 AM   #20
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Updated April 14 2010 10:56PM
(I went too technical there)

Update: Added Drum Risers Section
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