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Old 11-07-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
hey_joe42
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Soundproofing/Dampening in Air Ducts

My basement jam spot is pretty good at keeping the sound in and not bothering others in the house except for the bedroom vent. I frequently jam until 4 am, so if someone like my wife is sleeping it can be a problem. I mean I'm only jamming at loud enough volumes so that I can still hear the barenaked strumming of the guitar below me, but its travellign thru the ducts to the bedrooms. Anyone ever deal with this situation. Anything you can put in your vents to still allow heat thru but help absorb some of the sound?
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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I suppose you could block off the vent with of foam when you needed it to be quiet.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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bubble wrap?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:13 AM   #4
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Cover the vent. And stop strumming barenaked.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:31 AM   #5
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You sure it is only the vents allowing sound through? Because you may be surprised at how thick you need the walls to be (and how many layers of wall you need) to truly soundproof a room to a high level. Anyway, assuming the vent is your main problem I'm sure you can find vent covers in the shops somewhere that have a lever you can slide to close off a slotted-grille style vent cover. Admittedly these are only thin plastic, most of the time, but they will stop the immediate transfer through the air to some degree.

Ideally if you wanted to sound proof a room you would build a room inside the room, and use that Maybe you could build yourself a small enclosure to place around the amp, so you can reduce the noise leakage. Google 'high-density baffle' and consider putting together a few thick, baffles you can box the amp in with a little. It will probably be more effective too, if the vent is an important one you shouldn't be blocking off.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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See, the problem is that, if air can get through, then sound can get through. When pro studios design for soundproofing, the hardest part is air exchange. There are materials you can use, but it needs to start right at the construction level - not at the treatment level.

As a rule, anything that is soundproofing is a structural/construction consideration. Things you add after the fact (like stuff on the walls, etc.) is re-enforcement.

It's not about what you put on the walls, or even between the walls - it's how you build the walls. (and it's not necessarily about thickness or how many layers of drywall you use, or even about what kind of insulation you use)

I know that's not entirely helpful, but it points out that you either contain the sound, or have air exchange.

So, you're probably looking at something that can be easily put up/taken down.

Or, as Disarm said, an enclosure for the amp.

What about headphones?

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Old 11-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #7
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Just the metal sliding grate thingy will do supririsingly little.

I think your best bet will be to get a 3-4 inch thick piece of dense foam, and rig a way to put it over the air vent. The thing about the foam is that because it has all these little nooks and crannies, it bounces the sound waves around a lot and does a good job dispersing them. It's also soft enough to actually absorb some of them.

The only way to really soundproof something is dead air space, which you don't have. Foam works because it contains a lot of tiny pockets of dead air space, but you'll find that a lot of sound goes right through your walls.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Just the metal sliding grate thingy will do supririsingly little.

I think your best bet will be to get a 3-4 inch thick piece of dense foam, and rig a way to put it over the air vent. The thing about the foam is that because it has all these little nooks and crannies, it bounces the sound waves around a lot and does a good job dispersing them. It's also soft enough to actually absorb some of them.

The only way to really soundproof something is dead air space, which you don't have. Foam works because it contains a lot of tiny pockets of dead air space, but you'll find that a lot of sound goes right through your walls.
Heating season is upon us. A blocking up ducts with any kind of plastic, is impractical, and possibly dangerous. The closer you place it to the heater, the more dangerous it becomes.

The only thing that should be wrapped around heating ducts, is fiberglass! Which is OK, since they sell that specifically for the purpose at home depot. Good news too, because fiberglass is about as efficient as anything else for sound deadening purposes. Well, save for some extremely expensive compounds created for the purpose.

The wall of a duct transmits a lot of the sound, and it does it "supersonically", since the speed of sound in water and solids, is at multiple mach numbers!

I suppose a solution could be adapted by covering just the bedroom air duct. But, you'd better buy the missus an electric blanket and a space heater, to the end of keeping the family peace.

TS, I don't quite get the back story here. Is playing the guitar more important than sacking out with your wife? Are there extenuating circumstances?

But most importantly, how handy are you, and is this your house, or a rental?
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:37 PM   #9
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Just to be clear, because I agree with the safety concerns, that anything you put in place to block your air ducts should be temporary - only there for the duration of the time you need to block sound.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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haha, yeah you would think i'd rather sleep with the wife. I flip from days to nights every 6 days for work, so I have alot of time where I am up in the middle of the night just prepping for my next shift, it would be disastorous if I slept with her every night I wouldnt' be able to do my job.
hmm well it was worth a shot. I can wear headphones its just I do alot of recording at night and yes we own the house now, but before we rented and it wasn't an issue in unfinished basements. Now that the basement is finished its an issue, go figure.

See I've been using the DI out on my Peavey JSX cab. But its proportion to the volume of the amp. I got a line 6 pod 2.0 but find it doesn't have good sound to record off of. So think I can hook up some type of DI output from my JSX amp head to my recording gear?

Maybe I can fool around with one of my distortation pedals and plug it directly into my recording gear and see how that sounds.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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You work funny shifts, you said. So, there must be times when you're at home while she is at work, right?

Record then. Crank that puppy, Joe! Save the headphones for late-night noodling.

CT
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