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#1
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
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 15, 2010,
#2
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 9, 2010,
#3
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 15, 2010,
#4
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 9, 2010,
#5
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 9, 2010,
#6
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 9, 2010,
#7
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 9, 2010,
#10
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.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Apr 15, 2010,
#11
reserved........
Last one. post now. I believe 10 posts is more than enough, you never know.
..I was watching my death.
#14
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.
..I was watching my death.
#15
would glass block windows be as good / better than double paned?
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#16
Quote 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.
..I was watching my death.
#18
Awesome guide so far!

Definitely keeping a record of this for future use.
Amps
Randall RG50TC, Roland Cube 15x

Guitar
LTD MH-100QM, Washburn X12

Effects and Etc.
Ibanez Weeping Demon, Boss FV-500H, Ibanez TS7, Ibanez PH7, dbx 31-band EQ, ISP Decimator
#19
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...
..I was watching my death.
#20
Updated April 14 2010 10:56PM
(I went too technical there)

Update: Added Drum Risers Section
..I was watching my death.
#21
Great thread, I can tell you've put a lot of work into it; It's awesome to see you've come from being a newbie just 17 months ago to being a great contributor in such a short time. (More so than myself)

One thing you could add that you didn't touch on is the more crude but cheap and easy method of dampening sound with common household objects, such as hanging large wavy curtains, laying down rugs, and putting couches and other sound absorbing and dissipating furniture. It's crude and not nearly as effective, many people not interested/ motivated enough for framing another wall and hanging drywall can take simple actions like this.

Another thing worth mentioning is that parallel walls can produce standing waves that can amplify each other and therefore feedback. If space is available, angling the extra layer of wall by extending one end a foot or more away from the existing wall to create a slight angle can help this problem.
Last edited by mattocaster99 at Apr 15, 2010,
#22
Thanks a ton Matt!
Means a lot.

This guide isn't going to include the free way. I find it's more of common sense really.

Also, I don't know about this angled wall teqnique. Elaborate maybe?
I think, from what you've said, don't have 2 walls facing like
|.....| Cause it creates echos, amplifying, and to fix it
/.....| which would cause the echos to deflect in a different direction. I see the principals in it. I might just include it in my room acoustics section, although I do believe it is quite inconvenient for labour, and the lack of 90degree corners.
I guess it is a cheap alternative to foam, because the foam will accomplish the same thing, save labour, but cost more I suppose.

I don't know if I got the right meaning from your post.
..I was watching my death.
#23
I've finished soundproofing the indow with the method I mentioned. Almost no sound comes from the window now. Mainly the walls.
I was looking at the exterior wall, and realized there is a attic vent, above my studio. I figure, if I want this room soundproofed, I have to either
a) Find a way to access the vent, and soundproof the top of the room
b) Rip out the current interior roof
Normally sound coming out of the top is no problem, because the only thing it's going to reach is planes, or birds. And planes make way to much noise to complain anyways!

I am also building the Drum Riser today. I will post back later tonight with pictures, and explain what it's like, and if it helps at all.

Now, I have a question about casters:
Does the weight rating go up with the amount of casters.
Example:
1 Caster rated at 175 pounds
2 Casters-350 pounds
4 Casters-525 pounds
etc.
So, does it work like this?
The riser wont really be moved around lots, just sat on.
..I was watching my death.
#24
It probably wont work like that. The most the 4 casters can support will be a torque problem.

Basically, you find the upwards force supplied by each caster (convert pounds to kgs, then multiply by 9.8 for max upwards force in newtons) Then, you use the distance between the casters, and the distance to the centre of mass (usually directly between the two casters) to find the maximum force the object can provide downwards on the beam. Then, you'd convert this into mass.

But put it this way, 175 pounds is about 80 kilos. With the weight distributed centrally between 4 of them, you should easily be able to support a drum kit and a fairly stout gentleman/woman.

I'd be more worried about the wood youre making the deck out of snapping.
#25
Everything worked out well!
Casters worked fine. Princess Auto lied, they can only hold 100 pounds, but that still works for me, as it isn't going to be moved.

As for what it did, it stopped 90% of vibrations. There's this mirror that always vibrated like crazy outside my studio door, causing a queit vibration sound on the tracks. Well, that's fixed.
As for sound dampening, I don't know yet. I need to get my dad to play the drums, but he's really busy today for some reason...

Pictures will be coming later tonight. I need to find the camera cable first.
It looks really awesome though. For some reason, my studio looks bigger now. I don't know why.
Also, another thing I though of, If you play guitar, and you have a snare drum in the room, it creates an annoying sound. No more of that!
..I was watching my death.
#26
Oh wow, that sounds awesome!

Is the sound kind of like a weird rattling noise? I've heard it in a band situation with a standing snare. It's probably just due to the vibrations, happily canceled due to the casters.
Amps
Randall RG50TC, Roland Cube 15x

Guitar
LTD MH-100QM, Washburn X12

Effects and Etc.
Ibanez Weeping Demon, Boss FV-500H, Ibanez TS7, Ibanez PH7, dbx 31-band EQ, ISP Decimator
#27
Thanks!
Yeah, that's the sound I'm talking about.

Also, something somewhat funny and bad...
Princess Auto also gave me a free chocolate bar.
Let's just say, the maggots were found after the eating of the chocolate bar...
..I was watching my death.
#28
Sorry I haven't got to the Room Acoustics section.
I don't want to write it without any personal experience with foam an whatnot.
I'm sorta a bit poor right now.
Sometime this summer I'd imagine.
Actually, I'd do my major soundproofing in the fall, because my brother is going to college, and his room is much larger than my studio. I'm gonna make a deal with my mom, because she's kinda getting annoyed with the noise now.
..I was watching my death.
#29
Great thread -thanks.

Can you shed some light on how much can be acheived by putting an amp on something other than the floor? You mentioned casters, but that's a lot of work. Would a big rubber pad be good? On a wooden shelf?

I suppose either of these, and a hundred other things will work, but I thought I'd ask as you know a lot more about this than me!
Ibanez AF105VB
Ibanez RG2550Z
MIM '92 Fender Strat
Peavey Triumph 60
MXR-108.
and that's it. done buying stuff. probably.
#30
Hmm, Good question.

I'd imagine a shelf wouldn't isolate it too much. Seeing as the shelf is connected to the wall, vibrations are most likely going to travel better than just on the floor.

To answer your question, look up Isolation Pads, such as the Auralex MoPAD. It's normally meant for monitor speakers, but I'd imagine it will work for your amp. There's a specific one called the Granny(I think anyways) and it's meant for amp. It's advertised as "Total acoustic Isolation". But I highly doubt that.
Now, the part about rubber. I'm going to have to say... I need to do some research before answering this particular question, as I have no idea what those Isolation pads are made of.

EDIT: Did some research, and found out that by pictures(Couldn't find any companies showing what it's made of), my best guess is that it is very dense, tightly packed foam. For a guitar amp, you might want to have some rubber put over top of your dense foam.
..I was watching my death.
Last edited by timbit2006 at Jun 4, 2010,
#31
Cool -thanks.
Ibanez AF105VB
Ibanez RG2550Z
MIM '92 Fender Strat
Peavey Triumph 60
MXR-108.
and that's it. done buying stuff. probably.
#32
Quote by finetune
Cool -thanks.


No problem. I enjoy helping people out with their endeavors.
..I was watching my death.
#33
On my holidays to the States, I went to a music store, which was selling back-issues of music related magazines.
I found one called "Mix" which I guess is a recording magazine.
Getting to the point:
It had about 4 pages on room acoustics in it, so I will try to convey that article here, but in my own words. Will do a bibliography, as this is comeing mainly from the magazine.
Also, it is Room Acoustics for the Control Room, so I will do my best to also adapt a section for studio/recording room acoustics. The same principles apply(No reverb, echo, tone colouration and all that fun stuff).
Expect the guide finished by the end of next week. That's my deadline. Pretty big one

mattocaster:
Your post on the top of this page, the magazine was saying about this concert hall, that is the most expertly designed for acoustics, I'll get to the point quickly here:
It said stuff about the walls being at a 10degree angle, to stop echo or something. I understand what you mean now. I may include it in the guide.

Gonna make this post an Uber Long one now...
My brothers going to college. I get his room, which is the biggest bedroom in my house for my studio. I will put pictures of my project in a different thread, but will link to it here.

/Uber-Long-Post over
..I was watching my death.
#35
This is immensely useful May use it if I ever decide to build a studio...
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#37
Well done, timbit!

A couple of suggestions....
1. Considerations for floors and ceilings. Sure, you can minimize sound travelling through your walls, but what about the sound that travels upwards to the ceiling and across the ceiling joists and outside the room? (same with floors)
2. Air ventilation - If sound can get out then air can get out. If air can't get out, then air can't get in. Yikes!
3. Useful resources:
a) http://www.johnlsayers.com/ - This guy builds pro studios in the 100's of $1000's of dollars. He has a forum on his site, and it is probably the best place on the net for this info. John posts there himself, as does a guy named Rod Gervais. Why do you care about Rod Gervais? because.....
b) http://www.amazon.ca/Home-Recording-Studio-Build-Like/dp/1598630342 This book here is probably THE bible on studio construction and soundproofing. I have it and have read most of it. I *highly* recommend it. The author... Rod Gervais. THAT's why you care that he posts on the Sayers forum above.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#38
Thanks.

I suppose writing about roofs and floors is a good idea. My main challenge when I was soundproofing was the exterior walls. My house is built so damned cheaply that they didn't even bother to put the slightest bit of insulation in between rooms. There is exterior insulation but it's essentially the dollar store quality.
Cheap shitty construction these days...
I'll do some research on the roofs and floors.
I know you can use rubber pucks to float your floors cancelling out most vibrations going to the floor joists.
I'm not really sure on what to do for the ceiling other than sticking sound insulation and using sound proofing roof drywall(Do not use regular soundproofing drywall.).
I will most likely never soundproof my house's roof as my studio is on the third floor of the house in a converted attic.

As for the air ventilation,
That's going to be a tough one for me to do. Lots of extensive research involved there.

I will check out those links and post them in the guide later tonight. Thanks.
..I was watching my death.
#39
That book I linked to talks about all that stuff in quite a bit of detail.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#40
I'll look at that book next week when I don't have exams.
I don't want to learn anything unrelated to exams while I'm trying to learn the old stuff that I didn't pay any attention to. I slack off all year and I got on the honour roll twice.

Was planning to look tonight but the whole Vancouver riot thing distracted me.

In four years time I will be a Journeyman Carpenter, in that time I will learn everything about constructing houses then I can offer actual construction advice rather than redirecting people.
..I was watching my death.
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