Building a Sound Proof Room

Neffco

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I’ve got a little space, 12x16 , that I want to build a sound proof room with a separate vocal booth/ cab iso booth, in one corner. That would give me basically three rooms including me “control room”/office. It would also still leave me room to put the drums outside, in their own, more open space, less dead room. Here’s a fancy napkin drawing. Total space is around 16x40. Opinions please. Keep in mind the control room is already a finished office/ studio.
F4D19210-22A8-409D-8BAA-D9856E2793B7.jpeg
 

Neffco

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DE912BFC-91BC-4E08-8E18-367DCBBC6EB4.jpeg


Here’s the control room for a size reference. I figured the sound proof room will be close in size minus the wall thickness.
 

ehb

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I'd get a roll of WIDE masking tape and tape it off before doing anything else... Then get a chair and move it from section to section and sit for a while....

Worked for Les Nessman at WKRP Cincinnati
 

Neffco

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I currently have the whole band in the control room. I believe I have a decent amount of room.
 
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ehb

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Walls will subtract too....
 

Lhdr

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Soundproof would be lead or brick, brick would be easier. Be pretty easy to screw 6 sheets of 1/2“ drywall on top of each other but don‘t know if that would knock the low end Out. I know nothing about studios BTW.
 

CB91710

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YT Channel DIY Renovations has some good advice on sound isolation for home theaters.
The thing is controlling air movement as well as sound movement.
Sound transmits through solid objects, but air movement through a surface transmits more.
Air gaps between layers of drywall... with the gaps sealed so they do not pass air between the layers, is your best isolation.
For sound proofing, filling the gap with open cell foam is helpful, but the main thing is preventing air from passing between the spaces, and reducing the flexibility of the surfaces that allows the walls to act as soundboards.
 

Norton

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This is my day job. There is only one way to deal with sound isolation. And that’s as a system. Your space will only be as good as your weakest link.

First I’d strongly suggest that you create the largest most comfortable, most acoustically ideal control room. It’s where you’ll spend most of your time. If your control room sucks your mixes and your time TRYING to mix will suck.

As far as the isolation build out goes. The two best resources are:
1) the green glue website. The documents section is gold.
2) John sayers web forum.

If you want specific help pm me. I’d be happy to help you out via text etc.

Good luck!!!
 

Freddy G

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It depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. My advice would be that for a home/hobbiest studio it's far more important to have your rooms sound good than it is to have total isolation...ie. soundproofing. I only say this because to do soundproofing right it will cost a LOT of money, and space....you'll end up losing a lot of space because you basically have to build a room within a room which floats on rubber, and none of the walls or ceiling can touch the existing structure. Doing that for 3 rooms in total (each room would have to be built that way) it's going to be expensive and claustrophobic.
I might suggest that instead of 3 rooms just do 2 and an ISO booth. Make the live room the one that's soundproofed (room within a room). That way you keep the bleed from leaking out of that room to the rest of the building and also the control room.
You don't really need to soundproof the control room to prevent noise from leaking out. The control room is not when the loud stuff is.....you're just listening on monitors. The live room....where you have drums and amps....THAT'S what you need to soundproof if anything. But soundproofing does nothing for the actual sound of the room....the response. For the control room, treating it for response is far more important. Without having a control room you can trust, you will ALWAYS struggle with mixing and it will be supremely frustrating. And it's a lot easier to effectively treat a room for sound response. Spend the time to figure out where the problem freqs are in the control room....guaranteed you will need to manage bass response. After that broadband panels to tame reflections are a cinch.
 

redking

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I've been struggling with this decision myself and have been paralyzed by indecision, so for now I'm working in my unfinished basement. Was thinking of doing 1 fairly big "room within a room" with the option of building a second one right beside it at a later time that can double as an overbuilt tv room. Then at that point, use one as a control room.
Another part of me just wants to rent out some unused space in a light industrial building and do it there, and then not worry so much about the soundproofing because I would be going there at night.

The biggest reason I have stalled out on this project is the heating and cooling - I can't wrap my head around isolating a room in a brand new house and using some alternate form of heat for the room when the furnace is 15 feet away (if I put a forced air duct in the room, it's just creating a sound tunnel to the entire rest of the house). Diminishing the property value along the way.
 
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redking

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It depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. My advice would be that for a home/hobbiest studio it's far more important to have your rooms sound good than it is to have total isolation...ie. soundproofing. I only say this because to do soundproofing right it will cost a LOT of money, and space....you'll end up losing a lot of space because you basically have to build a room within a room which floats on rubber, and none of the walls or ceiling can touch the existing structure. Doing that for 3 rooms in total (each room would have to be built that way) it's going to be expensive and claustrophobic.
I might suggest that instead of 3 rooms just do 2 and an ISO booth. Make the live room the one that's soundproofed (room within a room). That way you keep the bleed from leaking out of that room to the rest of the building and also the control room.
You don't really need to soundproof the control room to prevent noise from leaking out. The control room is not when the loud stuff is.....you're just listening on monitors. The live room....where you have drums and amps....THAT'S what you need to soundproof if anything. But soundproofing does nothing for the actual sound of the room....the response. For the control room, treating it for response is far more important. Without having a control room you can trust, you will ALWAYS struggle with mixing and it will be supremely frustrating. And it's a lot easier to effectively treat a room for sound response. Spend the time to figure out where the problem freqs are in the control room....guaranteed you will need to manage bass response. After that broadband panels to tame reflections are a cinch.
Sounds like most of us guys trying to do this at home should maybe shoot for "sound attenuation" rather than "sound proofing". ie. try to knock the sound dispersion down by 75 - 85% rather than shoot for 100% at twice the cost. Is that a fair way to describe it? @Freddy G @Norton
 

ehb

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Nice blue shipping blankets at Wally for about five bucks....
 

ehb

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Company I worked with some years back had a 'dead chamber'... A real one.....

The average person would probably go ape shit in less than a minute or two..... Big time urge to get the hell out... Your brain screams GTFO....
 

Freddy G

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Sounds like most of us guys trying to do this at home should maybe shoot for "sound attenuation" rather than "sound proofing". ie. try to knock the sound dispersion down by 75 - 85% rather than shoot for 100% at twice the cost. Is that a fair way to describe it? @Freddy G @Norton
Depends...low freqs are the hardest to attenuate. So a bass amp is going to bleed out unless you do a proper soundproofing.

At home I simply use my cellar for an iso room. It works fantastically well. The whole thing is cinder block.
 

redking

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Depends...low freqs are the hardest to attenuate. So a bass amp is going to bleed out unless you do a proper soundproofing.

At home I simply use my cellar for an iso room. It works fantastically well. The whole thing is cinder block.
i don't think a bass amp will ever be played live in my room. Best case scenario I would envision a live drum kit, live acoustic guitar and vocal, the occasional miked guitar amp but mostly impulse responses, and bass will most certainly be simulated all the time. The drum kit would be my biggest noise maker. I would want to block as much of the drums as possible from exiting the studio space, and I would want to block as much of the furnace / air conditioner, walking, dog barking etc noise from the rest of the house from coming in.
My biggest problem is being a Mike Holmes fan, so I always want to build something 100% more than what it needs which makes all my desired projects so expensive LOL!
 
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Neffco

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Man, thanks for all the replies. I guess more information I didn’t add would be that I can be as loud as I like where I’m at. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Keeping noise out is an issue as I am on the main drag. My Proposed middle Room I can do a full room within a room. I don’t want to go brick though. I just got off work and need to re read this whole thread. Work sucks. I wanna rock. I have been buying all sorts of stuff for the studio that I haven’t even set up. When I’m off this work project I’m going to start building the room within a room.
 

Norton

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Yeah there’s a lot involved here. There’s really no such thing as “sound proof”.

It’s peobably better to think of it as attenuation like you said.

So the average noise floor for a quiet room hovers around 30db. A really good “sound proofing “ system will block 60, maybe 65 dB. Anything more than that isn’t going to be attainable without being purpose built from the ground up. It’s also not necessary.

Shooting for a good, solid performing system that incorporates physical decoupling, damped mass and soft insulation will make you extremely happy.

Going by STC ratings alone isn’t useful in a real world practical way. And there are great functional equivalents that won’t break the bank or eat up too much space.
 

Neffco

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@Freddy G what are your thoughts on a pair of sm81’s for overheads on drums? I’m slowly building my mic locker.
 


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