How To Soundproof Your Home Recording Studio
For any home recording studio, the biggest challenge is to be able to soundproof your home recording studio.
Knowing how to soundproof your recording studio is an important part of your recording studio set up, it should ideally come up high on your list of priorities. Fortunately, sound proofing your home recording studio can be taken up as a do it yourself project.
The Importance of Insulation
When trying to soundproof your home recording studio, the most important thing to do is to get proper insulation. If your recording studio is properly insulated, your vocals will sound much better in the final mix.
Soundproofing is necessary to prevent any loss of sound from within the studio. It also keeps the outside sounds and noises from entering inside, therefore maintaining minimal levels of distraction and disturbance.
To soundproof your home recording studio, start with taking into consideration all the structural elements of the construction of the room. Right from the ceiling to the walls, floors, windows and doors, everything will have to be considered carefully. In fact, even the location of the room inside the house may have to be considered.
Soundproofing the Ceiling
For a perfectly soundproof recording studio, the ceiling should be given special attention. An ideal location of a recording studio is a place where you have an easy access to the roof.
When you have access to the space above the recording studio, you can easily use insulation to prevent the noises from getting inside from the ceiling as well. If there is an attic right above the room you have chose for your recording studio, simple add a layer of chipboard. This can give you adequate insulation, without disturbing the acoustics of the room.
Thick carpeting on the space above the home recording studio can also help insulate the ceiling properly. If you do not have control over the space above the room in which you intend to set up your studio, the least you can do is to have thick carpeting on the space above.
Soundproofing the Walls
Soundproofing of the walls of your home recording studio can be done by simply adding double plasterboard. Install the plasterboards in such a way that they do not touch the walls of the room.
In the space between the two surfaces, you can add felt carpets or any other kind of sound insulating materials like foam. If at all there are gaps in the plasterboards, fill these up with mastic filling.
To maximize the isolation of sound, cover the new wall in plaster, thus filling up any gaps that may have been overlooked.
Soundproofing the Floor
Placing two thick layers of chipboard on the floor can take care of soundproofing the floor as well. If you already have an underlay or a carpet, this can serve as an ideal soundproofing material. Use chipboards that are at least 18 mm in thickness.
Do not cement or screw the chipboard to the floor. Instead, add mastic to any of the gaps in the flooring so that soundproofing is complete. The carpet on the top of the additional layers of flooring is usually the best way to finally soundproof your home recording studio.
Soundproofing of Doors
A solid wood fire door is your best bet to a completely soundproof your home recording studio. Once you have installed the fire door, seal it all around with rubber. Since the rest of the room already has double barriers, adding a thick door can only seal the room well and ensure excellent quality insulation.
The solid wood door makes the room tightly sealed. For windows, try and have a single pane of thick glass and seal it with caulking or rubber all around the panes.
Other Soundproofing Techniques
If you are not working on a very tight budget, one easy way to soundproof your home recording studio is to have a room built inside a room. Like in any other double barrier surface, when sound passes through twin walls in a room within a room, it cannot escape outside.
This kind of an arrangement offers you the best possible soundproofing option. This option is much better than that in which you install a second barrier manually. By adopting this approach, you will lose considerably less amount of sound to the lack of insulation.
One important thing to consider when adopting this room within a room approach is that the walls of the two rooms, inside or outside, should not tough each other.
In fact, no part of the inner room should touch the outer room for the sound to remain inside the recording studio. The use of good quality materials will help you ensure that you have an efficient design as well as a great construction of your home recording studio.
Before you begin to soundproof your home recording studio, try and find out the sensitive spots in the room. These spots can be easy to spot using the clapping method.
Simply stand in the middle of the room and clap loudly. If the sound is bouncing off somewhere in the room, those areas are where insulation is most urgently required. To do a thorough job, move around the entire house until you have identified all such locations and have them insulated completely.
You may try padding down the entire room, but soft padding often causes the voices and sounds in your recording studio to fall flat. To have the right kind of reverberations and to maintain good acoustics, try and avoid using soft materials.
You can use padding and foam to fill in the gaps between the two layers of insulation, however, avoid using these soft materials as the insulation. If you are using foam instead of padding, your vocals may sound uneven bouncing off the uneven foam. This can completely ruin your recording session, making the vocals sound distorted.
When you soundproof your home recording studio it's also important to ensure that you have adequate ventilation in the room. You can create your own vents to prevent suffocation, or you can also opt for buying prefabricated acoustic vents which are especially made for providing ventilation in soundproof recording studios.