If you have a music room in your home, soundproofing it is really important.
This prevents noise from entering the room, but you can also use it to prevent noise from leaving the room and bothering your neighbours.
Can soundproofing improve your audio production?
Soundproofing can help you to boost your sound quality, reduce distractions, and give you greater privacy when creating music.
So, with that in mind, here’s what you need to do to soundproof your music room.
We’ll start with some easy tips to follow.
How To Soundproof Your Music Room Effectively
Start By Adding Foam Material
You should increase how much material you have inside the music room so that your walls can become denser and thicker.
This means they won’t easily vibrate from sound wave energy.
The sound that strikes this barrier will be absorbed or reflected to prevent noise from exiting or entering the room.
A valuable material to include in your music room’s design is foam mats. These can be applied as panels to the walls and they come with adhesive backing so that you can easily apply them to ceilings and walls.
Use Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
This is an easy way to decrease how much noise penetrates the ceilings, walls, and floor of your home studio. This vinyl can reduce the sound by up to 30 dB with just one layer. MLV is flexible and comes in rolls, so it’s easy to apply on floors or walls.
You can even put it between drywall layers to lower the transmission of sound.
Remove Sound Leaks
There are small areas in the home studio that could be allowing sound to pass through, so make sure you seal them up. These places include the door casing, switch boxes, ceiling fixtures, and receptacle boxes. You can seal them up with acoustical caulk.
Set Up Bookcases
If you have large bookcases, you should move them against the walls in your music room so that they will add a quick soundproofing barrier to your room. You should make sure that they’re packed with books to further add thickness to the walls.
The bonus of using bookcases is that they will also look nice in your music room.
Put Up Acoustic Panels
These panels are great for absorbing sound so that they can’t bounce off the ceilings and walls.
They can improve sound quality in your home studio but they can also decrease sound transmission through walls.
These panels are made out of expanded polypropylene and you can find them in a variety of thicknesses and sizes. To ensure you maintain the decor and style of your home studio, you can also find panels that are covered in different colourful fabrics.
Seal The Door
You must close the gap that’s between the floor and your door so sound can’t get through. You can do this with easy DIY methods, such as putting a horizontal pillow underneath the door or installing a door sweep that makes use of rubber to seal the gap and block out noise.
Another effective way to seal the door is with the use of weather stripping. Putting this around the doorway’s perimeter can help to block out sounds. A good material that’s effective at doing this is felt.
It comes in rolls so it’s easy to apply and it’s affordable. You can find felt weather stripping on Amazon.
Cover Hard Surfaces
Hard, flat surfaces can reflect sound, which can reduce the quality of the sound that you’re producing in your home studio. Make sure you cover walls and the floor with thick fabric.
If you want to go one step further, you can install soundproof blankets on the walls. These help to decrease the level of noise that enters your music room from outside, and it also reduces how much noise exits your music room.
These blankets basically have absorbing materials, and you can find them from shops such as Vocal Booth To Go. While they won’t cut out the noise completely, they do work well and add more soundproofing to your room so they’re a valuable investment.
Cover Your Windows
Seal any cracks in the window frames, but also hang thick curtains over windows to reduce noise.
The problem with curtains, however, is that you’re left with no seals at their top or bottom edges.
You can remedy this by using ceiling tracks instead of rods to reduce the gap and install curtains that are a bit longer at the bottom so that they lie on the ground.
Another good idea is to install window inserts. These are panels made of clear glass that are mounted inside existing windows. They’re highly effective at blocking out noise. Sometimes these window inserts are known as secondary glazing, and you can find them at Clear View.
The great thing about glazing is that it not only prevents sounds from entering your music room but it also helps to offer thermal insulation while enabling you to make the most of your windows in the state they’re in without covering them up.
This is especially useful if your music room doubles up as another room in the house, such as a bedroom, so that you don’t have to block out the natural light.
Tweak Your Flooring
One of the biggest tips when trying to soundproof your music room is to have a “floating floor” to reduce vibrations.
This usually makes use of neoprene strips or other rubber that is fitted between floorboards so that there’s less direct contact with hard surfaces. However, bear in mind that you don’t need a floating floor if your music room is on the ground floor.
Mount Any Items That Vibrate
The noise made by items in the room that move around as a result of vibration produced by music not only becomes a nuisance to you and others but it can interfere with the sound quality of the music you’re making. Make sure items, such as speakers, are mounted properly to surfaces.
You’ve probably heard the term “damping” when it comes to soundproofing.
It basically refers to a product that reduces sound, and you can find some products on the market that achieve this.
For example, Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound can be applied between two layers of drywall to dissipate sound energy into heat. One layer is all you need to reduce up to 90 percent of noise, so it’s worth looking into if you want to soundproof your music room at home.
How To Construct A Soundproof Music Room
If you’re currently in the stages of building a music room in your home, there are steps you can take to ensure that it’s as soundproof as possible.
You can do this in the following ways:
- Add drywall. Drywall is thick and will do a good job of absorbing noise. Build a standard wall frame that will be attached to the wall’s existing studs. Cover it with drywall or a layer of sheetrock.
- Leave a gap. When sound strikes a surface, some of it moves through the surface and the rest gets absorbed. To increase the absorption ability of your music room walls, you must build a second layer of the wall from drywall or sheetrock but leave a gap between the two walls.
- Add a damping compound between the walls to increase their sound absorption. Green Glue that we mentioned earlier is a good product to try in this regard. It can be applied between two hard panels, such as MDF or drywall.
- Put the studs in clever places. Most walls that you build will have a row of studs that touches both layers of wall. Sound moves through these studs, so it’s important to place them in such a way that they will be able to prevent that from happening. You can do this by installing a staggered row of studs along one interior side and then the other.
- Consider the use of sound clips. To go one step further to make the studs work effectively to soundproof your room, you should consider using sound clips. These are put between the drywall and studs. They work by creating an extra barrier against the sound. Sound clips have heavy rubber parts that just need to be screwed into the studs. Insert a hat channel then screw the drywall into the channel. A hat channel is basically an aluminum channel in the shape of a hat that’s commonly used to level uneven walls.
- Apply cotton batt insulation in wall cavities. This works well to prevent sound transmission. Cotton batt insulation is made up of small cellulose fibres taken from clothing items like denim. The fibres are bound together to become batts, which makes them easy to install in a variety of places, such as floors and ceilings.
Soundproofing Methods That Don’t Work
While you might have heard of some DIY tricks and tips to help you soundproof your home studio, there are many that are quite ineffective.
Here are some to avoid because they will just waste your time.
Bales of hay
Before you go out and try to find bales of hay, it’s worth knowing that they won’t work to soundproof your room. Plus, they’ll make your studio smell like a farm.
There’s a disclaimer we need to mention here. While putting carpets on the wall won’t enable the absorption of sound, putting carpets on the floor along with padding will prevent sounds from moving through the floor, so it’s a good tip if you have a room below your home studio.
This is a total soundproofing myth! Since egg cartons don’t have mass, they won’t help you to soundproof your home studio, so give them a skip.
Hard Mass Like Wood
It’s sometimes thought that any type of mass will help to soundproof a room, but if you’re using a hard and flat surface like wood this won’t work very well. Wood reflects noise easily so it won’t help the acoustics you’re producing in your music room.
By comparison, softer, absorbent materials work much better to control the sound and prevent it from spreading.
What’s The Difference Between Soundproofing And Acoustic Treatment?
These terms often get used interchangeably, but they’re quite different.
Soundproofing is when you block sound from either exiting or entering your music room. By comparison, acoustic treatment is when you try to better manage echoes and reverberations so that sound quality is increased.
What are some cheap ways to soundproof a ceiling?
You should seal any gaps in the ceiling, such as with the use of Green Glue, and make use of acoustic insulation. You can also use soundproofing paint.
What is soundproofing paint?
This paint is thicker than regular paint and contains latex that helps to reflect the sound so that it doesn’t get transmitted. A good soundproofing paint to try is Acousti-Coat.
Soundproofing your music room is important to improve your sound quality and audio recordings, while preventing sound from irritating your neighbours.
In this article, we’ve featured some easy and practical tips you can use to soundproof the room in the house where you get creative with sound.
We’ve also looked at some of the soundproofing strategies that don’t work so you can stop wasting your time with them in favour of more effective soundproofing strategies.