How to Soundproof Your Recording Studio

2 years ago

Whether you are looking to record or listen to music in a blissful environment, soundproofing your recording studio is recommended. Soundproofing brings ambiance and enhances sound quality in your studio, and you will notice a significant improvement in the recordings you make.

For some recording artists and music producers, this could be the difference between remaining in the same career stage and blowing up the hit charts. Additionally, you can finally achieve the best possible sound quality for any listening activity. The modifications will help you improve several overlaps that you may have missed when listening in an ordinary environment.

While soundproofing is crucial for all studio owners, most lack access to the required details. Moreover, most available information relates to a different type of room modification, known as acoustic treatment. In this article, you learn how to soundproof your recording studio and offer the best voice-over and music recording services.

Understanding What Soundproofing Entails

Soundproofing involves blocking or reducing the intensity of external sounds from permeating your recording studio. Typically, soundproofing procedures are designed to keep unnecessary noises at bay for optimum sound quality with minimal interference.

Often, soundproofing is mistaken for a different process called acoustic treatment. Acoustic treatment aims to produce a more defined sound by adding wall panels that absorb echoes in the studio. Often, the panels have insulation and padding inside to absorb these echoes and prevent them from bouncing back into your microphone. Hence, it is important to distinguish between these two processes.

The Goal of Soundproofing your Studio in Los Angeles

The purposes of soundproofing your studio include keeping sounds produced in the studio and preventing external noises from causing interference, especially when recording.

Subsequently, you will enjoy better recording sessions through the minimal external distractions that often hinder a successful session. Simultaneously, soundproofing prevents you from being a nuisance to any neighboring homes or establishments by reducing the amount escaping the studio.

This may be essential for people living in common spaces like apartment complexes, as you will enjoy your sessions without the worry of receiving complaints and warnings from the surrounding residents.

Moreover, soundproofing is useful in the case of extreme weather conditions like storms accompanied by thunder. Since these natural occurrences are unavoidable, you will be well equipped by soundproofing the studio, as it allows you to record at any time. For a busy producer or upcoming artist looking for extra time sessions, this is an excellent option to consider overall, as you can maximize on time.

Various Methods of Soundproofing

Like most other insulation processes, soundproofing your studio may be done through several methods. However, some methods may be necessary to undertake in all projects because they are essential to the outcome that you aim to achieve.

Thus, learning about these different options is essential, as you will understand the technical reasons behind each requirement. The four main methods of soundproofing a recording studio are:

Damping Sound Vibrations

If your studio is located near a residential neighborhood, for example, in an apartment complex, you should consider reducing the bass transmission. This is because the vibrations may cause disruptions for the occupants neighboring your recording space.

Simultaneously, the vibrations produced by sound during recording can easily interfere with the quality and cause disruptions. Thus, damping these sound vibrations is highly recommended for the sound to reach your microphone in a more subdued manner.

The process of damping vibrations involves projecting them into a well-structured material inside the walls for energy conversion. Since all forms of energy can transform, the damping material transforms sound into heat, meaning that the bass will not reverb back into your microphone.

Different types of materials are available to fit inside the walls, including a special type of insulation glue known as caulk. However, its functions are largely centered around sound transformation and not adhesive work in between the walls. As a result, we do not recommend reliance on the same material to perform any additional gliding procedures in the studio makeover.

The caulk glue will be introduced during the construction of wall frames, as it is often applied in between them for the best sound vibration reduction. Thus, the construction team will apply the glue in between the structures, then proceed to fix the subsequent structures.

Using enough glue is crucial because the bass reduction requires substantial material for a successful transformation into heat energy. Due to this, purchasing two tubes of glue compared to one is a better option, as you will have enough material to finalize the damping procedure.

After the glue is well applied to the structures, we will install the final drywall frame as a sealant to the internal structures. You have the liberty to use several options, depending on your preferences.

For example, you may choose concrete over the drywall or decide to use plywood or a gypsum board. Regardless of the chosen material, sound damping does a great job of reducing bass sound vibrations.

Adding Mass on the Walls

It will be difficult for outside noises to interfere with recording sessions if you add a dense mass around the recording studio. Similarly, any sounds made within the studio will not be heard from outside when you increase the mass density. The result will be creating a strong structure ‘bubble’ that makes it difficult for sound energy to cause vibrations.

Typically, the additional mass may involve deconstructing the studio walls and replacing them with thicker ones. Alternatively, you can build on the existing walls and merge them with the extra structure for a denser mass. However, this approach depends on the type of wall structures you used when constructing the studio initially.

When reconstructing the wall, we will add an acoustic vinyl barrier to reinforce the non-permeability of sound energy into and out of the wall frame. Since the fixture is included during the reconstruction, the process will be much shorter, giving you access to your soundproofed studio sooner.

On the other hand, you may be a tenant leasing the studio, meaning that you lack access to deconstruction rights. Hence, you can explore alternative options, including the installation of sheet blocks or acoustic barriers without tearing the walls down.

Instead, we then include an extra layer of drywall from inside the studio once we fix the sheet block. It is also important to include insulation after fixing the sheet block, as it will cover any air gaps that may still exist in the wall structure. Therefore, the drywall is the final component to fix as we conceal the framework and provide an extra layer to the wall frame.

Isolation of Structures

Scientifically, sound travels the best in solids compared to any other form of matter. Due to this, soundproofing should aim to create the least possibility of contact between sound energy and large solid structures. To do this, you may explore three different options, depending on your budget and project plan.

Firstly, you can create a floating floor in the recording studio to introduce an air gap between the original floor and the additional floating one. Doing this will prevent contact between the main floor, which is more likely to allow sounds to escape outside the room.

We can explore different methods to create the floating floor to your satisfaction. Our goal is to provide optimum suspension that reduces sound vibrations from interacting with the surroundings. We are also open to incorporating unique design ideas, depending on your preferences.

Secondly, you may choose to build a double wall that allows you to cancel the bass vibrations. This method is similar to damping vibrations, as the double-wall will have a gap in between the structures. As a result, the sound vibrations are well absorbed and transformed to reduce the possibility of excess sounds being transmitted into and out of the studio.

Thirdly, you may use whisper clips and resilient channels between the various structures in the studio. These components are fixed onto the structures to create an air gap, similar to building a double wall. Due to the air gap, vibrations are canceled out, and the recorded sound is clearer.

Filling Air Spaces Around the Studio

Finally, filling air spaces in the studio is a necessary step towards completing the entire project. The procedure entails using acoustic foam to pad different ais spaces on the walls and adding insulation around the entire structure.

While finding the ideal components is challenging, most acoustic foam brands are acceptable in completing the job. Nevertheless, your Los Angeles insulation expert should fix the foam around the studio in a satisfactory way to avoid any possible defects.

By filling the air spaces, you will further prevent sounds from escaping the recording studio. Simultaneously, sounds from outside the recording room are kept out, giving you extra reinforcement for higher-quality sound.

Normally, filling air gaps will be the last process to undertake, as it secures all the other procedures to avoid any oversights. Thus, your technician will be thorough enough to go over the entire studio structure and stuff the foam and insulation for maximum soundproofing.

Modifying your Doors and Windows

Further, modifying your studio windows and doors is a great way to soundproof the room, especially if you already have the other wall or room modifications discussed above. Nevertheless, most project teams may overlook the doors and windows, yet most vibrations, noises from outside, and sounds from the recordings pass through these structures.

As a result, if the walls, ceiling, and floors in the studio are well equipped to prevent noises from inside and outside, the next step is to secure these structures by introducing new materials. Firstly, since most door structures are made of single or double boards, sound can easily transmit through the studio. Thus, the loading mass on the door structure is similar to increasing the wall density.

This process typically takes a short time to complete, as it only involves unscrewing the door from the wall and adding the extra board to fit. Alternatively, you may prefer to install a completely new door to suit the studio’s aesthetic.

However, this option is often more expensive, as the door should conform to the standards of dense soundproof material. We can also include an acoustic treatment panel on the door to match the other newly modified walls, floors, and ceilings.

On top of that, adding soundproofing features to the windows is recommended. We can change the panes to acoustic types for additional reinforcement of soundproofing. Moreover, if you require curtains to fit the windows, we recommend an acoustically treated fabric that will reduce vibrations from alternating the sound captured inside the recording room. This may be useful if your studio has large windows with curtains that take up significant wall space.

Acoustic Treatment in the Studio

Finally, while acoustic treatment is a different form of sound modification, it also contributes significantly to the final soundproofing effects. As a result, we recommend undertaking the project combined with extra materials on the walls and floor to avoid repeating modification projects.

As mentioned, acoustic treatment procedures involve installing additional panels on the ceiling and walls by installing fiberglass and insulation batting. Once the acoustic treatment is complete, you will achieve the best recording experience, as you will completely lock out external sounds from interrupting your sessions. At the same time, you will achieve the best sound version possible from the acoustic treatment, giving you access to quality recorded sound.

Find a Los Angeles Home Insulation Expert Near Me

For all the work and expenses that go into soundproofing your recording studio, you want to work with a certified professional who understands the technicalities of the job. The intricate details during soundproofing play a significant role in the final output, so your expert should be ready to undertake the duties with care. At The Insulation Experts, we have the best professionals to handle the project and transform your studio in Los Angeles. We have worked on numerous projects until the clients became satisfied. For all your soundproofing needs, call us today at 310-301-1818.

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