Soundproofing my room

  • Hey guys,


    i just moved and rebuilding my home studio rig.
    Now i have the situation that i want to soundproof my room.
    And i would like some recommendations and tips from you guys.


    Has anyone of you soundproof their room before and can give me some tips ?


    I have a small room for me like 2,50m x 3,60m so not that big and not that much wall surface to cover.
    One wall goes right to my neighbors and i don't want to risk disturbing them to much.


    I just started with the wall behind my desk and put acoustic foam on it in the middle i build myself
    a broadband absorber. so that wall should be fine. I try to send you a picture asap.


    Now i want to address the wall to my neighbors this wall should be treated on the full surface to ensure
    not much noise is transferring to their rooms. And i want to soundproof my door too so that not much noise is
    leaking into our own flat. Or else i might get into trouble with the house dragon. ;)


    I have three things in mind. Either acoustic foam, broadband absorber panels, or curtains. What you thing would
    be the best choice and since i want the whole thing look a bit aesthetic i need some recommendations that doesn't
    look to shitty in the end ;)


    Important is that i can easily remove the whole treatment in case I'm moving out again.


    Maybe you have done something like this yourself and can share a picture to give me some inspiration.


    Tanks guys. Picture of my current setup following asap.

    • Never place your speakers near walls, always leave some space ... 50cm or more
    • Check the internets for Basotect foam. It has very good sound absorbing while being super lightweight. Adhesive ones are very easy to attach to the ceiling. (100cm x 50cm x 10cm weighs 450g only as opposed to 1.5kg for PU foam)
    • Only buy 10cm (4 inches) thick no matter which kind of foam material you end up buying.
    • Don't try to soundPROOF your room, ever!!! Unless you have space and budget for a room-in-room build. The inside of a studio room must NEVER be totally dead. Put a nice thick carpet / rug on the floor and as a rough guidance, cover 50% of the walls and ceilings with sound treatment.
    • Imagine your room walls and ceilings would be all mirrors. When you sit in the listening position, put foam in all places where you would see your speakers in the mirrors.
    • Stay away from egg carton or pyramid shape foam!


    The above will already make a HUGE improvement. If that's done you can still think about adding bass traps or other stuff.

  • I like these:


    https://www.thomann.de/gb/eq_a…um_studio_tile_50l_bk.htm


    Looking good, mounting brackets are available too, different colours, different sizes, not too expensive (for my taste). The link above is only an example. Go to thomann.de and search for EQ Acoustics.

    Yeah that is the kind of absorber i build myself. These are pretty basic and easy to build. My first attempt wasn't perfect but decent.
    It cost me around 40€ to build myself a 120cmx60cm piece and that only because i used refined wood which was pretty expensive ;)


    I will send you guys a picture of the result. I pretty happy with it so far. This kind of absorber kill a lot of unwanted reflections and room noise.


    • Never place your speakers near walls, always leave some space ... 50cm or more
    • Check the internets for Basotect foam. It has very good sound absorbing while being super lightweight. Adhesive ones are very easy to attach to the ceiling. (100cm x 50cm x 10cm weighs 450g only as opposed to 1.5kg for PU foam)
    • Only buy 10cm (4 inches) thick no matter which kind of foam material you end up buying.
    • Don't try to soundPROOF your room, ever!!! Unless you have space and budget for a room-in-room build. The inside of a studio room must NEVER be totally dead. Put a nice thick carpet / rug on the floor and as a rough guidance, cover 50% of the walls and ceilings with sound treatment.
    • Imagine your room walls and ceilings would be all mirrors. When you sit in the listening position, put foam in all places where you would see your speakers in the mirrors.
    • Stay away from egg carton or pyramid shape foam!


    The above will already make a HUGE improvement. If that's done you can still think about adding bass traps or other stuff.


    1. I know that this is common practice but i have no option to keep 50cm distance. or else my desk would stand in the middle of the room ;)
    The foam behind my speaker helps avoiding early reflections. Hope this is enough.
    2. Yes is stumbled upon the Basotect foam before. I had in mind to treat my bigger wall to a higher degree with this kind of foam.
    Does ceiling treatment helps to avoing noise getting out of the room too ? or is it just to kill room reflections ?
    3. 10cm ? Really ? I had more 4cm foam in mind. Would you say that below 10cm the effect wouldn't be enough to have any effect ?
    4. Ok a room in a room scenario isn't necessary because i'm not the full volume amp guy. I use the kemper at maximum via my M-Audio M3-8 speaker
    at like half volume. So not that loud and no real air movement. At least not what an amp would push. Do you think that my noise would be noticeable by my neighbors
    even after a wall treatment ? Is foam itself that inefficient ?
    5. I heard of that practice before. I'm not a friend of treating specific spots on the wall. I would imagine that the sound waves wouldn't directly reflect to
    me anymore but indirectly after reflecting in multiple angles and hit me at some point so that i have still unwanted reverb. I don't want to sterilize my room acoustic.
    But i'd rather treamt the whole area behind me as well as only just specific spots. Especially due to the fact that i want to prevent sound to travel through the walls.
    6. Egg cartons aren't really on the list. But why no pyramid shapes ?


    The wall behind my Desk is treated with these foam Panels
    https://www.thomann.de/gb/the_…_was7_absorber_8erset.htm
    They do a really good job so far.
    Bass traps would be one thing i can think off. But so far i have no issues with standing waves our bass collection.
    I already analyzed my room acoustic via frequency generators. That way i can easily find room modes.

  • 1. I know that this is common practice but i have no option to keep 50cm distance. or else my desk would stand in the middle of the room

    Common misconception that room behind the desk is wasted space. Feel free to put whatever stuff behind the desk … e.g. printer, rack with drawers for whatever gear you want to have in the room, nice lights, … Again, the room isn't wasted, just be creative. Any amount of distance you can add between speakers and walls will improve the sound.



    Does ceiling treatment helps to avoing noise getting out of the room too ? or is it just to kill room reflections ?

    Both


    3. 10cm ? Really ?

    Really!!! But if you prefer to waste your money, go for 4cm. ;) To help you a bit on this: When someone sits in the next room and whispers, would you hear that? What if they hammer on a closet? Would you hear the "boom boom"? The problem in sound treatment isn't so much the high frequencies. The problem is the mid, low mids and bass frequencies. 4cm does pretty much NOTHING to low mids or below. Sonic waves of lower frequencies go through 4cm foam like there's no foam at all. You should not go below 10cm!!! See the attached picture for Basotect foam frequency absorption values:



    But why no pyramid shapes ?

    Because of the paragraph above. The foam in between the individual pyramids or "hills" is just WAY too thin (the valleys). These kinds of shaped foams only make sense if the are applied ON TOP of the regular sound treatment (10cm or more). And if done this way, you will not hear much difference between with or without these pyramids.


    a room in a room scenario

    A room in a room scenario gives the benefit of (close to) perfect sound proofing against the outside while you can still maintain some good room acoustics inside your workspace (studio, control room). This concept is absolutely impossible in your place due to limited space. And you don't actually need that either.

    5. I heard of that practice before. I'm not a friend of treating specific spots on the wall. I would imagine that the sound waves wouldn't directly reflect to
    me anymore but indirectly after reflecting in multiple angles and hit me at some point so that i have still unwanted reverb. I don't want to sterilize my room acoustic.
    But i'd rather treamt the whole area behind me as well as only just specific spots. Especially due to the fact that i want to prevent sound to travel through the walls.

    This entire paragraph shows the biggest mistake you could probably make. A dead room is the worst thing that can happen, you don't want that to happen, ever. Seriously, you rather do no sound treatment at all instead of mummyfying yourself in a dead room. You do need "room" or "reverb" as you call it. But you need to control it and make it sound good. The space in between foam blocks is just as important as the foam blocks.

  • Just to clear something up :-)


    What you can do with foam, broadband absorbers, etc etc etc is NOT soundproofoing. It is evening out the frequency response. This is very different than soundproofing, which is a whole nother level of complicated. As has been alluded to earlier, it is achieve with "room in a room" - and mass. Concrete, rubber mats etc etc. While the aforementioned sound TREATMENT (bass traps, broadband absorbers, panels etc) will of course absorb SOME of the sound, it will NOT make much of a dent in the amount of volume in your neighbours appartment.

  • Just to clear something up :-)


    What you can do with foam, broadband absorbers, etc etc etc is NOT soundproofoing. It is evening out the frequency response. This is very different than soundproofing, which is a whole nother level of complicated. As has been alluded to earlier, it is achieve with "room in a room" - and mass. Concrete, rubber mats etc etc. While the aforementioned sound TREATMENT (bass traps, broadband absorbers, panels etc) will of course absorb SOME of the sound, it will NOT make much of a dent in the amount of volume in your neighbours appartment.


    I know that i won't achieve soundproofing by foam alone.
    The foam treatment i did so far was only to kill some of the annoying reflections in the room and to get the acoustic to a decent level.
    I'm not a professional so don't get me to much shit for that.
    This was mainly to kill the early reflection which were pretty noticeable. This Wall behind the desk isn't the one to my neighbors thats the one behind me.
    That is the wall where i intended to try to soundproof a lil bit.
    Again i don't play a gig room levels here. i don't have any drums or real amps that i use. just the monitors.
    And i don't need to kill a 100% just lowering everything to decent levels.


    I thought about putting hard bitumen plates onto the wall on that would came Basotect foam (lets assume 5-7cm) and on that either another layer of acoustic foam or heavy sound proofing curtains.


    So you guys say that i need a second layer of walls in my room but be realistic guys. this is a rented flat i'm not going to build a room in here ;)
    And by soundproofing i don't speak about 100% isolation maybe i should have added that to my initial statement.


  • IMHO first, you should de-couple the speakers from the desk.
    right now the whole desk acts as an resonator, that's the opposite of what you want.


    what I'd do on a budget is to put an absorber on the ceiling and use furniture (bookcases) behind you to act as diffusers (pull out some books to create an uneven surface like a helmholtz diffusor.


    but all of this is just basic acoustic treatment - not soundproofing.

  • 1. Nobody said you should do "room in a room" or sound proofing, quite the opposite is true.


    2. Hard bitumen plates directly on the wall won't help at all. They start having an effect once you use them in a sandwich way like soft acoustic foam, then bitumen, then soft acoustic foam again.


    3. I recommend you to do proper sound treatment which will considerably improve the room acoustics AND reduce the volume levels behind the walls and ceiling at the same time.


    4. Please understand the difference between sound treatment and sound proofing. There's no such thing like "a little bit sound proof". :-)


    5. Dons hint regarding decoupling the speakers on your desk makes a difference as well.

  • for the REAL low tech, get some moving blankets from a hardware store. Build walls with sturdy mic stands with the blankets draped and clamped to them. Place where you need them.


    This is NOT soundproofing, but will dull the roar and give you some room attenuation for your near field monitoring.


    I worked as a field engineer for an ENG style video crew, back when they actually had a budget to hire a crew. We used this technique for the famous and non-famous alike for interviews or other dialog. We used C Stands which are MUCH sturdier than mic stands, but if you're careful a mic stand will work.


    Advantages:


    1. You can take it all down in between sessions to keep the dragon happy, or just take down part of it.


    2. It doesn't cost $500k and won't alter anything to the building. A real landlord pleaser.


    3. It's instantly configurable to suit the situation.


    4. If it gets torn up and/or filthy you can buy new blankets


    5. Doesn't cost much to experiment, especially if you already have the mic stands.


    Disadvantages:


    1. Obviously not scientifically tuning the room. It's very low tech.


    2. If you leave it up, dust can collect on the blankets.


    3. It's ugly (but functional). Good thing ugly usually doesn't make it's way on to tape.


    4. It can be a pain to set up every time.


    5. Not "soundproof", but neither are the other alternatives.


    We used to call them "Sound Blankets", especially if the client was on set, but they are just moving blankets from Home Depot or wherever. We used hypercardioid mics in the field, so that narrowed things down further. One time we had a clueless producer set us up for an interview in a hotel in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Got back in the editing room and basically had zero jet noise because we used blankets and had a talented sound guy - me ;)

  • “Acoustic” foam mounted directly onto the walls isn’t going to make a great difference. Any type of foam isn’t dense enough to make a dent in the lower midrange or bass end of things, which are typically the frequencies that will have enough energy to be heard through walls, or make mixing difficult with standing waves and phase problems. Something like Owens Corning 703 fibreglass (if you’re in the states) or dense Rockwool (Europe) would be much better for your purposes. Leaving an air gap between the treatment and the wall will also double its efficiency, one of the reasons why @audiomitch and his method was more effective than it might sound.

  • @audiomitch


    I second your idea. People don't realise that pretty much whenever you see someone interviewed in his or her own home for current-affair-style programmes, these things have been used. After all, most living rooms exhibit nasty slap-back echoes and room modes that wreck the quality of spoken-voice recordings.


    The blankets, also called packing blankets, became so popular in the States that at least one company started producing them specifically for this purpose, adding thickness and reinforced "holes" for easy mounting. Available in black and white AFAICR.

  • While audiomitch certainly has a point for quick'n'easy temporary sound treatment, I don't think you want to do that as a permanent setup for your music room.;)


    Rockwool as suggested by sambrox is a working (and frequently used) solution as well with basically 2 potential downsides you should be aware of:
    1. You want to make sure that you handle and apply the rockwool in a way that prevents you from breathing rockwool dust! Take care about this, rockwool won't ever be friends with your lungs. :)
    2. In a closed environment, most rockwool materials suck humidity out of the air (hygroscopic). You'll be fine if you have a window and open it frequently. But in a closed room you would have to take care of a healthy humidity (e.g. by using a humidifier). Totally dry rooms are bad for your own health (mucous membranes and eyes) AND for your wood based instruments (guitars).

  • While audiomitch certainly has a point for quick'n'easy temporary sound treatment, I don't think you want to do that as a permanent setup for your music room.;)

    Agreed, however...


    One could position them on mic stands to use as baffles when recording, say, acoustic guitar. One could also do the same thing for vocals, which can suffer greatly from bad-sounding reflections and modes.


    Also, as gobos to separate multiple acoustic instruments whilst recording.


    Certainly handy things to have around.

  • improving the conditions on set during a dialogue recording is one thing, but all blankets do is remove high frequency content.
    few things are worse than a dull sounding room to me.


    the whole idea behind near field monitors is that their direct sound arrives first, great care should be taken to position your monitors correctly.

    • avoid corners
    • don't place them too close to a wall
    • make sure they are de-coupled from the surface they stand on
    • have the speakers on ear level
    • and of course have them at the same distance
  • Just to add, im interested in this thread. I need to reduce the volume of sound leaching out ( as I know I can;t achieve true sound proofing).


    I was looking at curtains/blankets so the packing blankets seem like a good option..

  • all blankets do is remove high frequency content.
    few things are worse than a dull sounding room to me

    Couldn't agree more but it seems like the suggestions of an ENG style field audio engineer is more popular than my suggestions based on 30 years of experience in studio environments (from home studios to large scale studios). :-)
    When I saw the Rabea video and what they did there, I had to laugh hard. Basicaly all they did was to diffuse and absorb the high frequencies. The mids and low mids still mess up the room sound, you can even hear it through the camera microphone while they sit in the finished room and talk. They have achieved close to nothing in the 150Hz - 500Hz range.

  • Couldn't agree more but it seems like the suggestions of an ENG style field audio engineer is more popular than my suggestions based on 30 years of experience in studio environments (from home studios to large scale studios).

    Both you and Don seemed to have missed the fact that all I did was recommend them for quick-and-dirty, cheap-and-convenient baffles and gobos.


    I said nothing about lining walls with them, which would of course only serve to remove HF reflections holus-bolus, which obviously isn't a good idea.


    As temporary partitions they can reduce a substantial amount of mid and high-frequency spill and reflections, handy for the applications I mentioned (vocal and other acoustic-instrument recordings in less-than-stellar environments). The US-made, purpose-designed ones I mentioned also yield a surprising level of absorption, much more than one would otherwise expect from "conventional" blankets. These things are thick, comprising multiple, varying-density layers.