Soundproofing my room

  • I have seen many posts where people complain about profiles being thin or muddy or boomy in certain circumstances and they blame it on the equipment and/or the profiles. While this is undoubtedly a part of the problem I would suggest that 9/10 times the issue is unsatisfactory treatment in the room. Most home players and recordists would be better advised to spend £1,000 on Rockwool and other treatments than a new set of monitors or FRFR cab.

    There was a thread over on the FAS forum called Your Room Is Shit. Very applicable in this instance.

  • ... bass trapping ... In my room I have floor to ceiling super chunks in two corners

    This certainly helps as well and in case someone (like ZSchneidi) is currently planning sound treatment, you can even save some cash if you start the bass traps in a regular 2.5m high room at around 1,0 - 1.5 meters height. The most effective area for "trapping" is the 4 top corners where 2 walls and the ceiling join. Big traps in these corners, ideally by using Basotect foam because it's very lightweight.
    The nice thing about these big 3-sided pyramids in the top corners is that the perceived loss of space is much less than a full height trap-tower from floor to ceiling.

  • It's a bit redundant now but I wanted to mention that any absorbent material you place on a wall transforms at least some of the sound's energy to heat.


    A hard rock band I worked with a bit many years ago lined its practice garage's walls with carpet and carpet underlay. Deadened the bejesus out of the room obviously, which was great for the drums seeing as they were played so-loudly, but it reduced the burden on the neighbours by, I'd say, at least 60%, possibly 70%.


    Point being obviously that sound hitting a shock absorber, which is essentially what these things are, loses some its energy as heat just as any other projectile would.

  • It's a bit redundant now but I wanted to mention that any absorbent material you place on a wall transforms at least some of the sound's energy to heat.


    A hard rock band I worked with a bit many years ago lined its practice garage's walls with carpet and carpet underlay. Deadened the bejesus out of the room obviously, which was great for the drums seeing as they were played so-loudly, but it reduced the burden on the neighbours by, I'd say, at least 60%, possibly 70%.


    Point being obviously that sound hitting a shock absorber, which is essentially what these things are, loses some its energy as heat just as any other projectile would.

    I could imagine that carpet hanging down a wall will also absorb some of the sound waves as kinetic energy rather than just "convert it to heat". That can also explain why hanging u-haul blankets might have an effect on lower frequencies than you'd otherwise expect.


    There are two other concerns that are not related to sound;


    Fire safety - if you're hanging stuff up on the walls, consider that some materials burn more readily than others. Matresses, from what I've heard, are often designed to be fire-resistant in their construction, so they don't easily go up in flames when in their normal position - but that characteristic is void when they're placed on their sides.


    Moisture and mould - depending on your climate (say if it's cold outside), placing stuff up against walls can make the wall moist, and also the backside of whatever is placed against it, and can cause mould to grow. This is especially relevant in basements, as those walls are likely always colder.

  • Correct weight, Michael... on all of that, mate.


    Yeah, I wasn't suggesting the OP do the full-on carpet thing, but used it as an example of how-effective such a cheap, "simple" approach to soundproofing can be. That garage was just a tin shed, basically; if it'd burned down (they were all big-time smokers) it'd have been no big deal to them.


    Yep, the packing blankets can be quite-effective right down to, I think, 100Hz or thereabouts if hung with wiggle room.

  • I posted the video because he actually MEASURED the various solutions, a technique which is notably absent from most opinions on the subject.

    The fact that our hobby scientist friend measured "something" doesn't automatically make it more true.
    Since he measured something in an open environment how exactly did he distinguish between absorption and reflection? ;-)


    Don't get me wrong, multiple layers of towels can and will absorb sound. But this video doesn't tell a thing about its effectiveness and it won't tell us anything about the added fire load if these cotton towels are actually used in a studio room.

  • Since he measured something in an open environment how exactly did he distinguish between absorption and reflection?

    So you're saying that the towels might not be absorbing the sound, but rather, might be reflecting more sound than the foam?


    While I agree that he didn't quantify that, I'd be VERY VERY surprised if the towels were reflecting a significant amount of energy. Given the open texture of a towel, relative to the tighter cell foam, I'd be surprised if the towels' reflective properties were demonstrated to be a disadvantage against foam.

  • So you're saying that the towels might not be absorbing the sound, but rather, might be reflecting more sound than the foam?

    All I'm saying is that we don't know because his measurements weren't the least bit of scientific. He might have gotten the same sound blocking effect by using a 3 pane glass window which I think we can easily agree it absorbs close to nothing.


    On top of that he just tried high frequencies and didn't take the typical problem frequencies in the mids and low mids into account at all.
    Last but not least he used a pressure gradient microphone instead of a pressure microphone.


    Bottomline: There's just way to many flaws in his method to learn anything. So I'd rather write about my own professional experiences and past tests than making a relatively pointless video. And again, I don't mean to say towels have no effect. They certainly do … and likely even better if you'd stack them to a 10cm thickness. Would that be cost effective? No. Would this be recommendable for a studio? No, just because of the fire load and the likelyhood of mould issues in the long run.


    And a funny remark at the end: He could have buried the recorder 5cm deep beneath the grass and ended up suggesting: "Grow plenty of grass in your studio!!!" ;-).