Soundproofing should be at the top of your to-do list if you’re thinking of setting up a home recording studio.
If you don’t soundproof the room, every little sound will be picked up in your audio track.
This will make your recording sound unclear and unprofessional even if you use the best recording equipment.
To produce professional-quality audio, you’ll have to find a way to keep both outside and inside sounds from being heard and recorded.
Luckily, there are various ways of doing so.
If you want to know how to soundproof a room for recording, keep reading.
- How to soundproof a room for recording music and audio
- Why soundproof music room and other types of recording rooms
How to soundproof a room for recording music and audio
You can use a combination of 4 soundproofing methods for home studio soundproofing; adding mass, damping, decoupling and filling air gaps.
We’ll be taking a look at each and providing a step-by-step guide on the steps and products you need for each method.
Adding mass is one of the most basic ways to soundproof a recording room.
All you need to do is to increase the amount of material within the boundaries of the room.
It makes your walls thicker and denser so it does not easily vibrate by sound wave energy.
When a sound wave hits a dense barrier, it either reflects, gets absorbed into the mass or both.
This will keep the noise from getting in or out of the room.
Here are a few ways you can add mass to the surfaces in your recording room:
1. Build a thicker wall
Use thicker drywall if you’re building a wall from scratch.
A drywall that is about 1.6 cm thick will absorb more sound than its thinner counterparts.
You can also opt to use a sound insulation barrier like Mass Loaded Vinyl on the drywall.
This creates another layer so the wall has even more mass to reflect or absorb sound.
However, if you’re soundproofing an existing wall, you can try either of these techniques.
The first one is to use the MLV on the outer surface of the wall and cover it with thinner drywall so it looks better.
The other is building a simple wall frame and attaching it to the wall surface.
Make sure to anchor it to the wall studs and cover it with another layer of drywall.
Once that’s done, you can repaint it.
- STC Rating: 27
- Thickness: ⅛”
- Weight: 1 pound per square foot
The Soundsulate MLV is made from the highest quality materials on the market.
It is extremely strong, durable, flexible and easy to install.
This means it can block out a reasonable amount of sound so your audio recording will be clear of any unwanted noise.
2. Apply wall padding
Oftentimes, simply creating a denser wall isn’t enough.
You’ll have to use foam panels or foam mats which can soften noise within the room as well as absorb noise coming from outside.
- NRC rating: 0.95
- Material: Polyester Fiber
- Dimensions: 12“x12“x0.4″
The BUBOS acoustic panels come with superior soundproofing abilities.
It can reduce and absorb noise well with an NRC rating of 0.95
This is due to the use of 230kg/m3 high-density polyester fiber construction.
These panels are also eco-friendly which means it is safe to breathe in and touch.
They are odorless, non-toxic, flame retardant, corrosion and fade resistant.
Installation is easy.
The panels are lightweight and bendable so you can easily cut to size.
You don’t need any special tools as a simple kitchen or craft knife can cut the panels.
To attach the panels to the wall, you can use adhesive spray or double-sided tape.
These BUBOS acoustic panels stay securely attached on multiple surfaces and can be used for various acoustic treatments.
Damping noise and vibrations
While adding more mass and creating denser walls do dissipate some vibrations.
However, it does not eliminate them all.
This is especially true when it comes to bass sounds.
Vibrations usually travel along the length of the wooden frame around the room as well as the drywall.
They even travel up your mic stand and cause issues in your recordings.
This is where damping can help.
Applying the soundproofing method of damping will help to dissipate and slow down the vibrations.
Damping works in such a way like when you touch or apply light pressure to a vibrating object, the vibrations lessen or stop.
All you need is some type of material that will absorb the vibrations or stop them altogether.
Some materials also can convert kinetic energy into heat.
You can also build diy bass traps to capture bass sounds.
3. Use acoustical glue
Acoustical glue or acoustic caulk is a special type of elastic sealant that you can apply when building your wall frames or when installing drywall.
Sandwiching acoustic glue between 2 rigid panels like drywall, plywood or MDF, you can create an effective sound barrier for your recording room.
Best of all, this make-shift sound barrier can work on any area of the recording room including the floor, ceiling, walls or even the door.
- STC Rating: 56 in a drywall/single stud wall
- Size: 6 29 oz tubes
- Package Dimensions: 13.7 x 8.5 x 6 inches
Green Glue Damping compound is one of the best on the market.
It provides professional quality soundproofing when used between layers of drywall or plywood.
It can add as many as 9 STC points to walls and ceilings.
In fact, in a third-party test, Green Glue outperformed soundboard, resilient channel, soundproof drywall and other sound dampening products.
In acoustical tests, Green Glue helped to achieve an STC rating of 56 in a drywall/single stud wall.
You can also use Green Glue to fill small cracks, gaps and seams in and around the walls, doors and windows.
Decoupling is simply isolating the walls and equipment from the outer boundaries of your room.
This is done in any area where vibrations are usually transmitted.
Isolating the wall and equipment eliminates shaking that tends to cause unnecessary noise and buzzing sounds.
Decoupling is your best if you can’t tear your wall down or build a new one to add insulation and soundproofing materials.
It also helps you get clearer instrumental sounds for separate microphones in isolated booths.
To decouple structures and equipment try:
4. Creating air gaps
When inner walls don’t touch, you cannot use acoustic sealants or damping compounds to hold the walls or ceilings together.
In this instance, you’ll need to use Green Glue Noiseproofing Clips and resilient channels.
These products isolate your structural layers and create air gaps.
These air gaps ensure bass vibrations don’t travel directly from the frame to the drywall and into your room and vice versa.
This technique doubles the absorption of both sounds and vibrations.
- STC Rating: 56 with one layer of 5/.8” drywall
- Dimensions: 1.25 x 4.25 x 1.125
- Recommended Load: 36 pounds(3 drywall layers)
Green Glue Whisper Clips help to eliminate low-frequency bass sounds.
They are great when it comes to mechanically separate two sides of a wall.
They can help to increase the STC rating to 56 with only one layer of 8” drywall.
When used in combination with Green Glue Noise Damping Compound, 95% of sounds are not transmitted through a conventional wall.
These whisper clips are for use with standard 25 gauge hat channels.
Installation is easy.
Screw the clips into wall studs then press on the hat channels into the clips.
Finish it off by screwing drywall onto the channel.
- Material: 25 gauge steel
- Length: 8’
- Box of: 24
The Auralex RC8 is a sturdy metal device that can be used to hang the drywall.
They are a great alternative instead of attaching the drywall to the studs or joists.
The RC8 improves the sound transmission characteristics of walls or ceilings by decoupling the drywall layer from the supporting stud structure.
Install these resilient channels horizontally at the bottom and top of your wall then every 2’ or less in between.
5. Float the floor
If you have a floor below you, you may need to decouple the floors as well.
You can add a drywall layer to create air gaps in between the layers.
Another thing you can try is using rubber floor isolators.
You can also install soundproofing mats on the entire surface area of the floors.
The mats will help to absorb sound and muffle noise.
- Material: Rubber
- Size: 2-⅛
- Thickness sides: 5/16
The Auralex Acoustics Floor Floaters consist of a specially formulated rubber compound.
They support framing members and decouple and isolate them from the surrounding structure.
These U-shaped channels help to eliminate both impact and airborne noises from getting in or out of a room.
- Material: Rubber
- Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 0.4inches
- Weight: 3.16 pounds
The Sonic Acoustics soundproof rug pad comes in packs of 12.
They are made up of high-density and eco-friendly carpet fiber and rubber.
Each panel features a double layer design for gripping while the rubber side holds onto hard surfaces.
Aside from their soundproofing abilities, these rug pads also help to protect your floors from scratches and other damage.
They also help to prevent falls from slippery floors or keep mats and rugs from sliding around.
Filling air gaps
Once you’ve created your room within a room that reduces and blocks out external noise, you still need to check for air gaps that will allow sounds to come in.
Chances are that there may be a few air gaps that need to be filled.
Check around window frames, pipes, air conditioning vents and door frames.
These areas are notorious for air gaps that will allow noise to seep in.
Fixing this issue is fairly easy since all you have to do is close up these gaps.
6. Seal gaps with foam gaskets
After identifying air gaps, you can fill them with foam gaskets of an appropriate size.
You’ll find a bunch of affordable foam fillers on the market.
However, for better soundproofing properties, you can stuff the gaps with additional insulation before closing them up with the foam gasket.
- Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
- Size: 2 inches wide x 1 inch thick
- Length: 6.5 Ft
The fowong foam gasket seal is a low-density foam tape made from polyvinyl chloride.
It is highly elastic and durable with enough flexibility to be compressed flat to form a seal of any shape or size.
This is because it returns to its former shape once installed.
The foam tape can be used in various applications such as around doors, windows and others.
It is flame retardant, heat-insulating and resistant to oil and chemicals.
The fowong foam gasket seal sticks firmly once installed and leaves no residue behind if you want to remove it.
It can withstand temperatures from 40℃ to 94℃.
7. Install a door sweep
Most doors have a gap between them and the floor.
This gap allows sounds to seep in and out of the room.
To block this gap, you can install a door draft stopper or a door sweep.
Whichever you use, make sure you opt for one that is dense enough to block out noise.
- Material: Silicone
- Color: White
- Size: 2″ Width x 39″ Length
The Suptikes door draft stopper is made from a durable silicone material.
Not only can it block out sounds which makes it great for music studio soundproofing but also keep bugs and insects out.
It can also prevent cold or hot air from escaping thereby saving you a few dollars on your energy bill.
This door stopper fits gaps up to 1 inch.
It can work on most interior and exterior doors of all shapes and sizes including wood, glass, metal, plastic and others.
Installation is easy since the door sweep is self-adhesive.
All you need to do is measure the bottom of the door and cut the excess using a craft knife or scissors.
Next, clean and dry the bottom of the door where you’ll be sticking the door sweep.
Do this to remove any dirt, dust or moisture that may prevent the adhesive from holding securely.
Finally, peel off the protective backing and apply the strip to the door applying pressure.
Your door sweep is now ready to block sounds and help you record clearer audio.
8. Build a soundproof booth
If you’ve tried everything on this list but not satisfied, try building a soundproof booth and see if that works.
Why soundproof music room and other types of recording rooms
Recording studio soundproofing is important if you’re serious about recording professional-quality audio.
A few reasons why you should soundproof a recording room are:
1. To minimize outside noises
Soundproofing can help to stop outside sounds from running your audio recording.
This means you won’t have to worry if you live in a busy neighborhood with lots of traffic, kids playing outside or noisy neighbors.
2. To minimize inside noises
Sometimes the problem isn’t outside noises but inside noises.
Inside noises can also ruin your recording.
Soundproofing your recording room can dampen sounds coming from your air conditioner, heating system, computer, keyboard, recording equipment, etc.
3. To minimize echo
Some of the best soundproofing materials can help to reduce echoes in a confined space.
Echoes can make your recording unclear and mess it up.
4. To produce professional-quality recordings
Regardless of what you’re trying to record, be it music or voice-overs, etc, you want clear audio with no unwanted sounds.