Best way to soundproof a ceiling for a recording "studio"?


Gold Supporting Member
I am looking at the purchase of a house where the room that would be used for my "studio" is directly below the master bedroom. I do all of my tracking w/ "silent" solutions... ie isolation boxes for guitars, and direct to the board for bass. That said, I would like for my monitors to not disturb the upstairs occupant... you know, the one who really runs things. :D

The room isn't finished yet... no drywall. Are there ideas you all have that could be implemented during the build-out of the room to knock a big chunk off the noise transfer to the upstairs? Thanks for the input.



You may want to look into a staggered floor joists arrangement, similar to staggered studs used to insulate walls. You could probably use 2x4s for the lower joists. This will lower the ceiling height in the studio by 5 or so inches. As for the types of sound insulation to apply between ceiling and floor, others will have to help you with this issue.


Greggy's suggestion of the staggered floor joists and insulation is a good idea, if the floor to ceiling height is enough to allow for this. If this is an issue, you may want to consider using an R-30 non-faced insulation, if your joists are 2x10 or 2x12's,then after all your wiring needs are done, apply a layer of sheetrock to the bottom of your joists. This layer just needs to be "taped & bedded", next you'll need to locate a supplier that specializes in metal stud & drywall sales, for some Resilient Channel. This is used in multi-tenant construction, where "sound transfer" is an issue. It is only 1/2" in depth, so this and another layer of sheetrock applied to it, will only lose you another inch in overall headroom. Just make sure that all your electrical rough-in boxes, for any ceiling mounted fixtures, are set to allow for this. I have R-30 in the floor joists of my home, without sheet rock, let alone the reslient channel and extra layer of sheetrock, and the sound deadening of just the extra insulation helps alot. The wife and kids don't fuss when I crank up a 100w Soldano, but then again its not a studio either. I'm just a commercial construction builder/ guitar player offering my 2 cents worth!


The only true sound proof solution is the floating room-within-a-room concept as employed by pro studios, and it's a real bear (from a budgetary and construction standpoint). While you should be able to keep alot of mids and highs from diturbing the boss, the low freqs will still prevail with quick fixes. (Hence my wife bitching about the kick and bass more than anything else - my console sits atop our bedroom in a converted attic).;)


What Basso said, and here's the "why" of it:

First of all, sound is vibrations. You can try to prevent sound transmission through the ceiling, but that won't solve the problems of structure-borne vibration, or sound coming in through the walls and floor.

Sound is like water; to soundproof, you need to seal all the spaces where it can leak out of a room, but you also need to completely isolate the floor of the room and walls of the room along with the ceiling so that vibrations aren't transmitted to other parts of the house.

Just think about your heating, air conditioning, and cold air returns...the sound is transmitted right through these even if the room within a room is built, and unless you want to suffocate, to really soundproof, your soundproof room needs its own special HVAC system.

This is not an easy task. However, it IS possible to reduce these problems to tolerable levels with some relatively inexpensive materials that are commercially available, if you are building the room from scratch. The floor can be laid over rubber mounts that are designed for the purpose; there are also products designed to isolate the walls and ceiling.

You needn't build a room within a room, unless complete and utter soundproofing is your goal.

Mike Anderson

The BASS is the biggest problem.

I did the isolation booth thing too. I built a large box to put my 4x12 in. I used Auralex soundproofing foam, and I sealed off the box to make it as air-tight as possible.

But the bass vibrations still leak through somewhat. The best thing you can do is to de-couple the sound source from the structure you're in. I did this by putting my recording booth on a set of bolts that were insulated with rubber. And the bolts were anchored on 2x4s that sat on top of a few sheets of drywall. That did the trick for me.

It's expensive though, and a lot of hard work.

Do those things that make the biggest difference first. The first thing you should do is de-couple the monitors from the floor, if they aren't already de-coupled. That will go a long ways towards damping the bass frequencies.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom