How is this hare-brained soundroofing idea

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by tfunster, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,186
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    Okay, so I have just moved into my own guest house and I was hoping I could do a bit of soundproofing so I can play guitar loudly at any time of the day or night. Since I do not own the place, I want to do something as non-destructively as possible.

    I have read tons of articles on soundproofing, and there is just no way for me to build a room within a room etc... My guest house is relatively isolated from the neighbors, but when I blast my music, the sound still carries out of windows. I know I can't "soundproof" my room, but I still want to see if I can make a noticeable difference with the following idea:

    I will buy boards of sound choice soundproofing (made from fiberglass?) from home depot. I will sandwhich the boards together using green glue. I will then possibly attach egg cartons to one side of the board. Then I would cover the boards with construction paper because the fibers from the boards "sheds" and I don't want to get lesions on my lungs!!

    I would then prop these boards against the wall, using my gear/computer desk/chairs to keep them upright. I have one window, and I will put plexiglass on the outside of the window frame, and when I record, I can put up a sheet of the sandwhiched layer of soundproofing boards/green glue to fit over the window.

    I will not be able to cover every square inch of wall because of outlets, jacks, heater etc... but I should be able to cover about 75% of the room.

    I don't believe I need to worry about sound coming from the roof because there is a crawl space above me which I believe "captures" most of the sound travelling up.

    I would also put my amp (which is the primary reason for soundproofing) on one of those auralex gramma risers which should kill a lot of sympathetic bass vibrations.

    So, is this scheme completely a waste of time and money, or do any of you experts think I might be able to knock off a bunch of db's???

    Thanks!!! :knitting
     
  2. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Soundproofing involves mass, and dead-air. Your approach involves neither, so yes I'd say it's a waste of time and money.

    It will give you a slightly lower dB level in the room by toning down the internal reflections, but ultimately the same amount of low frequencies will be escaping through your walls and windows and into your neighbour's domicile.

    Sorry to rain on your parade....

    Kris
     
  3. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,186
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    Would adding bass traps help? And thanks for the response! Luckily I have a nice amount a dead space between me and my neighbors, so while I can't BLAST my JTM45 style amp at night, I could probably crank it up to about 15 watts (using the power scaling) without anyone hearing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Messages:
    13,449
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    >>Would adding bass traps help?<<

    Not really. Sound is like water. If there's a place for it to leak, it will leak.
     
  5. Glide

    Glide Member

    Messages:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Egg cartons will do absolutely nothing.

    I say do all you can, but I too think that you will be disappointed after all the work. It's all about mass and air pockets.
     
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    May I suggest an iso-cab, a small mixer and some headphones? It's got to be cheaper, less labor intensive, and more effective than what you're suggesting.
     
  7. lakesider

    lakesider Member

    Messages:
    3,446
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    an attenuator like the airbrake could be good. there is unfortunately no shortcut to real soundproofing.
     
  8. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,186
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    Actually my Soultone amp has power scaling, so I can record at all hours of the night, but you know how frickin fun it is to turn up and wail (sans the pink spandex of course)

    I know that I could never soundproof the room, but rather I was hoping to make a noticeable dent in the noise factor.

    Looks like I might need to give up.:cry:
     
  9. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,186
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    Another question: Would it be worth it to get bass traps? Or would that just reduce the bass in my recording room and not prevent the low freqs from reaching my neighbors'?
     
  10. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    bass traps will help minimize reflections in the room, but they don't stop structural transference through the floors and walls. Think of bass traps as frequency specific egg cartons; they're more about room tuning than soundproofing.
     
  11. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,672
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Location:
    Burbank, Ca.
    There's basicly two functions to sound treatment. One, the type you need, is to stop sound from passing from inside to out and visa versa. As mentioned, the only thing that will accomplish this is mass and air tight seals on all the doors and windows.

    The solutions you keep asking about would fall into the second category which is to control the sound quality within the room. While this will make for a more pleasing listening environment it wont do anything to cut down the sound transmission of a cranked Marshall.
     
  12. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

    Messages:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    It's both a waste of time and money.
     
  13. cram

    cram Member

    Messages:
    13,403
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I've built my own studio.
    If you do it correctly, it's absolutely worth it.
    If you don't do it correctly - and I mean skimp on the littlest detail - it's a waste of money.

    Any time you have a hard connection - that is an unbuffered contact point, you'll have flanking that will carry the sound. Your space above the room is an example - there is a contact point there and even though you have an airspace up there, you also have a contact point at the wall/ceiling/floor/roof connection which would transfer vibrations into the roofline. Not to mention soffet ventilation holes as I would expect are in the equation..

    I have a bookshelf full of reference material. They all focus on a different portion of sound isolation and acoustics. The one book I always go back to for questions like yours is a book by Rod Gervais - Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros

    I had purchased a bunch of material prior to researching all of this and in the early stages most books would reach a point that sailed above my head. This one was the first to explain core and basic concepts with the basic explainations they deserve.

    Best of luck with your endevor here.. It's [the studio] one of my favorite places in the world right now! I can crank the music whenever I want now.. I love it.
     
  14. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

    Messages:
    6,280
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    No. you are confusing sound treatment with sound proofing. Treatment refers to controlling the frequency response of the room itself. Soundproofing refers to controlling propagation of sound to the outside and depends largely on mass (heavy walls) and controlling how much air gets out. The only thing you can do that will mildly tame the outside sound (short of adding a layer or 2 of sheetrock to every wall) is reinforce the weak points of your room:

    put plexiglass over the windows (creates dead air space), replace a hollow core door with a solid door (mass) and caulk any holes or cracks which would leak sound to the outside. Also putting your amp on a crate will decouple it from the floor and cut down on a bit of bass rumble.

    Keep in mind that these steps will have little effect on the amount of BASS that leaks out of your space. The ONLY way to combat bass leakage is MASS.
     
  15. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,186
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for your help. I will definitely put some plexi glass over the windows, and perhaps get something like the auralex gramma to decouple my amp from the floor.
     
  16. tubejay

    tubejay Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Yep, there's little you can do without treating 100% of the room. An iso cab might work. I haven't used them myself, but you're going to have low frequency problems no matter what, and that's what's really going to piss people off anyway.
     
  17. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C The Original Racketeer Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,530
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    As flick would say, build a "tunnel within a tunnel!" ;-)

    I don't know if there's anyone below you, but if you're on ground floor this might work. Build yourself a jam structure inside that's completely sealed, with four walls and a cieling, all free standing from the house structure, other than the floor. Be sure to drywall tape (finish) the entire thing. You can use rubber or gel at the soles of the walls to reduce transmitting to the ground as well - maybe prevent serious damage to the house or your valuables. You will see a huge decrease in sound OUTSIDE your guest house. Inside the guest house you will still hear the sound of course. But what you're doing is adding dead air, inside the house, which reduces the sound able to transmit through the walls. Put carpet or another really dead material on the OUTSIDE of the entire jam structure. I did something similar to this many years ago, and used an industrial felt, with carpet on top.

    Regular 2x4 with drywall on both sides, insulated walls (and your fake new cieling too) and sound treatment inside to address reflections and deadening material outside, will do the job.

    Of course, your landlord might not like it, and if you're really tall it will be a pain too. However, by creating a dead airspace inside your home, before it goes through the walls again, you can vastly decrease the sound.

    Did I say your landlord won't like it? I probably understated their reaction to this monstrosity. Maybe a modeler and some headphones would be better.
     
  18. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,186
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    So you're saying I'm better off with a modeler than with my Soultone 45? :p
     
  19. lakesider

    lakesider Member

    Messages:
    3,446
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    The Gervais book is fantastic.
    spend $30.00 and save thousands.
     
  20. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C The Original Racketeer Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,530
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Not exactly...

    If you want LOUD volumes hitting your eardrums, and you are playing in a place that you can't crank up your soultone, then yes, you can turn up your headphones on your modeler until you go deaf, and your neighbors won't know at all. You can even use your 45 as a preamp, running the send line out to your modeler.

    I know it's weird for a tube amp builder to recommend a modeler, but it seems you're not trying to get low volume sounds here, you want loudness. In your situation, headphones may be the easiest way to get there.

    As an alternative to this cranking up idea?

    Do some nice sound treatments to improve the low volume sound in your practice space, get or build a practice cabinet that's detuned, and adjust down to a reasonable level with your power scaling. If you can address all the interferring noises, and get the sound nice in the room, you may be just as happy as cranking up.
     

Share This Page