Room soundproofing?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jetydosa, Jan 20, 2008.


  1. jetydosa

    jetydosa Silver Supporting Member

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    Not sure if this is the best place to ask this question, but...

    I am in the process of moving to a new house, in a new subdivision, where the houses are considerbly closer together than my current home. THe plan is to make one of the bedrooms into a 'guitar room' of sorts. I want to soundproof this room to a degree where it will not bother the neighbors. Anyone have tips on this, or links to a type of acoustical foam or something I could line the room in?

    Im not planning on whipping out a non-master Marshall cranked to 11, but I would like to comfortably play my 20w combo and/or stereo at a decent level.
    Any ideas would be appreciated!
     
  2. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Supporting Member

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    You won't like what you are about to hear. Sound proofing is a bitch, very expensive. The foams are really treatments, and not inexpensive, either. Mass and dead air are your only friends in soundproofing.

    My 5 watt champ is easily heard outside my house, all windows closed. Not from the street, but if you are on my doorstep and I am playing, you can hear me. Not cranked, either, ~ 6 on the dial. I play in a second floor bedroom, back side of the house. My neighbors used to hear my plexi 50 watt, clearly, inside their house, all windows closed.:jo Fortunately, they liked what they heard. I also didn't play every day, 4, 5 , 6 hours at a time, or late at night. Often.

    That neighbor, btw, just passed away thursday night. 43 years, tomorrow, we've been neighbors. She was a good one, I'll miss her.

    There's no chance of a basement room for your music room?
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Member

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    If that's as loud as you're going to get it won't be too difficult or expensive. If you want to have a band practice in there, that's a whole new set of problems.

    For a cheap solution you can cover the walls with 1/2" Wonderboard. The bigger problem will be the window(s). Do you mind covering them? If you don't sound proof the windows treating the walls won't help much.
     
  4. Flux

    Flux Member

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    There's lots of info out there but essentially what you'll need to do is attempt to build a room inside a room. The walls of the inner room should touch the walls of the outer room in as few places as possible, to inhibit structural vibrations (raising the amp off the floor will help too). The inner wall should contain fiberglass batting (insulation) and possibly doubled plasterboard sheeting - i.e. 'mass and dead air' as mentioned above. Anything you do to approach this ideal will improve your soundproofing. Finally, don't confuse treating your room for reflections, with soundproofing. Foam on the walls or egg cartons etc, will do very little to stop sound (especially low frequencies) from leaking out.
     
  5. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I just spent nearly $1K on adding 5/8" sheet rock to the existing 3/8" sheet rock in my 20' X 20' garage. I also used some 2" thick fiber sound insulation and this very expensive and heavy sheet sound barrier that Aurilex makes. It might have knocked the sound down by 25%, which wasn't enough. It is very hard and expensive to soundproof a room. You have to isolate the amp from the floor and be almost completely sealed in. Sound travels through 1/8" gaps a lot more than you would ever suspect. If I ever get serious about doing an effective job again, I will build a room within my garage this way. They you have to allow for electricity, ventilation, a door, maybe a window etc. BluesForDan is right, 5 watts can be very loud. It can be as loud as a trumpet. Sorry, but I found out the hard way that there aren't many inexpensive ways to soundproof a room. When I was younger I rented a house with a basement that was about 5' under ground level and we ended up with a bunch of old mattresses and rugs for soundproofing. It did a reasonable job but we would still get grief from our neighbors from time to time.

    Truth be known, I have bought and sold at least 20 amps in just the last 2 years trying to find one that sounds good at volumes I can use. I have tried 5 watt amps amps with master volume and attenuators. So far, the best solution, without any doubt has been a 50 watt Ampeg VL 502. It is a fantastic sounding and incredibly versatile amp. It has a built in attenuator and master volume. They also go for only about $500.00. I mostly use a single 12" detuned cab or a Marshall 4 X 10" cab and get the thickest, biggest sounds you could imagine without being loud.
     
  6. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    LOL.. we did this too, wasn't pretty and smell was another story. :roll
     
  7. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    The smell of smoke and old spilled beer covered up the smell very nicely, thank you very much.
     
  8. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    There is no easy or cheap way to soundproof a room. Still in a normal bedroom your main two leakage issues are with the windows and door. In my brick sided house I took one small room and turned it into a studio room. It had one window. I cut two pieces of plywood that I painted white and screwed down to the inside of the upper and lower wooden window frames. Then I packed fiberglass insulation over that and then covered up the entire window area with a second panel of 3/4" particle board screwed into the outer moulding of the entire window frame. When I move I'll have to fill some holes but it won't be too bad to restore the window back to normal. I then covered up the entire wall and covered over window with Sonex foam. The Sonex doesn't really keep much of the sound in, but it helps the acoustics in the room. With the window effectively boarded up with the painted white panels, from the outside it just looks like solid blinds are pulled. The neighbors have never questioned it. The leakage though the window area isn't much worse than the leakage straight through the brick wall. Luckily this room had two door between it and the rest of the house. I changed the first of the two doors to solid core, and added some rubber weatherstripping all around the door, and put in a rubber sealed bottom threshold. I can fully crank a 35 watt amp into two 4x12s 24/7 without complaints from the neighbors which are only 50' away.
     
  9. jetydosa

    jetydosa Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the infos. Yes unfortunately a basement is out of the question. I do not mind boarding up the window. Fortunately this house is on the corner lot, I hope to use the room in the back corner for the guitar stuff, so hopefully wont be too bad. I do like the room within a room idea, just not sure at this point how much $ I can commit to the project.
     
  10. kruts

    kruts Member

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    Build a room inside a room... will cost $500-1000 in materials. Basically you need sound insulting fibreglass on the exterior if possible, covered with natural fibreboard, caulk all seams of the natural fibreboard with sound insulting caulking, then laydown channel strapping tin/metal (resilient channel RC-1) upon which you will mount drywall. You will create a 1/8" air channel between the drywall and the fibreboard, something like this:

    drywall ------- fibreboard

    ................^ resilient channel is used here, screwed to the fibreboard. The drywall mounts to the metal strapping.

    You can create window insert plugs using 2x4", sound insulting fibreglass, covered on the outside with low grade carpet.

    All doors for the room should be steel core exterior grade doors.

    This is what I did, and it really works!!!

    Good luck.
     
  11. Structo

    Structo Member

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    The metal strapping Kruts is talking about is called RC-1 or resilient channelling.
    It suspends the sheet rock from a springy type metal strip so it isolates the vibrations better.
    Typically used in apartment construction.
    Use it on the walls and ceiling.
    The other thing done is to double stud the walls thereby doubling the insulation between rooms. So there is your room within a room construction.

    I'm a plasterer by trade so I am exposed to this type of construction all the time.

    The window in that room will definitely let the sound out.

    If that is no within budget you could line the inside of the walls with polystyrene foam but that won't look very good.

    Remember the poor mans recording studio with the cardboard egg cartons applied to the wall?

    So all in all you need to isolate the walls from the sound waves however you decide to do it.
     
  12. wopr

    wopr Member

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  13. Tony Foran

    Tony Foran Supporting Member

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  14. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Supporting Member

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  15. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    OMG! I think I will just find a house out in the country.
     
  16. Flux

    Flux Member

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  17. rosscoep

    rosscoep Member

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    I built a room within a room. Highly filled barrier, dead air, floating floor, etc....$1000 for materials is a very conservative estimate. Then the treatment on the inside $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Not to mention the time commitment. but well worth it in the end.
     
  18. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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  19. tybone

    tybone Member

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    Don't forget the windows. My basement window is like a freaking waveguide. Also don't forget that lots of insulation means lots of heat retention.

    Larry
     
  20. Plague Dog

    Plague Dog Member

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    I rent a lockout studio, I can get as loud as I want... but so can the other 30 bands that are in the same building. When there are bands playing on both sides of me at the same time I can't think or talk between songs. It makes it hard to rehearse when you can't talk to your homies.
     

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