Soundproof booths in homes have gotten more traction over the last few years as more people become Youtubers and podcasters. As more people look for ways to record in their homes with as few interruptions as possible, the idea of a soundproof booth at home sounds like an incredible idea, especially considering how expensive a sound booth rental can be at a recording studio.
The idea behind a booth is pretty simple: The quality of a recording can be impacted by the number of extraneous sounds that it picks up.
Those sounds can be distracting to listeners as well as obfuscating whatever the people on the mic re trying to say. Thus, by limiting that extraneous sound the quality of the recording goes up; this makes the necessity of a place to record with as few outside sounds as possible a necessity.
Fortunately, building a soundproof booth at home is not that difficult and can actually be done on the cheap. It is just a matter of finding ways to limit sounds coming into and out of the booth as well as any echoes within the booth itself; thankfully there are a lot of ways that you can do exactly that and not break the bank.
You Will Need:
Find The Right Spot
The biggest problem is finding somewhere inside the house that is used as little as possible. The easiest way to limit sound is to be in a place in does not have it in the first place, making the locating of a quiet spot a necessity. Once you have found a quiet spot you can start building your booth.
The most obvious places are the attic and basement, especially as these see little traffic. These areas can also be shut down relatively easier than other locations and offer a number of ways to shut down sounds such as large boxes that absorb sound or wide spaces that dissipate it. This makes them the best places for your needs.
In a pinch, an outside space can work, but you want to avoid them as much as possible. Being outside deprives you of the sound-absorbing qualities of the house itself; if you build outside then you need to keep in mind that you will be dealing with a lot more sound than you would if you were building inside.
Create A Floor plan
Before you can start building the booth it helps to have some sort of an idea what exactly you are doing. It helps to better estimate costs when you have an idea of how big the booth will be, as well as estimating how long it takes to build. This is why drawing up a floor plan is a necessity.
Remember to allow for space limitations when drawing up your plans. If there are angles keep that in mind, as well as the distance between walls. Make sure that you also have room for your equipment, as well as any needed power outlets. These little details can really mess up your plans if you forget them.
Frame The Walls
Next is building the walls. You will need to lay down the 2”x4” boards and then nail them together. Make sure that they have been cut to the desired lengths and that you allow for a door. Once the door has been framed it is time to raise it into place. Once you have raised it and nailed it into place you can move on to the door.
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This is arguably where you will need to make sure that you are the most precise. It will be just too hard to correct mistakes later on and there are too many other steps based on this one. As such, make sure that you measure twice and cut once; it will save you a lot of frustration later on.
Putting In The Doors
The door should be somewhat easy. All you need to do is hang the door and install the handle. This means that you should with a solid core doors. Because they have a denser center they are better at absorbing sound than a hollow door, where the sound would go right through.
- Net size is 78-3/4 in. high x 23-11/16 in. wide x 1 inch thick
- Opening including track of 80 in. x 24 in. wide for one door and 48 in. wide for two doors
However, should you choose to use a hollow door, make sure to drape it in a sound-proof acoustic blanket? Also, make sure that the door has a handle with a lock to help secure any equipment that you choose to leave in the room. You can always add to the house security system later if you need some extra security.
If you want to maximize your soundproofing it may not be a bad idea to take a few inches off the bottom; by using some draft stopping tape at the bottom of the door you can create a great way to stop a few extra vibrations from entering the room.
You may also want to use weatherstripping tape around the door, especially the top and opening side. This is some extra insurance to make sure that no sound enters the room. Just make sure that the door closes with all of the extra material and you should be fine.
The Walls Begin
When you start putting up the walls, you should put some thought into what the walls will be made of. The two basic options are drywall and acoustic panels. Drywall provides a solid surface and it can absorb a wide variety of sounds, making it great for a soundproof room that also doubles as an office.
Acoustic panels are a little better at absorbing sound, making them great for ensuring that no sound will enter or exit the room. They can also be arranged in an appealing pattern for those with some sort of artistic talent, especially as they can be arranged as desired. Fiberglass panels can be used for those looking for some sort of solid surface that absorbs sound and looks great as well.
For added sound dampening apply the panels to the ceiling as well. It may be an added expense, but it will keep sound from going into the room above and keep the sounds above from coming down into the room. As such it may be worth the additional effort.
Plugging The Leaks
It is possible that you may want to drill some holes for signal cables as well as any other wiring, such as ensuring access to power or the internet. You may also want to set up some sort of signaling system to let people know when you are recording so as to ensure that they will not come in. All of these holes should have been planned for ahead of time.
Once you have all of your holes drilled and filled with the appropriate cables the next step is to caulk them all. You should also go over the construction as a whole and apply to caulk to any holes or cracks; by eliminating all of these cracks and holes you also eliminate any areas where sound can enter the room.
The Floor Is Not Your Friend
You will probably also want to make sure that the floor is taken care of, both in order to ensure that those below cannot hear you and sounds from below cannot seep into your recording session. If your room is large enough for it, area rugs may be the way to add some extra sound dampening and some extra style to the room.
If the room is too small then placing acoustic underlays may be the way to go. The underlays should keep the sound from going anywhere and act as a non-slip floor, adding a little extra safety to the room. If you need some additional dampening you can always use drywall on the floor to act as an additional layer of protection.
In A Stretch, Modify The Closet
The closet also works if you decide you really want to save some money. The first step is to remove any shelves and racks so as to eliminate any hard, flat surfaces; these can create additional issues when it comes to sound. Also, make sure that there are power outlets for any equipment; you may need to hire a contractor if there are none.
You will also need to ensure that the closet is properly soundproofed. This means that you should follow all of the steps outlined above, but you will likely also be doing a lot more caulking than you were planning to do to eliminate any cracks in the soundproofing. It may some extra work, but using a closet as your room will save a lot more money than basically building a room from scratch.
Sit Back and Enjoy
Doing this should ensure that you have a great soundproof room for whatever reason you need it for. If you do it right then it should last for years, allowing you to record in silence. This room can be the beginning of some great, so build it based on those dreams.