How to Soundproof a Room for Music (Listening and Recording)

Let’s face it, we are living in a noisy world. No matter how expensive your recording equipment is, chances are you will still end up with a shitty video. Background noise is really hard to minimize.

How to Soundproof a Room

Soundproofing a small room to turn it into a recording studio is not a child’s play. It doesn’t come cheap either. The good news is, there are a lot of ways to soundproof a room.

Before we discuss the different ways of making a soundproof room, let us take a look at its advantages first.

Advantages of Having a Soundproof Room for your Music Recording

  • 1. It keeps outside noise like the humming of the AC or the sound of the TV in your living room. You won’t have to worry about your barking dog or cars passing by
  • 2. It keeps the inside noise within the four walls of your room, making your session private. You won’t be disturbing neighbors as well
  • 3. It gives your recorded music a clean sound. When recording music, your recording equipment can pick up all kinds of noises like computer fans or the humming of the air-conditioning system. These sounds can compromise the quality of your video or recorded music and you can avoid it by making your room soundproof

Materials You Will Need to Soundproof a Room

There are different ways of soundproofing a room. In doing so, you have to consider all the materials that you will need. When soundproofing a room, you need to work on soundproofing its walls, floors, and ceilings.

Here are the common materials that you will need to successfully soundproof your room for music recording.

Product
Simpli Home Burlington Solid Wood 40 inch Wide Traditional Medium Storage Cabinet in Espresso Brown
Owens Corning R-30 Fiberglass Insulation Roll
Deconovo Foil Print Wave Striped Solid Blackout Curtains Room Darkening Noise Reduction Grommet Window Curtain for Bedroom 42x95 Inch Set of 2 Dark Grey
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
ProsourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat 1/2" - Grey
RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip with Mounting Screws (10 Pack)
Preview
Simpli Home Burlington Solid Wood 40 inch Wide Traditional Medium Storage Cabinet in Espresso Brown
Owens Corning R-30 Fiberglass Insulation Roll
Deconovo Foil Print Wave Striped Solid Blackout Curtains Room Darkening Noise Reduction Grommet Window Curtain for Bedroom 42×95 Inch Set of 2 Dark Grey
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4′ X 10′ (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
ProsourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat 1/2″ – Grey
RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip with Mounting Screws (10 Pack)
Prime Benefits
Product
Simpli Home Burlington Solid Wood 40 inch Wide Traditional Medium Storage Cabinet in Espresso Brown
Preview
Simpli Home Burlington Solid Wood 40 inch Wide Traditional Medium Storage Cabinet in Espresso Brown
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
Owens Corning R-30 Fiberglass Insulation Roll
Preview
Owens Corning R-30 Fiberglass Insulation Roll
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
Deconovo Foil Print Wave Striped Solid Blackout Curtains Room Darkening Noise Reduction Grommet Window Curtain for Bedroom 42x95 Inch Set of 2 Dark Grey
Preview
Deconovo Foil Print Wave Striped Solid Blackout Curtains Room Darkening Noise Reduction Grommet Window Curtain for Bedroom 42×95 Inch Set of 2 Dark Grey
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
Preview
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4′ X 10′ (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
ProsourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat 1/2" - Grey
Preview
ProsourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat 1/2″ – Grey
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip with Mounting Screws (10 Pack)
Preview
RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip with Mounting Screws (10 Pack)
Prime Benefits
Details

Now that you have the list of possible products that you will need in soundproofing your room, let’s move on and discuss the different ways of doing it.

6 Ways to Soundproof a Room

Can you do a quick DIY room soundproofing? Indeed! There are ways that you can do to make your room soundproof.

1. Use Soundproof Blanket, Wall Tiles or Curtain

To reduce the noise coming inside your room, you can make the walls thicker by adding soundproof wall tiles or wall blankets. This is a good option if you have a tight budget and you are just want to tone down the noise from the outside world.

Noise travels from one wall to another. If you will place wall tiles or wall blanket in around your room, it helps to stop the noise from coming in.

If you want an easy way to soundproof your room, you can get soundproof curtains. Just hang it in your walls and voilà, you have a stylish recording studio in no time. Soundproof curtains are available in different designs hence if you are recording a video, choose curtain designs that fit the theme of your video.

Soundproof walls and blankets are made of sound-absorbing materials. These don’t just keep the noise from coming in, it also keeps the noise from coming out.

Do you think one is not enough? U can put soundproof wall tiles and cover them with blankets or curtains to make them more effective.

2. Take Advantage of Your Bookshelves

This is very practical. If you have large bookshelves at home, move it in your room and use it as a shield to block outgoing sound. 

If not, then it is time to organize your old books and favorite novels. Buy a large bookshelf or storage cabinet and use it to keep your room soundproof.

The rule here is to use a large cabinet that can cover the entire wall. 

Fill it with books or magazines and start appreciating its value.

3. Seal Door and Window Gaps with Weatherstrip

Your door and windows need to be sealed because of its gap to the floor or its window frame. To seal the gap, weatherstrip can be used. A soundproof weatherstrip looks like a regular adhesive tape – it comes with double-sided adhesive.

soundproof weatherstrip works by preventing noise from coming in and out of your room. It also works by preventing small insects from getting into your room. Lastly, weatherstrip also works like a thermal isolator that prevents energy from escaping through your door.

4. Keep your Room Quieter with Acoustic Panels

If soundproof blanket and curtains are not working because your walls are too thin, you can raise increase its thickness with acoustic panels. Acoustic panels are known to absorb sound from all frequencies insulating all kinds of noise outside your room.

Sale
Foamily 12 Pack- Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges 1" X 12" X 12"
  • Each WEDGE comes uncompressed and in prime condition! The Wedges in the photo will be exactly what you get.
  • Great for spot treating sound on walls in your studio or office - For use in recording studios, control rooms, Offices home studios, home entertainment theaters, Home Offices

Acoustic panels are mostly made of professional-grade foam that works by absorbing sound around. With consistent firmness and density, you can expect it absorb noise consistently as well.

Acoustic panels are easy to set-p. It comes with adhesive on the side. Just peel off the adhesive side and stick it to the wall. If it doesn’t come with an adhesive side, you can use glue or adhesive spray.

For best result, assemble your acoustic panels with fiberglass insulation roll first. 

Fiberglass insulation roll is known to have effective acoustical control so you can expect your acoustic panel to stay on its place for a long, long time.Aside from holding your acoustic panel, fiberglass insulation roll also provides thermal control for added stiffness of your panels.

5. Soundproofing the Entire Room via Construction

Soundproofing an entire room should have been done at the start of building a house. However, if it is already built, a renovation is still possible.

You have two options to soundproof your room – cover your existing walls with drywall or cover it with sheetrock. Before covering your existing walls, you have to add a standard wall frame to it.

Tip number 1: Put a space between your existing wall and your new drywall.

The sound travel through different mediums like liquid, solids, and gases. When you ring a bell, the ring vibrates and travels around. It reaches a distance because there are no walls to stop the vibration of the ring. The same principle applies to your room when you are making music.

For this reason, if you want to keep outside noises from coming in, you have to put different walls in your room. The bigger the space between walls, the better noise absorption these will make.

Tip number 2: Add studs with sound clips and resilient channels between your walls to dampen noises that are coming in and out of the room.

You can either use sound clips or resilient channels to your studs (another wall you place between your two walls) as these add to the soundproofing effect of your walls.

RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip with Mounting Screws (10 Pack)
  • Contains 10 RSIC-1 clips plus 10 Mounting Screws and TMS Installation guide
  • For use on wood framed, steel framed, CMU or concrete, ceiling/walls assembly

Sound clips can be used for drywalls and ceiling construction and it also minimizes the risk of short-circuiting the acoustic pathways. In layman’s terms, it is another way to keep noises contained within your series of walls.

Resilient channels are made of metals that also help in minimizing noises.

Tip number 3: Add damping compounds within your walls.

To decrease the noise emitted by your bass or drums (low-frequency sounds), you should use damping compounds within your walls. Damping compound like a soundproofing glue helps in absorbing noise as well.

You can also use a fiberglass insulation roll in your walls for added noise absorption.

Tip number 4: Check for cracks and crevices around the room.

So you covered the entire room with an additional layer of walls. You placed your studs and secured it with sound clips and resilient channels. However, you still hear some mild noise outside when your dogs are barking. What could be the problem?

Small holes. There could be small holes or cracks in your room.

Seal these cracks with soundproofing glues, weatherstrips or acoustic caulk. For easier application, use a cradle caulking gun.

Remember, water-based acoustic caulk is easier to use but it might not match your wall’s color.

6. Work on Your Ceiling and Floor

Sound travel not just on your walls, but also on your ceiling and floor. Make sure that these are also soundproofed. Soundproofing your ceiling and walls is different from soundproofing your walls. Here’s how to do it with your ceiling and floors.

A. If there’s a floor above your room, place a thick carpet above your room. The carpet will dampen sound from above such as footsteps

B. Place acoustic foam panels to your ceilings. This will keep the inside noise from being heard outside

C. For your floors, you can add soundproofing panels as well. You can place extra layers of soundproofing panels

D. Use thick carpet as well to soundproof your floors. Carpets absorb vibration and noises that might affect the quality of your recording

E. Use sound absorbing exercise mats as well. These soft mats will not just make walking more comfortable in your DIY recording studio, it also helps in noise absorption

Room Sound Absorption Products to Consider

If you cannot find the above-mentioned products to soundproof your room, here are other room sound absorption products that you can consider for acoustic instruments.

Acoustic Hanger Noise Reduction

Acoustic hangers or groundbreakers absorb vibration and helps in reducing noises coming from acoustic materials. It is easy to install and can be placed on ceilings, walls, floors, or even on your HVAC unit.

Sale
BXI Elastomeric Hanger - Spring Vibration Isolator - Anti Vibration Ceiling Suspended Mounted - Studio, Home Theater (2 Pack)
  • Size: 100mm*50mm*50mm or 4''*2''*2''. Weight: 0.4kg. Material: steel & elastomer. Max load: 50kg
  • Endless applications: studio, home, theater, karaoke room...

Hat Channel

A hat channel is used in attaching sound clips on the existing drywall. Hat channels will add insulation and noise reduction to your drywall.

Resilient Metal Hat Channel - 8.6' long - Pack of 20
  • 20 Hat Channels per bundle - Length 8.6' (102'')
  • High Quality. Made in USA!

Acoustic Wedge Panels

Wedge panels or wall panels are not just good for absorbing high-frequency noises. It is also good at absorbing acoustic noises and reducing its vibrations.

Foamily 6 Pack- Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges 2" X 12" X 12"
  • Each WEDGE comes uncompressed and in prime condition! The Wedges in the photo will be exactly what you get.
  • Great for spot treating sound on walls in your studio or office - For use in recording studios, control rooms, Offices home studios, home entertainment theaters, Home Offices

Things to Do When Soundproofing a Room

Soundproofing a room is not just putting on drywall and blocking outside noises. You should also consider the following things:

• Combine measures that will address sound diffusion and sound absorption. You wouldn’t want your room to be stripped of all the sounds, including the ones you will be producing

• Strive for 100% silence. Dampen all extra and unnecessary noise. Soft materials that absorb noise is all you need, it doesn’t require extensive construction

• You should use a program or software to check the noise around you. Make sure that your noise floor is around 68 to 70db only. Check the noise floor once the mic is on

Things That You Shouldn’t Do When Soundproofing a Room

Here are the things that you should avoid when soundproofing your recording room.

• Avoid over soundproofing. Don’t cover the entire room with wall panels, it will make the room too dark. Over soundproofing will take your bass sound away as well. Don’t use excessive noise absorbers, it will make the sound dull during recording

• Use soundproofing material based on your room’s size. If it is a small room, but less noise absorption materials. Make a soundcheck while doing your soundproofing. It will help you determine if your recording sounds dull or not.

Checking Your Equipment Set-Up

The last step to have a clean music recording is to check your equipment setup. This is to ensure that your equipment sound just right.

• Place amplifiers away from microphones. It will cancel feedback and those unnecessary sounds

• Leave a few spots open but place a diffuser on it. This is to have the natural frequency effect of your equipment

• Make sure you have plenty of power outlets in your room with the right wattage

• Arrange your equipment right. Avoid bouncing sound because your equipment is not arranged perfectly. Use digital instruments to balance the sound coming off your equipment

Soundproofing a room is pretty easy. The materials needed are also affordable and can be found easily online. If you are a budding musician and you just want a quiet place to enjoy your music without disturbing your neighbors, you can easily do so by following the easy steps provided above.

It might take some time to soundproof your room completely. Remember though, the satisfaction of being able to record in peace and with gusto surely outweigh all the effort of soundproofing your room.

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