After you have considered setting up your home studio, and writing down your budget for gear and other materials you’ll need, you should also put into consideration a budget for soundproofing your home studio. Yes, a budget! No matter how small your studio is, you need to soundproof it as far as playing instruments, singing or making music is concerned. Soundproofing is important not only because it will block the sound of your music from getting out to other neighbors or other parts of the house, but it will also block the noise from other parts of the house or outside from entering the studio and causing distractions for your or adding background noise into your recording. Imagine the sound of cars in traffic, babies or children crying and playing, someone talking really loudly over the phone, shuffling feet of family members around the house, or even kitchen equipment making a whole lot of noise while you’re just about to record some music. Now, how would you feel? Exactly! That’s why soundproofing is really important for every home studio owner.
Acoustic treatment on the other hand, will make whatever sound you produce in there sound really good; it prevents your sound from echoing and reverberating, it controls echoes in order to give or create a better sound quality. I may not be able to explain this properly, I’m sure sound engineers can put it in better terms. All I know is that, soundproofing your home studio and using acoustic treatment further enhances your sound, especially when you’re recording.
There are different materials available for soundproofing your home studio; truthfully, some are very expensive, some are moderately expensive, while some are inexpensive. For the purpose of this article, we would be looking at the inexpensive ones, the ones you do not require to break a bank in order to afford.
This is one of the easiest ways to soundproof your studio. Set up heavier furniture against your walls, it helps to ass mass to thinner walls. For instance, if you have a book shelf, rearrange it in such a way that it is leaning against the wall, and load the bookshelf with heavy volume of books, the heavier things are in a room, the more difficult it is for sound to escape or come in. Make use of every heavy furniture you have; sofas, couches, cupboards, desks etc.
MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl)
MLV is made of high-density material and it awesome for soundproofing ceilings and walls. It is thin and flexible but has the ability to absorb sound and reduce noise transmission. It can be used in different ways; either as a carpet or floor underlay or over/under drywall. You can either nail it or use glue, depending on where you want to install it.
This is another cheap way to soundproof your studio and is very much helpful especially if you live in a storey building that has an apartment underneath you. Rug or carpet underlays have different thicknesses, the thicker the foam, the better it absorbs echoes and other noises like feet shuffling or dropping of stuff on the bare floor. You can get this at little or no cost, if you have a company that sells rugs or carpet close to you, you can convince them into giving you sample squares or remnants of underlays, that works too!
What better way to add style and value to your studio than painting it with a soundproof paint? By merely looking at it, one may not be able to tell the difference between soundproof paint and any other regular wall paint, but soundproof paint is usually thicker and contains latex, so it does make a difference in changing the sound of a room when compared with other paints, you can apply more than one coating to further enhance the potency.
Floor underlayment is a layer of rubber, felt, foam or cork that sits between the subfloor below and the flooring above, most of the floor underlayments come with adhesive strips on one side, these strips function as sound absorbers; they increase the density of the floor which helps to minimize the amount of noise that passes through it.
Rugs and floor mats
It is advisable to cover your entire floor from end to end with a thick rug especially if it’s a tile or wooden floor. If you cannot get a full rug as thick as you want, you can also get a thin one and use either a really thick underlay or thick floormats in strategic positions of the studio where there is more noise from walking or shuffling of feet.
Sound isolation clips
Sound isolation clips are great for soundproofing walls and ceilings, they are bars that block sound waves by creating spaces between the drywall and allowing vibration from each side; sound clips create a floating ceiling or wall by holding up ceiling joists and drywall.
Green Glue is a popular product used for constructing soundproof walls, ceilings or floors. To use it, apply it between layers of drywall to lessen the noise that passes through the floor, wall or ceiling. Green Glue products come with sealant, clips, joist tape and noise proofing compound, you can use the glue with a sealant; it is harmless and environment-friendly, it has low odor and takes only about two days to dry up.
Sound Isolation foams
This is a great and easy way to soundproof your studio, it is applied the same way that the regular insulation is applied, it controls temperature and helps to block the amount of noise that enters and escapes the room; the best option is fiberglass foam.
Thick blinds or curtains
Thicker curtains or blinds help to absorb sound and deadens the noise that goes in and out of the room. Instead of getting the regular curtains or blind, why not go for those ones that are thicker and specifically made for soundproofing? It works a 2-in-1 purpose afterall – soundproofing and adding style to your studio.
Truthfully, there are so many soundproofing materials in the market today and you can even install many of them yourself! Ever heard of DIY (Do-It-Yourself)? Take advantage of the internet, watch YouTube videos and see how these things are done. I hear some people recommend egg cartons, hay, paper cup carriers and other weird stuff like that. I really cannot say, it just might work! If you have access to them, you can as well try them out, if you have tried out any of them and it worked or failed, please let me know in the comments below, I would really love to learn from you!
Even if you have a small space like I do, it is still important for you to soundproof your studio. I made use of soundproofing paint and had a wallpaper run over it, I also did some padding to the floor using underlays, rugs and floor mats (even though much of this wasn’t shown in the video). Join me on my studio tour as I take you around my small space?
Or click here https://youtu.be/KABPtlw8BK8
Still don’t know why you should have a home studio? Check out this article to find out why.