Soundproofing Solutions for Walls, Windows and Curtains

How To Reduce Noise When Recording in Music Studio

When it comes to setting up a recording or music studio, an important factor to take into consideration is how to reduce noise when recording. You see, no matter how expensive or top tier the recording gear you get is, if you do not sufficiently reduce the noise in your recording studio, all you’ll get is a lot of disturbing background noise on your recordings. Furthermore, if you put out recordings like that, your audience will know you’re recording in an area that is inconducive for working with sound.

In light of that, what you need to do to get the utmost best out of your recording equipment and put out quality recordings and sound is to ensure you don’t record background noise. Therefore, you need to soundproof or reduce the noise in your music studio.

 

Reducing noise in a recording studio is a rather popular problem, which, fortunately, has set options available for solving it. The set options available for reducing noise in a music studio are a combination of simple tactics that make up four methods. These four methods are proven ways to help in the given situation and they are highlighted below.

The Four Methods To Reduce Noise When Recording

  1. Adding Mass

The first method to try is the most basic method of all, which is simply making the boundaries of the studio thicker and denser, by simply increasing the layers of materials in the walls and the base surrounding of the room. What you achieve with this method is preventing sounds from easily entering and leaving the room, as the thicker and denser walls do not allow easy vibration for sound wave energy.

Rather, what happens is the sound, having hit the thick barrier, gets absorbed into the dense mass or it is reflected off or both. With that in mind, you should note that there are several ways to achieve this method, however, two ways stand out as the best to utilize.

These options are simply building a thicker wall or applying wall padding. In regards to the option of building a thicker wall, this should normally come in when you’re building the room from scratch whereby, you make use of thick drywall of about 1.6c, which can absorb sound. You can also add a sound isolation barrier or a sheet block to the inside of the drywall, which will provide an extra layer of cover.

However, if it’s too late and there’s an existing wall, then you can easily improve them by either installing the sheet block on the outside of the wall with a thinner layer of drywall over it as camouflage, or you can simply build a wall frame and attach it to the surface of the existing wall. With these two ways, you can easily improve an already existing wall to have enough extra mass to block out and absorb sound.

  1. Damping

The next method you can try out is the damping of noise and vibrations. Although the added mass and density goes a long way in limiting noise, it doesn’t fully remove it and also, noise vibrations would still be a problem. The reason for this is because vibrations can still travel along the drywall, as well as through any wooden surface and even your mic stands.

In that regard, what you need to do is dispel or slow down these noise vibrations, which can be done by damping. On that note, damping is simply placing materials which can absorb vibrations inside the room, as well as dissipate kinetic energy[1] from sound waves, converting it into heat.

One of such materials to use for damping is an acoustical caulk glue, which is a specially formulated elastic sealant that can be applied during the installation of your drywall and when building your wall frames. An acoustical glue is one of the best damping materials to use, especially as it not only holds materials together but will also effectively absorb vibrations.

  1. Decoupling Structures and Equipment

The next method to take note of is decoupling, which is simply the isolating of the contact points of your equipment and wall surface from the outer boundaries of the room or studio. The reason for that or rather, what it does is to stop the transfer of sound vibrations from one structure to another.

Ordinarily, when two structures in a room are in direct contact, sound vibrations originating from one structure can easily and freely transfer to the other, which would make the sound vibration louder than it ordinarily is. As already stated, blocking the transfer of sound vibrations in the manner stated above is why you should utilize decoupling in your music studio.

Decoupling is especially needed when you can no longer build a new wall to add insulation or you can’t tear it down for renovations. In light of that, you should know that there are several ways to decouple the structures and equipment in your music studio and they are:

  • Floating the floor.
  • Creating air gaps.
  • Utilising isolation pads.
  1. Filling Air Gaps

The final part of soundproofing your music studio is to ensure every crack, holes or any air gaps are filled and sealed up. The thing with this method is that even if you’ve followed the three methods above and you’ve sufficiently reduced the noise in your music studio, you still need to carry out this particular method.

You need to retrace your steps and properly check if any cracks or holes where missed and fill them up, especially since a significant amount of noise can easily come in through such cracks and air gaps. On that note, here are ways to take care of air gaps and properly seal them up:

  • Installing a door sweep.
  • Using automatic door bottoms.
  • Sealing the gaps with foam gaskets.

Conclusion

Following all that’s been given above, it’s clear that to reduce the noise in your music studio, especially when the noise is affecting your recordings, you should follow the methods given above. Implementing the four methods stated above will definitely ensure your music studio is properly soundproof.

Glossary

[1] Kinetic Energy – Link