Recording sound on computer

December 27, 2016
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recording studio acoustic treatmentIt’s funny how you never realize how noisy the world actually is…

Until you build your own recording studio.

All those background noises that you never really noticed before…

Suddenly become painfully obvious when heard through a microphone.

Which is why, one of the first questions beginners ask is:

How do I soundproof my room?

And so for today’s post, that’s exactly what I intend to answer.

Let’s begin. First up…

What Soundproofing does NOT do

Often times, newbies mistakenly ask about soundproofing, when what they really mean is acoustic treatment.

So real quick…just to clarify:

  • Soundproofing makes your room quieter, by blocking-out external noise, while…
  • Acoustic Treatment is makes your room sound better on a recording, by absorbing excessive ambience.

22c-How to Soundproof a RoomAnd ideally, any recording studio should use a combination of BOTH. But for now, if acoustic treatment is what you want…check out this article instead:

Otherwise, let’s continue…

What Soundproofing DOES do

When a room is perfectly soundproofed:

  1. outside noises stay outside, and don’t disturb your sessions.
  2. inside noises stay inside, and don’t disturb your neighbors.

But until you’ve recorded in a room that ISN’T soundproofed, you probably don’t realize how much noise actually exists. For example:

  1. Common outside noises include: people, traffic, weather, and plumbing.
  2. Common equipment noises include: computer fans, hardware racks, and air conditioners.
  3. Common impact noises include: footsteps, and anything else making contact with the floor.

And all of these have the potential to ruin your recordings. Later on in this post, I’ll show you how to handle those inside noises…

But first let’s tackle the outside noises, using…

The 4 Methods of Soundproofing

The process of soundproofing a room is accomplished using a combination of 4 tactics:

  1. Adding Mass
  2. Damping
  3. Decoupling
  4. Filling Air Gaps

Here’s how it all works:

1. Adding Mass/Density

To prevent sound from entering and exiting a room…

The walls of that room require lots of mass…which prevents them from vibrating in response to sound energy.

When building a room from scratch, adequate mass can be added to the wall simply by building it thick, with a dense material such as concrete.

But to add mass to an existing room, additional structures must be built using materials such as mass loaded vinyl, aka Sheetblock – (price/reviews), which is a standard solution for both professional and DIY projects.

mass loaded vinyl green glue auralex u boats acoustical caulk
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