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Re: OT: DIY Music Room sound-proofing

Ok it does seem like you guys are confusing Sound Treatment with Sound Proofing
The former generally has nothing to do with the latter further than reduce the average volume within the room. Less waves bouncing around HITTING WALLS.
For Sound Proofing, you need to be concerned with the TRANSMISSION of sound from one side to the other.
How does sound transmit? It vibrates a barrier (wall) which in turn vibrates the air on the other side.
There are 2 ways you can reduce this vibration:

You don't want to install a 10' stone wall (thumbs up for huge barrier mass).
So decoupling is your friend. There are 2 ways to decouple:
2 smaller barriers separated by at least 4 inches. Putting insulation between them helps further. Increasing the mass of each barrier helps yet again (doubling up on the drywall?).
Using "Green Glue" (Google it). It's a scientific breakthrough that greatly reduces the transmission of vibration of one dry wall sheet attached (coupled) to another if the glue is sandwiched between them. I have chosen this method for my band room (garage) as it gives up the least real estate, requires much less labour (no further framing) and makes soundproofing the ceiling easy.
For those of you in apartments, you may have no choice but to raise the floor. Don't forget to use resilient channels.

Now for Sound Treatment. you do not want a totally anechoic chamber. This is a big novice mistake. No one listens to music in an environment such as this. You will find yourself adding way too much effect to your mix to please your ears. When this is played back in a normal environment, you won't like it. The rules of thumb are:

Keep the front 1/3 of the room absorptive and the rest reflective.
The reason for this is that you don't want, for example, audio waves from the left speaker bouncing off the right wall at a position that would reflect that sound to your right ear. So find where that line is and put absorptive material from there toward the front. I use cloth stretched over the framing, stapled to each 16" on centre beam, with acoustic insulation inside the framing. Stretched properly, it looks like a beautiful smooth wall. Then simply attach nicely shaped strips of wood over the staples on each frame.

No Parallel surfaces.
Since you don't always have the freedom or the funds to reshape the room, you can do this:
Any where you see a couple of parallel surfaces, do what you can to stop the sound from regularly bouncing between them.
You can use deflection and/or absorption. Since you have already deadened 1/3 of the room, you should use deflection. You can use from fancy off the shelf deflection devices to egg boxes to bookshelves. The floor/ceiling pair is the most common parallel pair and thick carpet may be an easy solution . But it will deaden the room more. Consider your options.

After this, all you will really have to worry about is bass trapping. Generally, the smaller the room the bigger the problem is. Reason being that problem bass frequency increases as the room gets smaller. For a large room (like my garage) the bass freq is so low as to not be of concern. it may even be below 20Hz. But a small 15' by 20' room may have its problem bass up in the 120 Hz to 150 Hz range.
So this is where you would need to look into bass traps. If you have the equipment, you can find out the exact freq culprits and get a narrow band resonator bass trap. If not, you can always go for a broader one.

Your vocal booth needs to be also sound proofed but COMPLETELY DEAD. From the above, you should know how to do that.

--Adrian Bartholomew
2550 S. 36th St.
Quincy, IL
(913) 660-6918
"I love writing 'cause I hate reading" - Laken

On Saturday16,Aug 2008, at 7:11 PM, Richard Sales wrote:

sofas = great bass traps
books on the whole back wall, mattresses, Owens Corning 704 or Roxul Safe and Sound covered with fabric
Polycylindrical diffusors (half moons - vertical - like cylinders standing on end) made of masonite and stuffed with fiberglass/rockwool.  fairly easy to make if you are crafty.  They're diffusors
carpet on floor
a cloud suspended from ceiling filled with soft stuff to absorb sound ABOVE the sound source
lots of human bodies are great
big stuffed chairs
random stuff that disperses/diffuses the sound - racks, furniture, keyboards, amps etc.  Stuff that is higher than your ears is good.  

try to make it symmetrical as far as random stuff around the room

rugs on wall

If it's sound getting out, density is the best.  20' thick concrete walls and Blue Cheer or Metallica could rehearse next to a Tibetan meditation temple and no one would blink.  It sounded to me like sound WITHIN the room was your concern

If you wanna spend money and look cool, there's all that foam stuff.  Cut it with an electric knife.  

That Weiner guy who makes the Real Traps has a good site with info on how to build bass traps.  

Sometimes just leaving doors open is a good bass trap.  

Round all corners or fill em with soft stuff like Owens Corning 704 or the Roxul or foam

Roxul Safe & Sound is made in Canada and I have 22 two foot by four foot panels in my recording room. 4" thick.  Worked GREAT for subduing room reverb.  Don't wanna kill all of it except for vocals.  A totally dead room is NO FUN to play in.  Drums sound much better in more live rooms.  

High ceilings are glorious.  Mine are 12' now. NO ceilings or walls would be best.

Most rooms have problems with bass.  I still haven't solved that one but have learned to live with it and mix around it.   

There's lots online about bass traps etc.  I built a bunch and hope to put them up maybe this winter.  I'm fearful of changing anything in my control room because it's working so well now.  But I think I'm gonna have to because I'm drastically revising my whole setup this winter (I think).  And because record companies etc are so thoroughly submerged in hype and old husband's tales about sound and what works and doesn't work.  

I spent a fortune on my old studio on the east coast.  Hired designer etc.  It was like working in a coffin.  I hated it.  And it didn't sound all that much better either and my mixes were strange.  

So, stay out of coffins until your choices expire

It's not really rocket science.  Just put up temporary stuff and see how it works... and FEELS.  

Probably the very best advice is, if you're MIXING, get the best monitors you can afford and mix at VERY LOW volumes.  You can turn it up now and then to make sure the details are there.  But don't forget to turn it back down.  And leave the low level alone.   It's better for your mixes AND the longevity of your ears.  

Listening at low volume's done more for me than all the money I've spent on room treatment a million times over.  Turn it down and give it time.  

I have ZERO treatment on the walls in my control room now.  They say it can't work.  But one record we mixed here was on the Canadian chart last year for nearly a year.   Most of that time in the top ten.  Songs featured on TV shows etc. One record got glowing reviews in Spin Magazine a few months ago. So... it can work. Just takes a little longer. AND... lower levels.

Listen to lots of different kinds of records in your mix room so you can know what it's doing.

I use Quested monitors. Love 'em. I hear Adams are good too.

I hope this helps and isn't too stupid

good luck!

richard sales
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.
www.glassWing.com     www.richardsales.com
www.hayleysales.com     www.joannesales.com

On 16-Aug-08, at 12:08 AM, Dave Gallaher wrote:

In several different dwellings, I've conducted amplified band rehearsals and
recorded one album, mixed another.  In each location, I went to all the
neighbors well in advance of the first event with my business card and told
them to call if the noise bothered them, and that we would stop immediately.

No one ever called.  I kept rehearsals to 90 minutes, usually in the late
afternoon before many are home from work.  Mixing required some volume at
times (and I confess to liking to test a mix by walking around the outside
of the house with all the doors and windows shut), but no one ever
complained.  Offering consideration and cooperation up front may not work
with everyone in every situation, but it is a good investment.


But usually we don't need disco level in our studio, maybe
worrying about the neighbours is better done with knowing them and
asking for hours you can make noise without disturbing them too much...