Question About Building a "Soundproof" Drum Shed

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I am in the process of buying a house which has a free standing shed in the backyard. (This is in a residential neighborhood, by the way.) I would like to turn this shed into a relatively sound proof studio, but I would also like to not go broke in the process.

I have heard that floating walls, floating floors, floating ceilings, solid door, no windows, etc.. is the best way to cut down on sound. Since this shed is already outside and sitting on a concrete foundation already, do I need to float the floor?

Can anybody offer any other tips for making this thing functional without draining my savings account?
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Put "Soundproofing" in the search facility on the forum and have a look at all the info. There are lots of threads already in place. Good luck.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Put "Soundproofing" in the search facility on the forum and have a look at all the info. There are lots of threads already in place. Good luck.
Thank you for your response. I actually did that to start with, but I did not see any thread which mentioned if one needs to float a floor if it is already on a concrete base and NOT inside a house. In other words, I won't be disturbing family members in the next room or a neighbor we share a wall with or live above.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
Don't float a floor, just make sure the seam between the bottom plate of your walls and the concrete pad is good and air tight. Do this by cramming mineral wool into any seems that may be present and then caulk over the entire seam all the way round with acoustic caulking. If the walls of the shed aren't finished on the inside, then cut strips of 5/8 drywall that fit between the studs and get 2 extra layers of 5/8 on all your exterior walls. Caulk all seams with acoustic as you go. Next add batt insulation between the studs. You want 2 layers of 5/8 gyprock on the ceiling too with batt insulation under that. After you have your outer shell done frame out an interior room with at least 1 inch of airspace everywhere between your inner and outer walls and ceiling. The inner walls and ceiling cannot touch the outer walls and ceiling anywhere. Insulate the walls and ceiling and then add 2 layers of 5/8 gyprock to the inner surfaces of your inner room. You can frame a door frame straight through the inner and outer walls but this is the only place there should be any structural connection between the two. Once again do not float a floor. Unless you intend on packing it with sand, the floor will act like an acoustic guitar body and resonate, which will actually make your she'd less soundproof than if you had just left the concrete floor.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Since this shed is already outside and sitting on a concrete foundation already, do I need to float the floor?
Generally speaking ... Yes. You need to decouple your drums from that slab. Remember sound travels much better through solid things (like your slab and the dirt) than it does through air. That's why when you put your ear to a train track you can hear the train coming for miles. This is "impact transmission" and putting your drums on a floating riser will greatly reduce it.

The other general thing to consider is eliminating ALL air gaps. It's just like a leak in a boat. It doesn't take much to sink you so make certain the doors and windows seal well.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Thanks everyone. So far, we have one vote for not floating the floor and another for floating the floor.

Are there any absolutes I should plan on when building this room? I'm already doing the room within a room thing. I'm planning on using the thickest sheet rock I can find, staggering the vertical beams, etc... I'm wondering if people recommend using soundboard/fiberboard as well?
 
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dboomer

Senior Member
Once again do not float a floor. Unless you intend on packing it with sand, the floor will act like an acoustic guitar body and resonate, which will actually make your she'd less soundproof than if you had just left the concrete floor.
I agree with your other points but on this one you are wrong. It wouldn't resonate unless you built it so thin so that it was a guitar body. But if you laid a simple MDF over rubber strips the resonant frequency would be well below anything audible and your walls would be resonating many times more. And even if it did resonate that wouldnt contribute to sound leakage to the outside world. So back to the agreeing points, yes a floated floor would be best will all the mass you can add to it.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Thanks everyone. So far, we have one vote for not floating the floor and another for floating the floor.

. I'm wondering if people recommend using soundboard/fiberboard as well?
It helps, but a second layer of Sheetrock helps even more. So if your budget is unlimited go ahead. But otherwise it's probably not the most efficient use of your $$$.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
I agree with your other points but on this one you are wrong. It wouldn't resonate unless you built it so thin so that it was a guitar body. But if you laid a simple MDF over rubber strips the resonant frequency would be well below anything audible and your walls would be resonating many times more. And even if it did resonate that wouldnt contribute to sound leakage to the outside world. So back to the agreeing points, yes a floated floor would be best will all the mass you can add to it.
Wrong.

Before I started building my soundproof room in my garage I did am impact test by getting my girlfriend to go to all parts of the house and basement suite while I pounded on the slab with a hammer in the garage. She couldn't hear a thing anywhere in the house. Not even one little tap. Rod Gervais goes into this subject in his book and covers both slabs and the floating floor myth.

I am an electrician and once built an RCMP station that had the electrical room on the second floor. The floor construction was basically a floating floor that consisted of 2x4 framing with 3/4" plywood sheeted over top. That floor hummed and resonated with the main service transformer for the building once it was fired up until we installed rubber isolators between the transformer and the floor, so yes, a floating floor WILL resonate.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
My thought is that you only need a floating floor if your insulated room is inside a building. Out in the back yard, why would you bother? There is no way that vibrations from your drums are going to make the slab resonate, which in turn is going to get all the dirt in your back yard trembling in any way that would be detectable to neighbors or passers-by.

Worry about the walls, ceiling and gaps. Forget about the slab.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Heck, the first thing I'd do is cut out a hole, stick in a window-unit air conditioner, and then build around that!

Get the thickest insulation that you can find to go under that sheet rock as well.

When it's all said and done, go buy a decent set of noise-blocking in-ear monitors (something like the Shure 215's). That way you can play along with MP3's and YouTubes and protect your hearing!!!

Pics of the progress along the way would be cool!
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Heck, the first thing I'd do is cut out a hole, stick in a window-unit air conditioner, and then build around that!
+1. Once you do soundproof the room, and you make loud noises, then that energy has to go somewhere -- which means your room will heat up pretty quickly. So invest in a wall-mounted AC unit, and yes, fill and caulk any seams.

Also, you'll need to build some sound absorption panels, to control the reflections in the room. Otherwise it'll be loud and bright in there.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
+1. Once you do soundproof the room, and you make loud noises, then that energy has to go somewhere -- which means your room will heat up pretty quickly. So invest in a wall-mounted AC unit, and yes, fill and caulk any seams.

Also, you'll need to build some sound absorption panels, to control the reflections in the room. Otherwise it'll be loud and bright in there.
Thank you very much for the information. Pardon my ignorance, but what are "sound absorption panels"?
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
http://www.floatingpointaudio.com/ez_acoustics.html


This helps against internal resonance.
Still need to make double walls.
Really need to focus on the door, the walls can be thick as hell, if the door isn't well done, you won't have a good isolation. Some people make a sas system : double door entrance.

About floor, I don't know the size of the room, but I would only make a stage platform for the drum kit so about 2.5 m² with isolation underneath (it could be tyres by the way).

You maybe should send pictures of what you call the shed to give better advises. Good advice for the air conditioning unit.
 
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spleeeeen

Platinum Member
Another vote for pictures along the way. ;-) In the next couple of years, we're looking to build a house and I've an idea of creating a studio at the back end of the garage to more easily accommodate load-outs/load-ins for gigs.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I have a small room for my drum kit in the basement - lucky enough.
The main problem was the nature of the walls and floor, the floor was tile, the walls were naked, low ceiling. The sound was turning around, resonance and all, it was first unbearable : almost impossible to play since I like my drum to sing with few/no muffling.
I applied cork on the walls, polystyren on the ceiling, thick carpet and, the best, wood shelves full of books. Books are free - in a way - and act as perfect isolators. Now the room is very neutral sonically speaking, and it wasn't that expensive. I still need to do something on the door.
 
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denisri

Silver Member
FYI..for air conditioning use a split system not a thru the wall unit. The split system will only have piping penetrating the wall.
 
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