Soundproofing - Acoustics In Small Spaces

ZootELoops

Senior Member
I wanted to see if anyone had experience with soundproofing their drum rooms. I have a small "sunroom" in my basement that has 2 outside walls with windows and 1 wall is shared with my townhouse neighbor.

Although they have yet to complain about my drumming, I want to set up the room as good as I can to diffuse the sound as much as possible. I also plan on playing with other musicians in this space eventually.

So far, I have purchased thermal curtains and hung them across the two windowed walls, however I am thinking that I should put something against the shared wall, whether it be acoustic foam or just a few acoustic panels and perhaps similar on the ceiling as well.

The room is only about 12x12. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
Yeah thanks - I checked them out and have done extensive google searches.
I'm trying to do this on a budget since I've blown all my milk money on a new kit ;) I've already spent $80-$100 on the curtains & rods.

Wondering if anyone had any first-hand advice or knew of an even cheaper solution - like walking to all my neighbors house and handing them foam earplugs!

This looks like it may do the trick - hang one on the wall and two on the ceiling:
http://www.audimutesoundproofing.com/Audimute-sound-reduction-curtain-noise-proof-your-band-room-soundproofing-existing-walls.aspx
 
Last edited:

John Hile

Junior Member
I have some experience with soundproofing or sound isolation.

Most products by Auralex are designed to treat internal room acoustics and do not do too much for room isolation which is what you are looking for.

The biggest challenge is to address low end frequencies like Bass Drums and Bass Guitars.

How much isolation do you think you need?

Noting that your room is not that big, a simple but very good sound isolation fix would be to add another layer of 5/8" drywall with a visco-elastic damping compound in between. the most common damping compound out there is called Green Glue. When placed between 2 rigid layers like drywall, the GG damps the board (takes the resonance out).

For the windows, I would suggest removable window plugs.

I looked at the Audiomute link you posted, but I saw no Acoustic TL testing information so I would be wary of investing in a product that will most likely not work like you are expecting it to. It does state that it will make the inside of your studio sound less live (Claims NC 70).

There are other options that are easy that can get you better sound isolation as well.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
I did purchase the Audimute blankets - to hang 2 on the ceiling and one on the neighbor-shared wall. I'll let you know how that works.

I was thinking that buying some of the insulation foam boards to cut to size and use as window plugs - anyone have any experience, will this work?
 

JHwibbs

Junior Member
I did purchase the Audimute blankets - to hang 2 on the ceiling and one on the neighbor-shared wall. I'll let you know how that works.

I was thinking that buying some of the insulation foam boards to cut to size and use as window plugs - anyone have any experience, will this work?
I have done this - it works well.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
What thickness did you use and did you perhaps get a decibel reading? I'm wondering how much of a difference it made. Unfortunately my drum room is mostly windows, so I'm looking for something good but cost-effective.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
Go to walmart or similar store and get a couple of eggcrate foam matress pads. They work great, especially for covering windows.
 

John Hile

Junior Member
Some cool ideas here, but none of them are good at attenuating the low end frequencies. Your initial post mentioned that you want to be able to play with other's in your space and that will generate a lot of low end frequencies (below 125 Hz). As a test, once you put your treatments up, have someone play your kit. Go outside and listen. You'll most likely hear the Bass Drum coming through. These are the frequencies that are going to cheese your neighbors. (Even though they sound like they are pretty hip to you playing so far.)
 

John Hile

Junior Member
A very inexpensive fix would be to add a 2nd layer of 5/8" drywall to your existing walls an ceiling. This would add mass which is good. 5/8" DW weighs 2.2 lbs/sq.ft. and is only $8-10/board. If you compare the DW mass to the mass of those blankets or egg crate foam you will see that "per sq.ft" the DW is cheaper and heavier and will attenuate noise much better. Heavy is good.

For your window plugs I would use 2 layers of plywood.

And as I mentioned in post #4, if you can afford damping, it's worth the investment.

If you really want to make a nice sound isolation room then decoupling would be the next step to take.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
A very inexpensive fix would be to add a 2nd layer of 5/8" drywall to your existing walls an ceiling. This would add mass which is good. 5/8" DW weighs 2.2 lbs/sq.ft. and is only $8-10/board. If you compare the DW mass to the mass of those blankets or egg crate foam you will see that "per sq.ft" the DW is cheaper and heavier and will attenuate noise much better. Heavy is good.

For your window plugs I would use 2 layers of plywood.

And as I mentioned in post #4, if you can afford damping, it's worth the investment.

If you really want to make a nice sound isolation room then decoupling would be the next step to take.
Can you elaborate on decoupling? And with adding drywalls to walls and ceilings, would you insulate a gap behind the drywall?
 

spazdr8cr

Junior Member
Yes, insulating the gap between makes a big difference, very important to do and one of the easiest things to do.

Decoupling just means there is no hard connection between the original wall and the new wall (soft connection like insulation is ok).

Also it's very important to put as much space between the two walls as you can afford, it's the depth of the airspace that really stops the sound. In my garage, I have a 12 inch airspace between the inner and outer wall.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Interesting. Taking that approach, sound treating a small space wouldn't seem too much of a job, but i'm guessing the problem lies in what to do with the door and windows.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
Interesting. Taking that approach, sound treating a small space wouldn't seem too much of a job, but i'm guessing the problem lies in what to do with the door and windows.
That's it exactly. I'm sure the firestop wall between my townhouse and my next door neighbor would provide *some* sound protection, but the 2 other walls are either double-windows or a window and a door. The entire space is just a sun room add-on to my basement, which faces more townhouses on both ends, less than 50 feet away.

Window-plug/wall barrier question: Would plywood make a better sound insulator than a foam mattress pad? I already have thermal (blackout) curtains hung over both walls, so it's not so much about diffusing sound waves as it is reducing overall volume and acceptable frequencies.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
If you did not check this out on Auralex's site it's a must read
http://www.acoustics101.com/

Acoustic foam, mattress pads, egg crates are all just internal room treatments to control reflection of sound in your room they offer very little help when it comes to controlling sound getting through walls. There is no real "cheap" way to take care of sound isolation especially in your situation. Mass and air are your biggest friends and do the most for controlling sound transmission. Check out that link and give it a good read there's a ton of eye opening info in there on exactly what you are looking to do.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
Right - I agree on all parts. I understand the concept and that's why I never say ELIMINATE - in my application, that is just impossible. However I do want to do things that will *help* make my drumming not so much of a nuisance to the neighborhood.

I am assuming that the things I am doing will reduce the overall decibel level outside my home by at least a few dbs and may even improve the acoustics of my room in the process.

Thanks for all the advice so far - any other tricks/tips (short of buying an isolation chamber) is greatly appreciated.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Right - I agree on all parts. I understand the concept and that's why I never say ELIMINATE - in my application, that is just impossible. However I do want to do things that will *help* make my drumming not so much of a nuisance to the neighborhood.

I am assuming that the things I am doing will reduce the overall decibel level outside my home by at least a few dbs and may even improve the acoustics of my room in the process.

Thanks for all the advice so far - any other tricks/tips (short of buying an isolation chamber) is greatly appreciated.
The audimute blankets will make a very small dent in overall sound getting out, again it's more of an internal sound treatment that will control natural sound reflection within the room. You could try for your windows to sandwich a piece of foam board between two pieces of plywood to help there, you can get some cabinet drawer pulls to mount on the side facing the room so you have a way to grab them. The double layer of plywood and insulation will help reduce the sound getting out through the windows, again solid mass and air.
 
Top