DIY soundproofing

Hey all,

I'm looking for some inexpensive "soundproofing" ideas. Now I do understand that to achieve complete soundproofing I would need to spend quite a bit of time and money to build extended walls, and use some of the best material, but I'm just looking for some ideas to limit the amount of sound my roommates can hear on the floors above. I have my drums placed in 10x12 room located in the basement. Any ideas? Thanks!
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Make sure the room is well insulated. While this will not "soundproof" a room it will help in slowing the transmission of the sound waves - thus providing less volume (or dB) to those outside your room.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Can we please make a "soundproofing" sticky?

The way to keep sound from a basement from going upstairs is to have an isolated ceiling with insulation in between.

Reduction in sound transmission is accomplished by mass-isolation-mass. It's as simple as that. Implementing that well is where it gets expensive. If you cut corners to save money then learn all you can and really think things though. Typically it is in the isolation part that some simple mistake is made that transmits sound across. Even when expensive materials are used. Doing it simply and well is better than using x, y & z fancy materials and tying your false ceiling to the floor joists above at some point so that the sound just runs right through.
 

picodon

Silver Member
Hey all,

I'm looking for some inexpensive "soundproofing" ideas. Now I do understand that to achieve complete soundproofing I would need to spend quite a bit of time and money to build extended walls, and use some of the best material, but I'm just looking for some ideas to limit the amount of sound my roommates can hear on the floors above. I have my drums placed in 10x12 room located in the basement. Any ideas? Thanks!
It is more important to do the right thing than to buy the most expensive materials. What you need is a "box within a box" i.e. mass - absorber - mass as said below. So you need a double ceiling and, ideally, double walls and a double door. If you are renting the place, forget it, but if it's yours you should be able to do something decent.

If there's nobody underneath you, things are easier because the floor is hard to insulate. Basements are better than attics. What I did in my basement is build a double wall of gypsum blocks, put wooden beams on top all across the room and put a double ceiling of gypsum blocks on top of the beams. Don't have the double wall contact the other wall in any way whatsoever, same thing for the ceiling, otherwise noise will transmit. Rockwool between the gypsum blocks and the walls/ceiling and a second door in the gypsum wall where the other door is. You will want your gypsum walls to sit on something shock absorbing, not on the concrete floor or any vibrations will be transmitted too easily to the other wall. There is nothing magic about gypsum blocks, it's just that they are cheap and relatively "mass"y. A stone wall is even better.

Then you will also want to treat the walls with sound absorbing material, but that is more to control the sound within the room than to insulate it, because that won't capture any sound at lower (bass drum) frequencies.

It's necessary to be a bit anal because (rumor has it) noise easily leaks through the weakest link, so you will want to do a good insulation job around the door with rubber joints. If the room has a window, that might turn out to be the weakest link. You can buy sound insulation windows with double panes, the one pane being much thicker than the other one.

If you do it all yourself it will cost you about 50% to 100% of the price of a beginner drum kit.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I've spent alot of time and money into soundproofing my drum room.

You definitely don't have the money to do any real decoupling. Your best bet is to use additional layers of sheetrock with 3 tubes of Green Glue per each 4 x 8 sheet of drywall. I have 3 layers of drywall on top of the plaster in my room.

Green glue is good for drummers because it has helps with bass frequencies and impact attenuation. Most of the sound proofing stuff out there does absolutely nothing for those two things. The original testing for soundproofing was aimed at reducing the audible conversation from coming into the next room. That has no bass or impact.

Even so, don't expect to be able to play drums at midnight.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
I own a retail candy store and we are constantly getting shipments of candy in boxes lined with Styrofoam sheets from 1/2" to 1" thick. I have found no way of recycling them so I just throw them in the dumpster (I know, a terrible waist but what else can I do). A friend of mine wanted me to save them for him so he could line another friends garage so her boys could practice until I mentioned to him that they were probably highly flammable and he changed his mind.

If it is just drums, you might consider Sound Off or some other brand of drum silencers rather than sound proofing the room. It is tremendously cheaper and very effective.
 
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