Partially soundproofing a garage!

joshwilli

Junior Member
Hi guys,

Sorry if this is the wrong place to be posting this, only a newb member!
Basically after not owning a kit for 3 years im buying myself a yamaha stage custom!
I used to own a smaller pearl forum and just practice in my bedroom, which wasnt ideal as i only had limited practice times!
However now im older, my parents have said i can use the garage for my kit and turn it into a music room!
Was wondering if any of you guys had any tips on how to at least partially soundproof it? i only have neightbours on one side but it would still be nice to know its not going to be as loud as it would be!

I have access to a load of carpet (easily enough to cover all walls, floor and celing) as my other house is getting new carpets.

Will put some photos up as soon as ive figure out how
EDIT: figured it out (i think)
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/album.php?albumid=1159


Everything will be cleared out btw
My current plan is, whack carpet over everything. Put in a sofa and soft thinks. Add lots of band posters.Job (half)done?

Cheers
Josh
 
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BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Acoustic treatment is not sound proofing.

You're not sound proofing when you put up soft materials, you are actually just treating the room to sound better to the people inside the room. By reducing the amount of reflective surfaces that cause sound waves to bounce around inside the room you lower the amount or reverberation and overtones. The people outside the room, like your neighbors, will still hear everything with the same volume that they did before.

Sound proofing requires mass and is usually done by putting in a "room within the room", building up a floor, wall, and ceiling that is acoustically separated from the existing room. Sound proofing also usually costs a lot of money.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
Anywhere air can escape should be you first concern. Seal it up, or if its a door or something you don't want to seal, some places sell very dense soundproofing tape the you can line your door frame with which will help cut down on vibration and air leakage.

Other than that, mass is the way to go. For the side that is adjacent to neighbors, you could make a secondary wall about a foot in front of original and fill the gap with the densest insulation you can find. That will help with that direction at least. Anything upwards of that is $$$$$$
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Yep, the clips are the best way to go. Unless you can build a completely freestanding structure inside, the garage, it will couple to the outside walls. The clips are the most effective way of separating inside layers of sheetrock from the building and outside environment. Go to the Gearslutz studio building forum. Lots of folks there have been down the foam and carpet road and learned what it takes. Lots of other great advice on studio building and threads of rooms people have built. Also, get Rod Gervais' book on building a home studio. He lays it out straight. There is no simple and cheap way out of it if you want to isolate noise inside from your neighbors.

The biggest problem in the room I built in the backyard is the door. Even following Gervais' superdoor plans with sheet lead, and row upon row of sealing, it still leaks 10-15 dB more than the rest of the building.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
First practice space I had, was a room at the back of a garage. And what we did, to soundproof it, was carpet it. Walls and ceiling. It only had 1 door, and no windows. What we had inside, was a drum kit, and Ampeg bass rig and a Fender Quad Reverb. Now, truth be told, it was freakin' loud in that room. And while the carpet didn't totally soundproof the room, it certainly took the edge of it. Neighbors never complained, and we were there for about 3 years. If you're just playing drums, that's gonna be a lot less noise, than a full band. So give it a whirl. If your neighbor gives you the "stink eye", show 'em the room, the carpet (at least he'll know you're trying), and add more soundproofing. Indeed, you might need to build a room within a room .... or invest in Quietrock 525, but why spend that kinda money if you don't need to?​
 

joshwilli

Junior Member
Thanks guys,

Not really a fan of the "room within a room" thing, as im only 18 with a part time job so cant really afford it! and the garage isnt exactly spacious already!

Harryconway: thats pretty much exactly what i wanted to hear, as long as it takes the edge of the noise, thats good for me!

the plan was to fill all gaps with caulk and expanding foam, then to cut up the carpet into squares of a predetermined size (that i have yet to predetermine!) and use spray adhesive to put the on the wall, then do a few layers on the neighbour facing wall and my kitchen facing wall. hopefully this will make things sound better as well as taking of the edge?

Was gonna shove rugs, pillows,sofas in the room to help absorb some of the sound as well!

Cheers guys, if all else fails, those genie clips look like a worthy investment!
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Mass loaded vinyl or green glue for soundproofing the walls if you can afford it (or A2E is always an option).
 

Ted White

Junior Member
The best way to sound proof is to build a room inside a room, the cheapest way to sound proof is to use these genie clips.
Those are among the most over-priced and unnecessary clips available, unless you only plan to hang a single sheet of lightweight drywall. If you build a proper wall or ceiling with double 5/8" drywall, and additionally damp that drywall, then you won't see a benefit from using an expensive clip. Buy the cheapest clip available.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
If at all possible, do not connect whatever you do to the inside to the outside or the structure of the garage. Hanging the carpet in front of the wall is better than gluing it to the wall. Some people have had success with pieces of drywall leaned against the existing wall.

The concept is that the soundwaves in the room will cause the surface they hit (the inside wall) to vibrate. You want to kill that vibration as much as possible before it transfers to the outside surface (the outside wall of the garage) where it radiates to the neighbors.

Consider a drum. The batter head is the inside of your room and the reso is the outside of the garage. You want to keep one from activating the other. Heavier heads vibrate less so less it transmitted. Putting damping materials IN BETWEEN them absorbs some sound before it gets re-radiated. If you split the shell into physically separate parts with no connection between them, then the only thing that would transmit the sound would be the air in between.

The fundamentals are a difficult to vibrate inner surface (high mass with good natural damping [think of an old oil filled Evans Hydraulic head]) isolation and absorption to limit the vibrations getting through, and another difficult to vibrate outer surface.

Stuff on the inside is just acoustic treatment to make it sound decent to folks inside.

Now the killer thing with a drum or band room is the low frequencies are much harder to damp or isolate. The best low frequency isolation I've found are these clips http://www.soundisolationcompany.com/index.php/solutions-products/soundproof-walls/quietclip The rubber based ones have a higher isolation rating in the mid frequencies, but these are more compliant and hence work better at low frequencies.

Loose or floopy walls have a higher compliance and absorb low frequencies better. So some of the conventional soundproofing wisdom about very stiff high mass walls doesn't give as much bang for the buck in a drum room. I know one drummer who got hold of lead filled drywall used in medical x-ray rooms. A single layer of that far outperforms multiple layers of conventional drywall.

The Quietrock laminated drywall is expensive compared to doing your own with Green Glue. I suspect that all of this is outside your budget.

The best reasonable thing I could offer would be to put together walls with the steel framing studs that you find at Home Depot on 24" centers and put 5/8 drywall on the inside with as much insulation as you can afford on between that and the outside walls of the garage (with any inside drywall on the garage removed so that there is only the inner wall of your room and the outer wall of the garage, multiple layers of wall (called leaves in the trade) only catch and retransmit the sound better). Do as close a job as you can to this on the ceiling. You may have to resort to a basic suspended ceiling.

Then get some sheets of Owens Corning 703 rigid fiberglass insulation, or rockwool rigid insulation if it's available where you live, cover them in cotton and put them on the inside walls and ceiling of your room. I suspect proper Auralex is also out of your budget. DO NOT put foam mattress pads or the like inside your room. They are flammable and the smoke will knock you out before you can get out of the room. Look up the Great White club fire. You and your gear are more important than that. Even suspended ceiling panels glued to the walls would help. That's what they used in many old studios in the '60s. Too much of this though and the room will sound weird and claustrophobic because this stuff absorbs mostly high frequencies and leaves the low frequencies there. Such rooms have a heavy rumbly feel to them and are not pleasant to be in.
 

Ted White

Junior Member
Some excellent points. I hope it’s OK to highlight a few:

If at all possible, do not connect whatever you do to the inside to the outside or the structure of the garage…. soundwaves in the room will cause the surface they hit to vibrate. You want to kill that vibration as much as possible before it transfers to the outside surface … If you split the shell into physically separate parts with no connection between them, then the only thing that would transmit the sound would be the air in between.
That is it. Minimize the vibration that is allowed to enter the original structure. Just as the man says. This provides the initial decoupling you’re after.

Heavier heads vibrate less so less it transmitted.
A sound wave has a harder time moving a heavier panel. Mass is our best friend. Double 5/8” drywall is tough to beat.

Putting damping materials IN BETWEEN them absorbs some sound before it gets re-radiated.
As an interesting side note, a damping compound creates heat due to the damping compound’s resistance to movement. This resistance converts some quantity of the vibrational energy into heat. We rob the system of vibrational energy that would have been otherwise have been used to continue the vibration / sound. Damping in this instance is the conversion of Kinetic energy to thermal energy.

Stuff on the inside is just acoustic treatment to make it sound decent to folks inside.
I know you’re referring to the in-room acoustics, but while we’re talking about soundproofing it’s good to note that fluffy insulation in a wall or ceiling is similarly a good idea. Plain old yellow or pink fiberglass.

Now the killer thing with a drum or band room is the low frequencies are much harder to damp or isolate.
So true. Even worse, how about soundproofing a home theater with stacks of subs outputting 15Hz ? You can’t, btw… Low frequency sound waves have much more energy and are much more difficult to deal with than mids and upper. It is for this reason we singularly focus on low frequency bass isolation. If we can contain the bass, we’ve already dealt with the upper frequencies (barring a leak, of course). Look at one of the hundreds of transmission loss plots online. If you see the low frequency end of the curve improve you will invariably see the mid and upper frequencies also improve, likely more dramatically than the low frequency improvement. Here’s an example:



Note how the low frequencies were improved by 10dB while much of the upper frequencies improved by far more.

The opposite is not nearly always true, however. It’s easy to install a product that will improve the mid and upper frequencies, while not improving the low frequency bass isolation at all. So it’s all about planning around bass isolation.

The best low frequency isolation I've found are these clips. The rubber based ones have a higher isolation rating in the mid frequencies, but these are more compliant and hence work better at low frequencies.
That’s a commonly heard description of what resilient clips do. Some of that holds true for mid and upper frequencies, if you install a lower mass panel like ½” drywall. However as the mass and damping of that panel increases, any small effect of that rubber decreases. People often confuse “decoupling” and “disconnecting” as it pertains to soundproofing. The decoupling that the clip & channel system provides is caused by the 25 gauge Drywall Furring Channel oscillating within the 48” spacing between the clips. Decoupling is not nearly as dependent on the clips, which are all quite mechanically bonded to the framing.

For this reason, if you’re going to properly load your wall or ceiling with damped drywall, save the cash and buy the least expensive clips you can.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
My room is just drywall with pink fibreglass insulation but it is still far from soundproof (and I've got an E-kit!) No problems whatsoever with neighbours complaining but you can still hear it inside the house from the garage.
One basic tip though- make sure the door you put on the room is solid core and not hollow!
 

Ted White

Junior Member
My room is just drywall with pink fibreglass insulation but it is still far from soundproof (and I've got an E-kit!) No problems whatsoever with neighbours complaining but you can still hear it inside the house from the garage.
One basic tip though- make sure the door you put on the room is solid core and not hollow!
If the drywall were decoupled, that would make a big difference. That's a good reminder on the solid core door.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
If the drywall were decoupled, that would make a big difference. That's a good reminder on the solid core door.
Yeah it's just 2 walls built onto the existing corner of the garage.
You obviously have a great knowledge of soundproofing but the quietness factor is the main reason I got into E-drums in the first place (to avoid all the hassles of soundproofing)!
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I'm trying to remember which, but I believe Mr. White works for one of the companies that provides building materials to people who make proper studios.

The solid core door is good advice. It has a much higher mass than a hollow core door. But remember, it will still be the weak point compared to properly constructed walls & ceiling. For a room contained within a garage the leakage goes into the garage and is not as much of a problem. The structure I built is freestanding in my back yard. I ended up building a frame and putting a second layer on my door. Putting double doors would have led to an inconvenient inside swinging door where I'm cramped for space. This is hanging on industrial ball bearing hinges as the whole door probably weighs a couple hundred pounds. And I'm still fooling with seals and the like trying to make it better as it's still the weak point in the system.
 

Ted White

Junior Member
I would be very interested in how you fare with the seals. If you could seal a door running on a track, that would come in really handy. I would imagine a latch on maybe two sides that would cinch that door tight to the wall. You need pressure to engage the seals.
 

joshwilli

Junior Member
Ok guys, thanks for all the info, its a lot to take in!

Think what ill do is glue the carpet to the wall, then hang another layer in front of it not touching the wall?

Any other SIMPLE tips would be handy as well, as im not changing to doors (gonna get door seals though) or building walls, as all this is way outside my budget!

Cheers
Josh
 

Ted White

Junior Member
So you have drywall, and you can't take down the drywall. Two basic choices:

#1 Add another sheet of (5/8") drywall and damping compound. The 16" OC studs will limit flex and therefore limit performance, but this would be a lot better than what you have now.

#2 Add clps and channels to the existing wall, then double drywall with damping compound. This is still not ideal, but better than option #1.
 
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