Sound Treating a Garage

Scottie15

Senior Member
So I've had my kit set up in our one-car garage for a couple years, but finally looking to record, so need to make some mods to the room.

It's a small garage, maybe 30 feet long by 10/15 feet wide. Room has a couple large rugs over cement, walls are sheetrocked, but the ceiling isn't. It's just the roof. It's also part of a 3-car garage separate by walls, but sharing the same ceiling.

Looking for some sound absorption sheets or acoustic panelts just for the walls facing the kit and behin the kit, as well as bass raps for the corners.

Any recommendations?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So I've had my kit set up in our one-car garage for a couple years, but finally looking to record, so need to make some mods to the room.

It's a small garage, maybe 30 feet long by 10/15 feet wide. Room has a couple large rugs over cement, walls are sheetrocked, but the ceiling isn't. It's just the roof. It's also part of a 3-car garage separate by walls, but sharing the same ceiling.

Looking for some sound absorption sheets or acoustic panelts just for the walls facing the kit and behin the kit, as well as bass raps for the corners.

Any recommendations?

I'm going through this with my basement and I got a consultation from GIK acoustics. So now I’m an expert haha! Would definitely recommend reaching out to them, even if you don’t buy a thing.

Right now you have nasty flutter echo. Put your ear next to a wall and hit your sticks together. You hear the sound waves bouncing back and forth.

GIK will probably recommend about 15-20 wall absorbers, which are 4” thick and have a notched, reflective front panel. The reason for the panel is that if you just throw up tons of absorbers, although you will have trapped the bass, and balanced the highs, mids, and lows— your room is now dead and lifeless, because there’s no reverb bouncing around.

You’ll want to stagger these panels along the two long walls, so that each panel is opposed to the untreated wall on the other side of the room.

You can save some bucks by building your own corner bass traps. Every corner, floor to ceiling, if you can.

GIK will also probably recommend some diffusers on the ceiling.

Don’t waste your time with Auralex foam, or other companies whose panels are only 2” thick, no matter how cool they look. You need 4” to absorb the lows and low mids effectively.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
I'm going through this with my basement and I got a consultation from GIK acoustics. So now I’m an expert haha! Would definitely recommend reaching out to them, even if you don’t buy a thing.

Right now you have nasty flutter echo. Put your ear next to a wall and hit your sticks together. You hear the sound waves bouncing back and forth.

GIK will probably recommend about 15-20 wall absorbers, which are 4” thick and have a notched, reflective front panel. The reason for the panel is that if you just throw up tons of absorbers, although you will have trapped the bass, and balanced the highs, mids, and lows— your room is now dead and lifeless, because there’s no reverb bouncing around.

You’ll want to stagger these panels along the two long walls, so that each panel is opposed to the untreated wall on the other side of the room.

You can save some bucks by building your own corner bass traps. Every corner, floor to ceiling, if you can.

GIK will also probably recommend some diffusers on the ceiling.

Don’t waste your time with Auralex foam, or other companies whose panels are only 2” thick, no matter how cool they look. You need 4” to absorb the lows and low mids effectively.

Thank you for the response! yea I've been reading up on everything a bit, and learning about sound absorption vs proofing (looking for absorption here), as well as panels, bass traps, sound absorption sheets, etc.

15-20 wall-mounted absorption panels seems a bit overkill for this space, especially considering I've got a long futon, plus cabinets, shelving, and other appliances/shelving at the other end of the garage.

That being said, can you explain a bit more about staggering the panels?

I ordered a couple of Producer's Choice sheets to hang 8 feet about the floor to make a sort of makeshift ceiling since this garage doesn't have one. Since budget is somewhat of a concern, I'm thinking of getting a limited number of panels or acoustic foam panels to put on the walls, and bass traps in the corners.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member

If you're on a budget, contact the experts--then go to eBay and see what you can find cheaper. Make sure you check sizes and measurements when you look on eBay.

There are tons of videos besides the one above on youtube.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Thank you for the response! yea I've been reading up on everything a bit, and learning about sound absorption vs proofing (looking for absorption here), as well as panels, bass traps, sound absorption sheets, etc.

15-20 wall-mounted absorption panels seems a bit overkill for this space, especially considering I've got a long futon, plus cabinets, shelving, and other appliances/shelving at the other end of the garage.

That being said, can you explain a bit more about staggering the panels?

I ordered a couple of Producer's Choice sheets to hang 8 feet about the floor to make a sort of makeshift ceiling since this garage doesn't have one. Since budget is somewhat of a concern, I'm thinking of getting a limited number of panels or acoustic foam panels to put on the walls, and bass traps in the corners.

To stagger the panels, let's assume we're talking about two parallel walls, and the panels are 2 ft wide (by 4 ft tall or so). You would hang the panels on one wall every 4 feet. So there would be 2 feet of empty wall space between each panel. On the opposite wall, you would hang them the same way, but with the first panel over two feet, so that every panel faces the empty space on the other wall. This way, you are maximizing the effectiveness, since the panels are absorbing/scattering the reflections coming straight off the opposite wall.

If you have other things on the short walls, then yes, you'll probably need 10-14 panels.

The blankets on the ceiling won't do much. The material needs to be porous enough to breathe through. If it's not porous, it's just reflecting everything. How tall are your ceilings?


If you're on a budget, contact the experts--then go to eBay and see what you can find cheaper. Make sure you check sizes and measurements when you look on eBay.

There are tons of videos besides the one above on youtube.

This video is an excellent example of what I do NOT want in my basement: tons of absorbers and no scattering or diffusion. Yes, the noise is more contained, and the neighbors are probably happier, but the quality of the sound is very, very dry. Artistically speaking, if you like that dry sound, then by all means, hang absorbers everywhere.
 

roncadillac

Member
I am a huge fan of and have had great success with making movable panels. A sheet of plywood cut to your preferred size framed out with 2x4's and cross supports (or "feet") from 2x4's, then glue/staple thick flat cushion foam on each side, then glue/staple egg foam over top of that.

You can move them all around to tweak the sound you want, save a ton of money, and not have anything permanent fixed to your garage.

Surround your drums and record a drum track, then surround the guitar amp and record guitar, then surround the mic and record vocals in a makeshift 'booth'.
 

roncadillac

Member
Side note: I REALLY appreciate your understanding of sound treating vs sound proofing. It's refreshing. Most people come here and say "how do I sound proof my room" with no prior research. So, thanks. Lol
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
To stagger the panels, let's assume we're talking about two parallel walls, and the panels are 2 ft wide (by 4 ft tall or so). You would hang the panels on one wall every 4 feet. So there would be 2 feet of empty wall space between each panel. On the opposite wall, you would hang them the same way, but with the first panel over two feet, so that every panel faces the empty space on the other wall. This way, you are maximizing the effectiveness, since the panels are absorbing/scattering the reflections coming straight off the opposite wall.

If you have other things on the short walls, then yes, you'll probably need 10-14 panels.

The blankets on the ceiling won't do much. The material needs to be porous enough to breathe through. If it's not porous, it's just reflecting everything. How tall are your ceilings?



This video is an excellent example of what I do NOT want in my basement: tons of absorbers and no scattering or diffusion. Yes, the noise is more contained, and the neighbors are probably happier, but the quality of the sound is very, very dry. Artistically speaking, if you like that dry sound, then by all means, hang absorbers everywhere.


I appreciate everybody's help. The diagram below (expert MSFT Pain Skillz) shows what I THINK I need, but also gives you an idea of my understanding of what you're saying regarding the panels.

A few points:

  1. The room is about 25-30 feet long and 10 feet wide.
  2. There is no ceiling. There is just a roof that is shared across 3 single-car garages. My garage is the farthest left of all 3 garages.
  3. The wall at the bottom of the diagram is shared with another garage, so after 8.5 feet, the wall just goes to the other side. The wall does not go all the way up to the roof.
  4. The roof slants (see diagram 2).
  5. There is a operatable garage door that I've fitted with foam insulation (not sound foam, just regular insulation foam). I was also able to seal the corners.
  6. The red arrows illustrate what I think @brentcn is saying, which is: leave space between the panels, and alternate them across each other so each one is facing bare wall on the opposite side.
  7. I think bass traps will be needed, however, I'm not sure if I need them all in the areas I've marked on the diagram.

What are your thoughts on this?

Diagram 1:
AcousticSet-Up.png

Diagram 2:
Garages.png
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Since you don't want complete soundproof. I'd do it on the cheap by suspending a ceiling made of those inexpensive sound retarding blankets.Taunt like a trampoline, then separate and unconnected underneath suspend some loose sheets like baffling hanging down-cut down reflective noise. You could flip it with loose on top and taunt as ceiling but I think dangling structure will diffuse sound. It will be easy to put up and take down if you move. You could hang two or three blankets-spaced a few inches apart next to wall you share. It will muffle it fine. I bet it's echo-y now with the common roof.
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
Pictures would really help.

My first thought is to place the kit against the garage door, facing the wall with the entry door. The panels can/should be placed along the longer walls, at least where there isn’t a shelving unit or a futon. Wherever there’s a flat wall.

The slanted ceiling is a huge plus! Flat, parallel surfaces are your enemy, since they create standing waves.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So, the question I would ask a qualified professional is: should you build the wall up to the ceiling, or maybe just blanket over the space between the wall and ceiling, or leave it open as it is? Is there reverb, or other noises, coming back into your space from the other garage spaces?

You say that you insulated the garage door. Is the insulation on the door covered with a porous fabric? If not, could you replace whatever reflective surface is there with a porous fabric, like burlap?
 

J-W

Well-known member
The wall at the bottom of the diagram is shared with another garage, so after 8.5 feet, the wall just goes to the other side. The wall does not go all the way up to the roof.

Wow. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing my drums aren't secure. I'm assuming you know and trust your neighbors.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
So, the question I would ask a qualified professional is: should you build the wall up to the ceiling, or maybe just blanket over the space between the wall and ceiling, or leave it open as it is? Is there reverb, or other noises, coming back into your space from the other garage spaces?

You say that you insulated the garage door. Is the insulation on the door covered with a porous fabric? If not, could you replace whatever reflective surface is there with a porous fabric, like burlap?


Yea all great questions. I don't think the reverb is too bad. The low end is very boomy, so perhaps covering the corner with some traps. I would think the gap in the wall would actually allow for some sound to move more freely.

As far as garage door insulation, it's just basically Styrofoam panels that slide into the frame, like these: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Insulfoam-...ne-Garage-Door-Foam-Board-Insulation/50244957

So the styrofoam panels have a reflective surface on the outside.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I see a lot of these "sound treatment" threads and wanted to interject something.

Those with basement/garage studios with "stuff" in them have absolutely no need for purpose built sound treatments. All you need to do is possess the stuff, as the stuff is the sound treatment. If you want to spend money, but a half dozen Sterilite snap-together shelves and put the stuff on it.

The rooms that need to be treated are the ones with no stuff in them... An empty expanse with baren walls.

If the walls are behind stacks of cardboard boxes, rubbermaid storage containers, lego-bins, etc, then there is nothing to be done. You've already got your treatment.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Wow. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing my drums aren't secure. I'm assuming you know and trust your neighbors.


Oh I should've been clearer. It's a duplex, I share only one wall with my neighbor and my neighbor is my sister & brother in law. So no issues there.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
I see a lot of these "sound treatment" threads and wanted to interject something.

Those with basement/garage studios with "stuff" in them have absolutely no need for purpose built sound treatments. All you need to do is possess the stuff, as the stuff is the sound treatment. If you want to spend money, but a half dozen Sterilite snap-together shelves and put the stuff on it.

The rooms that need to be treated are the ones with no stuff in them... An empty expanse with baren walls.

If the walls are behind stacks of cardboard boxes, rubbermaid storage containers, lego-bins, etc, then there is nothing to be done. You've already got your treatment.


This is a good point. Half the room is full of stuff, including the Sterilite shelving, etc. I think the most appropriate thing would be some bass traps. Still trying to figure out a way to make it quieter without being is dead-er.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I see a lot of these "sound treatment" threads and wanted to interject something.

Those with basement/garage studios with "stuff" in them have absolutely no need for purpose built sound treatments. All you need to do is possess the stuff, as the stuff is the sound treatment. If you want to spend money, but a half dozen Sterilite snap-together shelves and put the stuff on it.

The rooms that need to be treated are the ones with no stuff in them... An empty expanse with baren walls.

If the walls are behind stacks of cardboard boxes, rubbermaid storage containers, lego-bins, etc, then there is nothing to be done. You've already got your treatment.
This is a good point. Half the room is full of stuff, including the Sterilite shelving, etc. I think the most appropriate thing would be some bass traps. Still trying to figure out a way to make it quieter without being is dead-er.

Probably the reason you perceive the room as "loud" is because there are too many hard, reflective surfaces. Your stuff on shelves will do a good job of scattering high freqs, but it won't control them. And you may still have mids and lows that are out of control.

Corner bass traps, made of insulation covered in porous fabric, absorb everything, not just low end. They absorb across the frequency range, usually down past 100 Hz if they're large enough. They will also absorb mids and highs, too.

It's a possibility that the garage next to yours may also function as a sort of bass trap -- the space above the wall might be where low end escapes the room.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
I'm going through this with my basement and I got a consultation from GIK acoustics. So now I’m an expert haha! Would definitely recommend reaching out to them, even if you don’t buy a thing.

Right now you have nasty flutter echo. Put your ear next to a wall and hit your sticks together. You hear the sound waves bouncing back and forth.

GIK will probably recommend about 15-20 wall absorbers, which are 4” thick and have a notched, reflective front panel. The reason for the panel is that if you just throw up tons of absorbers, although you will have trapped the bass, and balanced the highs, mids, and lows— your room is now dead and lifeless, because there’s no reverb bouncing around.

You’ll want to stagger these panels along the two long walls, so that each panel is opposed to the untreated wall on the other side of the room.

You can save some bucks by building your own corner bass traps. Every corner, floor to ceiling, if you can.

GIK will also probably recommend some diffusers on the ceiling.

Don’t waste your time with Auralex foam, or other companies whose panels are only 2” thick, no matter how cool they look. You need 4” to absorb the lows and low mids effectively.


So I ordered a pair of tri-trap corner bass traps. Got an email maybe 3 or 4 days later saying they will be built and shopped on April 9th!!! That's almost a 2 month wait. Nothing on their website says to expect a 2 month wait time. That's insane.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So I ordered a pair of tri-trap corner bass traps. Got an email maybe 3 or 4 days later saying they will be built and shopped on April 9th!!! That's almost a 2 month wait. Nothing on their website says to expect a 2 month wait time. That's insane.

I’m not super surprised they’re still backed up that much. Reduced crew, plus interruptions in supply chains are hitting hard.
 
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