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How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

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How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby newsblogs » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:17 pm

Hello

I am currently turning a bedroom into a small recording studio. I am looking to get this room ready for mixing and recording vocals (will build a recording booth in this room). My worry is that this room is on the first floor and the whole house is made out of concrete plates. There's a large window and the room itself is appr. 150 sq.feet and 8 ft tall. There's a large window. The door is made out of very thin wood. The width of the walls itself that are connecting these walls are appr. 0.6 ft.

I've currently covered the room with a 0.03 ft underlay and will place a carpet of appr. 0.03 ft in thickness. Next to that I've wrapped 6 pieces of rockwool and hanged it up and treated the rest of the room with rubber foam that is appr. 0,16 ft thick.

I will cover the window section with rockwool of 0,20 ft. My question is if I am doing a smart job or not.. I'd also like to bass trap this room (if that is possible for its small size) or would like to know how I can treat the room so that I'll be able to mix low-end.
I'll also build a small wooden recording booth with foam as interior.

Do you have any cost-efficient advice on how to get this room ready please?
What should I add more?

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Re: How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:41 pm

The carpet/underlay will just make the room sound dull and boxy as it will only absorb the high end (so your recordings will have no 'sparkle'). The rock wool panels will do a good job of controlling the mids and top end if they are thick enough (or spaced off the wall by a couple of inches) without all the other stuff.

You'll need sone on the ceiling, and search the DIY forum for 'mirror points' and 'bass traps.

Is a vocal booth necessary, and why? Small vocal booths full of foam usually sound terrible (and take up room you don't really have to spare) so you would be better off using a corner of the room with appropriate treatment to record vocals.

None of this addresses 'sound proofing' which is another ball game entirely. Replace the door with something heavier and seal the frame as HF sound will escape through the gaps. WRT bass, concrete slabs or brick will be a lot better than wooden stud construction, if your floor is concrete too that will be a plus. If wooden, bass will travel through it almost as if it isn't there so if you significant other is watching tv below you will certainly have complaints.

Th best way around the bass conundrum is to check you mixes on good headphones as even with bass trapping you will find it hard to mix the low end in a small room.

HTH

edit :- Oh and welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:
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Re: How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby James Perrett » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:31 pm

It won't be easy (or cheap) to make that room soundproof. You've made some typical beginner mistakes (don't worry, I did the same thing with my first room) which won't really help either. The best advice is to use headphones when you want to listen at high volumes and only record when everyone else in the house is out.

If you really want to go ahead and make a vocal booth then forget about using plywood - acoustic plasterboard is cheaper and more effective. Don't make the booth too small and think about ventilation. Spend some time reading up on the subject - as you've found, it is easy to waste money on treatment that doesn't have the right properties.
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Re: How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby newsblogs » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:34 am

Can you tell me what beginners mistakes I've made please and tell me what I can do to improve the room ?
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Re: How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:06 am

newsblogs wrote:Can you tell me what beginners mistakes I've made please and tell me what I can do to improve the room ?

The first mistake is confusing acoustic treatment to control reflections with soundproofing. Soundproofing requires mass - light fluffy stuff like foam, carpet and rockwool does very little for soundproofing.

The second mistake is to use carpet for acoustic treatment. Yes, it will control high frequencies but creates a fairly boxy sounding room. Fortunately the rockwool that you have will help tame the midrange and lessen the problem.

If you really want to soundproof the room then it would help to know the layout of the adjacent spaces and where you want to prevent the sound from going? Is it a detached house? Do you want to stop the sound from travelling to the adjacent rooms or just to the neighbours? What is the main use of the room? How loud do you want to be able to listen?
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Re: How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:07 pm

Or, to step back just a bit:
Soundproofing = isolating your room from all outside sounds (and vice versa) = difficult and expensive = lots of mass and airtight seals, easy to spend lots of money but achieve very little.
Sound treatment = controlling the sounds within the room = relatively cheap and definitely DIY-able = broadband absorbers (like the panels you've made) and as much bass control as you can get in the room and still be able to work in there (start with corners and tri-corners).
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Re: How to make this room soundproof and ready for low-end bass

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:59 pm

Caveat - I'm not an acoustician, nor have I seen your room in person (obviously) but...

Soundproofing this sort of room is incredibly difficult and expensive. At any sort of sensible budget for most people it's impossible, and even if you had unlimited money, it can get so expensive that you'd simply rent or build a separate structure that would avoid the inherent problems.

To actually reduce low end leakage in a meaningful way, you need to create an entire 'floating' structure within this space, which will reduce the internal size considerably. At that point, the other factor - the acoustics - becomes very difficult, or even more difficult, should I say, because there simply isn't enough space. When you then factor in the issue that once you've soundproofed a room, you need to duct air in (or you'll suffocate) it's just not really possible.

So what do you do?

1. Focus on the acoustic treatment - build some proper bass traps for a start. Avoid covering all the surfaces in carpet.

2. Abandon the idea that you can soundproof the room. Perhaps fit a heavier door, with a seal around the edge, which is a cheap and easy thing to do, and then work with the other people in the building to find times at which you can make more or less noise. Work on headphones when you have to.

If this scenario doesn't work, you'll need to consider finding another location to work in. If you do go that route, be aware that distance is the cheapest sound proofing there is...Any small to medium sized space, in close proximity with others, will suffer from these limitations, unless it's uncommonly substantial in terms of the construction....like, its' got walls that are 2ft thick.

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