You are here

Window plugs for soundproofing?

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby da_fino » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:10 pm

Anyone done this for a home studio? I'm using my second bedroom as a music room and want to stop as much sound getting out as possible.

Reading around it seems that DIY window plugs are probably the most affordable way of doing this, but a bit confused about what type of material I should be using. Most articles mention variations on "acoustic foam" or "soundproof mat" etc but can't work out of this is the same sort of acoustic foam you'd use for sound damping or if it's something different.

Any help much appreciated!
da_fino
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby Brian M Rose » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:05 pm

I'm not by any means an acoustics expert. But my understanding is that layers of different material is one way to go.
My own studio window (about 4'x5') white covered particle board , lead substitute sheet, 2" rockwook, white hardboard, acoustic panel, curtain.
This keeps out everything apart from very noisy motor bikes and low flying helicopters. And even then it's probably getting through the wall itself.
One hint... White board first! If you go for the black lead substitute sheet (from
Studiospares) you'll crack the window as soon as there's sun!
Brian M Rose
Regular
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby da_fino » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:15 pm

Brian M Rose wrote:I'm not by any means an acoustics expert. But my understanding is that layers of different material is one way to go.
My own studio window (about 4'x5') white covered particle board , lead substitute sheet, 2" rockwook, white hardboard, acoustic panel, curtain.
This keeps out everything apart from very noisy motor bikes and low flying helicopters. And even then it's probably getting through the wall itself.
One hint... White board first! If you go for the black lead substitute sheet (from
Studiospares) you'll crack the window as soon as there's sun!

Thanks, so is that a removable plug you've made with all those layers or have you just used it to permanently block off the window?
da_fino
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby Wonks » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:42 pm

For soundproofing you need mass. So maybe several layers of plasterboard with Green Glue in between them. How many layers depends on whether it's basically a permanent or temporary fixture. lead or lead substitute sheet is nice and massy - but too heavy to use in a great quantity for something you plan to move in and out all the time.

Sealing round the edges is important, otherwise most of the effort will be wasted, as a lot of sound can creep in through small cracks.

No harm in having some rockwool and/or acoustic foam on the inner face.

There will be numerous other combinations that will work, but for soundproofing you need mass. Acoustic foam is open-cell, so lets sound through it. Yes it absorbs sound energy as passes it, but nothing like as much as solid mass does (and foam will mainly absorb mid- and upper-frequencies and let low frequencies through unless very thick). But a flat solid mass/wall will reflect sounds, so you may as well add some foam on the inside to reduce reflections and act as one of your room absorbers.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8612
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Another option is to use secondary glazing with at least a 100mm gap between the existing window and the secondary glazing. In one of our old studios we bought a secondary glazing kit from a DIY place and then had the glass cut to size. It seemed to work pretty well - but in this case we had something like a 300mm gap between the double glazed outer window and the secondary glazing.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8013
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby Brian M Rose » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:23 pm

Thanks, so is that a removable plug you've made with all those layers or have you just used it to permanently block off the window?


it's semi performant. But I am fortunate that it's fairly quite where I live. the studio is for voiceover and radio interviews etc.
Brian
Brian M Rose
Regular
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby Watchmaker » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:34 pm

you can make a removable plug using the ideas described above.

Two key ideas; 1) Sound Proofing, 2) Acoustic treatment. As it clearly sounds like you want item 1, you have to become aware of what that entails, and its limitations. As Wonks pointed out, mass is a necessary element to achieve sound proofing. I'd also simply mention isolation. Taken together, it's possible to sound proof a room so that it is isolated from outside noise to a point below a meaningful noise floor. This also isolates the external environment from the sounds coming from the room though the ambient noise floor of "outside" is much higher than what is desired in a recording environment, so I assume you're looking to create as quiet a recording space as you can. May I suggest you first identify what db level is your minimum acceptable and then decide on how much effort to expend based on that?

You can reduce the amount of sound coming through a window but only to a certain extent. You cannot eliminate it, and there's no point in trying to achieve a lower bound than the walls. If you're doing interviews and the mics are reasonably close to the speaker (talent), my experience is you can have a moderately noisy environment (40bd) and do voice dialogue without any problem at all. Others will probably have other perceptions, expectations, experiences, but I'm still amazed at how little background actually comes through. Other techniques may get you the same result...gating for example.
User avatar
Watchmaker
Regular
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby da_fino » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:09 pm

Thanks all for the info so far, may look into secondary glazing actually if that's an option, probably better to have a solution that doesn't have to get taken in and out all the time.

Cheers!
da_fino
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Window plugs for soundproofing?

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:22 pm

1) for typical domestic double glazed window.... close the trickle vent.

2) install secondary glazing, use a heavy thick glass type and custom make the frames.... use a decoupling layer around them , (EPDM seal tape around outside of frames, frames secured with sprung washer on bolt with clearance hole. 16mm glass is commonly available in most good glazing suppliers...

make the gap between glazing layers as large as you can.... so typically install it flush with the wall surface on interior

in the event that the window being treated is also considered a fire escape , this inner glazing MUST open easily or be easily removed without the use of tools
User avatar
Studio Support Gnome
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2795
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:00 am
Location: UK
Now available for consultations and audio engineering jobs .  Also guitar tech work , and “rent-a-shredder” sessions .  Oxfordshire based but can and will travel .  Email maxtech.audio@me.com


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users