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sound insolation and sound traps


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ok, so heres the issue. my parents bedroom is on the other side of my wall. they tell me to "turn it down" when I can hardly hear it for myself. Im looking for an inexpensive, but effective way to insolate some of my walls from sound. also, its in a bedroom so it cant look like crap.

another thing Im looking for is sound traps. will it be fine if I buy any foam pads (such as the "egg shell" foam topper for mattresses), place it in a wood frame, and cover it in and cloth? or should I buy something that is designed for absorbing sound? remeber this is not for a professional studio. its mainly for home theater purposes, and listening to sound in general. not so much recording...

and yes, the acoustics in my room are pretty bad...

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i hate to say it, but there is no real "inexpensive" way to do soundproofing.

to do it properly, you will need to build walls. thick walls with lots of stuff inside. you would probably lose at least 1 ft of ground space to build it out properly.

to do it un-properly, you can get sheets of what is known as soundboard. you can get it at home depot. comes in sheets that are 4x8 ft. hang like drywall over existing wall, and then hang more drywall/sheet rock/ whatever you call it over it. downside is that soundboard is EXTREMELY flammable, so you might have to look into municipal building codes to determine the legality of adding it to your house/apt whatever.

if you want/need more info, pm me.

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The proper way to soundproof a room is pretty simple.

  • Start with bare wall. That means, yes, the sheet rock comes down and you're looking at the electrical work and insulation.
  • Thick fiberglass insulation. The rolls of really fluffy stuff, a tiny bit thicker than your walls. Pack that in there, the denser it is the more it'll dampen sound (but denser means, yes, it insulates heat less efficiently).
  • Put up some really thick sheet rock, get the thickest stuff you can find. None of that 1/4 inch stuff, 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch if you can!
  • The same goes for ceiling; hang a sheet rock ceiling.
  • The door will have to weather-seal so that air can't blow in and out under it, just like your front door or the doors on a concert hall.
  • Use linoleum floor (it's soft-ish and sound dampening) or throw down a rug/carpet (carpet SUCKS it collects dust and causes allergen crap to go into the air when walked on).
  • Use vinyl-framed double-pane or triple-pane windows to dampen sound going through those too.

Guy I work with is really big into sound systems, builds his own speakers and amps and such. Builds complex sound rooms with specific acoustic properties. I asked him how to soundproof a room like last week. It's simple, it's a lot of work though.

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bluefox I don't think this guy has the capacity of doing ANYTHING like that, first of all. None of what you said was even remotely practical. Did you even read his post? He lives in his parent's house.

Putting sound traps in corners is one way to help, any foam-ish object will work. Blankets and carpets are nice as well, if you can fold them up and put them in corners or even just along the wall to the best of your ability. You might consider headphones, too :P

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bluefox I don't think this guy has the capacity of doing ANYTHING like that, first of all. None of what you said was even remotely practical. Did you even read his post? He lives in his parent's house.

Yes I read it. When he moves out he'll probably sheet rock his garage now or something. Who knows?

On a more serious note, you guys are going to give all kinds of silly hackish ways to kinda-sorta do it; I'd like to contribute some good information for later, or for people who might not live with their parents and might forgo asking later because they saw this thread (and you know they will).

Like I said in some other post, we really need some kind of wiki somewhere for this stuff. Maybe I'll just do something on Wikibooks. That could carry "here's how to do it right" "in lieu of that, here's some tricks" kind of layout without pissing anyone off.

(His parents probably don't want him securing extremely flammable foam sound board to his walls either but...)

Pretty simple indeed.

I never said it wasn't time consuming, hard work, or mildly costly. The sheet rock would probably fall into the $100 range and the insulation around $100-$150 ($30 for 8.5 x 15 ft). And of course then you have the issue of painting or wallpapering (another $50-$100 job). If you pay someone to do it, tack $1000 or so on ($30/hr for 40 hours will get you $1200 right?).

Hmm. If I wasn't trying to move out so damn soon I'd get dad to help me soundproof my room. This is pretty much a weekend project, it just costs $400 to do it. (the door and new windows are costly; but you can omit the door, and if you have anything other than vinyl framed double pane windows you're living in a hot room in the summer and a cold room in the winter, trust me on this, I live in a suck ass room like that.)

zircon's right about the blankets and carpets; you might also look into using uneven surfaces for the walls (put up some of that egg carton shaped foam, or hell egg cartons built into a large sheet); but that's more for getting rid of uneven sustain than really dampening (improves acoustic qualities of the room). I need to look into what to use to do this properly actually...

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Yes I read it. When he moves out he'll probably sheet rock his garage now or something. Who knows?

Wrong answer.

On a more serious note, you guys are going to give all kinds of silly hackish ways to kinda-sorta do it; I'd like to contribute some good information for later, or for people who might not live with their parents and might forgo asking later because they saw this thread (and you know they will).

If someone were asking about soundproofing in general, your advice MIGHT - and I repeat MIGHT - be relevant. But the vast majority of people here are not professionals, and even of the professionals, virtually no one would be in the market for doing this kind of serious remodeling to their environment. The advice statas and I gave is practical to the OP, and they're proven methods that are far more relevant to people reading this thread than what you posted.

Like I said in some other post, we really need some kind of wiki somewhere for this stuff. Maybe I'll just do something on Wikibooks. That could carry "here's how to do it right" "in lieu of that, here's some tricks" kind of layout without pissing anyone off.

There are countless resources available on the web and off that would cover the answers to pretty much any question asked here. That's not the point. People don't come here looking for answers taken from textbooks and technical documents. Sometimes if the questions are really obvious we direct them elsewhere, but the point of this forum is to share helpful advice to people in specific situations. If someone asks "What orchestral samples should I get? I only have $100 and I'm just starting out," no one in their right mind would recommend an $8,000 VSL orchestral package. You've done the equivalent of that here.

I never said it wasn't time consuming, hard work, or mildly costly. The sheet rock would probably fall into the $100 range and the insulation around $100-$150 ($30 for 8.5 x 15 ft). And of course then you have the issue of painting or wallpapering (another $50-$100 job). If you pay someone to do it, tack $1000 or so on ($30/hr for 40 hours will get you $1200 right?).

Again, completely unrealistic for the OP and vast majority of people here.

Bluefox, I have very little tolerance for people here who give advice without paying attention to what is being asked, and who speak at length on topics they understand little about. You're not a remixer, you're barely even a musician, so if you're going to try and help remixers and musicians, you better have USEFUL things to say, or I'm going to remove you from the forum. Consider this a warning.

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Bluefox, I have very little tolerance for people here who give advice without paying attention to what is being asked, and who speak at length on topics they understand little about.

I understand quite a bit about what I talk about, just most of it is a little beyond scope. You've called me on not knowing things before, most recently on mapping raw samples to instruments, something I did on my own for a year or so when I was a kid (seemed more like you just don't want to be bothered with anything not mac-style click-and-it-worked). In fact I seem to continuously get accused of not knowing anything about a variety of topics, but only by people who have nothing to offer on that particular topic because they simply have no experience or very shallow experience that never really got that far.

You can say a lot of things about stuff I might say that's less than relevant or (on occasion, yes) inaccurate; but don't dismiss my knowledge and understanding of topics I know full well unless you can actually correct it. I may not be a musician, but the things I say stem from recent research as well as years-passed experience in minor bits of sound engineering and amateur radio operation (try that one time... what is a PNP transistor... how do you calculate electromagnetic wave length.. why the hell do I need to be a technician to talk on the air?), have some damn respect. I don't dismiss your knowledge of music but you always dismiss anything I have from the technical end, without bothering to try to explain why it's wrong (which leads me to believe you don't know, which thus leads me to believe maybe I actually know what I'm talking about).

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go get a bunch of old cloths and like heavy type canvas crap that piano movers/carpenters use, forget the name of it. Attach some egg cartons to one side and hang it around the room about an inch or 2 away from the wall. Gets it done...

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blah blah blah blah ban bluefox.

Back on topic, you aren't going to have a whole lot of luck killing off the sound between your room and your parents room. The cheapest most practical route you're going to achieve is headphones. You could rearrange your room a bit to so your computer / speakers are as far away from their wall as possible, and you could even go as far as putting some foam panels up on the shared wall to absorb sound.

None of what bluefox said is even practical in your case. I mean, if you wanted to go all out you may as well built an isolated wall with an air space between the two. It'll cost a lot to do, make your room smaller, and really annoy your parents! Yaaay!

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yes I do own a pair of headphones that I am very happy with. audio-technica ATH-M50's.

I dont think the word Im looking for is "sound proofing". more of sound reduction. I dont blast my music or movies. when my parents are sleeping I can hardly whisper to the other person in my room withought waking my parents. its pretty bad. and the strange thing is I do have insolation in all my walls.

what if I bought this "sound board" stuff and covered it in another layer of dry wall and completely seal it? it wouldnt have any oxygen so it wouldnt burn... my parents would be fine if I took down my side of the wall, or built something in front of it. but I have a budget. I wouldnt like to spend more than $200. though I dont need to hire anyone because I am capable of doing this myself.

I still want sound traps and sound insolation, at least for home theater use. I do have a nice polk audio surround system that Im not gonna put to waste just because my parents are pissed at the noise.

I think for sound traps Im gonna use my first idea, with using the egg shell foam topper inside a frame, coverd by cloth.

I have an idea for insolating noise but Im not sure how well it will work. Im thinking of building a frame over my existing wall using 1x1" studs. each section will be 4'x8'. pack as much insolation inside as I can, and cover it in 1/2" dry wall. think this will work?

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Sound travels and is transmitted in several ways. Whatever you're going to build, make sure it's separated from the floor, otherwise the rest of the wall's going to resonate with it and your proofing is useless.

Dry wall is useful as mass. More mass = harder to make it resonate because it costs more energy.

Rockwool is useful because it dampens; the vibrations lose their energy pretty fast.

Foam is useful for damping higher frequencies, but not for lower ones, and if you have surround, you have a sub, which will be the hardest to dampen properly.

Could you make a sketch of your room, and do you have the freedom to move anything around?

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I understand quite a bit about what I talk about, just most of it is a little beyond scope. You've called me on not knowing things before, most recently on mapping raw samples to instruments, something I did on my own for a year or so when I was a kid (seemed more like you just don't want to be bothered with anything not mac-style click-and-it-worked). In fact I seem to continuously get accused of not knowing anything about a variety of topics, but only by people who have nothing to offer on that particular topic because they simply have no experience or very shallow experience that never really got that far.

You can say a lot of things about stuff I might say that's less than relevant or (on occasion, yes) inaccurate; but don't dismiss my knowledge and understanding of topics I know full well unless you can actually correct it. I may not be a musician, but the things I say stem from recent research as well as years-passed experience in minor bits of sound engineering and amateur radio operation (try that one time... what is a PNP transistor... how do you calculate electromagnetic wave length.. why the hell do I need to be a technician to talk on the air?), have some damn respect. I don't dismiss your knowledge of music but you always dismiss anything I have from the technical end, without bothering to try to explain why it's wrong (which leads me to believe you don't know, which thus leads me to believe maybe I actually know what I'm talking about).

Technical knowledge is meaningless if you don't know how to apply it. You're great at remembering large amounts of useless raw data, but dumping that on someone who just lives in their parents house and needs a quick, $100 fix is nothing but trolling. You might know a textbook method of dampening sound via physical renovation of a wall, but that's not a practical method, and your inability to differentiate between the two is why I say you don't know what you're talking about.

Of course you've also spouted misinformation on several occasions as well, let's not forget that. Why do you think experienced guitarists like SnappleMan and Sixto keep telling you that in the guitar picks thread...?

In other words, knock it off. Don't respond again to me OR this thread unless you have something specific, relevant, and constructive to the OP.

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