Simple Tips for Soundproofing the Musician’s Home
If you’re a musician, or if you have a musician in your life, you know that even a well-played instrument can cause quite the ruckus.
If you’d like to keep from disturbing your family, roommates or friends, a simple solution might be to soundproof a room or even a few. The guide below will show you three easy ways to soundproof your living space, as well as how to transform a guest room into a home recording studio.
Simple Soundproofing Step One: Plug the Gaps
Examine your doors and window frames for gaps and consider adding a door sweep on both the inside and outside of the door. You can also hang thick curtains over windows, or seal leaks with budget-friendly foam weather stripping or acoustical sealant. The sound will escape through even the smallest of spaces, so also consider lining your heating and cooling ducts with soundproof liner.
Simple Soundproofing Step Two: Reduce Reflection
Similar to light, sound bounces off all sorts of surfaces. If you’re in a space with hard tops, such as granite countertops or hardwood floors, expect notes to reverberate across the room. Diminish the effect with thick carpeting or rugs. Also consider hanging material from the walls and installing soundproof materials, such as curtains, vinyl or acoustic insulation, around the perimeter of the room. Avoid cheap alternatives like adding mattresses or egg crates – these are ugly and ineffective.
Simple Soundproofing Step Three: Modify Your Space
Being a good neighbor might mean you have to make a few compromises. Before settling in to play, look around. Don’t play your instruments in a room that shares walls with an adjacent living space. Consider adding a false ceiling and replacing your hollow doors with solid, heavy core ones. If you have space, look into installing a shed or garage in your backyard.
Setting up a Simple Studio in a Small Space
If you’re into composing, playing and recording, you might be ready to transform your unused guest room into a personal recording studio. In addition to our other soundproofing tips, which will keep noise from escaping, you’ll want to focus on acoustic treatment options. These will ensure that the music that stays in the rooms sounds the best. Here are a few other things to consider when setting up your studio:
- Avoid feedback from electrical equipment. Put items like amps as far away from microphones as possible.
- Don’t eliminate sound reflection completely. Leave a few spots open and treat them with diffusers to preserve the natural frequency of your music.
- Think about high and low-end sound absorption. The majority of your reflection treatments will tackle the high-frequency reflections, but you’ll want to install a few bass traps to dampen the sound for lower frequencies.
- Remember to have plenty of outlets available. Make sure that the outlets are the correct wattage for your equipment.
- Think seasonally. When it gets hot out, will the sound of the air conditioner blowing into your studio become background noise?
- Arrange it right. Arrange your studio to accommodate the maximum number of musicians you expect to be playing in the space. This will make it easier if you plan to host other artists down the road.