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What should be my first acoustic treatment? Sound deadening needed as well...


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  • What should be my first acoustic treatment? Sound deadening needed as well...

    Hello All!

    My room is roughly 10ft wide x 15ft long x 9ft high. It is not rectangular because there is no door to the room. It sounds weird but look at the attached photo for reference. NOTE: I also live in a townhome and this is the finshed basement area. The basement is an english basement, it has drywall on the walls and ceiling. I am worried about that left wall that is next to neighbor. I dont want to tear down the wall and put rockwall/mineral wool/corning 703 etc. My two questions are, where and what should I start with for deading the sound on that left wall next to me niehgbors wall and also acoustic treatment. should I start with the window behind monitors? gobos? guitar center acoustic pack $100? DIY stuff?


  • #2

    First, I'd try to determine what, if anything, is causing the noise problem, and the nature of the problem. IOW, if you're on good terms with the neighbor, and can find out how audible your expected noise levels are on their side of the wall, you'll have a better idea of how far you need to go in order to sufficiently attenuate it. Heck, if your neighbor uses the basement room strictly for storage, and the construction was done with acoustical isolation between units in mind, you might not need to do anything.

    I wouldn't count on that though.

    If you can get a loud stereo going (or anything to approximate the SPL levels you anticipate generating in your studio) and take a SPL meter over to his side of the wall and measure it, we'll all have a lot more to work with.

    However, having said that, the way to increase isolation is to add mass and damping to that wall - the whole wall. And maybe even the entire room, depending on how the construction was done. If you have a ton of "common" structural elements that are connected between the units, you may never get it sufficiently isolated. But with a townhouse, they usually give at least some consideration to that, or so I'm told...

    Another layer of drywall laid over the existing drywall, with a layer of Green Glue in between might do it... or maybe you'd need to add a limp mass vinyl layer to the sandwich too... there's various options, but pretty much all of them (short of turning down, working when the neighbors are not home, recording "direct", etc.) require construction of some sort, and until you know how bad the actual problem is, you're only guessing in terms of whether or not an approach would be overkill... or insufficient. And in most cases, you're more likely to run into "insufficient" issues - especially if there's a lot of low frequency information being generated in your room, such as while mixing drums on loud monitors, or playing a drum set, bass amp, etc.

    That's just the isolation issues - keeping outside sounds out and inside sounds from getting out. The acoustical treatment - the stuff to make the sound inside the room better, is a whole different story. Putting foam and fiberglass on the walls is not going to do anything to improve the isolation between your place and your neighbor, although when properly and thoughtfully placed, you can definitely make considerable improvement to the sound inside of many rooms with those sorts of materials. You can even do it reasonably inexpensively, especially if you're willing to DIY some home-made absorbers. 




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    • witesol
      witesol commented
      Editing a comment



      phil has the most reasonable answer. adding a layer of drywall with Greenglue. just dont build another wall in front of the existing. I see suggestions like that frequently. a triple leaf wall generally worsens isolation. 

    • SLY_Z_28
      SLY_Z_28 commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks so much Phil! Hopefully the neighbors wont mind me asking whats in their basement lol. Or maybe I can even test the SPL level in their basement while I have some music playing in mine. I will also check on how the building was constructed. The good thing is that I am living in an end unit townhome.


      I will probably be back once I know more information!