There are multiple ways to soundproof a home studio, including building floating walls, floors, and ceilings, using acoustic sealant to fill in any gaps in construction, and changing out any windows in a studio space.
I’m Donovan, a lifelong musician and home studio enthusiast. I’ve worked in the music industry and have a lot of experience as a producer and engineer. I’ve built several home studios and know through hands-on trials how to soundproof a room.
This post will show you how to soundproof a home studio. I’ll provide you with some steps and tricks to effective soundproofing and highlight why this is an important consideration. I’ll also give you some other related information to keep in mind.
Let’s get started.
- Key Takeaways
- Initial Thoughts
- Do I Need to Soundproof My Studio?
- How to Soundproof a Home Studio
- Final Thoughts
- Soundproofing your home studio will help prevent unwanted noise from coming in or leaving your recording space.
- Effective soundproofing begins with the construction of a studio space, and it can be an involved and expensive process.
- Soundproofing differs from acoustic treatment, although they are both critical for effective recording studio design.
- Floating walls, floors, and ceilings are good design elements for soundproofing construction tactics.
- Using acoustic sealant and acoustic foam can be a more affordable approach to soundproofing, but ultimately aren’t as effective as soundproof construction.
Soundproofing a home studio can go a long way toward improving the effectiveness of your space. You don’t want external sound affecting your recordings, and it’s also nice not to have the music you make escaping the studio and potentially bothering neighbors.
Effective soundproofing begins with the construction of your studio space. Not every home studio enthusiast realizes that. The only way to get the best soundproofing possible is to employ certain tactics and design elements in the construction.
You can do some soundproofing without construction, but it won’t be anywhere as effective. This is just something to keep in mind if you really need or want a soundproofed studio.
Soundproofing and acoustic treatment are also different from one another. Soundproofing helps block out external noise sources while preventing the sound in your studio from escaping.
Acoustic treatment affects how the soundwaves travel in your studio.
Both of these are important in studio design, but you don’t necessarily soundproof your room by doing an audio treatment and vice versa. That’s another important concept for inexperienced home studio folks to grasp.
Good soundproofing can get pretty expensive, which is another factor to consider as you start your studio build. This brings us to one crucial question you should address before we get started…
Do I Need to Soundproof My Studio?
Not all studios need to be soundproofed. I’ve had a home studio that wasn’t soundproofed at all and still got a lot of great recordings out of the space. But if you want a professional-level setup, then soundproofing is a critical consideration.
One of the first things to consider when approaching soundproofing is its cost. You are looking at spending anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 a room to soundproof it effectively. This is related to how much construction materials cost and paying for labor.
If you do the construction yourself, you can cut those costs down a bit, but you still need to pay for materials. If you are trying to build the cheapest studio possible, then soundproofing won’t likely be a significant concern.
But if your studio is close to other noise sources, like on a busy street or right next to a noisy room in your house, you’ll likely need to soundproof it. If you don’t, those noises will show up on your recordings.
You also might need to soundproof your studio if you live right next to neighbors and don’t want them to be bothered by all the noise.
Most amateur musicians and engineers don’t need to go all-out with a soundproof build. And you can get away without soundproofing if you are on a budget.
But if you want professional-level capabilities and want your studio isolated as best as possible, soundproofing is a must.
How to Soundproof a Home Studio
Ok, now let’s dig into the details of how to soundproof a home studio. Understanding what goes into soundproof construction will give you an idea of why it’s essential and what’s involved with the process.
Again, effective soundproofing means you’ll need to build your studio from the ground up. This can be involved, and you might need to hire contractors or carpenters who know how to build if you don’t have the skills.
One of the keys to soundproofing involves creating more material (mass) in your studio alongside air gaps between walls, floors, and ceilings. Think of a soundproofed studio as a box within a box.
You’ll hear the terms floating walls or a floating floor when you start looking into soundproofing. This relates to the box within a box that I mentioned. The floating concept creates air gaps between your studio on the outside area that help prevent sound from traveling in and out.
Essentially, the goal of soundproofing is to isolate your studio from the world outside. And you need to build this into the design for it to be effective.
A floating floor is a good place to start with soundproofing construction. By getting the main surface of your studio off the ground or the foundation of your house, you can limit how sound escapes and travels around.
Many soundproof floor designs will use rubber blocks or disks to elevate the floor. You can install these onto the existing base and build a new floor on top, or rip up the floor, install the rubber pieces, and reinstall the floor.
Some specific products, such as U-Blocks, are explicitly designed for floating floors and walls. These can be a great solution to helping you float a floor relatively quickly.
You can also float a floor by building a frame between the original and new floors, just like you would build a wall. This isn’t quite as effective as using absorptive materials for support, but it can still get the job done.
Creating floating walls and ceilings is another important aspect of soundproofing, but this might not be as practical as floating a floor.
If you aren’t building your studio from the ground up or want to avoid a heavy remodel, there are also materials you can attach to the wall and ceiling that block sound without a floating construction, and I’ll highlight those in the materials section below.
Floating the walls or the ceiling serve the same purpose as floating the floor, and works towards isolating your studio from the world outside.
Since you don’t want too much added weight on a ceiling, you might want to attach foam or other absorbent materials compared to what you build or connect to a wall. Don’t screw in heavy panels or soundproofing material to a ceiling without knowing what you are doing.
Windows, Cracks, and Gaps
Whether you go with a floating construction or not, you’ll also need to address sound issues that appear with any windows, cracks, and gaps in your studio space. You’ll want to cover windows with blankets at the very least and remove them altogether for the most effective approach.
You can place sealer or caulk around any windows for added soundproofing and can also use this to fill any other open spaces that might occur with existing construction. I’ll highlight these products in the sections below as well.
You’ll likely want to employ professional help to get an effective soundproofing. If you have remodeling and construction experience, it isn’t that difficult, but if you don’t, you’ll want to hire professionals who know what they are doing.
The costs for soundproofing can stack up quickly, but when you contract the job out, you can rest assured that it will get done correctly. You don’t want to mess around with shoddy construction if you are trying to get the best soundproofing in your studio.
Studio Soundproofing Material
Here is a quick list of some of the most commonly used soundproofing materials. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it can be used for reference if you are doing the soundproofing build yourself.
- Building materials i.e. lumber, screws, flooring, drywall, etc.
- Mineral wool/fiberglass to fill in gaps in floating walls, floors.
- Vinyl sheets to go under flooring to help dampen vibrations.
- U-blocks for a floating floor.
- Soundproof paint to provide an extra layer of absorption.
- Resilient channels – used to separate existing drywall from floating walls.
- Acoustic sealant – used to fill cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and other spots.
- Acoustic foam and panels – used more for acoustic treatment but can help with soundproofing as well.
How to Soundproof a Room for Recording Vocals
The same advice applies to soundproofing a room for recording vocals as it does to building a soundproof studio in general. However, you can purchase a stand-alone isolation booth that can be just for vocals without soundproofing your entire studio.
If you want a soundproof vocal booth in your studio, you’ll need to effectively soundproof an entire room. If you’re on a budget, you can build a small iso-booth that you can use for vocals or other instruments.
Getting isolated tracks, whether from vocals or anything else, is key in getting great takes you can work with and edit. So having some sort of iso-booth or soundproof room is necessary for most studios.
How to Soundproof a Room for Music Cheaply
As I touched on earlier, soundproofing is expensive. And doing a complete soundproof design and build-out is not realistic for everyone who has or wants a home studio. However, you can do a few things to improve soundproofing without spending a ton of money.
The first thing to consider is which room you build your studio in. If you have a quieter room in your house, like a basement or corner room, where it’s already more soundproof than upstairs, build your studio there.
Using some of the more inexpensive materials mentioned above, like vinyl sheets and soundproof paint, can also help. This won’t make a room entirely soundproof, but it will have an effect.
One key to soundproofing a studio is having more mass, and you can take this very literally. You can better soundproof the space by putting more things in your room to absorb or deflect sounds, like furniture, heavy blankets, or acoustic panels.
You won’t be able to build a floating studio or take on any major construction projects cheaply unless you have construction experience. But if you do or know a friend who might give you a reasonable rate, that’s another way to go about soundproofing for cheap.
How to Soundproof a Studio Door
Soundproofing a studio door can be approached similarly to floating doors and ceilings. And to accomplish this, you’ll need two doors with an air gap between them. This is essentially a small atrium, serving the same purpose as a floating room.
You really don’t need to build a block or floating door system unless you are making a floating room for your studio. The double-door design does a great job of soundproofing and is much more effective than a single door.
You can also just use a heavier door made of denser material if you don’t want a double design. Make sure to put a door sweep on the bottom as well to prevent sound from escaping the space between the door and the floor.
Putting heavy blankets on both sides of a studio door can be an easy and affordable solution to moderately effective soundproofing. This is a good option if you are on a budget or need help with sound problems from your door.
Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how to soundproof a home studio.
How do you deaden a home studio?
To improve the effectiveness of your home studio, you’ll want to consider soundproofing and audio treatment. Incorporating elements of both of these into the construction and design of your space will help deaden the room and eliminate outside noise and natural reflections.
What is the least expensive soundproofing?
Most effective soundproofing begins with the construction of a studio or other room. You can use cheap materials such as blankets and foam to help soundproof to a certain degree, but these won’t be that effective compared to more expensive construction tactics.
What is the best sound dampening for a home studio?
Using acoustic panels or foam are effective materials that can help dampen the sound of your home studio. Rockwool is a good material to use in acoustic panels, and acoustic foam is available online or at music stores. These are more effective than furniture or blankets.
You can block noise on a shared wall by building a floating wall to buffer the sound vibrations coming from external noise sources. You can also hang blankets or acoustic panels, but this won’t block the noise as effectively.
How much does it cost to soundproof a home studio?
Effective soundproofing construction can get expensive and will typically cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for each room you want to treat. If you do the building and soundproofing yourself, you can save some money versus hiring the job out.
Soundproofing a home studio starts with the construction. And building a floating room is the ideal solution for effective soundproofing. You can attempt this build yourself if you have experience, but you will likely need to hire professionals for the job.
You can also attempt some minor and more affordable soundproofing solutions to improve the effect in your space. This won’t be anywhere near completely soundproof, but it’s a decent option if you are on a budget.
How do you approach soundproofing in your home studio? Let me know in the comments below.