Soundproofing An At-Home Recording Studio

Posted on: 2 December 2015

Whether you're a hobbyist musician or a professional voice actor, having an at-home recording studio can be incredibly convenient. But no matter how much you invest in your technology, you're still likely to encounter some issues with background noises. A professional recording studio is constructed to isolate sound as much as possible, and there are limits as to what can be done in post-processing. You'll need to soundproof your room if you're going to produce polished, high-quality recordings.   

Location, Location, Location: Choosing the Right Setup

There's a reason why many at-home recording studios are either in a basement or a closet. Ideally, you want a space that has the firmest, most solid walls: this is usually the concrete walls of a basement. However, if you don't have that, you want the smallest area you can find. This is because smaller sections of a wall are generally more stable than larger sections, provided that the walls are made out of the same materials. 

Insulating Your Interior Walls

If you're working with interior walls -- as in, walls that aren't concrete -- you should make sure that they are well-insulated. While this won't increase the structural integrity of the walls, it will reduce the amount of background noise that is coming from the surrounding rooms. Sheet insulation is generally preferable for this application. You don't want to pack acoustic sheets or panels inside your walls because they generally aren't rated for mold, pests, and other issues -- you want to stick to ordinary insulation for the interior of the wall.

Adding Acoustic Sheets to the Interior

Once you've insulated the interior walls, you can add acoustic sheets to the inside of the room. These differ from insulating sheets because they are not placed within the walls but instead simply on the surface of the walls. There are many brands and types of acoustic sheet: in general, the thicker the sheet, the more it will absorb sound. Acoustic sheets do provide sound blocking, but more importantly they dampen "reverb" or echo effects within the room. This provides a cleaner, more consistent sound. 

Choosing Your Flooring

There's a reason why most apartments come with carpet. It isn't just cheap and cozy: it also dampens noise. Your flooring should be a soft material: either a high-traffic acoustic foam or a light pile carpeting would be a good choice.

A contractor (such as one from Sonic Farm Studio) specialized in studio recording and recording studio equipment may be able to give you more information regarding your home build. A small amount of background noises can usually be stripped out by high-quality audio software, but you'll still want to make sure that your room is as silent as possible to avoid any issues with sound quality later on.