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This is a quick crash course in recording studio soundproofing, I will be discussing basic recording studio soundproofing on this page.
The reason recording studio’s need soundproofing is to prevent sound from: –
- Escaping from the live room to the control room and vice versa
- Escaping from the recording studio to adjacent buildings
- Penetrating the recording studio from adjacent buildings, roads and railways
However, before you dive head first into building massive soundproofed concrete walls and lead lined walls for your recording studio. the first thing you need to do is find out what and where the weakest link is.
For instance, is the floor structure wooden? If so, there is only a certain amount of soundproofing you can invest in before you hit the threshold of the sound being transmitted through the wooden floor. At this point you either stop and accept the limitations of your current budget or increase the budget so you can include floating floors (although on a wooden floor there are limitations because of vibrations) or suspending the entire studio structure from steel beams, which as you can imagine, will take a large chunk out of your construction budget.
Now, this is not to say that having a wooden floor is the be all and end all of recording studio soundproofing, there are a number of little work arounds and some come with a price and some are relatively simple and effective.
But the main thing to realise is that if you are planning on building your recording studio on a wooden floor you are effectively trying to build on a drum skin, the vibrations will quite happily travel through your recording studio floor under and along the floor joists and up into your live room.
Recording Studio Soundproofing Isolation Basics
If you can physically break the path between two objects, and put enough distance between those two objects then you are basically isolating the two options from each other. Sounds simple? Well, it is! The same works with sound isolation in order to prevent sound from travelling between two rooms. You need to physically isolate the two rooms from each other, and the outside world from the control room or live room.
Now, I am not saying that the control room or live room need to be suspended in mid-air, although that would be great if possible, I am saying that you need to prevent as much of the room as possible from physically touching the other.
One of the ways you do this is by resting the entire recording studio structure on rubber pads, spaced so that just enough rubber is used to prevent the rubber from totally compressing and too much rubber that it does not compress at all.
There are many other processes involved such as double-skinned rooms with zero contact between walls.
Recording Studio Soundproofing Absorption Basics
In general although all sound frequencies travel through the air, low frequencies having more energy behind them are able to travel more effectively through physical structures.
Low frequencies travel quite happily through objects as long as the objects allow the low frequencies to be vibrate the object.
High frequencies don’t travel very well through objects as the energy behind them dissipates quickly; they travel more efficiently through air. But once they hit an object, their energy is absorbed.
So, to capture and retain high frequencies you need to make the room airtight. And for low frequencies you need to have objects of mass that do not vibrate. It’s that simple!
Recording Studio Soundproofing is effective if you take into account isolation and absorption and make them work together, while still keeping in mind that before you even attempt to tackle recording studio soundproofing you need to determine the weakest areas and see how you can get either remove them or work around them.