by Owen Critchley
As I got going with the challenge of creating my easy home recording studio method, it dawned on me, “How about some tips about how to soundproof a studio at home? Is it really necessary for aspiring musicians to spend hundreds of dollars on specialized acoustic foam and studio baffles?”
You see, soundproofing a home studio is just one more way the “business” side of the home recording studio sucks us into the “product culture” that manufacturers work hard to create. You can see why, because they know that “where there is great interest and big dreams, there is money to be made.”
One or two tips, straight from my book, about how to soundproof a studio at home
This is a method I use myself and it is a dirt cheap way of soundproofing for studio walls and floors at home. If you are, or plan on recording at home, you’ll be most likely setting up in a bedroom, a corner of the living room, or recording in the garage. That’s great for convenience and easy accessibility, but the square corners and hard walls and floor surfaces in our homes create the problem of sound ricocheting and bouncing all over the place and messing up our ability to accurately judge our recordings.
Our goal is to dampen, absorb and randomize the shape and surroundings of the recording home studio environment.
How to soundproof a studio: Walls
* I stumbled on the perfect acoustic material for soundproofing my home studio when I was in the hardware store. What I found is the foam tile-type exercise mats or sectional mechanic’s mats. These foam type mats fit together like a jig-saw puzzle enabling you to put them together in any shape or size needed.
Simply drive very small brass nails through the mat (like those found in picture hanging kits) to attach them to the wall. We want to be able to re-position the foam tiles as needed, so do not glue the foam mat tiles to the wall. Also, no one needs to mess up their walls.
I use a single foam tile under my microphone stand to insulate resonance from the floor that can travel up the mic stand. It works like a charm, does not cost much at all, and actually looks really cool on the walls of the studio. Have a look:
Soundproofing for studio: Floors
- Wall to wall carpet (often ugly, but effective)
- Multiple shapes and sizes of area rugs. Nowadays you can get inexpensive fake oriental area rugs or modern designer knock-offs that create a nice vibe and do the job of dampening and absorbing sound reflection off the floor.
- Foam exercise tiles as described above. You could potentially tile your whole home studio floor with these snap together foam tiles.
Tip for buying soundproofing for home studio:
Instead of getting these mats in the home gym section of your sports store, the identical product is available even cheaper in the tool section of the hardware store, but they market them as mechanics’ mats.
Who else wants to make a wickedly effective vocal recording booth in seconds… AND costs almost nothing?
In my book, “Easy Home Recording Blueprint,” I have recording tips and tricks that include making a vocal or instrument recording booth in seconds that costs next to nothing. Even better, you can take it apart and put it away in 10 seconds flat. No tools, no effort and it works great. There is literally a ton more stuff about how I make my records at home. Great sounding, fast and dirt cheap… you’ll see ; )
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