The best method for creating a practice studio which will let you do live rehearsals and recordings is to follow the instructions in the free brochure Acoustics 101 which you can download from http://www.auralex.com. You’ll learn that maximum soundproofing for your music studio requires construction of a “room within a room.”
The ideas in this brochure can be used, however, for any sort of room soundproofing project, because the concept it describes takes advantage of the sealed air space which you’ll created between the new walls of you music studio and the old walls of the original room. If space allows, you can dampen the noise you’ll be making even further by constructing a separate ceiling for your room within a room, but that’s not always practical. What will be practical is for you to frame the walls for your new room flat on the floor and then lift them into position.
Adding Soundproofing Material
If you must keep the original ceiling, soundproof it either with mass loaded vinyl (MLV) or a blend of MLV and closed cell foam. When you’ve finished framing the walls, and measured for dead air space, you can begin soundproofing the new room.
I recommend lining the pockets between the new and old walls with American Mat or a similar foam of closed cell vinyl nitrile, which is usually ¼” thick and will be glued to the studs, joists, and interior cavity walls with contact cement. You won’t be filling the cavities with the American Mat; you’ll only be lining them.
Adding Insulation and Decoupling
If your room within a room is being constructed in an unheated garage or basement, you might decide that thermal insulation is a good idea. If so, I suggest you use Roxul, a terrific batt insulation of thermal rock wool which also has great Soundproofing properties.
If most of the noise your band makes is low frequency noise coming from either acoustic drums or a bass amplifier, you should now decouple the walls. We’ll discuss decoupling methods in further articles, but if you are using high-powered amplifiers ( 4 X 12 cabinets with fifty-watt amps, for example) along with an Ampeg bass system and miked acoustic drums, then you can get by without decoupling.
Finishing Your Home Recording Studio
If you won’t be decoupling, then get some more high quality MLV and staple it directly either to the joists or the studs on your assembled walls. Overlap the seams and seal them with OSI acoustical caulk, and then tape them with either heavy PVC or lead tape.
When you’ve finished sealing the MLV, put in a final layer of 5/8″ drywall, buttering its edges with more of the acoustical caulk. Then tape, mud, and paint it, and you’re finished! You have your own in-home soundproof recording studio!
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