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Author Topic: my room's too loud...  (Read 1445 times)

grizzly joe

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my room's too loud...
« on: September 29, 2006, 03:51:38 pm »

i recently rebuilt my room.  it is 12.5x15.5ft, 7.5ft ceilings, with hardwood floors.  i keep minimal stuff in it... just a desk and a bed, really.  it's really live sounding, and me and my band mates decided to start practicing here, but there is a problem... this room is LOUD.  i, and we personally, don't mind it being loud.  we wear ear protection, and we have fun, but... other people in the house don't like it very much.  another thing is that this is a basement room, and i have a long window that is at front yard level... the sound bleeds madly.

i am trying to figure out a way to quiet down this room.  as of right now, it is just a room.  no treatment or anything.  i definitely need something that i can stuff up in the window (there is a window sill, so there is room to put SOMETHING up there.)  any suggetsions for this?  i need something that will keep the sound in as much as possible.  as for other areas of my room to treat, i am not sure what to do to get this place quieter.  i like the live sound for recording, so i would like something that i can put up only when we are practicing.

thanks for anything and everything.

Teddy G.

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Re: my room's too loud...
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2006, 11:21:50 am »

READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH FIRST!!! Then come back to the top.

For recording, I question whether you really want the sound to be THAT live, as it would be in a completely untreated room? But, it is YOUR recording, if you like it you like it. Moving on...

Since your neighbors may call the police first, as opposed to your family(Or maybe not?), I'd try to minimize the noise getting to the outside of the house, first.

Perfection will not be the goal, here - it really can't be - it will be chore enough just trying to cut down, as much as possible, room-to-anywhere-else transfer of sound without paying-out more than the price of the house - maybe the price of the entire neighborhood? Sound-PROOFING can be MUCH more difficult and pricey than "treating the room", itself, to JUST sound "better", perse.).

Trying to keep this cheap and "do-able". There are certainly "better" ways, like, now that you've finished "the room" re-modeling, building ANOTHER, entirely seperate room INSIDE "the room", completely seperated from "the room" itself, with ventilation that doesn't transfer sound, could be difficult and pricey.

Anyway. You may as well try the window first. Cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit over the window frame, the entire "window area" if possible, if the interior wall structure around the window will allow. Run a large bead of "silicone glue"(The clear stuff) or "tub caulking"(The white stuff) around the edge of the plywood piece. Let it dry. You should now have a piece of plywood with a rubber "seal" at it's edges. Hold the window cover in place. Drill pilot holes through plywood and into the window frame/frame area, say 4 to start. Screw the piece down - tight, compressing your seal. You could, then, do the same thing, with plywood/rubber seal, on the outside of the window/frame area! Stuffing the areas between window covers and window with insulation? You can but it won't help much, if at all - different subject.  

OK. Now you've got the window covered, to some degree. Really you can do no more. You just can't. Pay-off the people upstairs? Play only when they're at the mall? Anyway, some other stuff to do, if you want to try.    

At Noon(When it's as light as possble outside)go downstairs to the room, shutting the doors to the upstairs/rest of the basement as you go. Turn off all the lights, let your eyes adjust - maybe 20 minutes sitting there in the dark(Take someone with you you like to sit in the dark with to pass the time.). Now, look for "light leaks". Anywhere you find light coming through will have to be sealed. Start at the covered window. You may find you need more screws in the panel to really seal it(Like a screw every 3 inches?) Some of the tiny leaks, elsewhere, you may try the silicone glue/caulking(Comes in blue or even black - try the auto parts store). Remember that where you spread this glue may be "ruined" if you ever need to get it off - if you CAN get it off?!?!?

Other things you can try to seal are AC wall outlets and ceiling lighting fixtures(Assuming you already have some kind of ceiling material in the basement which fixtures go through.). Point is, ANY PINHOLE LEAK from your room to anywhere else - around pipes/wires/structural members(Ceiling joists/wall studs/door-window frames) that run through the walls/floors/ceiling to somewhere else will let sound through - more than you'd believe(Actual sound conduction THROUGH the structural members themselves cannot be prevented this way - for that you need a "room within a room".).

So, now you've sealed everything you can and you've made "a difference". Without doing a whole lot more that will be a whole lot more extensive/expensive than a piece of plywood and a few tubes of silicone caulking, you're, pretty much, done. Frankly, whether you've made enough difference to even have bothered with this in the first place(Other than the window to the outside which may be much improved?), is questionable. You will have found, along the way, that you just can't "seal" the door to the upstairs for instance as, for one reason, a "normal" household door just isn't made to do much of anything with - though with imagination you can try. If "the room" has, for instance, it's own door(To the rest of the basement) you could try adding an extra-wide "frame" all the way around the door jam, putting some more silicone around it - or try some "other" door sealing foam/tape? Whatever. So that when you close the door you really have to pull on it - HARD - to close it/seal it. Again, alot of interior doors are just not made for this(There are "studio doors", but not for us "home-players" with no "real studio" to go around them.). You might try hanging ANOTHER door, opening "out" on the outside of the door frame(Gets complex fast.)?

To try to help in the space above "the room", install "something/anything" on the ceiling of "the room"(Ceiling tiles/drywall material/plywood/wood planks(?) -- keeping in mind it can't just be nailed up there, it has to be "sealed"! No "leaks" at all! Again, stuffing insulation between ceiling and floor may help, but more as "room treatment" than sound-proofing(I'd certainly do it though while I was going to the trouble...) - certainly, adding a ceiling to the space WILL change the way "the room" "sounds" - can't be avoided.

So, you end-up with a "sealed room". Sound transfer, while not being close to "gone" is "better" to some degree. So, you go into your space to play, close the door and... all of you die of asphyxiation within a couple of hours. Oops! Forgot the ventilation! Ventilation that transfers no sound is s-o-o-o difficult(For you and me) that I say - SCRATCH all of the above other than the window to the outside.  What you want to do can't be done - not by mortals with screws and glue. Sorry.

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