[LAU] studio prep question.

Ben Bell bjb-linux-audio-user at deus.net
Sat Feb 24 09:19:19 CET 2018

Hi Karen,

As others have said, this is a bit more complicated and there's a lot of
confusion and misinformation, some of it somewhat cynically and deliberately
stirred by people with products to sell. Here's a slightly longer answer:

There are two different issues: stopping sound escaping, and treating the
sound qualities within the room. The latter is to do with controlling
reverb and resonances to get an accurate representation of the sound
coming out of the speaker. Without this you'll get peaks and troughs in
the frequency spectrum along with ringing and booming at certain frequencies
related to the dimensions of your room. It's a complex subject with many
"silver bullet" solutions sold but this is what most things like foam
tiles, bass traps and the like are for.

The second issue, stopping sound escaping, is much harder. There is nothing
that will "absorb" sound to stop it escaping, you simply have to have an
air-tight room with very heavy duty walls, ceilings and floors. Depending
on how loud you want the music to be inside, and how loud you want that sound
to be on the other side (noting that bass is harder to contain), it's pretty
much about how thick abd heavy your walls, ceilings and floors are. Without
undertaking major construction work all you can really do is bring the weak
links up to that standard. Usually that means putting on a heavier door, and
trying to seal up air gaps. With floors you can make some gains by putting
"barrier mat" or "mass loaded vinyl" down, completely covering the floor and
sealing gaps (then put carpet on top of it). Ceilings are best treated from
above, i.e. "soundproof" the upstairs floor, not your ceiling. Windows are
also big leaks and depending on how serious you are, blocking them up to
some extent or another is in order. Sound will, however, continue to leak
through vibration along joists and pipes, and if your walls are thing stud
partitions you'd be lucky to get much containment without e.g. building
another, heavier set of walls inside them.
If you want to contain the sound of an acoustic drumkit so that someone
next door can sleep while you play, you're probably out of luck. If you're
trying to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate) how audible you are next
door when you're monitoring at medium volumes, or making it so that someone
talking next door doesn't show up loudly on your microphone inputs, you might
be in with a better chance.

Sorry if this all sounds a bit negative and daunting! The point is that
there are things that can be done but without doing some research it's easy
to spend a lot of money on treatement that doesn't actually meet your

I can recommend picking up a second hand copy of Basic Home Studio Design
by Paul White (editor of Sound on Sound). It's not necessarily the greatest
book on the subject ever, but what it is small, clear, pragmatic and cheap,
and it gives you a quick overview of all of this stuff.

I'd offer to send my old copy but I've just moved house (coincidentally
to build a bigger studio) and all my books are still in boxes.

Best wishes,

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list