soudproofing on a budget

Techniques for getting your tone to tape.

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noworrybeefcurry
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soudproofing on a budget

Post by noworrybeefcurry » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:03 pm

I work through most of the day and the only time i am able to play is later in the evening, but my neighbors are the issue. I am living in a town house with people below me; so are their any options i have?

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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by 6burgh » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:57 pm

Eeeek, that's a toughy. So what's your budget? That will drive quite a bit of the solution. First thing you'll want to do is remove standing waves that tend to build up in the corners of the room. That's the biggest reason for bass to build and get real woofy. This can be done in two primary ways. Buy specialized bass traps or build your own. You can google search the build your own, but it ends up being basically a concrete form capped and filled with sand. Nothing blocks bass but mass.

Next you'll want to remove the reflections by both diffusing and absorbing the direct sound waves from the speakers. You can again either buy the foam-type material that can be installed directly on the walls, or you can manufacture your own panels using a high-quality rigid fiberglass (like rigid insulations with higher R-values). You'll have to wrap them in a dense/thick cloth like something for curtains. I suck at sowing, so I've never really tried this. Use a mirror to "look" around the room to see where you have reflection points.

Also, remember mass is the best soundproofing material, so You can also add extra heavy carpeting (throw rugs the fit the room appropriately, even two layers). In the end, you pay for stuff that looks good and functions well. But you can do a lot if you don't care what the look is.

Hope this helps!

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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by demonufo » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:59 pm

Another important thing is;

Treating one wall is the same as treating 3 walls. You either need to do the 1 largest wall, or do the whole room. Anything in-between will have hardly any effect whatsoever.

Bass traps are a good starter point though, if done properly.

The real cheap (but ugly way) would be to line your walls and ceilings with fibreglass insulation roll, and tack up thin carpet over the front of it (just literally nail it to batons, just enough to stop the fibreglass getting everywhere)
Real ugly, but effective.

However, having people below is quite a big issue, and it's quite difficult to remove bass from travelling downwards by transmission.
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noworrybeefcurry
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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by noworrybeefcurry » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:54 pm

Thank you, that really did help. But i do have another question that i forgot to leave out of my original post; i would like to sound proof, but with minimal tonal loss from my amps. I am not sure if these techniques will have an effect or not on my tone, will they?

Secondly i am willing to spend more if their is a noticeably difference. Also, the main issue is the sound going down, i have no one on the sides of me. Will these approaches somewhat muffle the downward waves?

Thanks again.

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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by 6burgh » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:11 pm

Isolation, isolation, isolation. The more you can "separate" your cab and the floor, the more you'll limit transmission. You can both find and build isolation platforms to remove the contact between your cab and the floor. This is pretty much like putting a bass trap underneath of the cab. A small platform made of wood and sand works pretty well. Imagine making a box out of 2x4's and encasing it with 3/4" plywood. You'd then fill the interior with sand. That would give you a 5" tall "stage" on which to place your cab. Of course, you'd still want carpet and/or other absorptive material between the stage and the floor. This is a very common technique for home theaters (stages for the subwoofers).

And your first question... oh boy it will make a very good difference! Soundproofing eliminates both the reflective (echo) waves and the standing (frequency building) waves and present the most true tone from your amp... that's essentially why a lot of people use isolation boxes and mic up their cab and listen through monitors. Have you thought of that option? It does involve a lot more piece of the puzzle though.

Demonufo is right on though... you can't half way soundproof a room.

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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by noworrybeefcurry » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:52 pm

Basically the way i have my gear set up now is that i am running my head into a cab that is sitting on top of another cab that is not being used, i also have the used cab facing the biggest wall in the room which is about 10 feet from the cab. This seems to slightly help as opposed to just having my cab on the ground. Should i build an isolation platform or place several layers of carpet underneath my cab on top of what i am already doing?

I have thought of using an isolation cabinet a while back but the issue i ran into was that the only commercially available one's i could find didnt have the speaker configuration that i liked.

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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by demonufo » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:24 am

noworrybeefcurry wrote:Basically the way i have my gear set up now is that i am running my head into a cab that is sitting on top of another cab that is not being used, i also have the used cab facing the biggest wall in the room which is about 10 feet from the cab. This seems to slightly help as opposed to just having my cab on the ground. Should i build an isolation platform or place several layers of carpet underneath my cab on top of what i am already doing?
Yes, are you are still transmitting lower frequencies through everything that it is standing on. That unused cab and the floor are still resonant, so sound will still pass through just the same. The only difference is that you have less standing waves and less 'apparent' bass because the top cab is further away from the floor. This might make it sound less deep in the room, but probably less so downstairs.
The layers of carpet will help though, but moreso over the whole floor.
Personally if it were a problem I'd go down the isolation cab route, but again, it depends on how much you need to do this, and how far you're willing to go.
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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by noworrybeefcurry » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:04 pm

.........huh, maybe my best bet would be the isolation cab then. I dont know much about them as far as the best ones out there and ways to set them up. The only commercial one i know of is the Jet City isolation cabinet. Could you help fill me in?

-Thanks alot!

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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by demonufo » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:47 pm

Sorry I meant isolation platform. :oops:
The iso cabs fine for recording or re-amping, but not much use for playing/rehearsing.
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Re: soudproofing on a budget

Post by frenchie » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:58 pm

i know of a guy who tested possibly every methods to sound proof his studio in paris , the best solution he apparently found is lead plates combined with the other more common methods ( ya know rock wool , yadda yadda... )....yeah weirdly i know iknow , i wouldn't have though lead plates would isolate anything myself but apparently it's what's working best :what: :scratch:

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