[Trombone-l] Soundproofing a room
crtune at adelphia.net
Wed Nov 23 16:57:27 CST 2005
Interesting thing to do, soundproofing a room. Unfortunately for those like
your friend, most of the written material discusses "floating a wall" and
re-building walls, applying treatments to HVAC vents and ducting, and
similar "studio" construction techniques.
For those of us who cannot manage to fundamentally rebuild our homes, lesser
techniques are in order. Once again, a very thorough understanding of the
physics of sound (AKA "Acoustics") is needed.
Every material transmits sound, but each has its own coefficient of
conduction for sound. We have all heard how sound can be heard at immense
distances in water. . .more so than the same sound would be detectable in
airspace. This is an example of the conduction in a "different" material
vs. air. The walls, themselves transmit sound into another housing space.
The easiest acoustic techniques to adopt are those that reduce reflected
sound within his room (e.g. wall baffles, hanging rugs, heavy drapes, things
like that. Also, there is a need to properly insulate the doors, both at
the edges and in the body of the door.
In my den, my wife placed large panels of foam-stuffed upholstery on the den
doors. This helped reduce sound leakage quite a bit. The room is already
covered with bookshelves and with drapes. . .also, quite a bit of equipment
and files and racks are lining the other walls.
So, you really have to start tallying up how many intances of "insulation"
you have around the sound-producing area, as well as how many "isolation"
treatments you have. Luckily, sound eliminating material is very similar to
heat-retaining insulating material. If you make a sound in a room that is
separated from another by a wall with substantial "heat" insualation, it
will reduce the sound transmission more than with a wall that has no
You could hire a company to blow insulation into a wall. For this they will
need to poke holes in the top of each "box" of studs. This is not so cheap a
job. First, I'd see about getting thick wall hangings up. Hanging a rug is
much better than hanging a picture. The rug has much more insulating
capacity than a painting. This "insulating" capacity is from trapped air
pockets (millions of little areas or "pockets") within the material.
Each time the sound travels through a trapped air pocket (such as within a
wall) or through a material/air interface it reduces energy from sound. So,
you could, in addition to the heavy wall hangings, put up fairly high (maybe
six feet) gobos between the sound source and the wall that adjoins the
complaining neighbor. A gobo is a freestanding frame with legs which has
substantial puffy fabric and fiber insulation in its frame. These are used
by recording studios to isolate one sound from another one nearby. Studios
also usually drape additional blankets (e.g. the kind you see in moving
vans) over the gobos to reduce reflections and to "mate" one gobo to
another, adjacent gobo.
I hope your friend has good luck.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Soukup" <psoukup at mindspring.com>
To: "Trombone-L List" <trombone-l at server5.samford.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 8:36 AM
Subject: [Trombone-l] Soundproofing a room
>I know this is an old subject, but has anybody tried to soundproof a wall
> a room lately?
> A fellow player has asked me about this, he lives in a condo and his
> neighbors are complaining....
> Here's a link to a soundproofing material.
> Has anybody used this?
> Besides a practice mute, what else is there?
> Pete Soukup
> St. Andrews Brass
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