1 Setting –
The setting should be a smaller space in general, but still large enough to comfortably set up all of your equipment and be able to take at least a couple steps across.
Ideally, the studio would be set away from people, but this is not always an option.
A small shed is roughly the size that you should be shooting for as a finished product but add about 6” to a 1’ of space for the starting size–for reasons which will later become apparent.
2 Doors –
The doors are fairly straightforward in that they provide an opening for the sound to get in and escape, so you will have to seal them.
This is one area where you should not cheap out and go for the budget option as the difference between $5 door seals and $30 door seals is enough for these purposes that you should pony up the additional cost for peace of mind.
This will also help cut down on heating and cooling costs as a bonus.
3 Windows –
The windows are a similar problem as the doors except you may not want to solve the problem the same way.
Basically, most people simply choose to do away with windows altogether if they can, but this creates a cavelike setting that can distort time.
Instead, you can simply purchase specialty acoustic glass–which employs many of the same principles we will use for the entire room–and seal it as normal.
This will allow you to have windows that can let in natural light without having to worry about sound leakage.
4 Walls –
The walls are arguably the most important part of the process, but that is just as much because there are numerous types of enhancements normally used to improve the soundroom’s isolating quality.
In this instance, we are referring to the walls themselves which will likely be made of MDF or some other composed wood.
While this material is not exactly known for its soundproofing qualities, there are plenty of compounds that can be applied to the walls which are explicitly designed to dampen sound.
5 Insulation –
This is not exactly what you are thinking as the materials used to insulate a room from heat or cold are not the same materials used to insulate a room from sound–at least, not completely.
Sound dampening insulation is usually composed of some type of foam material that has been manufactured with a structural design that allows it to better distribute the kinetic energy of sound.
That said, this will also still provide some modicum of thermal insulation anyway.
6 Room –
While this may not be something everyone can accomplish, easily the biggest step to making a soundproof studio is to make a room within the room itself.
Basically, put up walls and a ceiling within the room–giving a couple inches separation–to serve as a barrier for the sound.
This is why you use a space a foot larger than you plan to use and allows so many different configurations for the other steps that it is a must-have feature–even if you have to go out of your way to get it.
7 Floor –
This will follow a similar approach as the room in that you will want space between the floor and the foundation of the space to provide more dissipation of the sound and kinetic energy.
This is most commonly accomplished with a “floating” floor that is installed at the edges of the room with interlocking pieces and is never glued or fastened to the floor.
Like building the room within a room, this one can be a bit tricky for those without experience, and it is not a bad idea to hire a professional for this step if you need.
8 Accessory –
This is what people generally think of when they think of soundproofing their studio.
While the foam panels with acoustic dampening materials and designs are by far the most common accessory used, there are plenty of compounds, braces, and other pieces of equipment used to further dampen the sound.
While these are known for being effective pretty much across the board, they are also some of the most expensive options too.
9 Ventilation –
One thing to remember is that when sealing up the room, you will still need to be able to cycle old air out and new air in.
While you can set up a fairly elaborate system to take care of this, a simply intake fan that brings air from the outside in and an outtake fan that takes air from the inside and pushes it out are all you really need.
Just make sure to check the fan’s decibel levels as they could potentially generate their own noise.
10 Acoustic Box –
Regardless of how you design your ventilation system, there is still the issue of having at least one large hole in your “soundproof” room.
The solution is to make what is known as an acoustic box that uses a series of “S-shaped” ducts.
This allows the air to pass through the ducts without issue but forces the sound waves to dissipate further and further through the box until the end result leaves little more than a low, indistinct hum.