A musician needs practice in order to become great. However, what if you don’t have your own place for practicing? What if you live in an apartment building? Or your parents’ house, where you can’t make a lot of noise without waking everyone up? There’s no other choice but to create a studio of your own; a place where you can practice your music without having to answer to the neighbors.
Creating your own studio or practice room is a great way to have a space of your own. Most often for musicians living with other people, you can only play music during the day when everyone’s awake, or sometimes, only when there’s no one home (drummers, do you feel me?)
In this article, I’m going to show you how to create a sound studio/practice room of your own, without having to tear a hole in your pocket! Here’s how:
Step 1: Choose the best room for soundproofing
The most ideal room for building a practice studio in is a room on the ground level, preferably with thick walls and no windows. Perhaps a garage or the basement? If possible, choose the most ideal room that you can use as your own music room.
Once you’ve chosen the most appropriate room for your music room, you can start clearing it of any unnecessary furniture, particularly the ones that vibrate. Moreover,take this opportunity to clean the room thoroughly, so you can have a totally new space of your own.
In this step, you also need to clear the floor and remove anything hanging from the wall. Leave only the furniture you need in the room, perhaps a couch or a table.
Step 2: Make the walls thicker
Thin walls absorb sound much more easily than thicker and dense walls. If you have a room with thin walls, you can reinforce them by constructing a simple wall frame using the best framing hammer. Then, attach a layer of drywall or sheetrock to increase the thickness and density of the wall.
Another option you can do is decoupling. In this process, you are going to put a space in between the wall and another sheet of drywall/sheetrock. This method will minimize the vibrations, and the gap can also be used to stuff insulation material in.
To make the soundproofing more efficient, you can use a damping compound on your walls. This damping compound will convert sound energy to heat energy, and is known to absorb low frequencies.
Step 3: Block holes and gaps
Sound is still going to travel to other parts of your home if you have any open spaces, such as the gap underneath the door and any holes that may be present on the wall.
You can use a door sweep or simply a spare piece of lumber to cover up gaps. Moreover, for cracks on your newly reinforced wall, you can use an acoustical caulk/sealant to further block sound.
Other than acoustical sealant, you can also use foam gaskets to seal up small air gaps in the room.
Step 4: Soundproof your floor
This step is optional, but may be necessary for music rooms on upper levels, and for people living in multi-level apartments.
To soundproof your floors, apply the same process you’ve done on the wall; add a layer of drywall/sheetrock on the floor with dampening compound underneath. If you have extra budget, you can cover the floor with soundproofing mats and a layer of carpeting.
Step 5: Bring in your instruments and play!
Now that you have a reasonably soundproof room, you can now enjoy playing your instruments to full volume without having to answer to anyone!
However, to make sure you’ve done everything right, you can test out the soundproof-ness of your room by playing loud music and stepping outside. If you still hear the music too loudly, look for gaps and holes you may have missed.
Note: You cannot totally deaden the sound of your soundproof room. At most, people will hear muffled music from your room while you play, which is very tolerable compared to loud noise.
If you’re going to make a practice room of your own, it’s better to take all the necessary steps to soundproof a room than doing it half-hearted. Following the soundproofing tutorial here, you’ll be sure to end up with great (and quiet) results afterwards.
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