Author Topic: need help with simple basement studio soundproofing  (Read 5358 times)


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need help with simple basement studio soundproofing
« on: March 17, 2009, 06:01:37 PM »

I have some questions about soundproofing a basement room to become a simple home studio… I’m probably not the only one who wants to do this, so hopefully it will be useful for others to see the responses here.

Here’s the setup: I have an unfinished basement that’s stubbed out and already has framing in place. The room in question is about 12x12, one outside wall with a window, one outside wall that’s earth and two interior walls to rooms that don’t matter much in terms of having sound bleed through (a bathroom and a playroom that probably won’t be in use when the studio is). The problem for this room is the ceiling. The room above it is my wife’s office and the room next to that is the primary family room.

The tough part is getting it to the point where my wife can work uninterrupted in the office (perhaps ~20-30dB?).

Though it will be a studio, the use of electric drums should help considerably, since I don’t have to worry about an acoustic kit. This makes the guitar responsible for the most penetrating and loud sounds that will come from the studio. Though I don’t have a dB meter yet, I’m guessing that my recording volume for the guitar will not exceed 85-90dB. Now, am I understanding things correctly to think that I need an STC value for the ceiling that’s at least 70?    

My current thinking for the ceiling is to use two layers of sheet rock with a layer of MLV in between, all sandwiched by green glue and attached to the floor joists with a layer of acoustic tape in between the first sheet rock wall and the joist (So, it’d be joist : tape : sheet rock: green glue : MLV : green glue : sheet rock : paint). I’m thinking that the same setup could be repeated for the walls (except the one with earth on the other side… this doesn’t really need anything but a single layer of sheet rock, right?). As for the door, I’m planning on getting a solid core door, installing rubber/foam gaskets on the inside to seal the edges and a rubber runner at the bottom to complete the seal. If necessary, I could put MLV on one side of the door and pyramid foam on the inside (I plan on running this around the walls on the bottom anyway).

I don’t need a control room, an isolation booth, or worry about acoustic drums or neighbors complaining much… so I think I have it easy enough that I don’t need to put in a floating room… I’d really like to avoid this since I don’t want a very wide doorframe (or the extra work and loss of ~20 sqft of space for a 6” gap). If I’m thinking about this correctly, it seems that the primary problem area is the low frequency leakage through the ceiling – which should be mitigated by having a lot of mass (MLV and sheet rock x2) and some dampening in the glue….. right?  ;D

As far as measuring my needs, I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere, so I figured I’d ask. If I buy a dB meter and measure the level of the loudest sound I will generate in the room now and then in the room above me, can I difference the two measurements and get the STC value of the room as it is unfinished? I’m hoping I can so that I can ensure that I install sufficient soundproofing to meet my needs.

I have about $1000 budgeted for the soundproofing aspect of this project now… I hope that’s enough!  :)

Thanks to all who take the time to read this! Your help and comments are greatly appreciated, I assure you  :D


  • Guest
Re: need help with simple basement studio soundproofing
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 12:09:12 PM »
no one has any ideas?  :-[

If my plan even sounds reasonable to you, let me know... I'd know more than I know now  ;D

Randy S

  • Guest
Re: need help with simple basement studio soundproofing
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 03:41:54 PM »
Ok your idea is cost effective except I would improve your decoupling method, just using Isolation padding tape might not be enough. I would recommend using SSP Clips and Hat channel also put cotton fiber insulation in the joist cavities.
This will be a better insurance for LF and SPL, a couple things to keep in mind when doing the ceiling and walls. You are going to decouple the ceiling and your wall framing(studs) is still hard connected to the ceiling system, so sound transmission can travel up the walls and into the floor above. I would recommend doing the same system on the walls as well as the ceiling, however due to budget you could do the Isolation tape method on the walls to reduce cost.
Use a lot of Caulk when building this room....Air tight!