Author Topic: recording vocal in a brick/stucco apartment in cambodia  (Read 3977 times)

jim bo

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recording vocal in a brick/stucco apartment in cambodia
« on: November 06, 2013, 08:23:47 PM »
hey all,

i need to do a little soundproofing of my apartment for a private recording studio in the bedroom. i’ll be tracking vocals and acoustic guitar and doing medium volume monitoring. no drums or anything really loud, but i need to keep sound out and also not bother the neighbors.

i rent an apartment in a stucco/brick building. it’s in cambodia so construction materials (bricks, etc) can be expected to be sub par and not as dense as they might be elsewhere. and i’m quite sure there’s no added insulation of any kind.

there are a few issues in the room right now:

1. screened vents along the top of 3 of the 4 walls that i need to cover/seal.

of the 3 vented walls, one wall is adjacent to outside; one to hallway and the other to the front room. the front room also has vents and those will remain open since no a/c in that room. the fourth wall is adjacent to the bathroom.

2. windows. there is a single pane window that opens to the front room—but not outside. ironically, it’s set up like a control booth though i won’t be using it that way so it can be obstructed/plugged. since the front room gets noise, i’ll have to deal with the window.

there is also a thick, privacy ‘block glass’ window (that doesn’t open) on the outside wall of the bedroom. i’m hoping that one will be ok since it is quite thick…

3. doors. there are two solid core, heavy wooden panel doors. one opens to the hallway and will remain in use. the other opens to the bathroom and i’m going to keep it shut.

the vents are the most pressing matter because i’m going to install a/c this week and cover the vents in the bedroom/studio.

to cover the vents i’m thinking of using either:
a. 1” plywood w weather stripping gasket for a good seal; or
b. 2 pieces of thinner plywood with something like polyethylene packaging foam sheets between the two pieces—also with weather stripping gasket.

in either case, i plan to affix the panels/covers with anchor screws.

so my main question is how much bleed am i likely to get through the brick/stucco walls and through the floor and ceiling/roof? i.e., at what point will i be overdoing it by making the vents more soundproof than the walls, floor and ceiling are?

the floors are, presumably, the same kind of materials as the walls. the flooring itself is hard tiles. so the whole interior and exterior is hard: either stucco or, in the case of the flooring, tiles.

and any other suggestions on materials and methods would be appreciated. because it’s in cambodia, i don’t have access to some resources/materials. and i’m on a budget.

i am going to put a carpet down where the mic is set up. and build a small, curved baffle just behind the mic and/or put foam on the wall behind the mic to minimize reflections. and maybe put some traps in the corners. if need be, i could possibly put up some acoustic foam along the walls but it's already a small space.

the space is about 3m x 3.3m x 3m tall / 10’ x 11’ x 10’ tall

noise considerations: for cambodia it's quiet where i am. on a small private road. some dogs, motos and occasional chickens outside. (dogs and chickens are a given throughout the country!:) and an establishment several houses/buildings away that plays hip hop at medium to loud volume. it’s not loud inside my apartment, but it is audible--in particular, the bass freqs. and then during wedding season parties are just plain over the top loud...

so i’m interested in how my solutions will deal with the range of frequencies, from higher (chickens, motos) to lower (distant subs, 808s etc.) btw, the landlord is cool about stuff as long as i leave it in good condition when i leave.

thanks so much!


jim bo

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please help!:) Re: recording vocal in a brick/stucco apartment in cambodia
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 05:54:10 PM »
hey all--i am really stuck and am dying to get recording. i've been reading a lot on this forum and other stuff online but can't figure this out. i could really use some help. does anyone have any thoughts?

also, i am looking into whether i can get drywall/plaster board so instead of the double-ply for covering the vents i could use: one layer ply (first layer); with a layer of drywall since the drywall will have more mass; with something like polyethelene foam between to catch different freqs and prevent vibration.

am i on the right track at all?? and since i'm not sure yet if the plasterboard is available or appropriate (due to humidity) please suggest how i could get by with or without it that option if you would.

thank you so much for any help. it is much appreciated and if you're ever in cambodia i'll buy you a beer:)



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Re: recording vocal in a brick/stucco apartment in cambodia
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 12:22:21 PM »

Sound-proofing = mass plus seal.

This means that your room (already brick and cement) needs to be completely sealed. Air vents and windows will need to be replaced with brick and cement to match the rest of that walls.

It's really not so simple and not something that you can buy off-the-shelf. Well, parts of it you can but sound-proofing requires construction... now once you have the mass and seal, you'll need access and ventilation.

There are papers and calculators available for free download on my publications page. I am in Jakarta, Indonesia.. so we're not far. ;)