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Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Eddie C, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Eddie C

    Eddie C Auditioning

    Jan 4, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Hello and Happy New Year!

    I am in the Research stage of building a HT/studio and have been overwhelmed by the information on different sites, spreadsheet calculations, etc. I would like to create a room which I can use for movies, music and practice/recording studio.

    Room: 20L X 13W X 9H (unfinished, concrete floor)

    I have read on several sites that the best way to isolate sound would be to create a room within the room. I don’t want to loose space and it sounds expensive. Since I have a limited budget, I plan on doing most of the work.

    Before I start:

    1. Is it advisable to incorporate all of the above and if so how should I treat the room? (acoustics and isolation)
    2. Will it do any good to float the floor and double sheet rock walls and ceiling?

    All suggestions and advice on products as well are appreciated.


    Eddie C
  2. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

    Jul 20, 2003
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    There are three keys to soundproofing a room:

    1. Airtight. A perfectly soundproof room with an open door is no longer soundproof. And sound can escape through even a tiny hole. Room seams, outlets, etc should be sealed.

    2. Dense wall partitions. Dense wall partitions take more energy to vibrate and are less conducive to transmitting sound. (Mass loaded vinyl, double sheetrock construction )

    3. Accustical separation. Double wall construction, resilient channel and the like isolate vibrating room components from the building structure.

    Before you start your project, you need to decide how soundproof you need your space to be. soundproofing is a very incremental job. (after the room is airtight) You want to incorporate aspects of all three design principles in your constrution.

    A good place for information and materials is:
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Aug 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:

    Chris nailed it (as always) WRT what’s required for the most effective sound proofing. You’re already ruled out the “acoustical separation” factor (i.e., room-in-a-room), but you can still utilize the other aspects he mentioned. It’s not hard to make the room airtight, but it will require separate return vent for the AC system. For the density factor you can double up with 5/8” sheetrock for the walls and (if needed) the ceiling. Use a solid core with outdoor-type weather stripping and threshold.

    What “all of the above?”

    Regarding treatment, that’s separate from sound proofing. That’s what’s needed inside the room to cut down on reverberation. To that end, soft surfaces are good, hard surfaces are bad. One of the most effective treatments is wall-to-wall carpeting. You might even bring it up on the wall 2-3 feet to reduce the reflectiveness of the sheetrock.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  4. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

    Sep 6, 1998
    Likes Received:
    As indicated above room isolation is a big, big job. The weakest link will invariably be the door so you would need to do some research to find an appropriate product. Interior grade doors are essentially useless when it comes to sound isolation. Exterior grade doors with weather stripping for a seal would be the minimum, but even then they're not designed for complete sound protection. To get total isolation you need to get into pro level products. I had the opportunity to visit Widescreen Review's reference theater a few years ago and their door looks like it came from a vault. But they applied all the principles above and their room is truly sound proof. Once that door is shut nothing comes out or goes in. As an example, I walked out of the room during a demo of Air Force One. It was playing at reference level, and once I closed the door the deepest bass notes had the impact of a balled sock hitting the floor. Incredible.

    You'll also need to balance the treatments - you don't want too dead or too live for either application you are considering. Although depending on the style of music you are going to record you may require more damping for isolation. If you're going for more of a live feel in your recordings then you'll still want a bit of bounce to the room. You may even consider constructing moveable acoustic panels on wheels that can be moved into place for studio time.
  5. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

    Jul 20, 2003
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    Ditto on Wayne's comments. The room he described would be very, but not totally soundproof. To give you another example, here is my room, another case of not enough space to do double wall construction.

    Wall construction sandwitch:
    1/2" sheetrock on three interior walls-plywood on one external
    plastic wrapped fiberglass insluation (some "weak" areas used mineral fiber insulation)
    Foam tape on the studs
    5/8" drywall
    Mass loaded vinyl
    1/2" drywall
    primer and paint

    Floor sandwitch
    2" thick mineral fiber insulation
    Foam tape
    5/8" plywood

    I used a solid wood exterior door.

    With that construction, I have about 45dB (IIRC) of isolation.(minimum, on the other side of the door. Everywhere else it's about 55dB) For me that was enough, because the adjacent spaces are my garage, a bathroom, a closet, and outside. Beyone those spaces the theater is unheard in the rest of my house, even at referance levels, even low frequencies.
  6. Eddie C

    Eddie C Auditioning

    Jan 4, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Thanks, to all for the info provided.


    1.Has anyone used green glue and do you recommend over mass loaded vinyl.? (difference around 600.00 and I have read that MLV is not an easy install)

    2.Will the plan below work?

    Your suggestions and ideas are welcomed.
    Thanks in advance. Eddie C

    1.Mass loaded Vinyl (MLV) or Green Glue (Audio Alloy)
    2.Sheetrock (1 or 2 layers) (size ???)

    1.Soundboard (1/2)
    2.Drywall (5/8)

    Floor (no skeleton)
    1.Acoustic Floor Mat (Corning – Quiet Zone) or Mineral fiber (2”)
    2.One or Two layers of plywood (3/8 or 5/8)

    1.Roofing felt (30lb)
    2.Insulation (R19)

    1.Roofing felt
    2.Sand ???
    3.Plywood (2 layers)
  7. Quiet Zone

    Quiet Zone Auditioning

    Aug 5, 2007
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    Quiet Zone Acoustic Insulation is awesome. I also used Quiet Zone to insulate my home theater. I used it in addition to Quiet Glue between two staggered thicknesses of 5/8" gypsum. Of course, none of this can go into place until every little crack is filled with foam and/or silicone! I have a ton of Quiet Zone Batts left over (enough for 3 home theatres- misordered and can't return). If you're in the market, let me know![​IMG]

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