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Building a Practice Room!

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  • Building a Practice Room!

    I'm building a house as part of a USDA rural development program, so in exchange for manual labor I will have a house and finally a place of my own!

    One of the bedrooms I'm going to make into a practice room. I can buy some stuff to put in over the insulation before they put the drywall up. I can also buy panels afterwards and cover the room. The sound dampening sheet rock is most likely out because they're bringing in professionals to hang the drywall and mud it.

    Does anyone else have a practice room? Do you have any recommendations or what you would do if you were able to build a practice room? I'm really looking forward to having this space in particular as my own little space

    Thank you so much!

  • #2
    A wet bar! A guy gets thirsty playing a lot!

    It sounds like you're on the right track with soundproofing. Not sure if you share common walls with neighbors, or if there's distance between buildings, but either way, insulation is not lost in this endeavor.


    • #3
      You may want to look at forums around home studios/recording. Most are set-up to handle loud volumes...damp them down through insulation, reflection control, etc... I now play (most of the time) in my studio, and I find the acoustic treatments I have for recording/studio work, to do wonders for the pipes. No hard-surface reflections...shrillness (excessive volume) has been mellowed. All positives, from my POV. And, not terribly costly.



      • #4
        On the practical front, it's useful to ensure the ceiling is high enough that light fittings clear the drones with lots of room to spare.

        In terms of location, if you can avoid sharing a wall with common areas, that's where you'll transmit most sonic nuisance too. A bedroom or whatever is much less of an issue, whether your place or someone else's.

        As far as sound attenuation goes, the thing to know is that what attenuates sound is mass. Foam, egg-crates, and other woo-woo won't really stop anything (they can *shape* sound, which is why studios use them). Sand or concrete is what will actually stop sound moving, though you do have to catch all the gaps.
        Tunes from Donald MacDonald


        • #5
          Re. sound attenuation, is your main goal to reduce sound leaving the room and irritating neighbours and housemates, or to reduce reflection inside the room? If you are aiming to block/contain sound, that high density rock-wool sound insulation does help but it's not the same as a concrete wall. Sealing all the openings (vents, doors, outlets etc.) is half the battle. Also, if it's not too late, you can frame the walls with 2x4" studs offset and alternating (inside then outside) on 2x6" sill and top plates. This is so the vibration of the sheetrock on the inside of the room can not be transmitted directly to the sheetrock in the adjacent room.

          For reflection inside the room, carpet on the floor and decorative rugs hanging on the walls go a long way to reduce reflection, but as others have pointed out before, sometimes you want some reflection off the floor if you are recording yourself playing.

          Other than that, some shelving for music books etc, a humidifier if you live in a dry area and a place to hang a towel would be good things to add. It is tempting to add a fan but I find they mess with my tuning; one of those bladeless fans might work better.

          Good luck and please let us know what you end us using and how it works,


          • #6
            This may help a little, part of it touches on soundproofing a practice room:

            If you have anything to add to it after your experience, please let me know.

            Andrew T. Lenz, Jr.
   - Reference for Bagpipers


            • #7
              A LOT of cardboard egg cartons did an amazing job at an acquaintance's recording studio for reflection.
              Don't take life seriously! You'll never get out of it alive!


              • #8
                When building a practice room in order to not annoy people outside of it, it is important to consider the movement of air into and out of the room.

                Sound travels on air and any opening in the room will allow it to escape. Under doors, through ventilation, open windows, etc.

                This raises the difficult problem of getting enough air at a comfortable temperature and humidity into the room, the expelled CO2, heat and excess moisture out of the room without having an opening to the outside that would allow for the transmission of sound, and avoiding a fan that hums at a constant frequency and provides white noise at a constant volume.

                There are several articles on the solution to this on the web, for example "Quiet ventilation for soundproof studios and rooms"

                [email protected]


                • #9

                  Congratulations!!... on your soon to be... new place!!
                  (Ain't nothin' like it!!)

                  Back in the... Stage and Film Game... we used to use what we called
                  "sound blankets"... but were just really... large... heavy... cloth-material
                  "moving pads"... regularly used by furniture movers.

                  They suck up beaucoup sound!!... and can easily be rigged... and just
                  as easily de-rigged... from windows and doors... so you're not then stuck
                  with any long-term decisions... and quasi-permanent installations.

                  Also... they're really cheap!!... and especially the used ones... easily to
                  be bought from... various moving companies.

                  Wishing you... The Very Best of Good Fortune!!

                  My friends all know,
                  With what a brave carouse...


                  • #10
                    Air is the most important thing. Figure out how to make a tight closing door. If there's an air gap at the door then sound will go right through it.

                    If you have any interior walls, then if you cut through the drywall to install outlets or switches then sound will go right through the gaps. See if you can get them to put the electric on interior walls in conduit.

                    If you have any ductwork, sound will go right through it. There are ways to mitigate that by building baffled ductwork.


                    • #11
                      Good point regarding the door. I would add that the typically paper thin indoor laminate doors in North America are terrible at blocking sound. You would do much better with an exterior door complete with weather stripping.



                      • #12
                        Yes, the door is a weak link. Another alternative to an exterior door install is to build a interior framed custom door with that rock-wool sound insulation mentioned by Kevin.
                        “Where’s my beer?”


                        • #13
                          Sorry it's taken me so long to reply! We've been roofing and I *hate* heights something fierce, so it takes a mental toll on me haha.

                          Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions! It's incredibly appreciated!!

                          I haven't bought anything yet, but I will soon because we're almost finished roofing (finally!) and we should be installing windows and doors soon and then the insulation and then the drywall.

                          I know my biggest problems are gonna be the window (I'm thinking of just cutting a piece of foam and sticking it in there) and the door (I'll have to look at doors, I was thinking of a solid door but the exterior door with weather stripping sounds good!)

                          My main goal is to not irritate my gf or the neighbors. Thankfully I don't share a wall with another house, and this room is actually the most "secluded" because it really just shares a wall with the guest bathroom and another bedroom (might be another spare bedroom, might end up as a cat room for my gf's cats, we'll see). We're not far enough along for me know exactly where the vents are but I can always check blueprints. I don't plan on recording myself haha, just cutting down the sound.

                          I'm off to look at the resources you all gave me and I'll keep you posted!

                          Thanks again!


                          • #14
                            An update! So I'm leaning towards mass loaded vinyl. With the housing authority helping me, I'm limited with what I can do. For example I can do interior sound insulation but I can't choose what insulation they use for that. I can pay out of pocket for something like the mlv and get it up before the drywall is hung.

                            So for anyone following still, with interior sound insulation could I potentially get by with perhaps 1lb mass loaded vinyl? Obviously 2 is better but it's a little bit outside of my budget and the 1lb fits my budget better.

                            I'm not looking for a totally sound proof room, just enough that I'm not annoying the neighbors or my gf, you know? But still have something that looks nice and functional (seems how it's literally just another bedroom because due to USDA restrictions or something we couldn't take out or add any walls it's probably doubling as an office, otherwise it would have been a smaller room lol)


                            • #15
                              Honestly, if you have doors and windows shut and don't share a wall (or floor/ceiling...) with your neighbours, you're unlikely to cause an issue regardless. I would say you'd be absolutely fine with the 1lb stuff. You might want to put a little aside for a solid hardwood door, which will also make a solid (har har) difference.
                              Tunes from Donald MacDonald