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Sound proofing a room

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Alan Balch
Sound proofing a room
on Jul 13, 2018 at 9:08:58 pm

Any ideas how much sound proofing foam I would need in order to adequately outfit a video studio? Dimensions of the room are 10' wide 20' long 10' high.

Also, is there some formula I can use to determine this for future use?

Thanks!

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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Bruce Watson
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 13, 2018 at 9:55:36 pm

[Alan Balch] "Any ideas how much sound proofing foam I would need in order to adequately outfit a video studio? Dimensions of the room are 10' wide 20' long 10' high."

First, there's a distinct difference between sound proofing (that is, keeping sound from the outside getting in, and sound from the inside getting out), and sound treatments (to improve the quality of sound inside the room, bass traps, diffusers, absorbers, etc.). Neither of these things involve just throwing some sort of "sound proofing foam" at it, in some sort of quantity, and you're done. Both are a lot more work than that.

So first thing, decide what you're trying to do (sound proofing or sound treatments). Then decide how much needs to be done, and what your budget is. If it's not your "video studio" then find out what you're actually allowed to do to it. Hint: sound proofing generally involves taking the room back down to the studs and starting over, or building a new room inside the old one (not touching the old walls, ceiling, and floating the new floor off the old one.) Sound treatment typically means positioning bass traps, diffusers, and absorbers in strategic locations to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.

A good place to start doing some research into sound treatments might be:

http://www.asc-studio-acoustics.com/products/

There are of course a number of other vendors. But this should give you a start; once you learn the jargon searching is usually much more fruitful.

Finally, if you have any input into the room dimensions, change them. 10x20x10 feet is going to be a fairly nasty sounding small room full of room modes. Go for something taller (room for a lighting grid) and with none of the dimensions being equal to each other, or simple multiples of each other. There are books written on studio design that explain everything from dimensions to HVAC, electrical, plumbing, lighting, control rooms, and of course sound proofing and sound treatments. All the "hows" and "whys".


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Alan Balch
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 15, 2018 at 12:36:40 pm

[Bruce Watson] "So first thing, decide what you're trying to do (sound proofing or sound treatments). Then decide how much needs to be done, and what your budget is. If it's not your "video studio" then find out what you're actually allowed to do to it."

Bruce, this has been very helpful. Thank you for your input. As you can tell, I am writing this post from an abundance of ignorance in this process so thanks for giving it to me straight.

To answer your questions above, sound treatments seem like my best option as sound proofing the room will not be possible as it's not my own space.

Deciding how much needs to be done is the next step, that is really the crux of my question. From the reading the excellent source you provided from http://www.asc-studio-acoustics.com/products/ I think that LENRD bass traps along with studio foam wedge might work in at least dampening the echos in the room. My reason for this line of thought is my studio will be used only for recording interviews on camera, so there won't be any music mixing or live performances. From what I read about bass traps they are the first step in addressing resonant frequencies. Furthermore, because the room has no parculier angels to it such as vaulted ceilings or odd shaped walls I think these bass traps will help.


[Bruce Watson] " Neither of these things involve just throwing some sort of "sound proofing foam" at it, in some sort of quantity, and you're done. Both are a lot more work than that."

Thanks again for this reminder, that getting quality sound is not an easy process. That's gotta be a common mistake for those of us who are trying to learn. I'd appreciate you feedback on this process as I move forward.

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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Bruce Watson
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 16, 2018 at 4:20:12 pm

[Alan Balch] "I think that LENRD bass traps along with studio foam wedge might work in at least dampening the echos in the room. My reason for this line of thought is my studio will be used only for recording interviews on camera, so there won't be any music mixing or live performances. From what I read about bass traps they are the first step in addressing resonant frequencies. Furthermore, because the room has no parculier angels to it such as vaulted ceilings or odd shaped walls I think these bass traps will help."

If you're only recording spoken voice in sit-down interviews, you probably don't need bass traps. If your speaker isn't exciting any peaks or nulls in the room there's nothing for the bass trap to, well, trap.

Since the room isn't yours, but the room treatments will be yours, I'd lean toward absorption panels and diffusers that you can either hang on the walls or use wheeled stands that let you push them into position when you need them and store them somewhere when you don't.

Since it's a fairly small room, I'd probably start out with more absorption panels. Why? If you take out too much of the sound of the room (make the room too dead) you can recover by adding some reverb in post. If you have too much room sound it's much more of a problem in post. Better to err in the direction of too dead than too live IMHO.

Then I'd probably arrange interviews out toward the center of the room (that is, off the walls -- so that your lights don't leave visible shadows in the frame, and so that you lengthen the time before those audio first reflections hit the mics). Then, at least for the first interview, I'd use dual mics -- a lavalier (omni, not directional) placed as close to the middle of the sternum as I could get (don't go too high or you'll get in the chin shadow area), and a hypercardioid boomed (static on a boom pole and c-stand usually works just fine for static sit-down interviews) above and in front, just out of the frame and looking down at the mouth at about a 45 degree angle, about 45-60cm away from the mouth in total. Listen to them both, decide which one works better for your needs, and use that method for the rest of your interviews.

Finally, monitor your audio on headphones the entire time. Every second. I'm not kidding. Hear the problems in real time, fix them right there and then, minimize any post work you can. You'll get better sound, for less work, with fewer surprises. Everyone will be happy.


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Alan Balch
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 16, 2018 at 6:24:55 pm

[Bruce Watson] "Since it's a fairly small room, I'd probably start out with more absorption panels."

I think those absorption panels sound like the best idea, as because of the room size, I'm trying to keep stuff off of the floor.

My room is appx 800 sq ft. so I suppose the next question is how many absorption panels to purchase and then where to place them once in the room. If you can offer any suggestions on that, it would also be most helpful.

Many thanks!

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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Ty Ford
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 17, 2018 at 12:28:48 am
Last Edited By Ty Ford on Jul 17, 2018 at 2:26:00 am

Hello Alan,

800- sqft. Your room is 8 ' x 10'? How high is the ceiling?

Again, as Bruce said, this will not keep the outside sound out, and not knowing the specifics of your space, budget, I would suggest the following products.

https://bhpho.to/2NVwPMB

And, yes, something on the floor and possibly on the ceiling.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Form Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Alan Balch
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 17, 2018 at 2:23:41 pm

Hi Ty, clearly I need to do a better job calculating my square feet! Sorry for the confusion. My room is 10’ wide by 20’ long with a 10’ high ceiling. I’ll check out your reccomendation.

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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Ty Ford
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 17, 2018 at 4:32:24 pm
Last Edited By Ty Ford on Jul 17, 2018 at 4:44:04 pm

Alan,

Excellent, that gets you past the small room quagmire Bruce was referring to.

I have a short video of the room I just did at Exelon in downtown Baltimore. If you'd like to see it, please forward me an email address and I'll use wetransfer to forward it.

tyford@tyford.com

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Ty Ford
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 18, 2018 at 11:17:14 pm

Alan,

Don't know why but my last response got bounced by your ISP.

: host mx2.carle.com[199.184.120.164] said: 450 Service
temporarily unavailable; Client Host [69.89.23.142] blocked using Trend
Micro Email Reputation Service. Please see
http://www.mail-abuse.com/cgi-bin/lookup?ip_address=69.89.23.142 (in reply
to RCPT TO command)
Reporting-MTA: dns; gproxy4.mail.unifiedlayer.com
X-Postfix-Queue-ID: 29944179636
X-Postfix-Sender: rfc822; tyford@tyford.com
Arrival-Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:25:59 +0000 (UTC)

Final-Recipient: rfc822; alan.balch@carle.com
Original-Recipient: rfc822;alan.balch@carle.com
Action: failed
Status: 4.0.0
Remote-MTA: dns; mx2.carle.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 450 Service temporarily unavailable; Client Host
[69.89.23.142] blocked using Trend Micro Email Reputation Service. Please
see http://www.mail-abuse.com/cgi-bin/lookup?ip_address=69.89.23.142

From: tyford@tyford.com
Subject: Re: [EXT] tyford@tyford.com sent you files via WeTransfer
Date: July 18, 2018 at 3:25:57 PM EDT
To: "Alan.Balch"


Sure. fabric-covered all around the first four feet up the wall. More durable than foam.

Above that, off-set 4” foam panels that are 2‘ x 4’ to absorb as well as diffuse.

1” up top because there’s less voice energy getting up there but still ehough to need to do someting.

Don’t forget the carpeting…

regards,

Ty

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Ty Ford
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 14, 2018 at 1:55:10 am

Hello Alan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

I have stopped being amazed at the succinctness with which Bruce Watson can convey the hard facts in such an easy way. Yay, Bruce!

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Alan Balch
Re: Sound proofing a room
on Jul 15, 2018 at 12:38:51 pm

[Ty Ford] "I have stopped being amazed at the succinctness with which Bruce Watson can convey the hard facts in such an easy way. Yay, Bruce!
"


This is why I visit Creative Cow so often, Ty. Thanks for your work on here!

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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