Need Advice on how to soundproof a room, please

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by furryrabidbunny, May 24, 2006.

  1. furryrabidbunny macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #1
    I have @sshole neighbors... one house is full of rice burners with loud stereos that come and go about every hour... other neighbor just bought a hog that he loves to reve up and go on at about seven in the morning. Last part doesn't sound like much of an issue, but I work nights so he is a pain-in-the-@ss too. Biggest problem is I am in a track home, and my room faces the street (college student still living with parents, but I start my first real job soon so I am going to fund this). Does anyone have experience or advice on how to limit the noise coming into the room? Naturally I would prefer the cheapest, simplest method. I don't need it to be like a recording studio, I just want to be able to sleep a straight four hours for once. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    France
    #2
    This link has..

    .. lots of articles on soundproofing for studios. Could you not adapt them to whatever you have at hand or can afford using the same principals?

    http://www.theprojectstudiohandbook.com/articles15.htm

    PS What is a rice burner? Is it a japanses motorbike? Just guessing because you mentioned a hog which is a HD yes? Not a wild boar.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    As far as sleeping goes, foam earplugs are a lot cheaper.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    Yeah, I was gonna suggest the same thing. It's cheaper than replacing all the insulation in the walls around your room, and then replacing your room's window with some superduper triple-pane vacuum window or something.:confused:
     
  5. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #6
    Is there no noise legislation where you live? Over here we'd get them ASBO'd!
     
  6. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #7
    Try calling the police every time the neighbors make noise. Tis one of the few things my local police department is good for.

    If you want to be a jerk, buy a Kenny G, Spice Girls or other annoying CD that is devoid of musical quality, open your windows, place speakers in windows and proceed to blast Kenny G.
     
  7. furryrabidbunny thread starter macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #8
    Police are useless...

    Mesa PD are pretty useless, as are most police departments out here. They are underfunded and dont' have enough units... takes them forever to respond to anything other than a car accident or shooting. I've thought about being an ass myself, but I dont care to stoop to other's levels, I'd rather try to live in peace and create a good atmosphere. I have called the police once though, when they were outside playing their music till about three a.m. I have to go to walgreens anyway... so I was going to try the earplugs first... I just have a feeling they wont work.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Your biggest problem is the window. Unless you can renovate and replace with triple-pane, give up.

    The three bywords of soundproofing are: Air seal, Mass and Separation.

    Air seal: Sound will come in through the tinest cracks and holes. A typical household door doesnt seal around the edges, and leaves a 1/2" gap at floor level. First step is to sell all holes and cracks, get a good seal around the door. Don't forget that electrical outlets and switchplates are a nice big hole in your room's envelope. You can get foam sealers to go behind the cover plates.
    Your heating/AC/Ventillation system is a huge problem in this regard. No easy answer there.

    Mass: The thicker and denser a wall is, the more sound it will absorb. Big problem with regular drywall construction, hollowcore doors and singlepane windows, is that they vibrate in sympathy with the sound source, and act like speakers transmitting the sound into your room. Adding a layer of MDF, drywall, or even better, rockboard or fireboard, to the interior walls will help by adding mass and reducing sympathetic resonance. Stagger the joints and seal them, including floor and ceiling. Choose a different thickness of material than what's there already, so the two layers have different resonant characteristics which will cancel out.

    Separation: Even when you have added mass, you still have the problem of sound being transmitted by conduction down any solid connection between the source and your room. This includes floor joists and wall studs.
    For a truly soundproof room, think like a Thermos or vacuum flask -- two walls, with nothing in between connecting them. That's why double or triple pane windows are necessary, to break the mechanical coupling of the outside to the inside.

    This means, essentially, building a room within a room, and isolating the one from the other. The walls and ceilings are one thing, but isolating the floor is a challenge. Usually done by a resilient layer between 1 floor and the other to "float" the new floor - rubber, felt, that sort of thing.

    If a full second set of walls isn't possible, you can fake it by using rezbar to hang your second layer of drywall/MDF board. Rezbar is a two metal strips separated by semi-resiliant strips of metal. you screw it onto your existing stude and joists, then screw the new wall onto the rezbar. This somewhat isolates the new wall from the old. If you are doing new construction, you can use a wider than normal sole plate, and stagger the studs one to each wall, so that the inside and outside wall do not share common studs.

    Lastly - the trick of adding eggshell or foam or acoutstical tile around the room? Useless in this case. All these do is reduce the reflections of high frequency sound within the room.

    So, to do anything to the house to make it more soundproof is going to cost $$$. Start with sealing up the cracks, add some sealing strips to the door but beyond that takes budget.
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #10
    What he said, with the additional caveat that while it may be possible to (relatively inexpensively) seal all air entrances to prevent the high freq stuff from coming in, there is little to nothing you can do - without adding mass - to prevent the low freq stuff like the hog noise.

    Unless you're thinking about building a seperate room inside your place, you're pretty much out of luck. You'll be better off to move if it's a rental and earplugs don't work.

    Remember, the high freq stuff moves easiest through the air, the low freq stuff moves through the structure easier. Acoustic isolation is a huge challenge.
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    Which is where tall standing bookshelves — filled with books, I hasten to add — can come in handy especially if they're not touching the wall they're against. Worked very well in my little space.
     
  11. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #12
    Well, you can do the ghetto way and buy lots of egg-foam. Also crumpled sheets offer decent sound buffers as well.

    There is this plastic type matt called SOUNDCORE and it is wonderful. You can walk into a room that's matted in that crap with the doors open and it deadens the sound 90%.

    But, it's expensive, and VERY heavy, as it comes in rolls and takes two guys to carry it anywhere, let alone up flights of stairs.
     
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    I'm not sure why you wouldn't just isolate your bed.

    Rubber mats on the floor, double-wall construction as mentioned here, but it wouldn't need to be permanent (we can buy hard-foam 4'x8' panels here for insulation; I'd guess they'd work well). Just make sure you have ventilation. And add a white-noise generator for good measure.
     
  13. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #14
    The cheapest way is to put a bunch of moving blankets (or any other big, heavy blankets) over your windows and doors.
     
  14. Lau Guest

    #15
    It's starting to sound like "Protect and Survive"! :p

    Although having had neighbours from hell a couple of times, I don't know what's more difficult to stop (or survive) - noise or gamma rays.
     
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #16
    Umm, no. Eseentially useless. The egg foam does a bit to damp and disperse high frequency reflections in the room, but little else.

    Your suggestion of the heavy, mineral-impregnated vinyl is good, because it offers mass - it is used to make bsee traps - but it is like $40 per square yard.

    The big heavy moving blankets, or heavy-backed carpet put up like tapestries or drapes, will help a bit. These are all decent solutions for coping with sound generated in the room, like a guitar amp. They won't stop the souond transmitting, but properly aranged they can damp down mid frequency (and if they are heavy enough, some low frequency) resonances within the room.

    By all means, put something heavy over the window. But much of the low frequency in your scenario is coming in through conduction through the walls.
     
  16. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #17
    Or a coffin - on a stack of mouse pads. That'd do it. Have to close the lid though.
     
  17. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    France
    #18
  18. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    According the Hustle and Flow (movie), you can dampen the sound pretty well with cup holders from the drive through.;)
     

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