You see, soundproofing a home studio is just one more way our home recording studio can become a money-pit that recording studio equipment manufacturers work hard to encourage. You can see why. They know that “where there is great interest and big dreams, there is money to be made.”
How to soundproof a studio at home – Why is it necessary?
Our goal is to dampen and absorb sound and randomize the shape and surroundings of the recording home studio environment. In other words, if you are recording at home, you’re probably setting up in a bedroom, the living room, or recording in the garage. The square corners and hard walls and floor surfaces in our homes create the problem of sound ricocheting and bouncing all over the place and messing up our ability to accurately listen to, judge, and ultimately mix our recordings.
How to soundproof a studio – Walls
This is a method I use myself and it is a dirt cheap way of soundproofing for studio walls and floors at home.
I actually discovered the perfect acoustic material for soundproofing my home studio by accident. I was in the hardware store and I happened to see these foam tile-type exercise mats. These foam, two foot squares, each fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces. This enables you to put them together in any shape or size needed.
To soundproof walls in your studio, simply drive very small brass nails through the mat (like those found in picture hanging kits) to attach them to the wall. We want to be able to re-position the foam tiles as needed, so we do not want to glue the foam tiles to the wall. There is no need to mess up the walls with glues or adhesives.
Don’t forget to soundproof the mic stand
I use a single foam tile under my microphone stand to insulate resonance from the floor that can travel up the mic stand. It works like a charm and does not cost much at all. Surprisingly, these exercise matts actually look really cool on the walls of the studio.
Effective household materials for soundproofing studio floors
- Wall to wall carpet (often ugly, but effective)
- Multiple shapes and sizes of area rugs. Nowadays you can get inexpensive fake oriental area rugs or modern designer knock-offs that create a nice vibe and do the job of dampening and absorbing sound reflection off the floor.
- Foam exercise tiles as described above. You could potentially tile your whole home studio floor with these snap together foam tiles.
Tip for buying soundproofing for a home studio: Instead of getting these mats in the home gym section of your sports store, the identical product is available even cheaper in the tool section of the hardware store, but they market them as mechanics mats. In a followup to this article we’ll talk about how to make a wickedly effective vocal recording booth in seconds… AND it will cost almost nothing.