The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Soundproofing/isolating a small room/closet
Old 30th March 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Soundproofing/isolating a small room/closet

Hey dudes,

My studio is in the basement, across the hall I have a little cubby room/closet that basically is used to store guitar cases for now but I was thinking I could turn it into an iso room for vocals/electric guitars.

Measurements are 43" wide and it's about 8' long.

it's almost as far away from any of the bedrooms as you can get, the short wall is the foundation of the house, currently there is no door on the other side. The other two longer walls are just 2x4 with paneling, shared with the bathroom, and another larger storage room, which is great (it's a weird little room, i think the lady before us used it for her cats lol). Was a perfect "guitar case" room.

On the far short wall there is baseboard heating (hotwater) which kinda complicates things I think?

Basically wondering is it worth doing?

Can I get a significant level of sound reduction by building a drop ceiling, adding mass to the side walls and a door?

I don't need it to be "silent" but I'd love to be able to crank up my amp a little (mainly small 5w - 15w fenders) and use it as a vocal booth later in the evening...

Any thoughts appreciated!
Old 30th March 2019
  #2
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiterred View Post
Hey dudes,

My studio is in the basement, across the hall I have a little cubby room/closet that basically is used to store guitar cases for now but I was thinking I could turn it into an iso room for vocals/electric guitars.

Measurements are 43" wide and it's about 8' long.

it's almost as far away from any of the bedrooms as you can get, the short wall is the foundation of the house, currently there is no door on the other side. The other two longer walls are just 2x4 with paneling, shared with the bathroom, and another larger storage room, which is great (it's a weird little room, i think the lady before us used it for her cats lol). Was a perfect "guitar case" room.

On the far short wall there is baseboard heating (hotwater) which kinda complicates things I think?

Basically wondering is it worth doing?

Can I get a significant level of sound reduction by building a drop ceiling, adding mass to the side walls and a door?

I don't need it to be "silent" but I'd love to be able to crank up my amp a little (mainly small 5w - 15w fenders) and use it as a vocal booth later in the evening...

Any thoughts appreciated!
Do you really need an iso?

What problem do you actually have?
What do you really need?

What fits those two items best?
Old 31st March 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by typical user View Post
Do you really need an iso?

What problem do you actually have?
What do you really need?

What fits those two items best?
The main problem i have, is that I can't play guitar amps at night (or really much of any time) as even my princeton (15w) basically goes through the whole house when I have it on 3.5 - 4

Ideally I'd love to be able to crank up an amp at anytime and mic it up and record real guitars. I do a lot of stuff with reactive load box, impulse responses, amp sims etc... and it all works.

But to me, and maybe it's just in my head but I don't care, micing up a real amp just has something extra that I haven't been able to achieve any other way.

I thought about just building an iso box for a cab, and I still might, but I thought this little room might also give me a good spot to record dry vocals and give an amp more breathing room.
Old 31st March 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Your best bet is to have a mod move this to

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stud...ing-acoustics/
Old 7th April 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiterred View Post
Hey dudes,

My studio is in the basement, across the hall I have a little cubby room/closet that basically is used to store guitar cases for now but I was thinking I could turn it into an iso room for vocals/electric guitars.

Measurements are 43" wide and it's about 8' long.

it's almost as far away from any of the bedrooms as you can get, the short wall is the foundation of the house, currently there is no door on the other side. The other two longer walls are just 2x4 with paneling, shared with the bathroom, and another larger storage room, which is great (it's a weird little room, i think the lady before us used it for her cats lol). Was a perfect "guitar case" room.

On the far short wall there is baseboard heating (hotwater) which kinda complicates things I think?

Basically wondering is it worth doing?

Can I get a significant level of sound reduction by building a drop ceiling, adding mass to the side walls and a door?

I don't need it to be "silent" but I'd love to be able to crank up my amp a little (mainly small 5w - 15w fenders) and use it as a vocal booth later in the evening...

Any thoughts appreciated!
use quietrock with hat track, staggering the clips and setting them 24" apart on center. As long as it's sealed air tight (using acoustic caulk) with quietrock it will be pretty quiet throughout the house.

one thing I suggest too... since this is just for guitar amps... turn off or disconnect the heater at the end (if you can) and then just fill a large portion of the 8ft length with r19 or r30 batt insulation hung from the ceiling to the floor and then have the face that the guitar amp fires into be semi rigid owens corning 703 insulation (or you can use rock wool/mineral wool insulation instead of fiberglass).

then around the sides and ceiling of the area where the amp sit (near the door) attach some 703 panels (2" or 4" thick... however much space you can give up).

Also get some heavy acoustic door seals and a solid core, heavy mass door (if you can get a door made out of MDF plywood that would be best).

for guitars the 5/8" thick quiet rock should do the trick but if you want to make sure no sound is getting out get the 1 1/2" thick stuff.

also... just as a warning... this isn't going to be cheap. With a space that small, there is really no way to do it for cheap and still have enough room left over for your amps (usually to make the cost cheaper, you use less acoustically efficient materials and then just use more of it. so instead of using 1 layer of 5/8" quiet rock you use 4 layers of 5/8" regular drywall).
Old 8th April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiterred View Post
I thought about just building an iso box for a cab, and I still might, but I thought this little room might also give me a good spot to record dry vocals and give an amp more breathing room.
I have an iso closet in my studio in which I have 18 guitars and basses on a slat wall hanging above a Bogner 1x12 Cube on an Auralex Great Gramma facing a 2'x2'x4" Bass trap while covered in a Producer's Blanket. I have a Producer's Blanket on the back wall and a 4'x2'x1" 705 panel on each closet door.

I generally record 100 watt heads with the volume set around 11-12 O'clock on the Master and the outside volume and bleed is reduced substantially. The Producer's Blanket eliminates any phase issues and the bass trap drastically increases the bottom end.

For years, I also had an SVT into a GK 1x15 with a tweeter cab in there as well but ran out of room for more guitars and basses and added a 5 guitar floor stand, so after a ton of research and auditioning, switched the bass rig to a Sansamp/1176 combo. And while I'm extremely happy with the new setup, the Ampeg/GK was excellent.

I don't record vocals much these days but when I do, I use the RealTraps Portable Vocal Booth, which is much larger (and in my experience, more effective, due to the size) than the sE Reflexion Portable Vocal Booth but the sE is extremely popular and effective. I know several very successful producers that use the sE and achieve excellent results.

I hope this helps and good luck!
Old 8th April 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Don’t y’all find that stuffing a cab in a room that’s choked up with that much treatment ends up sounding muffled? I’d rather use a reactive load and quality IRs with room
Old 8th April 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Don’t y’all find that stuffing a cab in a room that’s choked up with that much treatment ends up sounding muffled? I’d rather use a reactive load and quality IRs with room
I hear absolutely zero "muffling" or any ill effects.
Old 8th April 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
I hear absolutely zero "muffling" or any ill effects.
Cool!
Old 10th April 2019
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Don’t y’all find that stuffing a cab in a room that’s choked up with that much treatment ends up sounding muffled? I’d rather use a reactive load and quality IRs with room
I wondered about that too, and wondered about just building a smaller iso box if I would be any happier.

I currently use a couple diff amps (65 Princeton RI, 65 deluxe RI, Orange OR15) into a SUHR reactive load with some ownhammer and the new celestion IRs... into an API channel strip into RME Babyface Pro and it's... fine I guess?

I mean it sounds good, especially on their own, but when I compare it against some of the stuff I've even done at low volumes with my Princeton mic'd up, it's just like the curtain comes off, it's alive.

Maybe I'm just not using the IR's right or setting it up right, but they always feel like they are lacking something come mix time.
Old 10th April 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiterred View Post
I wondered about that too, and wondered about just building a smaller iso box if I would be any happier.

I currently use a couple diff amps (65 Princeton RI, 65 deluxe RI, Orange OR15) into a SUHR reactive load with some ownhammer and the new celestion IRs... into an API channel strip into RME Babyface Pro and it's... fine I guess?

I mean it sounds good, especially on their own, but when I compare it against some of the stuff I've even done at low volumes with my Princeton mic'd up, it's just like the curtain comes off, it's alive.

Maybe I'm just not using the IR's right or setting it up right, but they always feel like they are lacking something come mix time.
When u do low volume recording is the cab in the room with you while you record?
Old 10th April 2019
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
When u do low volume recording is the cab in the room with you while you record?
It is, and it's not totally ideal but I could live with it. But even "low volume" is pretty loud for midnight recording sessions (especially with my mother-in-law directly above me for the next few months )
Old 10th April 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiterred View Post
I wondered about that too, and wondered about just building a smaller iso box if I would be any happier.
I've auditioned the Demeter and Randall iso cabs (along another brand that escapes me) extensively and was never, ever happy with the results.

I tried every mic from 57's, i5's, AT 4040, AT4050, Mojave FET's, Royer R121 & R122, AEA R84, AEA R92, Sennheiser 906 - the entire gamut of ribbon, dynamic and consenders - and regardless of the mic and speaker (I went through countless 12" speakers as well), it always sounded boxy and unnatural.

I could "kind of" pull off super clean tones, like that of a Fender Twin or the equivalent but a Marshall, 5150 or Rectifier?

Boxy, boxy, boxy and unnatural, along with weird phasing and artifacts.
Old 10th April 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Vocalbooth make isolation boxes

Guitar Amp Enclosures by VocalBooth™ — VocalBooth.com

SOS review here VocalBooth Amp Box |
Old 10th April 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
Boxy, boxy, boxy and unnatural, along with weird phasing and artifacts.
I guess you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes, but I agree - there's nothing like a free-standing amp that can breath, with mics placed back aways - or close and back.
Old 10th April 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Don’t y’all find that stuffing a cab in a room that’s choked up with that much treatment ends up sounding muffled? I’d rather use a reactive load and quality IRs with room
If you treat the space correctly there won't be any boxy/muffled sound. If you do it incorrectly or use the wrong materials (like Auralex Foam or Eggcrate foam) then yeah, it will sound terrible.

And be careful of IRs. Just because they are IRs in a plugin... doesn't mean THEY spent the time treating the spaces correctly and recording them correctly. I hear tons of problems in IRs and modeled amp sims. Ultimately if it's garbage in, it's garbage out. Just because you are using a Kemper or Torpedo or whatever, doesn't automatically mean it's good. The IR has to be sampled in a great acoustic space otherwise you are just using a crappy sounding IR no different than if you were in a crappy sounding room.

There is one guitar amp and guitar cab simulator that a lot of people use (it comes for free with a big VI bundle). I won't name names... but every distorted patch in it has a HUGE resonant spike at 1.7KHz. Like a 15 or 20dB spike... It's one of the few amp sims that when I get distorted guitar tracks printed with it I can instantly recognize what they used and I ask them to redo them with a different plugin... if they can't... then I'm scooping out 1.7KHz by 15dB just to try and get the sound back to something that is somewhat normal.

Why does it have a 1.7KHz resonant spike? Because the IRs and amp models that were made for the heavy distortion amps must have been made by a guy with a poor acoustic setup. Probably had amazing amps and cabs, probably had amazing mics... but he probably set them up in a tiny room with terrible acoustic treatment on the walls that did nothing to help the sound of the room... and so all his mics picked up the natural 1.7KHz resonance of his closet... which then made it's way into the IRs of the amps. And now literally millions of people use it and don't have ears that are good enough to realize what the problem is with their distorted guitar tones in their mixes... and I see them online blaming their mixing abilities... or other plugins... or their DAW (it sounds so digital, I need to record to tape), monitors, etc...
Old 10th April 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
If you treat the space correctly there won't be any boxy/muffled sound. If you do it incorrectly or use the wrong materials (like Auralex Foam or Eggcrate foam) then yeah, it will sound terrible.

And be careful of IRs. Just because they are IRs in a plugin... doesn't mean THEY spent the time treating the spaces correctly and recording them correctly. I hear tons of problems in IRs and modeled amp sims. Ultimately if it's garbage in, it's garbage out. Just because you are using a Kemper or Torpedo or whatever, doesn't automatically mean it's good. The IR has to be sampled in a great acoustic space otherwise you are just using a crappy sounding IR no different than if you were in a crappy sounding room.

There is one guitar amp and guitar cab simulator that a lot of people use (it comes for free with a big VI bundle). I won't name names... but every distorted patch in it has a HUGE resonant spike at 1.7KHz. Like a 15 or 20dB spike... It's one of the few amp sims that when I get distorted guitar tracks printed with it I can instantly recognize what they used and I ask them to redo them with a different plugin... if they can't... then I'm scooping out 1.7KHz by 15dB just to try and get the sound back to something that is somewhat normal.

Why does it have a 1.7KHz resonant spike? Because the IRs and amp models that were made for the heavy distortion amps must have been made by a guy with a poor acoustic setup. Probably had amazing amps and cabs, probably had amazing mics... but he probably set them up in a tiny room with terrible acoustic treatment on the walls that did nothing to help the sound of the room... and so all his mics picked up the natural 1.7KHz resonance of his closet... which then made it's way into the IRs of the amps. And now literally millions of people use it and don't have ears that are good enough to realize what the problem is with their distorted guitar tones in their mixes... and I see them online blaming their mixing abilities... or other plugins... or their DAW (it sounds so digital, I need to record to tape), monitors, etc...
Why won’t you name the product? I assume you’re speaking of Guitar Rig... which I cannot even fathom when I hear that people still use it...

But, yah, totally agree... garbage in garbage out generally applies to all aspects of this life lol...

I didn’t really “get” IRs until I picked up a bunch of the celestion packages... they’re really superb. I’m mixing cabs tonight for a rootsy Chris Stapleton sort of tune... but I’m gonna split the gtr signal and capture a clean DI so I can do a reamp later through the same amp but theough the reactive load/DI/Celestion IR and see which I dig... I suspect it’ll be of little emotional difference to me, but, the player will want to hear my blackface barking at his butthole when he plays... and that’s hard to simulate with computer tech currently
Old 12th April 2019
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
my blackface barking at his butthole when he plays...


On a more serious note, any tips for using IR's? What loader are you using?
Old 12th April 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiterred View Post


On a more serious note, any tips for using IR's? What loader are you using?

The wall of sound from torpedo
Old 12th April 2019
  #20
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmicdolphin View Post
Thats a lot of money!
Is there not something that can be made up for far less and not something sold in America? apart from you other idea on a motorbike helmet
Old 12th April 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 
VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunch and bell View Post
Thats a lot of money!
Is there not something that can be made up for far less and not something sold in America? apart from you other idea on a motorbike helmet
It's 1 inch MDF with material glued on it. I'm sure with minimal skills you could figure it out. Can't find 1"? Find 1/2 or 3/4 and green glue it together. Any amount of density with no air leakage is going to knock down noise transfer significantly. Throw some safe n sound rockwool on the inside and you'd get a dead on the inside, isolation on the outside box.
Old 14th April 2019
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
It's 1 inch MDF with material glued on it. I'm sure with minimal skills you could figure it out. Can't find 1"? Find 1/2 or 3/4 and green glue it together. Any amount of density with no air leakage is going to knock down noise transfer significantly. Throw some safe n sound rockwool on the inside and you'd get a dead on the inside, isolation on the outside box.
Surly thay box for sale that CD listed has sound insulation matirial inside it as well.
Felipe said the trick was to make a box inside a box and insulate the middle. But you would also need to insulate the inside of the box so the sound hits a soft surface and not a hard picece of wood/ MDF

Some bloke with a rehersal studio in Manchester said he built his rooms using old rags that you get from the cloths recyling. The rehersal room in Bolton is an old refriderated wherehouse

Rockwell is loft insulation for heat not sound is it not?
1/2" MDF will be cheeper then 1". do you think the sound would reduce a lot from 1/2 to 1?
Green glue?
Old 14th April 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunch and bell View Post
Surly thay box for sale that CD listed has sound insulation matirial inside it as well.
Insulation and reducing external volume isn't the issue with isolation boxes. They do work well in that capacity.

Creating an environment suitable for recording guitar and bass amp without phasing, "boxiness" and artifacts is the issue.
Old 15th April 2019
  #24
Gear Head
 

Ow I see
So it not a case of how do I not anoy next door by sining and playing but how I get a good recording
Old 15th April 2019
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunch and bell View Post
Ow I see
So it not a case of how do I not anoy next door by sining and playing but how I get a good recording
it's both
Old 15th April 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 
VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunch and bell View Post
Surly thay box for sale that CD listed has sound insulation matirial inside it as well.
Felipe said the trick was to make a box inside a box and insulate the middle. But you would also need to insulate the inside of the box so the sound hits a soft surface and not a hard picece of wood/ MDF

Some bloke with a rehersal studio in Manchester said he built his rooms using old rags that you get from the cloths recyling. The rehersal room in Bolton is an old refriderated wherehouse

Rockwell is loft insulation for heat not sound is it not?
1/2" MDF will be cheeper then 1". do you think the sound would reduce a lot from 1/2 to 1?
Green glue?
The rockwool inside the box is about stopping high frequency reflection (for cheap). It won't do anything as far as stopping sound from passing through. The MDF is about getting a really dense material that's easy to work with and durable, for cheap. The MDF is what is going to do the most good at actually stopping noise transmission, but a loud speaker will still bleed through an airtight 1 inch MDF box. 1" is absolutely better than 1/2". More mass, more stoppage. We're basically talking about building a miniature Whisper Room or Vocal Booth here. Put the whole thing on rubber casters to further isolate it from your floor- sound passes most easily through contact or proximity to structure- floors, joists, walls, ceilings, etc. To know what green glue is, just google it. It's basically flexible caulking that turns noise vibration into heat, typically used between many layers of drywall.

A refrigerated warehouse would be the ultimate isobooth, besides being freezing cold
Old 16th April 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
The rockwool inside the box is about stopping high frequency reflection (for cheap). It won't do anything as far as stopping sound from passing through. The MDF is about getting a really dense material that's easy to work with and durable, for cheap. The MDF is what is going to do the most good at actually stopping noise transmission, but a loud speaker will still bleed through an airtight 1 inch MDF box. 1" is absolutely better than 1/2". More mass, more stoppage. We're basically talking about building a miniature Whisper Room or Vocal Booth here. Put the whole thing on rubber casters to further isolate it from your floor- sound passes most easily through contact or proximity to structure- floors, joists, walls, ceilings, etc. To know what green glue is, just google it. It's basically flexible caulking that turns noise vibration into heat, typically used between many layers of drywall.

A refrigerated warehouse would be the ultimate isobooth, besides being freezing cold
I've never seen a commercial iso box built with MDF - always plywood. The more expensive boxes, like the Demeter, use Marine-Grade plywood and while it was very well built (and was the best sounding Iso Cab I personally tried), the boxiness was unavoidable.

Jet City makes an affordable Iso cab built from plywood that comes with two XLR's (two mics does help a bit with the boxiness in my experience) but no speaker.

JetStream ISO ii Unloaded | jetcityamplification

For anyone attempting to get suitable recordings with an iso cab, I'd highly recommend avoiding any and every Chinese made Celestion Vintage 30 and/or Greenback, as their "ice pick" sound is further exacerbated by the iso enclosure.
Old 16th April 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 
VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
I've never seen a commercial iso box built with MDF - always plywood. The more expensive boxes, like the Demeter, use Marine-Grade plywood and while it was very well built (and was the best sounding Iso Cab I personally tried), the boxiness was unavoidable.

Jet City makes an affordable Iso cab built from plywood that comes with two XLR's (two mics does help a bit with the boxiness in my experience) but no speaker.

JetStream ISO ii Unloaded | jetcityamplification

For anyone attempting to get suitable recordings with an iso cab, I'd highly recommend avoiding any and every Chinese made Celestion Vintage 30 and/or Greenback, as their "ice pick" sound is further exacerbated by the iso enclosure.
I don't know about the small box builders, but Whisper Room uses MDF (I have a 6x8). VocalBooth uses OSB+Soundboard. MDF has more density (1000kg/m) than plywood (600kg/m). MDF is also less expensive than ply... but it's also stupid heavy. So, whatever floats your boat.
Old 16th April 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
I don't know about the small box builders, but Whisper Room uses MDF (I have a 6x8). VocalBooth uses OSB+Soundboard. MDF has more density (1000kg/m) than plywood (600kg/m). MDF is also less expensive than ply... but it's also stupid heavy. So, whatever floats your boat.
Yeah, that's a bit different than mounting a 12" speaker in an MDF cabinet and expecting it to sound like a heavy duty plywood Marshall-style speaker cabinet, because the cabinet itself is crucial to the sound of the speaker and amp.

Building a box made of MDF to surround a combo amp or cabinet might be a better solution, although I had a friend try that with a large road case and the boxy sound was clearly evident.

What it really comes down to is that at this point in time, an elegant solution to significantly reducing the overall volume while also capturing the essence of a guitar, amp and speaker, without making compromises, doesn't exist.

If someone can crack that nut, they might be able to make a few bucks on the side.
Old 16th April 2019
  #30
Gear Nut
 

since we're on the isobox topic:

YouTube

great comparison vid.

We should brainstorm the ultimate isobox design... I'm sure i'm not the only MFP'er recording in less than ideal situations for loud guitars!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump