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Can you have a completely insulated room that does not sound DEAD?
Old 12th February 2008
Gear Addict

Can you have a completely insulated room that does not sound DEAD?

I'm building a studio on one room and I'm looking to spend a few thousand dollars on completely insulating it from the my wife and baby. I have three options:

1. Get a vocal booth from and stick with an electronic drum set. I've heard the vocal booth sounds dead (any advice)? I'm willing to spend 3K on the vocal booth but would it be worth it?

2. Rent a small 500 sq ft. house or 'casita' for my office/studio which I'm already looking @ in craigslist for $600 plus utilities (I'm in Southern California so is not easy nor cheap) and soundproof the heck out of it. One room would do. This option would cost more in the long run and I'd have to drive there everyday instead of doing it from home. But at least I get to play acoustic drums!
Old 12th February 2008
Isolation and absorption are not the same thing. You can have a very absorptive (dead) room that is not well isolated, or conversely can have a very reflective (bright) room that is very well isolated.

Effective isolation, especially for low frequency sounds, is not simple, nor is it cheap. It requires mass, space, and structural decoupling. You mention settling for electronic drums, so I'm thinking your isolation hopes are for real drums, and isolating real drums completely is more than a $3K initiative. That budget can get you some help, but the kind of structure needed to be able to play drums at all hours and not bother the family or neighbors is not trivial.

It would require isolating the inner shell of a room, decoupling it from the structure on all 6 sides, and having a reasonable amount of mass on both sides of the airspace all around. You also need to be careful about flanking paths or "acoustics shorts." A weak element such as a cheap door in an otherwise well-built wall will essentially negate all the careful work you did on the wall. Likewise, penetrations for HVAC, electrical, and communications can be paths that will diminish otherwise high-STC walls.
Old 24th February 2008
Gear Addict

Thanks for the response. I'm actually going to pull my truck to the garage, pull a cable and use my truck as a vocal booth.

I hope to send you guys samples of the sound I can get from this. I really hope this works out as I've read in other threads.
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