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Studio Sound Isolation Help Please :D Studio Monitors
Old 14th June 2010
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Question Studio Sound Isolation Help Please :D

Hiya all

I'm a newby on GearSlutz and have 10 days to sound isolate a commercial studio in the UK, so I'm hoping that you can help! The main issue is the ceiling of the live room as it's below offices. I have an idea about how I'm going to do this, but I'd love some feedback and input to know if I'm on the right path. I hope you can bear with me if some of the questions are a bit basic. I'm no expert at this but very excited and keen to get my hands dirty on this.

Ok, so here are the steps I'm planning.....

1) I'm planning to add timber at 12" divisions across the ceiling (timber will be a couple of inches from the ceiling). I'm planning to use treated wood but other than that not sure on other things that will help on a budget. Any tips / advise would be appreciated.

2) Then I'm going to fill in the gaps with some type of 50mm rock wool. I'm not sure if I can get Roxul SafenSound in the UK, but I believe the equivalent is RWA45. Is this on the right lines? I've also read about RS60 being good but can't get much info on this to find out if it is better or not. From previous posts I think the lighter density (RWA45) is better as a low frequency trap, but just would like to double check this doubles as a sound isolator too. Also, would 100mm really make much difference?

3) I'd like to use Genie clips or something similar with the rubber mounting to reduce the sounds transferring to the upper ceiling. (I can't find where to get Genie clips in the UK and all I seem to find is fishing gear! lol) I'm planning to use the diagonal system that's recommended for attaching the resilient bars, where they are placed 48" apart and spaced out. I saw this on a video on youtube that looked quite good.

4) Then i'm going to be tracking the resilient bars

5) I'll then attach 'drywall' which I believe is just plasterboard? I saw this one, but not sure that it actually is any better than the standard one of the same thickness. Soundshield Board - Plasterboard - Plastering -Building Materials - Wickes ?? I'm not sure is this is going to be worth the extra dosh, but in any case I've found it cheaper on Ebay...

6) Finally I'm planning to go around the edges with SilenSeal which is supposed to be for Caulking and reducing sound transmission by filling in the gaps.

I'm then thinking to try it out and see how it is.... if it needs more isolation, I'd be trying to do the following...

6) Add green glue (using about 1 tube) and another layer of plasterboard to the existing one.

I'd really appreciate any tips, or ways to get the same effect on a budget. Also, has anybody done this type of project that worked or failed? Also, how am I going to know if the ceiling can take this kind of weight as the last thing I need is the upstairs neighbours dropping in.

Thanks very much!! :D
Old 14th June 2010
Lives for gear
jhbrandt's Avatar
You really should get a professional involved.

Treated lumber is only for exterior work or contact with cement or dirt. Gaps (space between isolating walls) should be filled with light fluffy insulation, not rock wool.

clips, resilient channel... One tube of green glue??... I'm sorry, but none of these will work unless they are installed properly and per manufacturer's instructions. Otherwise it is a waste of money and time.

If I can help, PM me.

Old 14th June 2010
Gear interested

Thread Starter

Hey John, thank you for the reply message. I have a few people who are quite handy ready to help, but I'm just not sure on the exact materials..

when i say treated i mean the stuff that isn't green wood in a hardware store but please let me know if this is the same (ie not for indoor use). As it's in a basement I'd need it to be quite resistant to damp - recommendations are welcome

I'm good with how to fit the genie clips, resilient channels etc. I did mean one tube of green glue per board though. I'd only be using gg if the first steps weren't effective though (and I hope they will be with a bit of guidance).

Can you please let me know what type of material you'd recommend for creating a good sound isolation barrier instead of rockwool?
Old 15th June 2010
Lives for gear
jhbrandt's Avatar

Rock wool is not a sound barrier material. It is an absorbent.

Mass is what you need for a sound barrier, such as; gypsum board (several layers), concrete, a hill of dirt , a mountain... etc. heh

For wood, yes - now i understand. Well - for damp areas, the pressure treated wood is best. But, OMG! you should not have any dampness in a studio! I would suggest taking care of any moisture problems before continuing.. or change the location of the studio if it cannot be fixed.

For your new ceiling; How high is the existing ceiling?? If it is currently 2.5 meters or less, go with the iso clips and double layer of gypsum board with Green Glue. If you have more than 2.5 meters, you could probably build a ceiling on the new isolated walls of the studio.. if that is what you are doing. But, honestly, what you build the ceiling with depends on how much transmission loss you need and what you can afford to do. How much reduction in db would you like to have through the ceiling to upstairs??

Please post dimensions and a drawing and details of what you are currently planning and we'll do our best to give suggestions.

Old 15th June 2010
Gear Guru
DanDan's Avatar
Location Location

I am really wondering about the wisdom of locating a commercial studio under offices. Is there any possibility of getting out of this situation?
Here's a good (UK) example of exactly how to make the best of it.
DIY Domestic Ceiling Soundproofing
However if fear it may not be enough. I just can't imagine a couple of sheets of plasterboard on springs, stopping a rock band in full flight. Or for that matter, I can't imagine recording a quiet acoustic guitar with a busy office overhead.

Old 15th June 2010
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Thumbs up heya

Hey thanks for all the help and advice

ok cool - so no rock wool then : ) unless of course it may help to reduce vibrations - or will it actually make the sound pass upstairs more?

it's not actually damp atall in the space, but I thought best to account for eventualities, but perhaps that is a little prudent! so is untreated wood ok?

regarding the ceiling, it's 7'6" but there already is an existing ceiling in place (ie gypsum board on timbers). I was thinking to take down the existing board, fill with some sound barrier material - not sure what and then add the iso clips to that. Where can I order these by the way??

In terms of the space itself, it's a pretty rectangular room, so not too much to describe really and unfortunately I don't have a drawing I can upload, but I will be taking pictures and am happy to document the process.

Luckily there are about 4 other soundproofed music spaces in the same building, so I know that it can be done in the same building, else I wouldn't have taken it on. I'm trying to get hold of them to see how they did it too, and anything I find out I'll report back : )

Green glue does sound like a good option between 2 gypsum boards anyway - but is there anyway to know if ceilings are generally good to support this type of weight?
Old 15th June 2010
Gear interested

Thread Starter

DD, thanks for that link too - it seems they are using some sort of insulation to bridge the spaces but not actually fill it, which is good.

I'm wondering if you may know anyone who used this, or if this may have worked as part of a setup. There's a lot of products out there, and I just feel some of them are overhyped in terms of brand name, when infact you could get the raw materials from a hardware store. Perhaps not though....

I'm just wondering if green glue would be effective as oppose to an acoustic membrane inbetween panels? thanks for all your help guys, i'm wracking my brains on this 24/7 right now
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