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Moving studio home. How best to soundproof living room?
Old 19th December 2010
Gear Nut

Moving studio home. How best to soundproof living room?

After 8 years running my studio out of a one room commercial space in Manhattan, the immovable forces of gentrification are finally forcing me home. Perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently. I looked for other spaces in town, but things being what they are I couldn't justify the high rents I was finding. Moving home is not ideal, but it's my only option if I want to keep working on any level. We have a small Victorian house (small footprint, but tall). I'll be taking over the living room on the 1st floor. It's about 13' x 20', with french doors leading to the front foyer on one wall, a window seat / bay window in the front, and sliding wood doors between the living room and the kitchen. It could be kind of a cool space. It's bigger than what I had allocated as my control room / primary track room in the old space.


Our neighborhood is subject to pretty much all the noise that NYC has to offer. The elevated subway is about 150 yards away from our house, although the kitchen comes between the living room and the subway, so I'm not so worried about that. But we also seem to be directly under the flight path from La Guardia airport. And a street runs right in front of the bay window, luckily not too heavily traveled.

I would love any tips on what I can do to minimize noise. I spent 8 years working in a room with no buildout or professional treatment, so I don't mind *some* noise. I'm not looking for perfect. And I know it's an uphill battle with an almost laughable number of external noise factors to worry about. But I'd love to hear thoughts. I have our contractor lined up to come in for a few days to help out, and I don't mind spending $1 - $2K if I think I can make a significant dent. I'm not looking to do room-in-a-room. I might build some kind of pseudo iso booth area, and would want at least a big enough space to fit an acoustic guitarist. I was thinking of adding extra thick panes of glass around the inside of the bay windows.

I'm open to suggestions. Thanks for your help! - Steve
Old 19th December 2010
Lives for gear
gullfo's Avatar

What are you looking to do in the studio? Mix? Track acoustic instruments and vox? Purely electronic? If you only need to mix or can do electronic then you might get away with some door and window changes and room treatments. If you need to record acoustics and vox the el and airplanes etc will all be problematic.
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