There hasn’t been much written about sound control booths per se, but the need for this type of structure is growing daily. I get questions from people in big cities asking how they can construct or build a sound isolation booth so they can practice an instrument, or sing loudly. They need a place where they can play an electric guitar or a saxophone or even a set of drums and not disturb the neighbors above or below or to the sides of them. Nobody wants to be one of those annoying, noisy neighbors. There are also professionals who live in condominiums or apartments who need to do voice-overs at home for film production companies. These booths are also great for the growing population of D. J.’s in this country.
If you are in an apartment or condo setting, you might want to make your booth portable or easily dis-assembled. That way if you do have to move, the sound isolation booth can go with you.
The best way to construct your booth is to basically frame it out with 2’X4’s. You don’t want the booth to be too heavy, so 2’X4’s are a good choice. You’d frame out the 4 walls to the dimensions desired, and then joist out (frame out) a soundproof ceiling for the booth. You will require a floor assembly separate from the floor of the condo or apartment, especially if you are in an upstairs unit.
The next step would be to add some sort of wallboard to the outside of the booth: drywall, soundboard, OSB, MDF, (medium density fiber board) or Homasote. Any of these materials should work fine, because the major sound isolation will be taking place on the inside of the booth.
Once you are framed out and you have placed a wallboard on the outsides as well as the ceiling of the booth, it’s time to soundproof. The first step would be to line the inner walls (between the studs) with a closed cell vinyl nitrile foam mat. America Mat is an excellent choice, and the thicker the better. The mat will be glued to the inside of the stud and joist cavities. Now remember, you are Not filling the cavities only lining them. You will see as this project progresses, that the reason for this foam mat is threefold, 1st it blocks and absorbs sound, 2nd it blocks and absorbs vibration, and 3rd and most importantly, it seals off the dead airspace between the studs cavities and joists cavities of the ceiling. Remember, sealed dead airspace is an excellent soundproofer in itself, so we might as well take advantage of nature’s soundproofing.
The next step would be to staple up a layer of mass loaded vinyl (MLV) directly to the studs and the joists. Chances are the seams will not land directly on a stud or joist every time, so it is necessary to over lap the seams, caulking the over lapped (MLV) and then finally taping the seams with a quality seam tape. The last step would be to layer up a final layer of wallboard, similar to what was used on the outside of the walls and ceiling. I would also recommend a double layer of the mass loaded vinyl (MLV) on the floor of the sound isolation booth, especially if you are in an upstairs unit. The MLV will really help with the soundproof wall and flooring.
Keep in mind that if the final layer of drywall on the inside of the booth is not feasible or takes up too much precious space, then you can forego the interior wallboard and simply paint the MLV with a vinyl or latex paint. Don’t forget to pay attention to the major areas for sound leaks in a booth, and that would be the window and door. We have a top of the line, Sound Lock Soundproof Door and Tru Acosutic Soundproof Window which will make your space very well soundproofed.
There you have it in a nutshell, a quick solution for musicians, singers and D.J ‘s who live in apartment or condo settings. This booth is also great for violin and cello practice as well.
Even though this narrative was a pretty comprehensive describing sound isolation booths, I am sure you will still have questions or will need to order these products, so please call on the experts at Soundproofing America, Inc. whenever you have any soundproofing questions. If your looking at making the upgrade to a soundproof music room, check out our article we wrote on that. The more you know about soundproofing, the more you need the professionals at Soundproofing America, Inc.