How to improve acoustic insulation in
your home-based studio

In the previous article we overviewed the equipment necessary to create a high quality budget-friendly mini recording studio at home. Also, we mentioned the acoustics and the importance of draping, or acoustic insulation. Today we would like to provide you with more information and share some tips how to improve acoustic insulation in your home-based studio.

We will not consider the case of creating the studio from the ground up. Rather, we will suggest some ideas of how to adapt your personal room to meet all the requirements of the recording process. If you have the choice, decide in favour of a medium size room. On the one hand, you will have enough space, and on the other hand, you will not have to spend too much on draping.

There is another important consideration to be taken into account. Novices often tend to think that "acoustic insulation" and "acoustic processing" is the same thing. Not so. Acoustic insulation serves to filter out external noises and makes the room quieter whereas acoustic processing is supposed to improve the quality of recording by removing unwanted sounds and noises.

The major problem faced by every novice sound engineer as soon as they start making their trial recordings with a microphone is the noise! Let's have a closer look at the ways of eliminating it.

Generally speaking, there may be two types of sources of noise: internal and external. Internal noises may be generated by your computer, specifically the CPU. For this reason it is recommended to use an external sound card. Also, there are CPUs that are noiseless, but if you do not have one, the cheapest way to solve the problem is to replace the fan, as it is the main source of noise in your computer. If it does not prove effective, the system unit can be relocated to another room or fenced off with some sound insulation boards. It is up to you to decide which of the variants is more convenient.
As for external sources of noise, they may be divided into two groups:

1. noises of the street, people, cars, weather conditions, communications;
2. noises of steps, cracks, vibrations and other contacts with the floor or ceiling.

In the first case the level of noise depends on the location and where your windows look: a railway, a children's playground, or a calm courtyard. Actually, all street noises are effectively eliminated by quality multiple glass units, that also help to avoid the rattling of glass at low frequencies. If you do not have such glass units in your room, thick curtains are a good alternative.

The second type of noises is more difficult to eliminate. It requires special materials for walls, ceiling and floor. The most popular and cheap means of draping are carpets that can be found in any home. Another budget-friendly option is thick wall-to-wall carpeting, with a layer of mineral cotton wrapped into polyethylene underneath. It goes without saying that the thicker the layer of insulation, the better it eliminates noises. If it is possible, try to make radiused corners in the room using wooden or foam plastic triangular bars. There is a variety of other materials and methods of draping that are more expensive, but they are not always appropriate for a home-based studio. The above measures will suffice to ensure excellent sound quality!

If you have already recorded some quality music you may start earning right now by uploading it onto our portal, which is used by thousands of establishments in different countries to get access to music and pay royalty.

Best wishes!
ExpertMusic team.

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