Building A Soundproof Studio In A Bedroom

FREE Soundproofing Workshop:

Some of you may know that I do Soundproof and Acoustics Consulting through my program The Soundproof Studio Blueprint. Recently, one of my clients Colin of Tone Lab Studios finished the program. We did a full podcast interview and video on his entire build. In this interview you will learn some of the key aspects of soundproofing an upstairs bedroom, the difficulties we faced and our solutions to those problems. 

Here is a list of minute markers in case you would like to jump around in the video:

0:00 - Intro 

1:30 - Podcast Interview Start

2:50 - Soundproofing Goals

4:07 - Soundproofing Results

7:54 - Floating Floor Design

9:44 - Wall Design

12:42 - Doors

18:46 - Ceiling

24:10 - Ventilation

31:31 - Acoustic Treatment

42:40 - Work With Tone Lab 


1) Soundproofing Goals and Results

The goal with Colin's studio was to soundproof enough so that his roommate would not hear him mixing and recording. In the end he is very happy with the results and says that the only thing you can hear is the kick drum. This is very normal for a second story soundproof studio. Without having a concrete slab it is very hard to stop those 40 Hz frequencies from the kick. However, we knew going into the design that we were working within the constraints we had which included having to float a floor and a tight budget. 


2) Floating Floor

Because we were building on a second story of his home we had to float the floor. Below is a diagram of the type of floating floor method we used with some modifications. 


This design uses a layer of 2" thick Corning 703 across the whole floor while leaving a 1" piece upturned around the edges. The key is to try and decouple your inside drywall and floor from the existing floor. To do this, I recommend using backer rod and acoustic caulk under your two layers of drywall and under the 1x6" baseboard. Remember this system is not perfect, but it was a solution given our budget and location of the studio. 


3) Wall and Ceiling Design

Colin did not want to lose too much space in his studio so we opted for using a hat channel system with acoustic clips. This made it so all of his walls were decoupled from the existing studs. We used two layers of 5/8" thick drywall on all the walls and ceiling. The hat channel and clips were also used to decouple our ceiling from the existing ceiling rafters.  

We did not use Green Glue to save cost, but if you have the budget I would put Green Glue on all the walls, ceiling and in between the two layers of plywood on the floor. 


4) Doors

Colin had 2 doorways. The first door way already had a place to frame in another wall in the bedroom making it a perfect rectangle. This allowed us to create a communicating door system with a sizable airspace in between. 

We used two solid core doors with Zero International seals all the way around each door. He also had a door directly in the middle of the back wall to a bathroom. We decided to use only one solid core door with the same seals on this door because the bathroom did not need as much soundproofing from his roommates. 


5) Ventilation and Heating and Cooling

Every soundproof room needs a ventilation system. For Colin's studio we used a Fantech AEV 80 to supply fresh air from the outside to his new room and remove stale air. We ran the supply ducts through two baffle boxes in the attic that vented down into the ceiling. Because Colin's studio is in Colorado we did not need to worry about humidity issues with the ventilation system. 

To heat and cool the room we opted for a Mr. Cool Mini Split, which Colin could install himself. The Mr. Cool runs extremely quiet and is my number one recommendation for soundproof studios, especially budget conscious builds. 


6) Acoustic Treatment

We finished Colin's consulting program by designing and installing his acoustic treatment. I told him to build to giant bass traps in his front corners to help absorb frequencies down to 125 Hz. We added a ceiling cloud and panels on his side walls to create a reflection free zone for mixing and mastering. We added panels along the back side walls and back wall to help reduce reflections. 

In the future Colin can extend a cloud into the back half of his room, add bass traps along his back wall and build or buy pressure traps to help attenuate a room mode he had at 40Hz. 

We used Room EQ Wizard and a measurement mic to make sure his room was dialed in and we used Sonarworks to correct his speakers for any final issues he has in his room. 

In the end Colin says his mixes translate to the car and beyond and he can mix songs with greater accuracy and speed than he ever could before! 

If you want to see if the Soundproof Studio Blueprint is the right fit for you then please feel free to fill out an application here:  Soundproof Studio Blueprint Application.