We spoke to our resident sound engineer, Rose T about soundproofing after her podcasting microphone article. And, to our surprise, there’s not actually a whole deal to it. Unless you are trying to re-create Jon Bonham’s drum sound from ‘When The Levee Breaks’ you don’t need to break the bank or become a sound engineer in order to suitably soundproof your podcasting studio, or room.
If you do a quick google search for the best sound proofing for the home, or how to soundproof for podcasting, you will be bombarded with list upon list of different types of sound proofing. But, what does it all mean? This article will give you a quick summary on the science (basic science) of sound proofing, and the truth to what you actually need to do to soundproof (spoiler: it’s super easy).
What is Soundproofing?
Soundproofing works by reducing the sound pressure within the room. It is true that there are several methods to reduce this pressure; increasing the distance between the sound and receiver, anti-noise sound generators, noise barriers that reflect or absorb the sound, or damping structures to baffle the sound.
The Science of Soundproofing
The reason most people will be searching for soundproofing is to reduce sound loss within the room and to protect from unwanted sound gain from outside. This is because houses are built with floors, walls and ceilings that are not appropriate for modern day noises, such as TV’s, washing machines, sound systems, heating pumps etc.
If you look at the room you are in now, you may either see you are sat in a room that has four flat smooth walls, a clear flat floor and a flat smooth ceiling, if it’s not completely smooth, it’s likely to be at least 80%.
This will cause penetration from the soundwaves hitting the flat, hard, surfaces and will travel through the wall instead of being contained within the room. Therefore, you will be losing sound for your recordings and also gaining unwanted sound from outside the room.
Foam Panels From Amazon
Many people, new to podcasting, believe that they need to meticulously research about how to soundproof their studio, or think they need to buy expensive products for their home studio, however, this is false. You simply need some foam. The type of foam makes no difference, it is the structure which is important. And the structure just, essentially, needs to be ribbed or spikey etc.
Theoretically, you could use egg crates to sound proof your home studio, or, just throw a thick duvet cover over your head and mic to get the same effect as having a soundproofed room. You could even tape pillows to the walls.
But, to have a nicer aesthetic, just buy some cheap foam square blocks, as above, and place them on your walls. They will give you the absorption, reflection and diffusion you need, which will help keep the sound you need in and keep the unwanted sound out. The more padding and texture you add to your walls, ceiling and floors the more soundproofed the room will be resulting in a crisp and clear recording.
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