Soundproofing 101

Our mission is to provide you a working knowledge about  noise. To help you find out the best way to reduce you noise problems, without having to become an acoustical engineer. We want you to know what you are doing when you build or buy noise reduction solutions. We will discuss several ways to do each task: some inexpensive and some expensive. We try to arm you with as much soundproofing information as possible. We are giving you honest, accurate, simply worded, accurate information.

What is Sound?

In the air, 331 meters per second (MPS) creates something of a “chain reaction,” If you watch this closely, you’ll notice that the waveforms because an individual air molecule gets a push, which causes it to push on the air molecule right next to it. As each air molecule recovers from its push, the wave […]

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Understanding STC

Perhaps the most common sound isolation term is STC. What is Sound Transmission Class and what does it mean for your soundproofing project? The answers in this article may surprise you. When discussing the reduction of sound vibration as it travels from one side of a wall to the other, we need to quantify and measure this loss. Many soundproofing products that have a high STC perform terribly.

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4 Elements of Soundproofing

How exactly do you build a soundproof room? Start with a basic understanding soundproofing construction. If you understand the basics, you’ll have a more educated eye to view your problem room. This article explains step-by-step the various elements of soundproof room construction.

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Flanking and Indirect Sound Leaks

Build a big wall between you and your neighbor. Can you still hear neighbor’s noise? How can that be? How does sound sneak around a brand new soundproof wall? We call this phenomenon Flanking Noise. Sound entered the floor and snuck under your new wall. Or noise enters the ceiling and shoots over your new soundproof wall. Flanking is a major problem that you need to be aware of. Learn what you’re up against with flanking and how to deal with it.

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The Triple Leaf Effect & Air Cavity Depth

One of the more common problems we are called in to fix is a botched soundproofing job. Often a less educated solution involves installing soundproofing products incorrectly, resulting in a small trapped air cavity. How can this small airspace create such sound isolation problems? Actually, make the soundproofing worse? Air cavities must be carefully considered when building a sound isolated environment. An air cavity can help you enormously or make noise matters worse.

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Building a Room Within a Room

Casual noise can be reduced to a very tolerable level by simply “beefing up” existing walls, floors and ceilings. However, if you want to achieve significant soundproofing, then a dedicated construction plan is in order. The room within a room is the most sound isolated system you can build. Find out the details of building a first rate soundproof room here.

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Soundproof a Room Basics

You can soundproof a room very well at a reasonable cost if you follow some basic, tried and true methodology. #1 Decouple The Framing This can be done with staggered stud or double stud walls. To decouple the ceiling, consider

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Building a Staggered Stud Wall

A staggered stud wall is an effective way to decouple and sound isolate your walls. If you have an existing 2×4 wall, this article explains how to convert a poor performing wall into a soundproof wall. Learn exactly how to build a staggered stud soundproof wall, complete with diagrams of each step. Use simple building materials to modify the wall you already have.

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How Sound Travels through a Floor

Typical sounds that travel through the floor and into the ceiling below are footsteps (impact noise), voices, stereos, barking, and even loud appliances. Noise (vibration) can easily transfer down through the floor / ceiling framing. Soundproofing the floor of your condo, townhouse or apartment can significantly reduce or eliminate this noise intrusion and make your living space more peaceful and quiet for those around you. Before we recommend a system to block the noise, let’s find out what you’re up against.

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How Sound travels through a Ceiling

On average, noise coming through a ceiling is the worst soundproofing problem you’re likely to encounter. The reason is two-fold. First, the hard flooring choices of today don’t help the noise control problem at all.

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Building a Dead Vent System

If you have a dedicated room to control sound, you will inevitably have sealed it up tighter than a drum. This is great to avoid flanking noise and sound leaks, but not so great for cool, fresh air exchange. Ventilation can be a huge hole for sound to travel through. You can soundproof your ventilation with the help of a Dead Vent. These can be built with standard building materials with very good soundproofing results.

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How Soundproofing Clips Work

To properly isolate, we want to start with decoupled framing. This can be accomplished by using Soundproofing Clips and Drywall Furring Channel (Hat Channel / Track). This system performs two main functions. First, because rows are spaced in rows 24″ apart (generally), the drywall is attached with far fewer contact areas. Second, Soundproofing Clips and Drywall Furring Channel are resilient. They allow a wall to flex, and this increases sound isolation as well as lowering the troublesome primary low frequency resonance point.

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What is Drywall Furring Channel (Hat Channel)?

For high level soundproofing you need to deploy some method to decouple the framing from the drywall. A very common and effective soundproofing solution is to use resilient sound isolation clips and drywall furring channel. Find out the soundproofing details before you buy the wrong product. You won’t want your soundproof ceiling to become your floor.

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Do not use Resilient Channel

Resilient Channel was originally brought to the mass market decades ago by USG (United States Gypsum). The product was trademarked as RC-1, and tested extensively at Riverbank Acoustic Laboratories. Today many installers, architects and material retailers refer to any channel with one “leg” as RC-1.

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What is STC, OITC, IIC, and Delta IIC (ΔIIC)?

STC STC stands for sound transmission class. This is the most common rating used in North America for determining airborne sound transmission loss between 125 and 4,000 Hz. This range covers the majority of common noises we hear including speech, television, music, dogs barking, and other similar annoyances. A higher STC rating often shows improved […]

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