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How to Soundproof Your Home: Tips for Musicians

If you’re an aspiring musician, chances are you make a lot of noise.
From high hats and strings to fiddles and flutes, even a well-played instrument can impact roommates, neighbors or family.
Luckily, soundproofing a room in your living space is a cheap and easy DIY project. Here’s are a few tips to help you get started.

Simple Soundproofing Tip One: Fill the Gaps

The first thing to do is cover your door and window gaps. A lot of sound can escape through these tiny openings. Install a door sweep on both the inside and the outside of the door and hang thick curtains over windows, or seal them with budget-friendly foam weather stripping or professional-grade acoustical sealant. To further reduce noise, you should line your heating and cooling ducts with soundproofing duct liner.

Simple Soundproofing Tip Two: Reduce Reflection

Similar to light, sound reflects and bounces off of any number of surfaces. If you have hard surfaces in your practice area, like granite countertops, hardwood floors, or even just plain old walls, sound will reverberate until it runs out of energy.
Soundproof against reflection by bringing in carpeting or thick rugs. You might also consider hanging material from the walls and installing soundproof curtains or acoustic insulation. Avoid cheap alternatives like mattresses or egg crates – these are ineffective and ugly.

Simple Soundproofing Tip Three: Modify Your Space

If you live in a small space, you might have to make some adjustments on your end. Avoid playing in rooms with shared walls or position yourself closer to the outside wall. If possible, consider adding a false ceiling or replacing hollow doors with solid, heavy core ones. You might also consider moving your equipment to a garage or renovated tool shed.

Setting Up a Simple Studio Space

If you’re into playing, recording and composing music, you might be ready to transform that unused guest room into a simple at-home recording studio. Along with our other soundproofing tips, which will keep noise from escaping, you should focus on acoustic treatment options. These will help ensure that the music that stays in sounds the best. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind.

Cancel feedback from electrical equipment by putting items like amps as far away from microphones as possible.

Don’t eradicate sound reflection. Leave a few spots open and treat them with diffusers to help preserve natural frequency.

Plan for power. Make sure that your room is equipped with plenty of outlets, and that they are all the right wattage for your equipment.

Consider the changing seasons. Will the sound of the air conditioning clicking on and blowing into your studio become background noise?

Arrange it right. Even if you’re playing solo, be sure to arrange your studio to accommodate the number of musicians who could play at one time in the space. This will make it easier if you host other artists down the road.

Maximize your equipment for the space. 

If you’re working in a small space, examine how to maximize your equipment so that you have more room and fewer things for sound to bounce off of. If possible, use digital instruments to keep the clutter to a minimum.

Guest written by Bailey Chauner of Redfin.

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