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Soundproofing on the cheap

by jakob clark last modified Apr 18, 2011 11:35 AM
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Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by jakob clark at June 15. 2005

I might inherit my grandmother's piano. I most likely will put it in the living room, but I might like to put it in my office/music room which shares a wall with the neighbor's baby. Is there a way to soundproof?

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Jesse Leary at June 16. 2005

There is a huge amount of info on soundproofing at www.avsforum.com , a home theater discussion site.

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Steve Schafer at June 16. 2005

Assuming you don't want to tear apart the existing wall, there are sound-absorbing foams (e.g., SONEX) that you can apply. They cost in the neighborhood of $2.00-5.00/sq ft. They work well at higher frequencies, but not so well at lower frequencies, with middle C on the piano being more or less the point at which performance begins to drop off on the low side (so you might need to stick with those etudes for the right hand...). To deal with the lower frequencies you need to break the hard connection between the layers of the wall; the best way is to remove the existing drywall and replace it with drywall mounted on resilient channel. Obviously, doing that costs a lot more. To avoid the demolition work you could mount another layer of drywall on resilient channel on top of the existing wall, and then top it off with the sound-absorbing foam.

-Steve

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Hayden at June 16. 2005

Luckily, the acoustics experts all reside in one place on the internet. Surely they can help you out: http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/index.php

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by jakob clark at June 16. 2005

Thanks for the info guys. Sounds intense. I guess there is no magic do-it-all foam ... just as I thought.

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Hayden at June 16. 2005

No, there probably isn't. On the cheap, however, you could purchase some egg-crate foam and cover a section of two walls and the ceiling in the form of a 3-faced cube around your piano area. That certainly would do something for sound isolation.

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Steve Schafer at July 19. 2005

The latest (Aug/Sep 2005) issue of [em]Fine Homebuilding[/em] mentions a sound-reduction drywall product called [url href=http://www.quietsolution.com/]QuietRock[/url]. Not so cheap, and possibly not the best solution for a retrofit, but probably worth looking at. The web site also had additional information on sound reduction techniques and materials.

-Steve

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Sara R. Sage at July 19. 2005

You can buy mass loaded vinyl which is a thin layer of vinyl that does the job of 12 of concrete in terms of soundproofing.

It's fairly affordable for a small room and you can purchase it at[url href=http://www.soundproofing.org/]soundproofing.org[/url]

It's the type of thing you would use if you were building a music studio but would work well for many types of applications

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by psmodern at July 24. 2005

Having recently helped with the design and construction of a recording studio, I can give you a couple of pointers.

As Steve pointed out, low bass frequences are the biggest concern, and they are transmitted thru the floor and walls primarily, rather than thru air gaps. In studios this is handled by the iso booth having a floating floor and walls i.e. a room within a room. The concrete floor floats on a subfloor with neoprene insulators separating the two. The drywall is doubled up, and there is an air gap between each double set of drywall.

In your case, I would take a hard look at the surface the piano is resting on and seeing if there is a simple way to reduce the bass frequencies passing thru. If the piano is on a wooden floor then isolating the piano legs from that would be a great first step.

Re: Soundproofing on the cheap

Posted by Raymond Morton at April 18. 2011

Previously jakob clark wrote:

I might inherit my grandmother's piano. I most likely will put it in the living room, but I might like to put it in my office/music room which shares a wall with the neighbor's baby. Is there a way to soundproof?

Better than more layers of the same material, sound is actually confused by layers of dissimilar materials. Lab testing has shown repeatedly that changing densities, thicknesses and using larger airspaces will always produce better soundproofing results. Excellent soundproofing materials to be used for this approach are Green Glue and Soundproof Barrier.

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