If you’re in a band, then you know how important rehearsals are, but you also know how annoying it can be for the neighbors and your family to deal with hours of loud noise every day.
There are a lot of things you can do to keep the sounds from leaving the rehearsal room without spending too much, and it won’t even take that long to soundproof the entire room.
I’m going to give you some of the essential tips that will drastically lower the noise that’s allowed to leave the room, and also will help with the acoustics inside the room itself as an added bonus.
But first you should know the difference between soundproofing and acoustic treatment, since most people tend to think that they are they same thing, when in fact they are quite different.
Still, in this guide I’ll cover both since it should help you out.
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Difference between Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment
Soundproofing consist in blocking sound and not letting it in- or out of a space, while acoustic treatment consists of installing sound absorbent materials that will help lower the room’s echo, making it feel quieter.
However, even though sound absorption can help soundproof a room, it should be used as an extra and not as the main way of soundproofing.
Now, let’s get started!
How to Soundproof a Rehearsal Room?
The most important steps to follow when soundproofing a rehearsal room are to soundproof the door and windows using a weatherstripp and acoustic caulk, installing window plugs, placing a rug under the drumset, and installing additional drywall to add an extra sound barrier to the room.
Like I just mentioned, the most important place to soundproof is the door, since this is what connects the rehearsal room to the rest of the house.
So, here’s a quick guide on how to get it done:
1. Soundproof the Door
Soundproofing is all about sealing any gap where sound might be allowed to get in or out of the room, and doors tend to have a lot of spots that need to be addressed to create a tighter seal.
If a door is properly soundproofed, the difference will be very noticeable.
Steps to soundproofing a door;
- Weatherstrip the door: Weatherstripping tape is by far the best tool to create an air-right seal between the door and the frame.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: While not as important, acoustic caulk can help you seal off any gaps that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.
- Install a Door Sweep: A door sweep will cover up the gap left between the floor and the door.
While doing these three things should already provide a drastic improvement, if you want to soundproof the door even further then read my post on how to properly soundproof a door.
2. Soundproof the Windows
Glass isn’t particularly known for its insulation capabilities, which means that the windows are definitely a place that you will need to work on to soundproof the room.
The process of soundproofing the windows is almost identical to the one of the doors, but if you want a full guide on how to do it, here is my guide on how to soundproof windows.
Steps to Soundproofing a Window
- Use a Weatherstrip: Same concept applies here; attach the weatherstrip to the frame and this should create an air-tight seal when closing the window.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: If there’s a small gap between the frame and the wall, which tends to happen on older windows, use caulk to seal them.
- Install A Window Plug: Window plugs are pieces of foam that are slightly bigger than the window and are inserted into the frame to cover it up completely.
- Install Acoustic Curtains: Hanging good-quality acoustic curtains will absorb some of the sound.
- Use Moving Blankets: Moving blankets are great sound absorbers and they are easy to install.
There is a lot more to it and if you really want to soundproof your windows properly, then check out the post I linked earlier, but as long as you weatherstrip the windows and cover them up with a really thick material, you should be set.
3. Use Soundproofing Blankets
I just mentioned using acoustic blankets to soundproof a window, but they can be used to soundproof almost anything you want, let me explain;
Acoustic blankets are thick, heavy, durable, and great at absorbing sound.
Sure, they won’t block 100% of it, but if you cover the door or windows of the rehearsal room with them, you should notice an improvement.
Additionally, you can fold them or adjust them to cover literally anything, no matter the shape, which means that you could place them under the drumset, under the guitar amps, you name it.
Basically, they are one of the most versatile soundproofing elements out there.
The ones I’d recommend for this particular case are the Sure-Max Ultra thick Moving Blankets.
I’d mostly recommend hanging them on the door and to also use them to cover the windows, but you can definitely get creative with them.
Acoustic Blankets DIY
I always try to find ways to save money, and making acoustic blankets instead of buying them will save you a couple bucks.
I wrote an article addressing if acoustic blankets really work, and I included a quick guide on how to make them yourself at the end.
So check it out!
Note: Acoustic curtains could also be used, but I think that in this particular case, acoustic blankets are simply better because of how little the cost.
4. Get Anti-Vibration Mats
The vibrations generated by the drum-kit, as well as the amplifiers, are easily transmitted through the structures of your home.
This means that if you find a way to lower how much of that vibration is transmitted to the floor, you’ll also lower a lot of the noise that is allowed to leave the room.
Here’s an example of an anti-vibration mat that you can place under the amplifiers and drum-kit (if you get a drum rug, put it underneath it).
5. Get a Drum Rug
Drum rugs aren’t as essential as some of the other things I mentioned, however, it can be a good addition, nonetheless.
Drum rugs are designed in a specific way where it allows for the spurs and stand to not slip and move while playing, and that is already a good reason to have them, but they can also prevent vibrations from spreading across the house.
Here’s an example of a rug designed specifically for this purpose.
Now, the “affordable” part is over, but I will get into a couple other things you could do-, and they really do work, that will sadly cost you a bit more.
6. Install Drywall
While it may be quite expensive and time-consuming to add some drywall to your existing walls in order to add another barrier that sound would need to go through, it might be the best way to really deal with the issue in some cases.
Drywall will act as an additional barrier, and this reduces the amount of noise that is allowed to leave the room drastically, and as far as soundproofing goes, installing materials that block sound instead of absorbing it, like acoustic panels would, is the best way to do it.
One additional thing you might consider doing is adding some soundproofing compound to the back of the drywall to block sound even further.
And if you want to take this even further, then adding mass loaded vinyl into the mix and attaching it to the back of the drywall will provide you with extraordinary results… just know that it will take you a lot of time and effort to get this done.
7. Install Drum Shields
If you are having serious trouble with keeping the drum noise in check, it’s probably time that you invested in some Drum Shields.
These will be a bit more expensive than any other soundproofing materials on this list, that said, they will help a lot with keeping the drum noises to a minimum.
If you really need to lower the volume of your drum set, then you should get something like the Drum Shield DS4.
Of course, there are many drum shields out there, but that one works well.
The good thing about drum shields is that you don’t need to do a week’s worth of work to see results; just put it together and that’s it!
8. Install Acoustic Panels
One thing every rehearsal room should have are acoustic panels, but not so much for soundproofing, but rather to acoustically treat the room.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, sound absorbing materials will also help with soundproofing (not letting sound leave the room), but they mostly reduce the room’s echo, otherwise known as “Reverb”.
Having a couple acoustic panels will drastically change the way the room sounds, and you don’t even need to install too many.
I made these rockwool panels myself for about $15 each (link to a guide on thehomerecordings.com), and they work extremely well! The room sounds completely different now.
If you’re just looking for a couple cheap panels and don’t want to make them yourself, then you should get regular foam ones.
Here are my recommendations:
Bass traps are designed to get rid of that low rumble that appears all too often. You only need to get one or two into every cornet and that’s it!
Which of these steps will give you the best results?
If you can only soundproof one part of the room, let it be the door; this will at least make it so that people on the other side of that door get to hear the rehearsal at a lower volume.
After this I’d recommend soundproofing the windows.
And to kill two birds with one stone, you could purchase a couple acoustic blankets and hang them around the room, especially on the door and the windows.
Acoustic blankets will do both; soundproofing and treating the acoustics.
Of course, installing drywall and a drum shield will do wonders, but doing this requires a lot of time and money.
If you follow all of these steps you should not only be able to keep your neighbors from calling the cops on you, but also be able to hear every instrument better since all of the sound absorption will eliminate that low pitch rumble that makes everything unintelligible.
I hope this was useful!
Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo