The key to soundproofing a home studio is to block sound transmission. You will easily accomplish this with a product known as mass loaded vinyl barrier. More effective than a sheet of lead for stopping sound, vinyl barrier uses its weight (up to 2 lbs. per square foot) to stop sound transmission dead in its tracks.
The easiest and simplest way to soundproof your walls is to apply furring strips to the existing drywall and then apply the vinyl barrier. It is important that an air gap be left between the existing drywall and the vinyl barrier, as this will maximize the sound deadening properties of the mass loaded vinyl barrier. After applying the vinyl barrier to the furring strips (you may use nails or staples, as long as you seal it), you want to seal up the seams using a silicon adhesive. This is a critical step, as sound will pass through any opening. Add another layer of drywall after you have applied and sealed the vinyl barrier to notice a dramatic decrease in sound transmission.
If you do not wish to use furring strips on the wall, you can use vinyl barrier foam composite that will provide you with the separation necessary for adequately blocking sound. The treatment above for walls may also be used for ceilings to keep sound out from escaping above.
If you are lucky enough to have a drop ceiling in your home studio, soundproofing the ceiling is quite simple. Simply purchase mass loaded vinyl barrier for placement above the ceiling grid. The air space between the grid and the actual ceiling above will be the air barrier necessary to stop transmission, while the vinyl barrier laid over the ceiling tiles will provide the mass to block sound from transmitting. Another alternative is to apply the vinyl barrier to the rafters if they are exposed. This will prevent the grid from having to support the weight of the vinyl barrier, as well as making future removal and replacement of ceiling tiles a breeze.
Should vertical space be available, you may want to soundproof your home studio by adding acoustical ceiling tiles. If a grid is already in place, purchase acoustical ceiling tiles to replace the existing tiles. This step alone will help greatly reduce sound transmission. You can take it one-step further by adding a layer of mass loaded vinyl barrier above the ceiling tiles, providing the utmost in soundproofing.
You may have read this far, thinking “what about the floors?” Soundproofing your floor is just as easy as your walls or ceiling. To do this, you will want to pull up the existing carpet and padding. Once you have the sub-floor exposed, use a layer of vinyl barrier foam composite, with the foam side facing the floor. After laying the vinyl barrier composite, use a silicone adhesive to seal the creases. When finished, simply relay your padding and carpet.
All of the soundproofing products mentioned in this article are available online or by phone from American Micro Industries. Their Web site at http://www.soundprooffoam.com offers more information on soundproofing as well as the ability to order securely online. Acoustics specialists are available to give you free soundproofing advice toll-free at 1-800-558-2058, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, EST. You may also send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a prompt and courteous response.