This is the second post in a series of blogs to teach you about the six key things we have done to make sure the music studios at Royal City Studios are completely isolated from each other. Most music studios are built on a tight budget, resulting in sound getting in and out of the studios easily. At Royal City Studios, we have invested heavily to make sure both sound waves and sound vibrations stay in the individual rehearsal and recording studios where they belong. The six major aspects to control this are:
- Subfloor and floor treatment
- Double walls and drywall mounting
- Soundproof doors
- Hung ceilings
- Vent socks
- Duct insulation
Part 2: The Walls
Over the years, I have visited many music studios and each of them was built a bit differently. In all honesty, it was shocking to me how little effort was put into blocking sound from getting through the walls. You could put your hand on a wall, and feel the vibrations of the band rehearsing next door, and could often hear people speaking in a normal voice through the walls. This is obviously not ideal. While many of you have probably heard of acoustic panels, these are not intended to prevent sounds from getting through the walls. Their purpose is to keep the audio clean inside your own studio. I’ll post about that in a few weeks but for now, let’s look at how to keep other people’s noise out of our studios.
The Solution for Sound Waves
While there are many options to consider when keeping sound from escaping through walls, the two elements from our last article are still present: vibration and sound waves. Sound waves are primarily blocked by mass. This means that the more mass there is between two spaces, the harder it is for sound waves to carry between them. Many studios add a second layer of drywall on each side, which is a great start for reducing the sound. So instead of two layers of drywall, there are four layers. In addition, the thicker the drywall the more the sound waves will be deadened. As you have probably guessed, this is part of our solution at Royal City Studios. All of our music studios are separated by at least four layers of 5/8″ drywall. This provides enough mass to eliminate the sound waves.
The Solution for Vibration
But what about vibration? An often overlooked aspect of sound is that when it hits a solid object, it creates a vibration within that object. And when that object is connected to another solid object, the vibration carries right through. This is one of the main problems with low frequencies and double drywall on each side of a single studded wall.
To remedy this, the music studios at Royal City Studios are built with two fully separate walls between studios, with a 1-inch gap between them. There is drywall on both sides of each wall. As a result, there are no physical connections between them. On the inside of the studios, the drywall is mounted on channels that sit inside rubber mounts. This further reduces vibrations before they even get inside the wall. The construction team from Victory Oak Homes had a real challenge building all of these walls. They had to build and then stand the walls up from one corner of the building to the other, almost like Dominoes!
You can see all of the details in the image of the cross-section below.
We also thought it was important to provide extra protection for the recording studio. So, instead of two walls, we actually built four walls between the recording studio and neighbouring studios. This makes sure that the recording experience results in very pure quality.
Stay tuned for Part 3: The Doors, where we will talk about some pretty exciting things. Remember, even though the walls are great, they still have one BIG hole in them!
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