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Door Soundproofing Q

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by Stormy Monday, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    My music room has progressed to where I need to figure out what I can do to the door. I put in a new solid MDF cored door. I used neoprene header and jamb gasketing and an automatic door bottom that also has a neoprene seal. I am still getting some bass, though not a lot, and mid frequencies.

    So without resorting to a second door, has anyone used a curtain or something that would reduce the mids traveling though the door?

    abnormaltoy likes this.
  2. Bodean

    Bodean Just A Simple Man Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 23, 2014
    South Carolina
    I wonder if attaching an acoustic panel to the backside might absorb the noise?
    abnormaltoy and tery like this.
  3. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I would likely help.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  4. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Attach the acoustic panel to the noisy side of the door.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  5. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 29, 2009
    Ithaca, NY
    In general acoustic panels help cut down reflected sound within the area they are used, but to soundproof (especially low/mid frequencies) you need high mass material. Can you get a stone door? :D
    abnormaltoy, Groovey and simoncroft like this.
  6. Chasy

    Chasy Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 7, 2018
    Danbury CT
    The door will be attached to the wall so when the wall vibrates, so will the door. You could improve it likely but there are diminishing returns so without spending a lot of cash or doing too much work build a panel out of some 2 x 4s smd drywall and place it over the door and see if it helps enough to make it with while. You could then build a panel out of mass loaded vinyl that attaches to the wall with magnets or something. As long as it is decoupled from the door it should help more than MLV over the door.
    abnormaltoy and simoncroft like this.
  7. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I knew a guy who turned an old coal bin into his gunsafe. It was an 1890's house, with a formal parlor separate from the rest of the downstairs, the coal bin was that part of the foundation- walled off from the rest of it.

    He took a hollow steel door, drilled holes in it top edge and filled it with concrete. Sucker was heavy, but well balanced on hinges that were well lubricated it was easy to open and close.

    Once inside you couldn't hear anything from the other side of the door.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  8. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    I have some Mass Loaded Vinyl left....
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  9. tery

    tery Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 31, 2014
    - Cork -
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  10. lammie200

    lammie200 Strat-O-Master

    Apr 25, 2016
    San Francisco
    FYI. 2 layers of 3/4" plywood will yield the same sound transmission coefficient as 8" thick concrete block. You can load up the door with more mass, but your leakage is likely what is giving you the most sound transfer.
  11. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    The two key parameters here are a) SPL (Sound Pressure Level), and b) Frequency. The idea that higher SPLs require increasingly more sophisticated construction in order to achieve isolation is pretty intuitive, so I'll go straight onto frequency.

    Everyone has seen sound depicted as a sine-wave snaking across a room. In a way, that's unfortunate, because it's somewhat misleading. What's actually happening to the air at any given frequency in the periodic compression and expansion of the air molecules (ie, regions of high and low pressure). That means there must be an area in between that is at standard air pressure, and that is indeed the case.

    By definition, as frequencies get lower, wavelengths get longer, meaning the physical distance between each area of high and low pressure gets longer. We can infer from this that the 'null point' where the air is at more-or less atmospheric pressure also gets longer, which is correct. If that null point happens to correspond with a physical barrier, it won't do much to stop that frequency. To a large extent, this is why you can stand outside a club and hear almost nothing but a pounding beat.

    Building a frame and adding a secondary door would undoubtedly help, but may not be as effective as you hoped if you have dry wall construction that is not well insulated, and/or there is a lot of sound leaking through a suspended floor/ceiling.

    Without knowing the exact construction of the building, the SPLs you are producing and the degree of isolation you are hoping for, it's hard to make specific suggestions.

    You might be best off calling in a specialist sound-proofing company. Even if you don't accept their quote for the work, you'll probably glean a lot of free information, including their proposed solution. ;)
  12. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I have a moderately heavy tapestry I can pull across my office door, it helps a tiny bit (cracks around doors), but I play pretty softly at home. (Lisa's work schedule offsets mine.) Mostly it just feels more snuggley in my room. :)

    If you do replace the door, something like this might work, plus it's kind of stylish...


    The tapestry is visible on left.

  13. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 17, 2016
    New Zealand
    You could just buy the missus some earplugs!:D
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  14. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 28, 2011
    Whatever you do, if you can also get a layer of air between it and the solid core door, it will help. i.e.: when hanging blankets in a room for sound, have them off the wall about 4" or so rather than just straight on the wall.
    abnormaltoy and simoncroft like this.
  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    The full recording studio solution (where it is as important to isolate the recording rooms from traffic noise, train rumble etc etc as it is to stop the sound escaping to the outside world) starts with the laying of a concrete floor slab (or succession of slabs) on top of a layer of Rockwool. Calculating the weight of the concrete is extremely important, because if the mineral wool is compressed too much, it will no longer give effective isolation at low frequencies.

    The floor slab does not connect to the external walls of the building, so is essentially 'floating'. On this slab(s), the studio rooms are constructed. The void between the rooms and the external walls do much to dissipate sound energy, but highly isulated walls and ceilings play a key part. Most of the inter-connected rooms are isolated by two sets of heavy doors, with a lobby in between. The window between the Control Room and the Studio Floor is at least triple insulated.

    In extreme cases, the entire building may be mounted on a succession of neoprene blocks in order to eliminate low frequency rumble from trains running in subways.

    Although I doubt if anyone reading this is ever going to commit to so much trouble and expense, I thought it might be helpful to explain what it really takes to ensure anywhere close to 100% acoustic isolation.
  16. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    let's see....

    Mrs already used ear plugs and Bose sound canceling headphones. A diver's helmet might be next....

    I tried the "get a professional" route. But here in the podunk town, not one is to be found.

    The wall the door is attached is has had fiberglass insulation blown in and an additional layer of sheet rock put on using green glue between the layers. I also used Green Glue caulk to seal all the edges of the new sheet rock. In the room next to the new music/jam room very little is coming through the wall.


    With the gasketing on the door headers and jambs I am not hearing leakage. But from the door itself.
    abnormaltoy, circles and simoncroft like this.
  17. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    But, the idea of adding mass turned a dim light bulb on. I will get some 2" x 2" and make a frame to staple some MLV to and then prop it up on the noisy side of the door. If this gives my adequate results, I will then pretty it up.

    I'm not quite ready to get into the acoustic treatment inside the room itself. The ex-Barn Band will be coming over this week and I will get a better idea on where to go with that. But the room is very reflective/noisy.

    Thanks for the ideas.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  18. tery

    tery Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 31, 2014
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  19. Jimistone

    Jimistone Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    those thick nylon strips that hang in front of cooler doors, in grocery stores, are amazing at blocking sound. I work in the grocery industry and have seen first hand someone on one side having to scream for thrnpersonnonnthe other side to hear them. The stuff comes in rolls. store change them out a lot and they will give the old ones to you. I have several boxes of them. They just hang there and you can go in and out of the door without being hindered the way something solid like plywood would hinder you. I don't even have a actual door on my isolation room, just the nylon strips.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  20. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy BushBaby Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013
    This may sound like a bit much, but, try to find a company that deals in equipment and furnishings removed from hotels when they have a renovation...the heavy black out drapes are pretty effective at blocking out sound...with the added feature of adjustability of the curtain rods. Just an idea.
    Stormy Monday likes this.