Soundproofing or Acoustical Treatment. What Topics Interest YOU!?

The face of the soundproofing BLOG is about to change…

So, I was called into a meeting yesterday and informed that I am now to write one article for the blog each and every week. Up until this point, I have just been throwing together an article or two as I have had time, or if I saw multiple inquiries about soundproofing or acoustical treatment in the same week. I guess I was responding to the “demand” of information. Well, now I am going to look into my (exceptionally quiet) crystal ball and put information together that hopefully means something to someone. 🙂

So, I don’t know if I have any followers or not (If I do, you impress me, you’re awesome and thank you!!) let me know what you want to know about or what you need help with.

I’ll do my best to answer your questions or discuss the topics of interest and I will strive to do what I can to answer your questions in the most logical and common-sense way that I can. The whole point of my blog writing is to take the complexity out of soundproofing and acoustical treatment by explaining things in ways that make sense to the masses.

Over the years of doing this (and it’s amazing that it’s already been years) I’ve gotten a fair amount of replies and comments from people that have appreciated my ramblings and gotten at least something out of it. So, to all those people, thank you VERY VERY much for taking the time to contact me.

For what it’s worth – this is me sitting in my messy office with my son on my lap.  He’s not usually hanging out with me during the day – he was just too sick for daycare.   I’m not vain or and clearly not all that good looking, I just want people out there to know I’m just some guy that knows a little about sound/acoustics sitting behind a couple of monitors.

-Ted


16 Comments

  1. Katie Y

    Your posts have honestly helped me understand the different problems in a very dumbed down, general way. You make these things very easy to understand for a person who has only grasped the basics.

    Granted I do work for Acoustical Surfaces, and I may have been the one running the meeting yesterday, I still enjoy your ramblings.

  2. smiley74

    Need help reducing the garage door noise coming thru the ducts. My daughter’s hvac supply is routed thru our attached garage, while it is foil wrapped in something already we can still hear the opening and closing of the motor. Her bedroom is on the second floor while the garage is in the basement!

  3. Ted W

    I started a new blog post to answer that. Here is the link:
    //www.acousticalsurfaces.com/blog/soundproofing/garage-door-noise/

  4. therese

    Hi

    Been following some of your posts but didn’t see anything about this. My son partitioned off part of an area on the 2nd floor for himself- attaches 1/2 in plywood partitions to the floor and ceiling. He works out in there and listens to music (it’s his private space. Will putting wonderboard or some acoustical sound board or ??? directly onto the exterior of the plywood reduce sound coming from that room? It’s most the sound of music and fans that we hear.

    thanks

    therese

  5. Ted W

    Therese,
    Thanks for the post! There are a few things that you can do to the wall to help reduce the amount of sound that is leaving the space. The best way for me to help would be to have you take and send a pic of either side of the wall as well as the door so that I can make some site-specific recommendations, but without seeing the wall, I would basically adding mass and density to the wall as it exists. Additional layers of sheetrock (drywall), MDF board, anything that will make the wall (physically) heavier will help. I would also closely inspect the door and make that as air tight as you can. These two simiple things can make a big difference and are usually quite cost effective.

    The only thing I would like to mention is that if there is a significant amount of low frequency (bass) in the music that he is listening to, it is going to be an up-hill battle. Also, if the area is connected to the rest of the house via heating/cooling duct work, that can also be a “path of least resistance” out of the room, so I would take a close look at that as well.

    If you would like to send me a few quick photos of the situation, I would be happy to be a bit more specific. My E-mail is ted@stopnoise.com. Also, please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss it further!
    Thank you!
    -Ted

  6. jason@NoiseKiller

    Good post, will look forward to reading more of your blogs!
    Thanks!
    Jason.

  7. Debbie

    Is there a regulation on where sound baffles can be hung when a fire sprinkler system is in place? If they hang straight down below the sprinkler heads do they interfere with the coverage of sprinklers?

  8. Ted W

    Debbie,
    You should absolutely have your local fire marshal on site to advise you on how to approach this situation.
    -Ted

  9. Ann

    Ted, my son is thinking about renting a condo & outside the window is a very large, about 10′ fan. for the building located nextdoor. He siad it makes a lot of noise. Inside the apartment he said it is not too bad but there is an enclosed screened in patio area outside. The side window of the patio is on the side of the fan. Is there some sort of sound absorbing “curtian” we can install to absorb some or most of the noise so he can still enjoy the patio on warm days? Also he is looking for a reasonably priced solution as well. AND the material needs to be somewhat waterproof, too since the window area faces the west with just a screen. Thanks

    • Ted W

      Hello Ann,

      Thank you for the message. There may be a few ways to approach a situation like this. Do you have, or can your son get me the measurements of the window so that I can get an idea of the size that we will need to cover? The first two products that come to mind are the EXT-BBC-R2″ which is an Exterior Grade Sound Blanket. This is likely the easiest to use and most economical product that I have for a situation like this. These blankets are made on a per-job basis so we would generally make to slightly overlap the window – adding a few inches to the height and length. We would install grommets across the top and it would easily hang via nails or hooks. The other is a more expensive and higher performing magnetic window insert.
      Here are the two spec pages:
      Feel free to E-mail me with more info

      Exterior Grade Sound Blanket:
      //www.acousticalsurfaces.com/curtan_stop/sound_blanket.htm?d=12

      Climate-Seal Window inserts:
      //www.acousticalsurfaces.com/window-inserts/acoustical_window_inserts.htm?d=40

      Thanks,
      Ted

  10. Karlene

    Hello Ted,

    My husband and I work together in an 805 sq. ft. office in Ocala, FL. We like this office complex a lot, and have looked for other office space that might be better soundproofed than ours, and we have not found anything. Actually, I think ours has better soundproofing than most because of what I’ll explain below.

    In order for you to answer my question I’m going to give you as much as I can think of in regards to our profession and the office space we have.

    My husband is a psychologist and I run the front office. We are both very conscious of the need for privacy and keeping things confidential.

    When you enter the office through a glass front door you step into a reception area where clients can wait to be seen that is 20 ft 3 ins x 9 ft 11 ins. You then walk to my area that is 9 ft 11 ins x 13 ft. There is a closet that is about 9 ft x 8 ft, which we have turned into the file room. Across from that file room, and next to my area is a smaller storage closet. On the other side of the walls of those two closets are two offices. The larger of the two offices measures 13 ft 6 ins x 15 ft 9 ins is used regularly by my husband for counseling with his clients. This office shares a wall with the next office that measures 9 ft 3 ins x 15 ft 9 ins, where clients can do testing, etc. Each of the two offices have a huge window (almost floor to ceiling) that overlooks a beautifully landscaped garden with waterfall. I don’t know much about construction but I remember hearing that the ceilings are dropped.

    We’ve heard that the building, which is now called The Cascades Office Complex was once a shopping center many years ago. We have clients who lived here back in the 1970’s who remember going shopping and dining at the complex.

    A few months after we moved into the office in 2009 we explained to the landlord the need for the office being more soundproofed than it was. Consequently, the owners installed some extra insulation in the wall separating the two offices, which has helped. I have gone into the smaller office while a client or clients were being seen in the other office and I know they were talking, but I could not decipher what they were saying.

    The area that we are wanting to soundproof more is the doors, because that’s where the sound can carry depending on the volume of the person speaking. I’m not sure if it’s needed, but maybe also the walls (on the other side of the closets) for both offices.

    While researching this topic I came across Acoustical Surfaces website, which talked about Wallmate at //www.acousticalsurfaces.com/softwall_monowalls/wallmate.htm?d=22, and that sounds interesting. However, I don’t know if that’s appropriate for doors, or if there is anything that will block the sounds better.

    Since we are renting the office space, we would like whatever we do to be portable, and of course, reasonably priced. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Ted W

      Thanks for the comment and all of the information!

      The Wallmate product that you mentioned is a product used to absorb the reflective noise within the office – it is not something that is used to block sound. I am very glad, though, that you mentioned the door(s). Do you know if these are hollow core or solid core (and much heavier) doors?

      I would absolutely suggest installing a door seal kit on all of the doors in question. Once they are properly installed and adjusted, take a step back and asses the amount of noise reduction. These door seal kits are a retro-fit product that installs both onto the door both onto the door stop (left, right, and top of the door frame) and a door bottom that will automatically seal when closed. The idea here is to make the door as airtight as possible when it’s closed.

      Sound is a lot like water in the regard that it will find the weakest link first – and much of it will travel out via that path. If you filled the office with water, how is that water going to get into the hallway? Under and around th door. Sound travels through air, so if you have any airspace that connects the office with your area, the sound goes there first.

      As I said, I would start with the door seal kit and take a back and make a new assessment. If it is not enough, I would likely suggest getting a few white noise machines and plug them in near potential listeners. You could also put some ½″ sheetrock on the backs of the ceiling tiles in the office.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions or need any additional information. Thanks,
      Ted

  11. John Eckrote

    I am a fire sprinkler contractor, installing sprinkler heads/pipe through a 15 inch insulated ceiling of a new, to be constructed TV studio room. The plans show the line “acoustical treatment” in referring to the installation of the heads. What is the typical material used to accomplish this work?

    • Ted W

      I’m sorry, I can’t answer this question for you. I would contact the architect that drafted the spec.

      Thanks,
      Ted

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