Soundproof Garden Studios
A fully-sealed soundproof garden studio or an isolated music room in your home is the best way to keep your latest demo from being heard before the release date.
If you are a music producer, play a loud instrument or want a soundproof space for your band to practice, a specially designed music room in your home is the perfect solution. Your neighbours get the peace and quiet that they deserve, and a fully soundproof recording studio is the perfect place to get in touch with your creativity without any disturbances from the outside world.
How to Soundproof a Home Studio
Whether in your garden shed or inside your home, when it comes to creating a professional soundproof recording studio there are two main considerations: the first is to keep out unwanted noise, and the second is to improve the sound quality within the space. Both of these goals are achieved by installing specialised soundproof products and materials, as well as altering the architecture of the space itself to get the best results.
The door is one of the most important elements when soundproofing a home-studio as it needs to be as thick and heavy as possible to effectively dampen the sound waves. In many cases, installing a double-door system will ensure optimal performance, which is essentially 2 door units that are spaced apart with an air gap in between.
Acoustic seals should also be affixed to the frame(s) to prevent any sound from leaking in or out from around the door and frame. MORE >
Windows are the key to soundproofing any space, as the glazing in traditional window units are very poor insulators of sound. By installing top of the line noise reduction windows you can improve the sound efficiency of a home studio by up to 51dB – use our handy Noise Tool to hear what a reduction in 51dB really sounds like.
Incorporating specialised soundproof glazing, the glass is isolated from the frame thanks to the specialised buffers that prevent noise transmission. Stopping sound getting out, these units create the perfect recording environment that is totally free from external noise and ambient sounds. MORE >
Soundproofing Studio Walls
Internal walls may seem to be effective at preventing unwanted noise from entering your building – however, most walls are covered in plasterboard, with an air space behind it. This gap conducts sound waves – and so, if the gap is big enough, it can act as an acoustic chamber. This makes it essential to soundproofing the walls in any home studio or garden recording space, which can be done by installing insulating foams and acoustic dampening materials, including acoustic plasterboards.
Crucially, these acoustic materials will need to work effectively across a range of frequencies, to prevent both bass and treble transmission. For even greater soundproofing, the walls can be decoupled – meaning that the plasterboard is separated from the stud wall with the use of cushioning – to prevent noise transfer through the material of the wall itself. MORE >
The Finer Details
When it comes to fully soundproofing a music studio, the space will only be as soundproof as its weakest point. The space should be examined for any leakages and weak spots, which, typically, are small air gaps through which noise can move through. Depending on the size of the gap and the type of surface, these will be fixed with acoustic sealants, mats and mineral wool.
Any home studio will benefit from the use of both convoluted and non-convoluted foam sheets, which are stuck to the interior walls in order to control the internal acoustics. These foam sheets reduce reverberation, reflections and flutter echoes – however, they will not effectively prevent sound from leaking in or out of the space.
Garden Studios and Planning Permission
As with any building in your garden, you can build a studio that is up to 50% the total area of your garden without requiring planning permission – so long as it meets the following regulations:
- The building must be less than 2.5m in height.
- The 50% rule applies to the area of your garden less pre-existing structures (i.e. greenhouses, other sheds, etc.)
- The studio cannot be placed in front of the front elevation of the property.
- The studio is not to be used as sleeping accommodation.
If your garden studio does not meet all of the above criteria, it will require planning permission and further building regulations must be met. In the case of conservation areas, a garden studio can be built on your property as long as it is in the back garden, not at the front or side of the building. A listed building will require planning permission to construct a garden studio.
Soundproofing a Garden Studio FAQs
How can I keep the room well ventilated?
Installing high-quality acoustic ventilation systems that have been designed to moderate the temperature of the room whilst preventing sound getting out is the best way to ventilate a music studio. These are installed by specialist soundproofing teams in order to avoid compromising the integrity of the soundproofing as a whole.
Will foam sheets work well enough?
Foam sheets are designed to treat and improve the sound quality within the room – they have not been designed to prevent noise escaping the room. They are an important element in any garden studio or music room in which you plan on recording music – but they are not necessary in spaces that are designed solely for practice.
Does the floor need to be insulated?
If you are creating a garden studio then the room will most likely be free-standing and have a base of solid concrete, below which will be soil. These dense materials will not easily transfer sound, so you won’t have to worry about soundproofing your studio floor in this situation.
However, when it comes to music rooms or recording studios within your property, the floor will most likely need to be treated. To soundproof a floor, it is necessary to instal resilient bars which isolate the floor, as well as using acoustic sealants to plug any gaps. You can find further details about soundproofing your floor here.
Can I turn my wooden shed into a music studio?
In short, no. Wooden structures are very poor insulators of sound, and so they would require such extensive changes and adaptations – many layers of insulation, new soundproof windows and doors – that it is more economical to start from scratch, building a new structure altogether.
Any new purpose-built studio should use high mass and density materials with a cavity between them, as this will provide a baseline level of noise reduction that can be further improved by installing specialised products and professionally finishing the space.
When it comes to soundproofing a garden studio, music room or recording studio, noise reduction will only ever be as effective as your weakest link. If you are suffering from noise pollution and are considering soundproofing your home, you may also want to consider: