Having a soundproofed recording studio room is not a necessity when it comes to recording, but it certainly helps to get the most true and accurate sound from an instrument. The sound source should be the only influence of the recording. Different-size rooms that aren't soundproofed can alter the way an instrument or vocal sounds. Generally, you don t want the record the echo of the sound source or pick up any other unwanted noise that may be coming from outside the room.
While soundproofing is preferred, it is not always feasible. A kit made with Auralex, a room-dampening material, can cost upward of $500. That s essentially $500 for pieces of foam. There are far less expensive ways to soundproof your audio recording studio. Here are some more affordable methods and materials to dampen a room's sound-reflection qualities.
One of the first tips to soundproofing a room is to make sure that doors are properly and totally sealed. Sound can slip through crevices beneath doorways. Installing a door sweep is relatively cheap and easy to do, and will stop sound from escaping and intruding from underneath the door. For crevices around light fixtures or windows, acoustic sealant can trap sound from escaping. Heavy drapes over the windows will help sound from escaping.
The floor is an important factor in sound travel. A hardwood or concrete floor will induce sound travel and echo. Having a carpeted floor will reduce the amount that sound bounces around in a room. Since it can be expensive to carpet an entire room, placing rugs on the floor can do wonders to reduce sound travel.
There are a handful of ways to prepare the walls in a room to dampen sound. One of the cheapest ways is to hang thick blankets or tapestries along your walls. If you have a preference about the room's appearance, try to hang aesthetically pleasing quilts or blankets to keep the room from becoming an eyesore. You can also stand unused mattresses against the walls to dampen sound. This works well but is an ugly alternative.
Egg cartons can be used to redirect and thereby deaden. They are a cheap alternative to sound-dampening material, but filling an entire room with egg cartons is both time-consuming and unappealing. Proper placement of a handful of them will help nearly as much. Stagnated placement on large walls will help reduce additional noise.
Soundproofing a room doesn't have to be expensive. A combination of the tips above will reduce the amount of echo in the studio as well as improve the quality of recordings.