Regular visitors of Pro Tools Expert will most likely know that I am currently in the middle of my home recording studio build - Watch How To Soundproof A Home Recording Studio - Part 1 to see the building before we started the project.
We are roughly 2 weeks away from completing the soundproof studio so keep your eyes on Pro Tools Expert over the coming weeks for a full video walkthrough of my soundproof studio build. For now though, I want to talk about one of the soundproofing materials that we specified for the build in the planning stage - TECSOUND.
What Is TECSOUND
The company that supplied us with the majority of the soundproofing materials were iKoustic (based in the UK)
Below is iKoustic's description of TECSOUND:
TECSOUND Soundproofing Applications
- Soundproofing against airborne noise in vertical walls with low surface density
- Soundproofing against airborne noise in ceilings and lightweight roofs.
- Reduction of impact noise level in all types of floors, sandwiched between floor slabs and loose-laid flooring.
- Damping of impact noise caused by atmospheric agents on metal decks.
- Combined with sound-absorbent materials, it offers products with high acoustic performance.
- TECSOUND applications in the industrial field cover from the soundproofing of booths to the acoustic insulation of machine-rooms, gutter pipes, sound damping of metal sheets, etc.
The video below shows a TECSOUND installation method. I will go into more detail on how we installed TECSOUND and the other aspects of Rockwool and foil back insulation in future posts.
My First Impressions Of TECSOUND
When we were planning the studio build I contacted the guys at iKoustic for guidance because I had no prior "hands on" experience building a soundproof studio. The log cabin in our garden was constructed with timber 40mm thick so we needed soundproofing materials and a plan to get the soundproof system right. If you don't plan a soundproof system properly you run the real risk of spending a whole bunch of money on a room that will not work as a soundproof recording studio.
I have researched soundproofing techniques in the past so I am familiar with the materials and methods required for a project like this. I asked iKoustic about Green Glue, a popular acoustic soundproofing compound used between two layers of plasterboard. iKoustic recommended against Green Glue in favour of TECSOUND. On the face of it, TECSOUND seemed quite pricey so I needed to be told the benefits compared to Green Glue. One of the benefits of TECSOUND is that it is applied in an even layout whereas Green Glue is applied in a random fashion. Nothing wrong there unless the Green Glue hardens in the future which can, in some cases happen, causing small acoustic pockets in the plasterboard sandwich cavity.
Soundproofing a room requires many processes and materials that must be installed with absolute precision. An important soundproofing process is adding mass, especially in a timber structure. Two layers of plasterboard covers a good proportion of the mass aspect but a material needs to be sandwiched between the two layers of plasterboard for optimum soundproofing performance. TECSOUND is a mass loaded sticky back vinyl sound barrier that adds a lot more mass to the plasterboard construction and let me tell you, this stuff is incredibly heavy. One roll of TECSOUND 5 meters long is almost too heavy to lift! We've installed just over 750KG of TECSOUND on the walls, ceilings and next week it will be on the floor as well.
The Results So Far
The floor soundproofing will be the last process of the build. We will be installing one layer of TECSOUND directly on top of the floorboards with one layer of MuteMat 2 on top of that followed by decorative wood flooring. We didn't opt for ripping up the original floor and replacing it with a floating floor, instead, we chose to "float" (decouple) the final decorative wood floor on TECSOUND and MuteMat 2, a smart compromise/workaround we feel. Watch the video below to hear the soundproofing performance of MuteMat 2.
The soundproofing results so far with a custom door fitted and the floor unfinished are already amazing. General garden airborne noises such as neighbours lawn mowers, aeroplanes flying overhead, children playing, dogs barking, distant traffic and my wife calling me for dinner are 99% gone. Inside a slight rumble of sound can be heard from external sounds directly next to the structure but I am confident that the floor construction will seal the studio and complete the soundproofing beyond expectations.
We have tested the studio with my wife standing inside the studio playing the guitar and singing at the top of her lungs - When I stood 2 meters back from the studio outside I couldn't hear her, when I stood next to the door I could just about hear her, certainly not distinguishable.
So far, so good. The studio is taking shape and the soundproofing performance is getting stronger with each layer. One quick tip, soundproofing is not cheap. The log cabin is 3.8m by 5.5m and 2.8m high. The materials alone have cost me over £11,000 so far but this is a sound investment (pun intended). Soundproofing cannot be done on the cheap and demands a lot of care and planning in order to succeed.
More to follow in the coming weeks...