Recording Studio Sound surveys
So you have found your recording studio location, the next thing you need to figure out is how much soundproofing you require to provide sound isolation. Its important to note here that you are not just trying to prevent sound from getting into your studio, you are also trying to prevent sound from leaving your studio, especially if you are building near residential properties. This is why when carrying out your recording studio design, you carry out a sound survey to ascertain the correct level or minimum level of soundproofing your will require before you work on the acoustic response you would actually like in your recording studio.
The level of soundproofing you require depends on four things, firstly the different sources of sound you plan on using and the distance to the nearest property and thirdly, the ambient sound level around your property. The current inherent soundproofing properties of the current building you plan on building your recording studio within (if it already exists).
To give a basic example, if you plan on simply having a control room on the ground floor of your property and you live in the city with neighbours each side of your property, the following would apply:-
- The sound source would be from your near and far field monitors and the average sound level in a control room is usually around 85dba.
- The nearest neighbour is 3ft away from your control room.
- The average external ambient noise level during the day is 55dba and 40dba at night. The average internal ambient noise level during the day is 40dba and 30dba at night.
- The existing building has inherent soundproofing isolation of 45dba to the outside at it’s weakest point and 45dba to within the neighbours property.
So using the information from the example above, we can work out that we will need at least 40db of soundproofing to bring the level of sound within the control room down to the lowest ambient noise level of 40dba outside. We also know that the building already has it’s own inherent soundproofing reduction level of 45db, so we are almost there. However to satisfy any issues you have with noise complaints, you also need to ensure you are at least 10dba below the ambient noise level externally, so you will need to calculate for at least 10db of soundproofing within your control room to bring the level down to 10dba below your external ambient of 40dba at night. However we will need at least 55db of soundproofing within the control room to bring the sound level down to the internal ambient sound level within your neighbours property at night. Your building already takes care of 45db of the soundproofing, so you minimum level of soundproofing would be 10db and again to satisfy any issues with noise complaints, you also need to ensure you are at lease 10dba below the ambient noise level internally within your neighbours property at night. This would mean you would need to install a minimum of 20db of soundproofing to ensure the sound level within your neighbours property was 10db below ambient at night.