For any musician, whether aspiring, stating out, or experienced, having a soundproofed piano room or a studio is a welcome feat. But how do you soundproof a piano room?
Also read: Guide to Building a Soundproof Drum Shed
How to Soundproof your Piano Room
Here are methods for soundproofing a piano room:
- Making a room within a room
- Using resilient channels
- Using a separate structure
- Using acoustic plaster
- Adding Door seals, gaskets & sweeps
These soundproofing methods will help you turn your piano room into a feasible studio. It won’t be a faraway dream anymore. For further information on soundproofing, be sure to keep reading.
1. Making a room within a room
For people new to soundproofing, this method may sound like a horrible tongue twister or a good attempt at confusing people. First of all, making a room within a room entails having a pre-existing room to make this concept take form.
Next is to create a room within that pre-existing room through studs, otherwise known as stud framework. After creating a stud framework, you can close off either side of the framework using drywall.
In some cases, you can use the drywall as a sound insulator. However, it may not be ideal, and you will not be fully utilizing the stud framework. To maximize this method, you can add soundproofing material into the cavity.
The addition of this mass will allow you to create a dense enough wall that will stop sound waves from infiltrating. All in all, the mass will absorb the sound waves leaving you with a dead air room.
Dead air is a great way to allow musicians and other artists to isolate sound. This type of room is ideal for musicians looking for a way to seal off the vibrations from getting to the outside.
2. Using resilient channels
Resilient channels are a much newer alternative in the soundproofing industry. Professionals consider them as the most common decoupling tactic when soundproofing the inner side of buildings.
Remember that you can soundproof both the inside and outside of buildings. It is entirely dependent on what your soundproofing goals and whether or not they bring benefits to your craft.
Resilient channels also use a stud framework, but instead of using soundproofing material in the cavity, you will add steel bars or resilient channels horizontally to the stud framework. The stud framework will be screwed into the resilient channel leaving gaps.
These gaps do not allow the sound waves to travel to the stud framework, and you achieve the dampening of the sound.
For additional soundproofing, you can add a much dense soundproof insulation material to increase the rate of sound absorption further.
3. Using a separate soundproof structure
This method may come as a surprise, or many may not consider this method worth your time. However, having a separate structure or building away from the main building is a soundproofing method in itself.
You could say this method is soundproofing by elimination. By moving your piano room to a building or structure away from the main building, you can reduce the amount of noise generated. Moreover, it reduces noise exposure to the people around you.
This method will not soundproof your building, but it takes the source of the sound away from society and other factors that may be negatively affected by noise or sound.
Looking at it from a different perspective, it is like having your cave that you can comfortably dwell in as you leisurely play your piano.
Do not overlook this method. For those musicians with some extra separate room on your property, this method may be the answer to your problem.
4. Using acoustic plaster
Several buildings utilize acoustic plaster. Maybe you encountered several of these buildings in your daily life. For example, museums, theatres, malls, and private residences use acoustic plaster in their base construction to act as their primary source of soundproofing.
This method may not be adequate for an already pre-existing room. However, it’s worth the mention because of its versatility and durability. Acoustic plaster is also great if you want to increase the acoustic calibration of your piano room.
However, if dead air is what you’re looking for, this may not be your solution. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to add soundproofing without all the additional costs of soundproofing an existing building.
5. Adding seals, gaskets and sweeps to the piano room door
As shared earlier, soundproofing your piano room will not only involve soundproofing your walls, ceilings and floors. It will also involve soundproofing your doors.
Doors act as another escape route for sound waves to pass through therefore leaking sound to the outside environment.
These products are attached to either side of the door frame for the sole purpose of sealing off the entire door.
You want to ensure that you have filled all air gaps coming from your door. The rubber seals also tend to act as air-tight seals.
This method is always the last of the soundproofing process. Sealing off the door and checking for gaps in the room will always be the cherry on top of the entire process.
Be sure to check on these parts of the process because it’s pretty easy to forget them.
Check out my recommended soundproof door kits.
How do recording studios soundproof their studios?
Recording studios have the privilege of having their private studios. The cost was not a problem for them because they considered it an investment. But how did these massive companies create complete soundproof rooms with little to no vibrations?
As you may know, the purpose of recording studios is to entirely and utterly seal off any sound or vibrations from leaking to the outside. Efficient and specialized soundproofing occurs on the ceilings, the walls, and the floors.
Sound waves will essentially try to find a path of least resistance if the soundproofing in a piano room is inadequate. Thus, recording studios will eliminate this factor by firstly creating a room within a room.
However, before kicking off this article, it’s best to get a few terms out of the way. Here are the four general tactics of soundproofing.
Here are four essential tactics for soundproofing your piano room
You can use the following tactics can be used apart or in a hybrid manner. The end does not justify the means with these tactics. So long as the conduction of the process is correct and efficient.
- Adding mass
- Filling Air gaps
You will notice further along in this article the utilization of these tactics in bringing together all the elements of your growing piano studio. It’s high time to give detailed descriptions of these tactics.
As the name suggests, it is the addition of a dense mass that will cease any vibrations from moving from one point to the other on either the walls, floor, or ceiling in your piano room.
What type of mass do you need? It would be best if you had something with enough density that sound cannot travel through or bounce off of in any situation. Some professionals describe the sound as periodic vibrations of air that the human ear can perceive.
This tactic typically occurs in walls by adding mass, and you can create one part of your soundproofed room.
Soundproofing does not only involve walls, but every single surface of that room has to have the capability of stopping sound waves from crossing.
Back to the question, what type of mass do you need? For recording studios, you can use concrete.
But there are other options in the market, such as fiberglass. They serve as a dense enough mass that ceases any vibrations that will cause sound to leave your piano room.
Next on the menu is the damping technique. The damping technique uses a process known as Thermoacoustic. Thermo means heat, and acoustic means sound. The damping technique allows sound to transform or generate heat.
How does it work? The basic science of it is that when sound waves travel, they generate a certain amount of heat. The generation of the heat will occur when the sound waves are absorbed.
From a scientific perspective, sound is the ordered movement of atoms and molecules. This movement flows in a fast-waving pattern. For the thermoacoustic process to occur, you need to change the ordered movement into disordered movement.
How do you make it happen? When sound meets a certain amount of irregularity during traveling, it will ultimately transform into heat. Another method is when sound waves travel through absorbent materials.
Either way, the heat generated from this process is not enough to start a fire or keep you warm during winter. It is minimal and will not suddenly turn into your own free AC.
Green glue is an excellent product for damping. In the soundproofing industry, professionals recommend green glue as the go-to damping product.
The third is the process of decoupling—professional conduct decoupling on points where walls, floors, or the ceiling are in contact. The sealing process stops the room elements from receiving vibrations from adjacent surfaces.
Typically, you will use rubber to seal off the contact points. You always need to consider that sound travel is impossible to predict, and it will happen if the installation of the soundproof materials is inefficient.
To stop the sound from leaking to the outside, you need to check how different surface elements of the piano room correlate.
- Decoupling occurs in numerous other ways, such as:
- Construction of a floating floor
- Construction of double walls
- Use of isolating layers
- Isolating of the stud framework from the floors, walls, or ceiling.
Filling in air gaps
Last but not least is the tactic of filling in air gaps. As long as air gaps exist in your soundproof piano room, the sound will leak out. Sound waves always look for a path with the least resistance, and unsealed air gaps fit right into that plan.
This tactic is, in fact, the piece de resistance of soundproofing. It is the last and final piece of the puzzle that will completely seal off your piano room from the outside world.
Not only that, but it will also seal off any unnecessary sound that may leak out of your transformed home studio.
This article will cover these soundproofing tactics below. Readers must narrow them down. They are essential if you’re interested in turning your piano room into a mini-home studio.
Now onto the main event of this article; here are ways to soundproof your piano room.
Here are some helpful FAQs to get you started in soundproofing your piano room.
Can you make the piano quieter?
You can’t just turn down the volume on a piano. It doesn’t usually come with that function.
You can, however, soundproof the area around the piano. Through this method, you can reduce the sound coming from the piano.
Can you make a room completely soundproof?
Yes, you can make a room completely soundproof. The only challenge lies in the efficiency and flexibility of your budget. Recording studios are great examples of completely soundproofed spaces. However, soundproofing professionals conduct their construction, and companies had the budget to construct them.
Nevertheless, you can still create semi-soundproofed rooms that will dampen the sound leaking into the external environment.
Where should you put a piano in your house?
Professionals recommend placing the piano in its own allocated room. If you have an adjacent structure on your property away from your main house, that would be an even more significant benefit. This reasoning holds if you’re living with other people and are considering them.
If these options aren’t available to you, you can put it as close to a thick wall as possible for the wall to absorb the sound.
- Acoustiblok, 30 Types of Soundproofing material explained, Acoustiblok https://www.acoustiblok.co.uk/soundproofing-materials/#Types_of_Soundproofing_Materials
- E-Home Recording Studio, How to Soundproof a Room for Music Recording, E-Home Recording Studio https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/soundproof-room/
- Masterclass, How to Soundproof a Home Studio for Recording, Masterclass, https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-soundproof-a-home-studio#what-is-soundproofing
- CORDIS, Thermoacoustic Technology for Energy Applications, CORDIS, https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/86348-turning-sound-waves-into-a-heat-wave
- Dr. Christopher S. Baird, Can sound waves generate heat? West Texas A&M University, https://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2015/11/05/can-sound-waves-generate-heat/