Soundproof Home Rehearsal and Recording Studio With Cellulose

The music equipment and recording business is estimated at $7 billion world-wide. That includes thousands of “garage bands.” With a new focus in the industry on DIY and independent home recording, opportunities for the amateur artist to be heard on the same level as professionals is unprecedented. This is also driving more conversions of spaces in homes beyond simple sound controlled practice areas to home recording studios.

Finding a rehearsal space that is convenient and affordable is difficult for most bands. The cost of renting time at a professional recording studio gets expensive quickly. Many bands and musicians look to their garages as the most practical place to practice and record. In suburban and urban neighborhoods, the music often becomes unwanted noise in the ears of other family members and irate neighbors. The garage is transitioning from a rough practice space to a home recording environment and with it a need for better sound control. Keeping exterior sounds out, and the music in, requires sound control improvements. Insulation is critical to controlling sound in buildings and cellulose insulation is the ideal product for adding sound proofing within a home practice or recording space located in the garage.

Cellulose insulation in overhead garage doorThe problem with the garage though: in many cases this is the space that is not insulated like the rest of the home. This means anywhere air can enter and escape so too can sound. Garage attics are often not insulated and walls are unfinished. Cellulose insulation is an affordable option. Installing cellulose insulation in attics can be done as DIY projects or by professional insulation installers. For walls and other vertical spaces a professional installer is needed. Regardless where it is used, one of the important characteristics of cellulose is its excellent sound control properties (watch a video demonstration.)

The greatest obstacle when tackling garage sound proofing, and the place where most sound transfers between the garage and the exterior, is the overhead door. Replacement can be expensive and many shy away from this step since it makes converting the space back to a garage even more costly and challenging if the music stops one day. Spayed cellulose insulation is a great alternative to replacing the overhead door with a permanent wall. An experienced installer, knowledgeable about cellulose insulation, can handle this critical aspect of the garage conversion. (Use the contractor referral service on the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association website for assistance finding qualified installers in your state.)

Sprayed (moisture-added) cellulose insulation applied by a professional installer can seal up the back panels of the overhead door similar to a wall with studs. As the dry cellulose insulation is blown from the applicator hose, a small amount of water is added, activating the natural starches or adhesives in the cellulose so it adheres to the surfaces door panels. Just enough water is added to ensure good adhesion within these cavity-like spaces. A mesh can be tacked over the insulation, once excess over-spray has been removed, to keep securely in place. Caulk can be used to seal around the door edges. Unlike a finished wall, there is no reflective surface for even better sound environment within the garage in addition to controlling sound movement (watch this video of a sound tunnel in the cellulose pavilion display for an example.)

Should the need to convert the garage back to traditional use ever arise, the insulation can be removed without the expense of tearing out a wall and buying and installing another garage door.

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  1. Wonderful post! I am so glad that I found this. You put all of the information needed.

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