top of page

Cheap Soundproofing DIY 2021 UPDATE!

A few things have changed in the last 5 years when it comes to DIY soundproofing. Gabby takes a look at her old soundproofing video and gives a play by play of what is still valid, what's improved, and what needs to be updated.

Cheap Soundproofing DIY 2021 UPDATE! - 10:19

Hey guys, thanks for joining me. In today's video, we are gonna do a follow-up to my very popular video about soundproofing. I'm gonna talk about things that have changed, things that are updated, and some new information that might be helpful. Stick around.

So a while back I did a video about cheap DIY soundproofing which I'm a huge fan of because I've really DIY'd all of my booths that I've ever had in pretty much every house I've ever lived in. So today I want to talk about some new information, I want to review this old video, kind of talk about what's still valid, what's not valid, what's important, etc. Let's get going.

Hey guys, it's Gabby. So I want to talk to you today about soundproofing. Now technically, the title of this video and what I just said is really like a huge misnomer. There's no such thing as soundproofing, okay? That's like NASA stuff. What we use in voiceover is acoustic treatment or acoustic dampening. Yep, but everybody just calls it soundproofing anyway, which is fine. If you're just getting going there's a lot of confusion about equipment and probably even more so about building a room or space in which to record your voiceovers. There are some outstanding do-it-yourself ways to get going. You can basically forego aesthetics and, instead, build a space to record that isn't going to look the best, but it's definitely going to get the job done, and so I want to talk to you today about some of the alternatives and the things that you can do.

First of all, understand that a studio space doesn't have to be very big. A standard regular size closet, not a walk-in, can be a suitable recording space. The smaller the space you start out with is the less acoustic treatment you're going to need and the acoustic treatment is where a lot of your money comes from. So don't go too too crazy. The smaller the space, the better off you're going to be. Seriously. It doesn't need to be a huge room! It really can be a very compact, tiny spot in your house. You can also build a modular or a portable type of setup using pvc pipe or if you've got a little bit of basic carpentry skills, just some two by fours and not a whole lot else because really, sheetrock and walls are kind of optional. You're gonna use other materials to make up that soundproof barrier. Let's talk about some of those other materials because that's kind of important. Rockwool or ROXUL is the brand name that is the most, I think, used insulation that you're gonna find inside of the building of studios and they're both highly, highly effective. You can use regular insulation as well, but you're going to need a lot more of it and you're going to have to compress it and squish it down a lot further. Please keep in mind that unless you're custom building the space - all of it - you're building your studio to conform to your house, not the other way around. Unless, like I said, you're site building the studio from the ground up.

As a result of this, all home recording comes with challenges. All home recording comes with things we have to basically work around. I mean, I hate to say it but it's true. The dog barks, somebody drives by with a really loud car stereo, your neighbor fires up a lawnmower... yeah you're going to be disrupted and your recording is going to have to stop and you're going to have to re-record because of it. It just is what it is. Possibly the easiest and the least expensive way to go ahead and get a booth space started is with pillows. Pillows and blanket toppers and mattress pads and anything that you can think of that's squishy and dense, okay? Because this is what creates your sound barrier. This is how simple this is. Right now, I'm talking to you and I'm speaking into an open air space and as soon as I put this pillow in front of me, if you want to test this out, this is super simple - go scream into a mattress. It totally works. This is also why pillow forts work! This is why so many people kind of build these little walled-in structures that are made up of dense material and pillows work great to make that happen. Sound is cut, probably by half, if not more, because the pillow is doing what it's supposed to do or intended to do in that situation. It's stopping the sound, it's absorbing it, right? And that's what you want to have happen. So old pillows, blankets, couch cushions, quilts, you name it - and honestly one of my earliest voiceover booths was built by going to a goodwill type store and buying up every single squishy, cushy type of material that they had, taking it to a laundromat, and then placing it inside my little closet and it can be quite effective and so really inexpensive, and as far as how to adhere it to the wall? Anything you want. Liquid nail is probably the most permanent but you can use Velcro, you can nail them depending on what it is, sometimes you can just take some basic nails and tack them, especially if it's quilts or blankets and things like that. Other things that work really, really well is carpet padding. Now it's ugly as sin but it really, really gets the job done because carpet padding's function is sound absorption, it's sound dampening between the floors of your house, so remnants from a carpet shop can do wonders to create a really, really great sound absorption process and then you can just cover it over with like a fabric or something that you like that doesn't look all hideous and speckly like the soundproofing material does. Then you get up into more professional things from there. So an addition that you have to take into account is Amazon! Since I made this video, audio recording technology has come so far and has become so much more affordable all around. There are companies like crazy on Amazon that are building and making and manufacturing sound proofing. It is a lot cheaper than the stuff that you typically see at a music store, it is a lot cheaper than brand names like Auralex, and it's plentiful; and in some cases, for like less than 100 bucks, you can invest in a bunch of crate type foam material to encase your space. Another thing that I can't say enough good about now, I didn't have one at the time, but Producers Choice blankets - okay? These are made by Vocal Booths to Go. I have a couple of these in my studio - they are freaking incredible! The idea that a blanket could make such an impact on your sound, it's unreal. But please note these are not moving blankets - no no no no no no! Moving blankets or, yeah I mean they they fall under the cheap diy category, but if you spend just a little bit more money on sound blankets you're going to get a way, way better sound.

This is what most people know as Auralex or an Auralex type material, you can also move into things like Studio Bricks. There are other modular companies out there that you can purchase from where you can basically create a booth customized to your space. The cost varies but don't expect it to be cheap. Those things are going to be expensive but you build your way up to that. It's not something you have to worry about. Portabooths though have come a super long way. I've got an example of that here. These shields that are very popular that sort of encase your microphone. You need a little bit more than just this to be effective and to really get the kind of sound absorption that you're to need but definitely it's a good start and it can really go a long way to helping you begin that process. Something to keep in mind with a setup like this, with a porta booth, is make sure you have a very forgiving mic. This is where something like a Sennheiser 416 comes in really handy, because I can tell you from experience, a TLM-103? Oh boy, no no it is not going to be forgiving of open air and ambient sound.

And yeah, at the end of this video, I still stand by everything I said previously: squishy foamy stuff! That's the way to do it, that's the answer to DIY-ing your own space. Just so you know guys, too, in this new video, any brand names that I'm mentioning or talking about, I'm not getting paid anything for that. There's no endorsement deal, it's just me recommending stuff that I like and stuff that I use, so just so you know.

Thank you so much for watching, I hope this helps and I look forward to seeing your new comments. Bye!

704-674-8294 / /

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, What Not To Do, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York,, How to Be a Better Voice Actor, voiceover coaching, YouTube Channel, Voice Acting Coach, working actor, soundproofing, recording studio, recording booth, Vocal Booths to Go, Producers Choice, Studio Bricks, DIY, Sound Dampening, Auralex, Portabooths, Sennheiser 416, TLM-103, home studio, home studio recording

bottom of page