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Soundproofing an Entertainment Room

You plan to play music in a bar, restaurant, dance hall, or a room in a commercial building to entertain customers, guests, or family.  Your listeners expect to be moved by the melody, rhythm, and vibrant beat of your music.  However, there are some who will find the sound to be nothing more than noise in their ears.  The issue is not your choice of hip-hop, rock, rap, or any other genre.  You are limited by local noise  ordinances and individual tolerance levels.  This article wil describe a typical soundproofing solution that involves building a room-within-a-room to contain the sound within your bar, restaurant, or dance hall.

Background

Existing walls in a typical building are inadequate to contain music played at levels exceeding 110 dB.  In most cases, there may be a combination of concrete wall, metal stud or wood stud walls finished with gypsum (drywall).  The studded wall may include thermal insulation that is nearly transparent to sound.  To assess your needs it is important to share some technical information that will help you understand the soundproofing system.

Sound in dB

So, what  do you need to do to get the sound down to a level that is acceptable?  Well, to answer that question let's look at a few decibel  (dB) levels that will serve to guide your decision.

Activity
dBA
Threshold of hearing
0
Public Library
30
Background music
60
Noisy restaurant
70
Roadside traffic at 45 feet away
70
Busy traffic intersection
80
Train horn at 100 feet
100
Amplified Rock music
110-115
Rock music peak
150








As you can see, it is desirable to get the sound level below the surroundings in your area.  In most cases, it may be acceptable to reduce the sound to around 50 dB.

Soundproofing System


There is a standard unit of measure that rates the performance of soundproofing materials and surface (walls, panels, ceiling, floor) assemblies.  Sound Transmission Class (STC) measures the transmission loss in dB between two rooms.  There is a source room where the sound originates then a target room where the sound is measured.  Measurements are taken at various frequencies to arrive a single unit of measure that is assigned to the material or assembly.  Concrete walls have a higher STC than a typical 2x4 stud wall.  The next step is to identify a soundproofing solution with an STC rating that will contain your music and keep your neighbors happy.

Let's assume that music in your entertainment room is around 115 dB.  Building a room-within-a-room with an STC rating of 65 or higher will lower the sound below the level of background music.  In other words, the sound outside your bar, restaurant, or dining hall will be part of the background noise generated by city traffic.  With this in mind, SoundAway recommends the following wall assembly for your room-within-a-room soundproofing system.

Room-within-a-room

Start by framing a 2x4 wall at least 1-2 inches away from your existing exterior wall. (figure 1)
Install UltraTouch Acoustic cotton fiber insulation. (figure 2)
Install SoundAway Barrier directly on the studs.  Apply Lead Seam Tape and Acoustical Caulk (figure 3)
Install SoundAway Sound Isolation Clips. (figure 4)
Install drywall furring channel, DWFC.  (figure 5)
Install 5/8" drywall (figure 6)
Apply 2-3 tubes of Green Glue to a second sheet of 5/8" drywall (figure 7)
Fasten second sheet of drywall to first sheet (figure 8)

Figure 1Figure 2Figure 3
                Figure 1                                Figure 2                                 Figure 3


Figure 4Figure 5Figure 6
                Figure 4                                 Figure 5                                  Figure 6


Figure 7Figure 8
                Figure 7                                  Figure 8


Acoustics

You have contained the sound to keep it inside your bar, dance hall, or practice room.  You now need to consider tuning the sound inside the room.  Reflections from hard surfaces such as concrete floors, drywall, metal, or wood will reverberate resulting in a muffled and, possibly, unintelligible sound.  SoundAway offers a large selection of acoustical, fire-retardant foams, "green" UltraQuiet Cotton Wall Panels and fabric-covered wall panels to help you fine tune the sound in your room.  Browse through our large selection of acoustical products.  Call for more information.

Soundproofing Materials Needed


Measure the width, length, and height of your room.  Call us at 1-866-SOUND81 (1-866-768-6381) and we'll help you calculate material quantities, draft a quotation, and determine the most cost-effective shipping method.