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Soundproof Your Recording Space

Recording clean audio is crucial to high quality production, which is why Angela Wolf Video retrofitted our studio with sound in mind. Our building is on a commercial corridor that can get pretty noisy, so we knew we would have to make soundproofing a priority. We couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Keep reading for our three top tips for recording quality audio.

how to record clean audio

1) Soundproofing vs Sound Dampening

Hear us out--this isn't just nit-picky semantics. How well your soundproofing AND sound dampening work together can make or break clean audio. You need both. While soundproofing affects outside noise, sound dampening affects inside noise. Proofing prevents foreign sound from coming into your recording space, and dampening prevents your own sound from bouncing and creating echoes within it. For example, sound panels are a great way to prevent voices from echoing. They can't, however, do anything about a noisy street outside or your elderly neighbor's TV on full blast. And on the flip side, soundproof insulation won't do anything to stop reverb from muddying your audio. This is why any good recording space absolutely needs both.

2) Soundproofing: Eliminate Vibrations

The primary goal of soundproofing is to prevent noise from traveling. Sound waves are caused by vibrations in the air, and any air pockets potentially entering the space introduce more vibrations. These vibrations continue to bounce off each other (and nearby surfaces) until the sound waves have completely dissipated. To prevent this from happening, you need eliminate or block all sources of outside air (think windows and door cracks). When designing the AWV studio, we made sure there were no windows in the recording space. Not only do the cracks let in outside noise directly, but the glass itself creates vibrations and sound travels right through it. We also replaced all the hollow-core doors (which trap a tremendous amount of air) with solid-core doors (which as the name suggests, are completely solid). The studio is also fitted with specific soundproof insulation inside the walls. We also added an extra layer of drywall, placing felt between the two layers. This means there is virtually no air gaps between the outside of the building and in (multiple layers of walls) inside the building.

3) Sound Dampening: Eliminate Hard Surfaces

Flat, hard surfaces are perfect for sound waves to bounce off of and create reverb. Think of the echo you'd hear in an empty church, as opposed to in a smaller space with more furniture and things that trap sound. To eliminate any hard surfaces within your recording space, you'll need to cover them with soft, absorbent textures. The right sound panels and felt can work wonders for this! It's also crucial you consider any reverb coming from the ground. At the AWV studio, we installed carpeting to dampen any echo that would bounce off the tile floor. To prevent reverb produced by walls, we lined them with sound-dampening felt (the same kind that movie theaters use!). We also used sound-dampening foam panels on the ceiling to break up the flat surface and create texture to trap the sound waves.

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