DIY Doctor

Acoustic and Thermal Insulation/Soundproofing a Stone Shed

Postby cojobt » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:29 pm

Hi,

I am considering converting an old stone shed with slate roof and concrete floor into an amateur sound studio, mostly for mixing. Three walls of the shed are bare stone, with one wall being the gable end of a bungalow.

From what I have read, this will involve dry-lining the room, or possibly creating a floating room. I won't require professional studio-standard soundproofing, as we're in the middle of the countryside, but I'd like to eliminate the sound of passing cars, tractors and also the wind, and contain the noise coming from the speakers.

The roof was renovated recently, but there are lots of large gaps between the wall and the ceiling which need to be built up.

I'm researching the best materials for good thermal and acoustic insulation. So far, Knauf Rockwool RWA45 appears to be a good option, at 40kg/m3, but it's costly.

If the walls and ceiling were dry-lined with this at 100mm, would that make the room reasonably soundproof, and also easy to heat with a small heater? The shed is 14'x10'.

Are there any cheaper options?

I acknowledge there are a lot of variables at play here, but I'm just at the beginning of this project, and trying to assess its viability, and the cost.

There will be no plumbing, but it will have to be wired too.

Thanks for your help?
cojobt
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Postby DNJohnston » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:42 am

Hi there

There is SO much information out there about this it is hard to know where to begin for anyone dipping their toe! Of course there are as many different solutions as there are rooms so here are some over-arching principles:

Noise coming in:
For most noise (mid-high freq) you need to concentrate on the gaps. Get a really well sealed door (solid core, seals all the way round including the threshold). If you have the space for 2 doors then all the better.
The "easiest" way to combat gaps around the roof is to drop a well-sealed ceiling in. Providing a good seal at the stone walls will be tricky, but any tiny little gaps will let all those little noises in!
For low frequency noise (tractors!) you need mass. So the stone walls are probably good (make sure the mortar is filled for the HF/MF sound!) Your roof sounds lightweight, so yes, a double-board dense plasterboard ceiling with mineral wool in the void will be an improvement.

If at that point the walls and floor are still an issue you could look at raising a floor on resilient material and building independent stud walls off that up to the ceiling. Again, fill the cavity and don't fix back to the stone if you can avoid it.

That would be a lot of work! Maybe try the door and roof first and see how it sounds.

Noise egress:
If you are only mixing then this really should not be a problem. In my experience mixing loud makes everything sound good! It's only when you mix relatively quietly that you can hear the refinement required. My mentor described it as trying to taste the fenugreek in a phaal! Besides, doing all the above will deal with noise egress, just don't practice the drums!

Remember to Breathe
Last thing. Heating isn't going to be as much of an issue as ventilation. You'll run out of air pretty darn quick if you don't install something. This puts a bloomin great hole in your box, so make sure you are putting attenuators on the room-sides of the fans (unless you just want to hear fan noise!)

None of this is cheap. If you want to start cheap cheap then just plug every gap you can find with mineral wool and mastic the hell out of it!

Good luck
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