Soundproofing Recommendations

Best practices for soundproofing your Music Studio rooms

Soundproofing refers to the noise transfer from one room to another. To control the amount of sound transfer between rooms within your Music Studio and between your Music Studio and adjoining spaces in your building it is best to think about the following: 

  • Use dense and air-tight materials.
  • Walls are the most soundproof part of the studio.
  • Alternatively, problem areas are:
    • Windows
    • Doors
    • Pipe or cable pass-through
    • Anywhere the wall is penetrated
    • Shared HVAC ductwork that interconnect rooms
    • Walls that do not extend to the structure above (floor, ceiling or roof)

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There are two common methods for creating an effective soundproof environment: 

#1 – Purchase a prefabricated vocal booths

  • We recommend installing a prefabricated vocal booth (such as in your recording studio.
  • Prefabricated vocal booths are a great solution for achieving a high degree of soundproofing and room acoustics. 
  • They can be purchased in a variety of sizes and configurations depending on your needs. 

#2 – Construct walls, ceilings doors and windows with the follow specifications in mind 

  • Interior and exterior walls and ceilings.  A best practice is to use dense and airtight materials.
    • We recommend extending a solid wall to the ceiling or roof above.  If this is not possible, a “solid cap construction” ceiling (2 layers of wallboard) is recommended. 
    • Drop ceilings are not recommended for Music Studio facilities.
    • Cinder blocks, poured concrete, or brick construction are ideal wall materials.
    • For new walls, we recommend a single stud wall with 2 layers of wallboard on each side of the studs: 
      • Homosote sound board (inside layer)
      • 5/8” gypsum board on the outside faces of the studs
      • Rockwool batt insulation in the stud cavity

  • Solid walls (no windows or doors) provide the highest level of soundproofing. Tips for optimizing areas that provide lower levels of soundproofing:
    • Windows – Ideally use double-glazed with thick lites (i.e. 3/8” to 1/2”) and a 2 to 4-inch air space in-between. One of the lites should be laminated, which provides sound reduction properties.
    • Doors – Use solid-core acoustical doors with non-adjustable neoprene gaskets (at the head and jambs), as well as an automatic drop seal at the threshold to provide the best sound isolation.
    • Pipes or cable pass-throughs – Avoid using these when possible.  Tightly seal anywhere the wall is penetrated. 
    • HVAC 
      • If possible, use Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner & Heat Pump units (PTAC). 
      • Forced hot air HVAC systems are not recommended in the recording studio rooms. If the existing facility uses forced hot air, you may need to contact a professional to help design a system that provides very low background noise conditions. 
      • Avoid shared HVAC ductwork that interconnects between Music Studio rooms (especially recording studio rooms). Sound will travel through the ductwork transferring a significant amount of noise between rooms.
  • Audio Wiring and Connections – Audio equipment uses specialized cable connections and wiring. It is best to contract with an audio specialist to help determine the needs of your Music Studio. You may consider a cable pass-through like a “Wiremold 4000 large raceway cable channel.” This allows for a custom and organized way for interconnectivity between various rooms in a recording studio facility, but minimizes the sound that passes from one room to another. 

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Portable and Battery Powered Equipment

NOTE: Any featured products are based on the experience and opinions of Network members and Music & Youth. We do not receive any financial benefit from the vendors to promote their products. We just thought they were helpful and you might like ’em. 

Solutions to leverage your existing music equipment and make music anywhere 

Guitar Amp

Roland Micro Cube Amp – $160

• Only six pounds • Compact • Runs on 6 AA batteries or AC adapter • 8 DSP effects • 8 COSM amp models • Built-in chromatic tuner,


Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 – $200

• Great Sound • Built-in speakers • Runs on 6 AA batteries

Pa Speaker

Behringer MPA40BT-Pro – $270

• 40W All-in-one Battery-powered PA System • 4-channel Mixer • Bluetooth Connectivity • Wireless System Integration • Carry Handle • 12-hour Battery


Pearl Compact Traveler with Bag – $280

• Compact • 2-piece Acoustic Drum Kit (with 10″ Mounted Snare and 18″ Bass Drum) • Carrying Case • Works with your existing cymbals, pedals and hardware

2020 NAMM Products for You to Check Out

NAMM 2020 Finds

The Music & Youth Initiative team went to NAMM in search for new gear – Below are some products that we thought were interesting…

Check them out for your music program!

NOTE: Any featured products are based on the experience and opinions of Network members and Music & Youth. We do not receive any financial benefit from the vendors to promote their products. We just thought they were helpful and you might like ’em. 

To download a full, editable version

Studio Gear

Sonarworks Reference 4 with Mic – $299
Software that calibrates your studio monitors and “tunes” your studio

Kaotica Eyeball pop filter – $200
Make any room sound great – part pop filter, part reflection shield

Software / Plug-ins

Pro Apps Bundle (Education) – $200
Includes Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4, and MainStage

Soundtoys 5 Academic – $250
Take your mixes to the next level with these plugins

Guitar / Bass

D’Addario Dual-Lock Strap Lock – $4
Help prevent participants from accidentally dropping guitars

Complete Guitar Maintenance Kit – $80
Everything you need to keep your instrument playing and sounding its best


Yamaha Stage Custom Hip – $700
Cost-effective and big sound in a compact configuration (ideal for tight spaces)

Big Fat Snare Drum “Quesadilla”
 – $60

Cloth overlay helps control tone and volume without sacrificing the feel of real drums


Zildjian L80 Low Volume Box Set – $250
REAL cymbals with 80% less volume – great for practice and rehearsals

Drummer’s Survival Kit – $20
Commonly misplaced items like cymbal felts, washers, tension rods and drum key


BOSS FS-5U foot switch – $60
Very durable and compact sustain pedal

On-Stage KT7800+ Deluxe Bench – $65
Comfortable and durable – this bench will ensure participants keep practicing

Sound / PA

Esinkin Bluetooth Audio Adapter – $25
Add wireless/bluetooth streaming to any PA system or speakers

QSC Touchmix 8 mixer – $1000
K10.2 10″ Powered Speakers – $700

Pricey? – Yes. Worth it? – YES!!


Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 controller – $700
Everything you need to start a DJ/Turntable program!

Serato DJ Software – Free (w/ turntables) 
Industry standard DJ software

Just for Fun

Dropmix – $35 (Amazon)
Virtual DJ card game offers a fun break from the routine while still engaging in music

Makey Makey – $50
Make a bananas midi controller. Non-threatening way to introduce beat making

To download a full, editable version

Music Timeline

Time to update your facilities artwork with this collaborative Music History project 

Let your participants take ownership of your music room by creating a full timeline of recorded music from the invention of the phonograph to the present day! Participants nominate and vote on the most influential or most iconic artist from each decade and assemble them into a chronological list. This is a great activity to expose teens to a ton of new artists; learn a lot about the history of music, and create some very cost effective artwork for your space

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How to… 

  • Select artists from all eras of popular recorded music 
    • Have listening parties
    • Read bios
    • Watch YouTube videos 
    • Copy and paste pictures from the different websites into a Google spreadsheet
  • Research each artist beginning and ending career dates
  • Let the participants nominate and vote on the artists that they think should represent each era or genre
  • Print full list of pictures, artist names, and dates
  • Cut each element out and arrange them on a laminator sheet
  • Once laminated, have groups cut out each element and try to match, rearrange, and order the timeline on the floor
  • While your group is hanging the pictures, have a group of teens curate a playlist on Spotify or YouTube for each artist’s five most popular songs
  • Use the different colors of tapes to define each decade of artists
  • Find major music events throughout popular music to tape directly onto the middle of the timeline colored tape
  • Continually update the timeline 
  • Optional – include your participants in the timeline as well as a fun and motivational bonus! 

To download a full, editable version