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Soundproofing 101

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  • Soundproofing 101

    This discussion will probably be in four posts because of the size of the information discussed.

    Soundproofing golf sim room can be problematic. What works? The answer is it depends on your goals and the space you are dealing with. Sound proofing is measure by reducing the amount of sound that is transmitted from one space to another. Soundproofing is generally measured by STC (Sound Transmission Class).


    I recommend that you shoot for and STC rating no less than 57. I planned on an STC of 60 with my setup. I figure if I get 58, I will be gold with the wife!

    I did a lot of research on soundproofing for a golf room addition I am doing. Below is a layman’s discussion of some of the options. Hopefully, some of you guys may benefit from the below.

    Here is a typical chart showing what type of noise and related STC rating.
    Last edited by Kaos; 03-17-2021, 02:41 AM.

  • #2
    To give you a practical example, while watching TV in an ~11x10 room with a Vizio TV at 10 volume (volume scale 100 and measured approximately 7-8 ft away from TV) the typical Db generated in the room is in the range of 42-50 Db. In my house with TVs off standing on the stairs in the middle of the day (with perceived quite) the Db is in the low 30s or below 30. My research has shown that a titanium driver can produce sounds as loud as 100-110 Db. To date, I have not found the Db on the impact screen. The Db will vary though depending on the screen chosen. However, club impact noise is higher frequency (HF) noise and the ball impacting the screen is lower frequency (LF) noise. LF sound is much harder to block than HF sound.

    As noted in the chart, the STC rating is the ability to block the sound being transmitted from the space.
    There are several ways to achieve this reduction or blocking of the sound. These are:
    1. Increase the mass of partitions
    2. Break the path of vibration
    3. Cavity absorption.
    If you are building a space like a room addition or converting a basement, your options are better than if you are unable to open the walls or ceiling. I am not going to discuss spaces where you cannot open the walls or ceiling because, in my research, I did not find anything that was effective at soundproofing apart from using studio grade techniques. Research those if you are interested. The sound panels you buy on Amazon are not effective as a standalone item (your wife will not be pleased with the result)!
    Last edited by Kaos; 03-17-2021, 02:16 AM.

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    • #3
      Increasing the mass of the partitions is a great option. However, the downside to this option is that you are reducing the available space. If for example, you have ½” drywall and you double that, you are reducing the space of the room 1” (measured from wall to wall across the room). That can be an issue, especially when dealing with limited space or sizing room additions. If you go this route, my recommendation is to use 5/8” (Type C) drywall, and if space allows, double that.

      Sound board is a great(probably the best when combined with a rock based insulation) option, BUT, it is cost prohibitive if you are on a budget or trying to otherwise control the cost of the room. Soundboard can run $60+ per 4x8 sheet. So, you can see that that would get quite expensive real fast.

      Breaking the path of vibration is one of the most cost effective ways of soundproofing. Sound vibrates in walls (with wood studs being worse than metal). Drywall installed against the studs allows sound to vibrate in and between the studs. The idea here is to break the connection between the drywall and the stud cavity. Hat channel (also called resilient channel) is thin metal channel installed across the studs to disconnect the drywall from the stud. The channel absorbs sound vibration and distributes it, thus, creating less vibration in and between the studs.

      Quality sound clips installed between the stud and hat channel can further increase the benefit of using hat channel.

      The benefit of using clips and hat channel allow for economical soundproofing (when compared to sound board). However, you must allow for the space reduction that will result. For example, I went CLARKDIETRICH SOUND CLIP and resilient channel. The added space, when combined with the 5/8” Type C drywall added 2.25” to each wall thickness. This reduces the room size by a whopping 6.25” (studs and, clips, channel and 5/8 drywall) per wall or 12.5” (as opposed to 9” for studs and ½” drywall) from wall to wall as measured from the edge of the foundation. So, if you wanted a 14’ width space, you need to have an outside dimension of ~15’. This of course adds costs.
      Last edited by Kaos; 03-17-2021, 02:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Cavity absorption is a must for soundproofing. I went with the Rockwool (a rock based product) insulation. My research revealed that the typical Db reduction in sound transmission for the rock based insulation is ~10 Db whereas fiberglass is in the 4 -10 Db range. The thicker the fiberglass, the better (like R19) if you use fiberglass. The fiberglass insulation must be properly installed so that no slippage occurs. The Rockwool is more expensive of course (but not that much more as to make it cost prohibitive), but for the consistence in reduction in sound transmission, you can’t go wrong.

        Here is a comparison chart for various setups (wall, drywall and sound clip products) that shows STC benefits.


        Sound barrier (rubber lining between drywall and studs) is very effective. The downside to this option is that it is VERY expensive!

        Other considerations:
        1. Sound leaks are a huge problem. Untreated walls allow sound leaks. All walls and ceiling should be treated (unless basement walls are away from common use areas above). I would still recommend treating interior basement walls to prevent problems through the wall and up through adjoining floors.
        2. Electrical outlets and fixtures need to be treated with putty pads.
        3. Windows and sliding doors are a problem. I recommend using window treatments such as sound dampening curtains that can be pulled when sim is in use.
        4. Doors are another problem. I recommend that you install external insulated door for entry into space. As an additional sound reducing option, install a sound dampening curtain that can be pulled across the door when shut.
        5. Also, duct work in the ceiling needs to be insulated and treated as that is a big source for sound leaks!
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Kaos; 03-17-2021, 02:21 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is the sound chart referred to above. I cannot figure out how to insert in on edit.

          Comment


          • #6
            Kaos Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. I find this to be of great timing for me. I am in the planning stages of building an outbuilding specifically for sim use. I have a semi permanent sim in our 3 1/2 bay garage but get the complaint of noise from time to time. The garage is below our main floor of the house and the main floor is insulated and has 2” of concrete plus and slate on top of the concrete. I have never measured the db but I only get complaints of the driver and ball hitting the screen, which is loud enough to be annoying. So, an outside building it will be.
            I plan on a 16’ x 30’ building in the back corner of the lot. Our lot is .80 of an acre and there is nothing on the back side of the lot other then green space. No houses within 100 ft of where the building will go, but I am still concerned about noise as I do not want to go to all this expense to have complaints so I am going to sound proof as much as possible and thus your information is very much appreciated.
            We built our house 9 years ago and I added sound protection to my Den/office as a bedroom is next door to it. I used 2x6 studs. A type of rock based insulation but did not use drywall clips. We used sound proof board and drywall and the one thing we added was a type of primer to the drywall that adds protection and helps in sound transmission. I don’t have any data on it but the room is very well soundproofed. You can turn the TV up relatively loud and cannot hear it next door.

            You bring up some excellent points that I have not given any thoughts to such as electrical outlets and switch’s. I will add those to the check list.
            - I will be constructing using 2x6 framing
            - I am going to go with drywall clips as I have allowed for the extra room needed
            - I will use Rock based insulation
            - I am looking into a metal siding (modern corrugated type) but have not been able to see if that would help verses a wood siding. Its possible metal might make it worse but very little of it touch’s the building.
            - One door and I am looking either insulated metal or insulated fiberglass. I have a fiberglass side door in our house but no idea of its sound qualities so am looking into that. I do plan on adding the siding to the outside of the door as my wife does not like the look of doors so that will add to its qualities for sound dampening
            ​​​​​​- The building will have 4 tall narrow windows and this is where the trouble will be. I have been inquiring about 3 pane windows verses sound proof glass. I can add fiberglass blinds to them but this will be the weak link for sure. Still concerned about that.

            Thanks again, and if you have any thoughts on mine, it would be much appreciated.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pwade3 View Post
              Kaos Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. I find this to be of great timing for me. I am in the planning stages of building an outbuilding specifically for sim use. I have a semi permanent sim in our 3 1/2 bay garage but get the complaint of noise from time to time. The garage is below our main floor of the house and the main floor is insulated and has 2” of concrete plus and slate on top of the concrete. I have never measured the db but I only get complaints of the driver and ball hitting the screen, which is loud enough to be annoying. So, an outside building it will be.
              I plan on a 16’ x 30’ building in the back corner of the lot. Our lot is .80 of an acre and there is nothing on the back side of the lot other then green space. No houses within 100 ft of where the building will go, but I am still concerned about noise as I do not want to go to all this expense to have complaints so I am going to sound proof as much as possible and thus your information is very much appreciated.
              We built our house 9 years ago and I added sound protection to my Den/office as a bedroom is next door to it. I used 2x6 studs. A type of rock based insulation but did not use drywall clips. We used sound proof board and drywall and the one thing we added was a type of primer to the drywall that adds protection and helps in sound transmission. I don’t have any data on it but the room is very well soundproofed. You can turn the TV up relatively loud and cannot hear it next door.

              You bring up some excellent points that I have not given any thoughts to such as electrical outlets and switch’s. I will add those to the check list.
              - I will be constructing using 2x6 framing
              - I am going to go with drywall clips as I have allowed for the extra room needed
              - I will use Rock based insulation
              - I am looking into a metal siding (modern corrugated type) but have not been able to see if that would help verses a wood siding. Its possible metal might make it worse but very little of it touch’s the building.
              - One door and I am looking either insulated metal or insulated fiberglass. I have a fiberglass side door in our house but no idea of its sound qualities so am looking into that. I do plan on adding the siding to the outside of the door as my wife does not like the look of doors so that will add to its qualities for sound dampening
              ​​​​​​- The building will have 4 tall narrow windows and this is where the trouble will be. I have been inquiring about 3 pane windows verses sound proof glass. I can add fiberglass blinds to them but this will be the weak link for sure. Still concerned about that.

              Thanks again, and if you have any thoughts on mine, it would be much appreciated.
              Instead of 2x6 studs, you may want to investigate using a staggered 2x4 wall design where every other stud is offset from the next stud. Staggered wall studding is very effective when combined with other soundproofing options. I just did not have the space to do it that way without incurring extra costs for the room addition (I had to add a foot as it is because of the soundproofing options I chose). You can find some videos on Youtube that discuss this type of wall design. I don't think the 2x6 framing, by itself will add much in the way of reduction as it just creates additional space for the sound to vibrate. I would consider sound dampening curtains for the windows as opposed to the blinds.

              One other point I meant to mention is that you must take care when installing the drywall on the channel and appropriate lenght screws must be used. If the screws end up in the studs, you are defeating the purpose of the hat channel and clips.

              Also, the windows choice I think is fine for the distance your build we be away from the house and neighbors. In other words, I don't think you need to go with sound glass as that can get quite pricey.
              Last edited by Kaos; 03-17-2021, 04:09 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kaos View Post

                Instead of 2x6 studs, you may want to investigate using a staggered 2x4 wall design where every other stud is offset from the next stud. Staggered wall studding is very effective when combined with other soundproofing options. I just did not have the space to do it that way without incurring extra costs for the room addition (I had to add a foot as it is because of the soundproofing options I chose). You can find some videos on Youtube that discuss this type of wall design. I don't think the 2x6 framing, by itself will add much in the way of reduction as it just creates additional space for the sound to vibrate. I would consider sound dampening curtains for the windows as opposed to the blinds.

                One other point I meant to mention is that you must take care when installing the drywall on the channel and appropriate lenght screws must be used. If the screws end up in the studs, you are defeating the purpose of the hat channel and clips.

                Also, the windows choice I think is fine for the distance your build we be away from the house and neighbors. In other words, I don't think you need to go with sound glass as that can get quite pricey.
                As the saying goes, you learn something new everyday. I have never heard of the offsetting studs. I will look that up. Very interesting.
                As for the 2 x 6 walls, I would have thought the more insulation between the inside and outside would help with sound damping, especially if using drywall clips to help prevent the sound traveling through the 2 x 6 itself?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pwade3 View Post

                  As the saying goes, you learn something new everyday. I have never heard of the offsetting studs. I will look that up. Very interesting.
                  As for the 2 x 6 walls, I would have thought the more insulation between the inside and outside would help with sound damping, especially if using drywall clips to help prevent the sound traveling through the 2 x 6 itself?
                  Well, it would if you are adding more insulation in the space creating more mass. Using standard insulation would not provide much benefit I do not believe. The staggered studs I think gets you the same 6 inch walls but there is a 2" air gap every other stud which allows the vibrations to more effectively dissipate before exiting the other side. You can still add the same insulation you planned.

                  Comment


                  • pwade3
                    pwade3 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, you are correct. I watched some YouTub videos like you suggested. It did explain that, but now I will have to see if our building code will allow this. I hope they do as I see it also as a way to save a bit on lumber using 2x4 verses 2x6. Lumber prices in our area have skyrocketed.

                • #10
                  Once the addition gets to the point of doing electrical and soundproofing, I will be posting some pics of my setup so you guys can see what it entails. You can actually follow my project step by step here:

                  https://golfsimulatorforum.com/forum...-room-addition
                  Last edited by Kaos; 03-18-2021, 06:16 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Here are pics of the sound clips I am using and related hat channel that were just delivered to the job today. I will post further pictures as we progress.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Are you sound proofing interior walls? I have been looking into the offsetting of the wall studs but that won’t work in our climate as the R value is not sufficient to do that. As excellent as offset studs is, its just not an option for me, but thanks for the heads up on that. I am constructing an outdoor building so all walls are exterior. I will need the 2x6 wall studs for the insulation. I will use 5/8 Quietrock drywall, rockwool insulation and OSB on exterior as it is better at sound dampening then plywood. I will then have smart board siding over the obs so will have layers that will help with dampening the sound. Still working on windows. Apparently there is a sound damping glass that can be used, but I have no data on its effectiveness and what it costs.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by pwade3 View Post
                        Are you sound proofing interior walls? I have been looking into the offsetting of the wall studs but that won’t work in our climate as the R value is not sufficient to do that. As excellent as offset studs is, its just not an option for me, but thanks for the heads up on that. I am constructing an outdoor building so all walls are exterior. I will need the 2x6 wall studs for the insulation. I will use 5/8 Quietrock drywall, rockwool insulation and OSB on exterior as it is better at sound dampening then plywood. I will then have smart board siding over the obs so will have layers that will help with dampening the sound. Still working on windows. Apparently there is a sound damping glass that can be used, but I have no data on its effectiveness and what it costs.
                        The addition has no interior walls. It is 15x20 space attached to the back of the garage with entry from the living room. The window in the first pic (interior is going to be removed tomorrow or Thursday and an exterior insulated door is being installed). My main concern is the bathroom floor shown at the top of that photo. I am going to have stuff the space under the tub with insulation and add 1 5/8" Rockwool between the drywall and the floor edge. I hope that will be enough as that is the master bath floor and my wife will have a fit it that creates sound issues. It would not have been as issue if I had went with 10' ceiling like the rest of the downstairs, but since I went with 11' that is cause for concern. You plan and you plan and there is always something unforeseen that comes up! I am going to discuss that area with contractor in the morning to see if we can come up with any other solution for that issue. The ceiling will have R38 Rockwool and the walls with have R15 Rockwool. The windows you see just above the roof of the addition is the master bedroom.
                        Last edited by Kaos; 03-24-2021, 01:40 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          You are going to have a tough time stopping the sound from not traveling to the bathroom, or even whatever is behind that wall. You only have one wall that is going to be an issue, and if it was me I would soundproof that wall and then build the wall out again, then insulate and drywall. I live in a house of concrete and insulation and since the sim is under the main floor it creates a fair bit of noise with the driver. Iron play is fine. The ball hitting the screen also creates a secondary noise. This is why I’m building an outbuilding for it. What your doing looks excellent, but that one wall is going to be your weak link. If you can overproof it I would do that. Thats going to be a excellent sim. You must live in a warmer climate then me. Lol 🥶 🇨🇦

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by pwade3 View Post
                            You are going to have a tough time stopping the sound from not traveling to the bathroom, or even whatever is behind that wall. You only have one wall that is going to be an issue, and if it was me I would soundproof that wall and then build the wall out again, then insulate and drywall. I live in a house of concrete and insulation and since the sim is under the main floor it creates a fair bit of noise with the driver. Iron play is fine. The ball hitting the screen also creates a secondary noise. This is why I’m building an outbuilding for it. What your doing looks excellent, but that one wall is going to be your weak link. If you can overproof it I would do that. Thats going to be a excellent sim. You must live in a warmer climate then me. Lol 🥶 🇨🇦
                            Yea...I agree that may be a problem. That is the tub on the left, then a wall and closed in toilet and the far right is the start of the walk in closet. I think the idea is to add enough stud in that area to allow for the full Rockwall insulation to be installed. I don't want to add to the full wall as that will shorten the room length another 4". I am thinking there may be a way to add some studs covering that area while making the room appearance not look too bad. But, I agree, and I am going to work with him in the morning to come up with a way to add necessary studding while maintaining the room aesthetics. I'll post the solution we come up with.

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