Some offices are as quiet as a library where you can almost hear your own heartbeat, while others sound like Grand Central Station during rush hour where you can’t find a place to concentrate. If you’re trying to record your radio show, the last thing you need is a lot of noise.
Here are some tips to help transform your office into a good recording environment:
Find the room that is the farthest from any commotion.
You’ll still want to “showcase” your studio when clients come to the office, so you want it to be quiet yet accessible. Avoid mechanical noise, like noisy air-conditioning vents or leaky windows that could allow outside noise to seep in. In fact, avoid rooms with outside windows altogether if possible. You’ll also want to avoid using a room that’s located near a noisy copy room or buzzing kitchen where untimely gatherings or noisy machines could pop to life during your show. Finding the perfect room will require a little planning, but it goes a long way in helping you pull off a professional-sounding show.
So, you found your perfect room…
…but when you close the door, you can still hear Bill on the phone. You know Bill: He’s the guy that talks twice as loud when he’s on the phone. Every office has a Bill. Now’s the time to have a chat with him about his phone etiquette — or move him to the other side of the office. If that’s not an option, or if that doesn’t help, you can also change the door out. A solid core door and some weather stripping can do wonders. While you’re at it, add some weather stripping to that window we told you to avoid locating your studio near.
Your door and windows are weather stripped, but you can still hear Bill.
Don’t fire Bill yet. Try adding some sound-blocking material to the walls. One option is Acoustiblok®, which is a 3-mm layer of material that can cover a wall to reduce the sound transmission through the wall equal to that a 12-inch-thick concrete wall. Bill’s voice can’t get through that. If you’re building a studio from scratch, use a sound-reducing drywall, like QuietRock®, which can reduce sound transfer up to 8X more than regular drywall.
Can you still hear Bill?
If your office has a drop ceiling, that’s where Bill’s voice is coming from. You need to do something about that ceiling. You can extend the walls to the roof deck or next floor up, then install an absorptive liner to the back of the drywall. If you can’t extend the walls, add two layers of crisscross acoustic batting to reduce the noise. If that doesn’t work, make Bill work from home.
Your new studio is quiet, but you sound like you’re in the shower.
All of those flat walls are bouncing your voice back and forth. You’ll need to add some sound absorption. There are companies that specialize in sound reduction, like ATS Acoustic, for example, and offer acoustic packages to make your new studio have a “dead” and quiet sound. For a unique addition to your studio, search for companies that make custom panels so you can add your own artwork or logos. And don’t forget to carpet the floor and put thick drapes on the windows.
Next time, we’ll talk about microphones and microphone placement.
If you want to learn more about soundproofing your space or setting up a home studio, contact your Impact team member for a list of resources.