keeping noise from coming through windows. - Gearspace.com
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keeping noise from coming through windows.
Old 18th June 2009
Gear Maniac
iankaravas's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
keeping noise from coming through windows.

whats the best way to keep noise from coming through my windows. There are two small windows in my room and I can hear people talking on the street / cars driving by etc. I have curtains but they aren't very heavy. are heavy curtains my only option? I feel like they do they job.
Old 18th June 2009
Gear Guru
tINY's Avatar
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 15 years

You need two layers of glass (preferably of different thicknesses) and some air gap in-between them.

Typical dual-pane windows are decent and cheap (you should have these for thermal reasons anyway). But, a second, laminated pane in a separate frame with some space between the glass is much better.


Old 18th June 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
iankaravas's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Sorry I didn't mention it in my first post, but I live in an apartment building and cant just go about ripping out windows and installing new ones. Even If I could I don't have the money, and even If I did have the money, I wouldn't want to invest in new windows for an apartment I will probably only be living in for a couple of years.

also...It seems my windows are dual pane anyway.
Old 19th June 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
666666's Avatar
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 15 years
My new room's windows have two fully decoupled panes of glass, one 1/2" thick and one 3/4" thick... it attenuates very well, though I can still hear things though it.

Since you cannot change the windows in your apartment, the best bet is to fully block off the windows with a material that will match the density of your wall system.

What will probably do the trick within reason, for each window:

Cut out a piece of 3/4" plywood that is a few inches larger than the window opening. Screw a layer of 5/8" sheetrock to the plywood, using Green Glue in-between. Then screw this "window blocker" panel tightly to the window frame, perhaps using some thin rubber weatherstripping around the seam for an air-tight seal. Don't worry about screw holes in your window frames, you can fill the holes easily and paint later when it is time to give up the apartment, not a big deal.

Anything short of the above is really not going to make much of a difference. A thick heavy "curtain" will help maybe just a little, but if it's not "sealed", sound will leak around it. You can try this if you can make it happen cheaply, but don't expect it to be the solution you are looking for.

You may have other sound leaks anyway in your room, the walls may be weak too, this window effort could be a lost cause unless you want to really start doing a lot of work.

One easy solution is to use your room just to make scratch demo versions of tunes, get things worked out, practice your parts, etc, then when you are ready to do final takes, just go to a real studio and nail your takes within a few hours, should not cost much at all, then you can go back to your apartment to mix or whatever.

The more I understand how hard it is to soundproof typical residential spaces, the more I realize how intelligent and convenient it is to just rent a little time at a GOOD studio that has excellent well isolated rooms.

Also don't forget acoustic treatment issues, once you would "soundproof" your place, you'd still need to treat it, this is not necessarily cheap, by the time you go nuts soundproofing and treating, especially in a space you do not own, you could have rented an ideal space (pro studio) to do your work, in the end it may turn out to be way easier and way cheaper. Just something to consider.

It is SO hard to stop sound. I just finished building a small isolated room in the best manner possible, full "room within room" construction, fully decoupled, all wall layers dual 5/8" sheetrock with Green Glue (inner and outer), ultra thick glass panes, ultra thick dual doors, etc... all on a concrete slab... everything fully sealed backwards and forwards to the point of insanity, the integrity of both the inner and outer shells is near perfect... and there is STILL noticeable sound leakage! Point is, if you are annoyed by sounds from the street coming into a standard apartment space, it really doesn't make much sense to try isolating it, you will not make much of a difference unless you go completely nuts, major remodeling, heavy construction, etc... solution: rent a space that is already isolated and treated when you need it for pennies on the dollar by comparison.
Old 19th June 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
iankaravas's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
first of all, thanks for the detailed response.

the wall with the windows should be pretty decent, its a normal sheetrock wall, with brick behind it. I dont think the wall itself is the problem, I'm pretty sure its just the windows. I'm thinking of doing this, Putting fitted mass-loaded vinyl flat against the glass ( i hear you just wet it a little or put a little soap on one side and then smooth it out and it sticks to the glass), Ill then put a peice of fitted plywood with weather stripping and sheetrock attachhed to it, then I have a nice curtian hanging in front of it to make the interior look nice. I know The black vinyl attached to the window will only help a little but, but I dont want it to look like ive boarded up my windows up with plywood!

Im going to have an air conditioner in the right window for the summer, so im thinking that maybe ill cut the right pece of plywood into two peices and remove the lower half when the ac is in there for summer....hmm...

I dont think I would ever go to a professional studio, its just not the way I work. I dont rehearse, and I'm not in a band or anything. I sort of just record, and then learn my own songs based of the recordings later. also, my daw and plugins are a huge part of my workflow, and bringing that around with me is tough as i dont have a laptop.


I know room treatment is totally different than soundproofing I'm working on bass traps as we speak, and treating the first reflections this soundproofing is mostly... its just these stupid people on my corner that get drunk and talk at night...and the occasional motorcyle *sigh*

I want to kill the sound so it stays out of my recordings, but its also annoying when im just relaxing listening to music.
Old 19th June 2009 | Show parent
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Depending on your existing window (I'm gonna assume it's just a standard piece of float-glass) ;Just ad a thick piece of laminated glass in front of existing window.

If your current window is a 2 piece thermal type, however, you have a 2-leaf already. Adding an extra leaf will result in 3 leaf window. Unless you place the new sheet flush against the existing window.
Old 19th June 2009
Lives for gear
meymia's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I live in an apartment building as well...1st floor!

There are certin times that i cant record cause of noise from the streets,but ill share with ya something i thought about.

You can take foam (cheap regular one) and stick it on the street facing side of the window and then do the same on the other side (the one facing our room)...it will make a diffrence but deprive you of air...but who needs that?
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