BOSS Audio: The Science of Soundproofing

What do a catcher’s mitt and a good sounding studio have in common? Anne Ganguzza and VO Tech Guru Tim Tippets discuss the Science of Soundproofing! Sound is energy in the form of vibrations. Stopping these vibrations before they hit your microphone is one step in helping you produce great audio that is necessary to move your business forward. Listen and learn the science, materials, means, and methods to use to achieve BOSS Audio!



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode

  1. When building a booth, it’s about mitigation of noise, a.k.a. soundproofing

  2. When Anne hired Tim to build her booth, she wanted it in the noisiest part of the house

  3. Tim knew that with a combination of construction materials and again the means and methods that we were going to use, that the job was going to get done

  4. Acoustics is the response of your space

  5. Soundproofing is done in response to noise on the outside of your space trying to get in

  6. This is your career on the line, and you need to bring the best that you possibly can to the table for your clients

  7. When you do have proper soundproofing as well as proper acoustics, your confidence level goes way up, because you are not worried about your sound quality

  8. You can be more vulnerable and real with a character read when you’re not worried about your sound quality

  9. During the time of COVID, having a quality home studio is more important than ever

  10. A lot of us are producing better audio at home than we’re getting from brick-and-mortar studios

  11. Sound is energy in the form of vibration

  12. If Sound allowed to hit a structure and then vibrate that structure, those vibrations will travel through the structure and into whatever space you’re in

  13. There are sciences, and materials, and means, and methods we can use to really disconnect a space from the space within in order to eliminate a lot of noise with very little mass.

  14. Building a soundproof booth is about stopping vibrations from bounding back, using materials to absorb the sound, just like a catcher’s mitt absorbs a baseball

  15. It’s the reason why 100 mile-per-hour fastball does not break a catcher’s hand. It’s the exact reason why. Is mass the answer, yes. Is science the answer, yes. Are materials the answer, yes. And is mechanical isolation the answer, yes. It’s a combination of all of these things.

  16. At the end of the day, you want to try to find the quietest place you can in your home. Make sure it’s acoustically sound, then just go for it.


Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++



Learn more about audio by taking Tim’s Courses!
Follow Tim’s Instagram where he posts all of his builds
Find out more about Roxul Soundproofing Material 
Go to Vocalboothtogo.com and use code votechguru-5 for 5% off
Recorded on ipDTL

Transcript

>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS. Now let’s welcome your host Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my exciting, wonderful, special guest cohost, Mr. Tim Tippets. Hey, Tim. How are you?

Tim: How are you, how are you, Anne? Good to be here.

Anne: I’m good. Hey, I have a pretty cool story to tell you. As you BOSSes out there might know, Tim built me this amazing, amazing studio a couple of months ago, thankfully right before we all had to go lock ourselves in our studios. So I have a really lovely space to hide out in. But the other day – you know, they have been doing a ton of work, because I’m in a new community, and you’ll be pleased to know that there was this big, huge construction truck, or I’m not quite sure what it was, but they were like jack hammering outside my window. Now if you remember, Tim, I’m like literally, like how close is my booth to the window?

Tim: Yeah, your booth is around, if I remember correctly, around six feet from the window. The front of your yard is pretty short. I’m going to say around 10 feet. The truck was sitting right there, so I would say that your booth is about 16 feet away from that.

Anne: 16 feet. And it was making so much noise. I had my window open at first. I closed my windows, then I was like of course I still hear it. I’m sure everyone does, when, you know, the leaf blower is out there. And I was like oh gosh. And I have to record an audition. So I went in my booth, and I closed my door, and I’m all proud of the fact that I have two doors. So not only did I close one door, but I closed two doors. [laughs] And lo and behold, I had a most amazing quiet booth. So I think we should talk about what, you know, how were you able to stop that noise from getting into my booth? You know, so well? Because I’m just amazed.

Tim: Yeah, so normally people will bury the lead in a story. I’m glad that you started with the lead, because we can kind of turn things on its head, right? So, so for people who don’t know, I have a very strong construction background. I grew up in the trades in L.A. Normally if you’re a musician, you’re in construction, it’s just they go hand in hand. I became a tradesman and later went on a tour to fulfill a recording contract and all that, but then decided I was going to be a family man. I jumped back into construction and went through the ranks and eventually, you know, ended up at a fairly high position until I got the hell out of there and decided to get back to my roots. But because of that, I have a ton of experience with construction. I used to actually build developments like the one that you’re in, right? So I understand –

Anne: Lucky for me. [laughs]

Tim: Yeah, and I certainly understand what it’s like for people to be dealing with noise, not even voice artists, just dealing with noise waiting for homes to be finished and then turned over to them, right? It means everything to you obviously that you get in there as soon as possible.

Anne: Absolutely.

Tim: And as a result of this, the way that it works out is, they’ll start building homes based on the models, right? You go and you see the model, and you go, I want that one. I’ll take this lot. Now unfortunately you have a lot of empty lots next year. So what you’re going to be dealing with for at least the next few months if not the next couple of years are a lot of these homes being built relatively close to your home. Now even as someone who owns a home, that’s pretty irritating because you’re dealing with jackhammers and all sorts of other stuff all during the day, but as a voiceover artist, it just seems like a nonstarter, right? Since we’re starting with the extreme version of what we would do to mitigate that noise, which is really what this particular episode is all about, is it’s about mitigation of noise, a.k.a. soundproofing. Okay? So what you had when you sent me that video, Anne, of you looking at the large compressor – this is a thing that’s about as tall and wide as the truck itself, it’s huge.

Anne: Yes.

Tim: And what was actually happening there is they were pumping concrete into a lot that was close to you, right?

Anne: Yes.

Tim: Right. So now those things are incredibly loud. It was almost an uh-oh moment for me, until I realized that I built, until I realized that I built your booth exactly the way that I built my booth, right, which people have heard that I’ve had chainsaws literally 40 feet from my booth, and nothing got in, right? So when you closed the window and then I heard that, I was like okay, still pretty loud. You walked into the booth, then you were like it’s quiet. As I told you earlier, I smiled and it almost brought a tear to my eye. It was a very proud moment.

Anne: You know, I should have it be known for the people out there listening that I had a choice, when I was talking to Tim, about where to put my booth, because I could not decide whether I wanted it upstairs, towards the back of the house, or in the front of the house. But I personally wanted my office to be somewhere where it would be very light. So I chose to be closest to the road, and probably to give Tim, I don’t know, more work to deal with [laughs] because I was going to be closer to the road. Ultimately it’s supposed to be quiet here because I live in a community that’s just quiet. I’m kind of in a cul-de-sac. Tim, did that have any effect? I remember when we would discuss like, did I want to have it upstairs, like what kind of noises I would be dealing with if I were upstairs versus downstairs in the front of the house?

Tim: Well, my concern was not so much what we could or could not achieve with your booth. My concern was, well, where does Anne want her booth? What is the ultimate, you know, location for her so she feels comfortable, when she gets out, she’s got daylight? And we did not have those options upstairs because –

Anne: True, true.

Tim: – you have this big picturesque window out there, which is lovely, and you want to let all that light in. So I had enough confidence in the materials and the means and the methods, and the science behind it all to just go ahead and I guess for lack of a better way to put it, boldly move forward where no man or woman has gone before, right?

Anne: So I picked the noisier part of the house, which had more windows and was closer to the road.

Tim: Right. No, you didn’t pick the noisier part of the house.

Anne: No?

Tim: You picked the noisiest part of the house.

Anne: Okay, there you go. [laughs]

Tim: So. [laughs]

Anne: Just to make your job fun. [laughs]

Tim: Yeah, I just didn’t want, I just didn’t want to say that at the time. But no, I moved forward with confidence with me and my team because I knew that with a combination of construction materials and again the means and methods that we were going to use, that it was going to get the job done. I think it’s good to work backwards from there and just kind of talk about the different levels of soundproofing. And by the way, guys, not to be confused with acoustic treatment. I’ve had many people ask me –

Anne: Good point.

Tim: – if you install, you know, Roxul panels – because we do use Roxul in between the voids of the framing because it helps quite a bit. But that’s not the answer. I just want to make that clear because I’ve had so many people tell me, well if I just hang Roxul panels all over, then that sound proofs it. No. That’s not true at all. All you’re doing is dealing with the acoustics, which is the response of the space, not the response of noise on the outside of your space trying to get in. Those are two completely different things. And people understandably get them mixed up all the time. As I always like to say, you don’t know what you don’t know, okay?

Anne: Right.

Tim: And that’s fine that you don’t know. But it’s not fine if you don’t go find out, alright? Because this is your career on the line, and you need to bring the best that you possibly can to the table for your clients, right? And you also need to bring the best that you can for yourself because when you do have proper soundproofing as well as proper acoustics, your confidence level goes way up because you’re not sitting there wondering if you sound good or not. So as a result of that, you get to be more confident. You get to be more vulnerable when you need to be as a character and so on and just not have to worry about it.

Anne: Yeah, and if I can interject and say that during this time of the pandemic, I felt super confident that I had a quality studio, where I didn’t have to worry about – that was one last thing I had to worry about, especially in this time now where there’s such a call now for talent to have studios that really produces a great sound with all the other studios being shut down. So this was super important to me to have this in place, and I’m really grateful and thankful that I did have it in place during this time, so.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely. And as a result we’re producing, a lot of us are producing better audio than we’re getting from brick-and-mortar studios anyway. That’s just the reality of the situation. Maybe not all of them [laughs] okay, but we’re definitely meeting and/or exceeding in many, many ways. So that’s the great news. Now the bad news is is that everyone and their mother, who is used to being on one side of the glass and not the other, they don’t deal with tech, was suddenly put in a position where they needed to get their spaces together.