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EDIT

Hey all,

I'm looking for a way to block out excessive ambient traffic noise from a window in the below room. Preferably, with the use of multiple layers of black out curtains or some real thick acoustic ones. I was imagining hanging one set on the rails pictured. And then a second rail covering most of the wall.

Has anyone had any luck or advice with this sort of thing? Any thick and affective curtains anyone would recommend? Or something non destructive I haven't thought of yet? Thanks in advance guys.

window in question

textareaalt text http://s17.postimage.org/qx2muwu73/photo.jpgtextarea

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I built window plugs in my Small mix room and record room. Made a small wooden frame, attached a layer of 5/8th gypsum, painted it, put some handles and latches and slid it inside the window sill. Between the window and the plug I filled with insulation and then put a piece of white project board against the glass so It just looks like a window shade is pulled down. Works really well and I can just pop the latches and yank out the plug should I need to get out of the window or move out.

Curtains will knock the sound down a little, but mass is what sound proofs a room. The curtains will probably do more to affect the quality of sound inside the room than lower the outside sound intruding.

Gearslutz has a really great studio building section. That is where I got all of my information for my studio build from the studs all the way to finish.

VO Room without Plug alt text

VO Room with plug alt text

Mix Room Without Plug

alt text Mix Room With Plug alt text

  • Well I'm not going to lie, all window plugs I had seen so far where a nightmare, but yours is very subtle. And I am sold. Sadly I just do not have the DIY skills or time available to even try and harm myself making one, so googling away to find some other DIYers who may make and sell, or some commercial equivalent. I particularly like how its not "forever" as we all know landlords hate when the hammers come out. – Cam Goold Feb 15 '13 at 17:57
  • The only thing that is destructive is the latch screws on the sill side, and to be honest it was such a tight fit, I probably did not need them to hold it in. – Michael Gilbert Feb 15 '13 at 22:07
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Don't bother purchasing or adjusting anything unless you've decided to either "address how the setup sounds by ear", or better, actually do the measurements and then choose action and try stuff accordingly. Otherwise it could be waste of time and money.

The furniture you have there and how they're arranged, will affect the room's sound. The window is actually a (possibly very) minor piece of the whole picture and you can get more changes by just placing the listening position and the furniture in a way that minimizes acoustic problems.

But if you can't treat (and measure!) the room properly, then I think it's not really worth doing "some minor adjustments", like randomly adding some "acoustic curtains".

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Hi Cam,

I feel you're asking two questions at the same time. Number 1 is: how do I take care not to be disturbed by outside noises(cars). Nr2: how can I treat the room acoustics? This is mostly answered by Internet Human.

The answer to the first question is related to the second. Is it really the best sounding room (acoustics)? If so then you should try and put a second window in front of you existing window. This can be easily done, simply buy/order the right size sheet of glass. Get good wood to build an extra window frame. There are a lot of DIY guides to do this correctly. There won't be fresh air coming in, so you have decide if that is an option for you.

Good luck

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My insanely jet lagged brain decided to type, without making any sense, so ATTEMPT 02

I'm looking for a way to block out excessive ambient traffic noise from a window in the above room. Preferably, with the use of multiple layers of black out curtains or some real thick acoustic ones. I was imagining hanging one set on the rails pictured. And then a second rail covering most of the wall.

Has anyone had any luck or advice with this sort of thing? Any think and affective curtains anyone would recommend? thanks in advance guys. I will edit above

  • It definitely is depending on the loudness (dB) of the outside noise. If you don't want to put a second window in, go for 3 layers of rockwool in front of the window. That would help much better than curtains, and it's much cheaper :) – Arnoud Traa Feb 15 '13 at 13:19
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Curtains will do very little to block transmitted noise... the only things that do that are mass and air. If what you're doing is trying to lower transmitted noise, then Arnoud's suggestion is correct. Go to your local Home Depot/Lowes/Hardware Store and get some insulation. There's a brand called Rocksil that has excellent STC values. Use as many layers as is possible. Wrap in plastic and then fabric if you want to be pretty. It can then be placed in the window when needed and removed when not. If you still want more you can also try placing something like Auralex Sheetblok between the layers, but that stuff is EXPENSIVE!

  • Thanks Sonsey for the extrainfo, but wouldn't be better not to use plastic. This way the fabric and rockwool will also absorb some mid/high end in addition to having mass to absorb low end. – Arnoud Traa Feb 15 '13 at 17:08
  • True, but rockwool and most insulation tends to send out tiny particles in the air which are murder for your lungs, and even wrapped in fabric, those particles can come through, hence - wrap in plastic. – Sonsey Feb 15 '13 at 17:25
  • really? sh*t, i didn't know that.. hmm re-eavaluating my absorbers right now... thanks! – Arnoud Traa Feb 15 '13 at 18:33
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This is quite an extensive topic. There are dedicated places on the Internet where you can read about that in-depth, like this one:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/

But I doubt you will be able to block out the traffic noise without some serious mass, like sheetrock/ drywall or thick glass. So be prepared for something like that.

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