New garage 2nd floor studio soundproofing

Mindthebull

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Hi all I am in the fortunate position of having a new garage built with a 2nd floor apartment / hobby studio space and am looking for advice on a specific soundproofing problem. We are out in the country and given it’s a dedicated space I am not so much worried about band/amp noise leaking out. I think that’s well covered in other discussions and forums anyways. But I would like to as much as possible reduce noise from the cars and garage door opener below leaking upstairs to the studio from outside.

As I understand it there will be 2 types of noise - airborne from the cars motor etc below, and impact vibrations from the garage door opener hanging off the ceiling. I don’t think the traditional green glue/underlay /plywood flooring sandwich will do much for this although may help a teensy bit. Vibrations will transfer along the beams and into the framing I think. I have seen the resilient channel products but my guess is they are only designed to hang drywall from and not Load bearing to suspend the garage door opener. And I don’t know how much they would actually reduce the vibration from a garage door opener anyways. Is there some way to decouple the garage door opener in a reasonably cost effective way, or do I just have to live with it and adjust my expectations? I am asking this in an open ended way to see what people think. Get creative with rubber bands lol?!?

My experience living in a house with a garage door opener mounted to the ceiling in a traditional way is those low freq vibrations travel everywhere. Everyone in the house knows when someone is coming home.

I realize this is more of an engineering problem but any constructive thoughts appreciated.
 

still_fiddlin

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How often does the garage door opener get used when you're recording? I'd just put the dang thing on a switch or unplug the motor if you're doing some tracking that it would really be a disaster if it got activated.

That whole thing of adding sound *proofing* to 2nd floor rooms in a structure built to support simple framed/drywall construction is something only a good contractor (IMO) could address. You might need to replace key upright and joists if you're going to add a ton of material.
 

KeithDavies 100

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How often does the garage door opener get used when you're recording? I'd just put the dang thing on a switch or unplug the motor if you're doing some tracking that it would really be a disaster if it got activated.

That whole thing of adding sound *proofing* to 2nd floor rooms in a structure built to support simple framed/drywall construction is something only a good contractor (IMO) could address. You might need to replace key upright and joists if you're going to add a ton of material.
This was where my head went.

Or even put a red "recording" lamp over the garage door and rely on the courtesy/indulgence of whoever's coming home?
 

woodman

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Seems like the only people who could feasibly wreck that rare moment of glory would be members of your household, no? Who else is using your garage? Whoever or however many, surely you can apprise them when you have a session where magic moments could be shattered. Just ask them to park outside the garage for an hour or two, then offer your personal valet service to put the car(s) in the garage when the coast is clear! 😁
 

nedorama

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Belt-driven door openers are quiet and less vibration. We installed a Marentec 15 years ago and it's still working great. Ensure the rollers are in good shape on the side and lithium grease helps to quiet them down.

Other thing is are you feeling the vibration, or is it the noise of the rattling chain/motor and slides?
 

Telekarster

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FWIW a buddy of mine had his studio above the 2 car garage, standard openers and rails, Standard insulation and drywall etc., and it was never a problem. Recorded there for 10 years. Everyone in the home knew that if we were recording, or planning to record, they'd let us know that they were about to leave and we'd hold off until they opened the door, drove out, and closed the door. Done. No need to go fancy or spend more $$$ IMO. It will easily work itself out, once everyone knows the dealio ;) Good luck on your build man! Would LOVE to see some pics!!
 

ale.istotle

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In addition to the sound of the garage door opener, the actual door moving can add a lot of noise, especially if it's an old track or if it's a hollow steel door. You can test that noise by disconnecting the door from the opener and moving it manually.

Best recommendation is to put the door opener on a switched outlet that you control from your recording space. If your peeps absolutely have to get into or out of the garage, maybe put a recording light outside where they can see it and count on their cooperation?

You can get vibration isolation mounts for the whole shebang if that doesn't work. Mount the opener and the tracks all on vibration mounts. This would minimize the vibration but not necessarily eliminate it.
 

Mindthebull

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Thanks everyone. I was thinking more about the vibrations than airborne sound. And the track/rollers will be an issue anyways. Yeah I think it’s probably a manageable issue to just stop recording for 5 minutes or whatever and it’s a hobby studio at this stage anyways. All the effective solutions seem really potentially expensive for not much gain and a minor inconvenience. Nice thing is because it’s separated from the house sound transmission from the studio/house won’t be a huge deal.

Here is a pic of the building so far. Now as long as I can keep it as a studio and keep others from claiming the space lol. We had to go for permit variance to get this due to height and second floor (we live in a highly regulated green belt that really doesn’t like garage apartments which would require a re survey of our septic system and I am not going there!!!!). Classed as “equipment storage” to avoid complicated questions from town counsel.
 

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NoTeleBob

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Sound is best isolated rather than damped. With walls, that would mean an inner wall that is detached from the outer wall with an air space for isolating vibrations. Often it's compromised to save space by having offset studs on a wide, shared base plate.

How could you do that on a ceiling that's also a floor? Well, I guess you could have offset framing members to hold the ceiling below. That would help stop car noise.

But that's still not going to help with the opener, which needs to be bolted to something solid. You'd have to engineer an offset frame that would limit transfer from all the operating mechanisms (motor unit mostly, but also the rails).

But, that's a lot of lumber an expense for the size of the problem in a non-pro studio. I'd go with the red light option.
 

Telekarster

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I was thinking more about the vibrations than airborne sound.

Yes, in my experience with my buddies studio, there would be an audible sound as well as a slight vibration felt on the floor when the doors go up and down. You'll probably hear the car start up too. However, again it wasn't a problem for us and our band at all. Just have to wait a little bit for the person to drive away and then hit ye old red button on the recorder once they're gone ;) Anyone who uses that garage knows that there's a recording studio up there, and they will be sure to coordinate with you when they have to leave to go somewhere etc. Seriously, in 10 years it was never a problem for us.
 

57joonya

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I think the spray insulation is pretty effective , if u want a really well insulated house , and it doubles as pretty effective noise reduction I’ve noticed . You could spray the walls , and have them spray the garage ceiling under you. It’s not cheap , but I would definitely use it if finances allowed . I put cedar siding on a house last summer , the homeowner used spray foam insulation . I could not hear anyone talking outside the house , when I was inside and vice versa. It’s way more soundproof than fiberglass insulation . I would start with that , and ask the garage door company for prices on the quietest door system they have . Good luck and enjoy , looks like a sweet garage
 




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